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Habitat for Humanity official to visit WKU for update on Durbin Project

Larry Gluth, senior vice president, U.S. and Canada for Habitat for Humanity International, will visit WKU on Thursday for a site tour and update on the Durbin Project, a green housing community being developed in Bowling Green.

Gluth, formerly a senior executive for Starbucks Coffee Company, will share remarks on how the new vision of community created by the Durbin Project sets a model for Habitat for Humanity International.

The statewide demonstration project at Durbin Estates off Glen Lily Road is initially funded by the Kentucky Division of Water through a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency and is administered by WKU’s Center for Environmental Education and Sustainability.

WKU is working with the Bowling Green-Warren County Habitat for Humanity, Kentucky Habitat for Humanity and several partners on the project.

Thursday’s event at the WKU Faculty House will begin with a project overview at 10 a.m. by Rodney Goodman, executive director of Bowling Green-Warren County Habitat for Humanity; Nancy Givens, principal investigator for the grant; and Ginger Watkins, sustainable building specialist for Kentucky Habitat for Humanity.

Participants will tour the Durbin Estates site at 11 a.m. then return to the Faculty House for a noon luncheon. Speakers will include Dr. Terry Wilson, director of WKU’s Center for Environmental Education and Sustainability; WKU President Gary Ransdell; and Dr. Gordon Baylis, vice president for Research.

At 1:15 p.m., Gluth, Mary Shearer, executive director of Kentucky Habitat for Humanity, and Michael Johnathan, executive producer and folk singer for Woodsongs Old Time Radio Show, will lead a session on A New Look at Community.

Initial plans are for the site to include up to 50 housing units, a community center, outdoor amphitheater, community gardens and walking trails. The Durbin Estates statewide demonstration project will demonstrate low impact development (LID) and green building techniques, including passive home structures and community-scale renewable energy. The project will also provide education and training to professionals and the public.

Other key partners for the Durbin Project include Arnold Consulting and Engineering, BGGreen Partnership for a Sustainable Community, Bluegrass PRIDE, Bowling Green City Schools, Bowling Green Public Works Department, Roundstone Native Seed, WKU Landscaping, WKU Planning, Design and Construction, and WKYU-PBS.

Contact: Nancy Givens, (270) 745-2842.

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