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Community invited to design charrette Feb. 18 for WKU-Habitat project

On Friday (Feb. 18), community members are invited to participate in a design charrette for the WKU-Habitat for Humanity (HFH) green infrastructure statewide demonstration.

This project is part of a larger plan to construct a green affordable housing community at a 14-acre site owned by Bowling Green-Warren County Habitat for Humanity known as Durbin Estates.

The charrette will begin with a site tour at 9:30 a.m. followed by an interactive period for public comment during which citizens, planners, designers and project staff may share ideas for the project’s design.  The event will take place at the former L.C. Curry Elementary School at 1350 Durbin Drive.

Community members may come and go during the public comment period until noon; the project’s Advisory Council will stay after to complete the design process. All participants should park at the far end of the parking lot.

“This project is a wonderful opportunity to come together as a community to do something that is good for our environment, creates affordable, sustainable homes and strengthens our community,” said Rodney Goodman, Executive Director of Bowling Green-Warren County Habitat for Humanity.  “Bowling Green is a great community and we recognize that there are many in our community who have ideas which will strengthen this project and we would love to hear from you at the design charrette.”

“We seek to demonstrate the value of natural ecosystem services and, optimally, to influence policy regulations for green infrastructure in community development,” added Nancy Givens, Principal Investigator for the grant project.

The statewide demonstration project is funded by the Kentucky Division of Water through a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency and will be administered by WKU’s Center for Environmental Education and Sustainability.

Design charrettes are a way to engage the community in building a new or alternative vision for an area or site through a productive team process. Their goal is to capture the values, ideas and creativity of the community, while designers are sketching to integrate alternatives and ideas into design plans as fast as they can be generated by the participants.

The charrette will be facilitated by Ginger Watkins, Green Building Specialist with the Kentucky Habitat for Humanity. The designers for the project are from Arnold Consulting, Engineering and Surveying (ACES), Inc., a local agency with more than 33 years experience in engineering, landscaping, surveying and project management. Other key partners for the project include WKU departments and WKYU-PBS, Bowling Green City Schools, Bowling Green Public Works, Green River-Tradewater Basin Team, BGGreen Partnership, and Bluegrass PRIDE.

Initial plans are for the site are to include up to 50 housing units, a community center, outdoor amphitheater, community gardens and walking trails.  Low Impact Development techniques that may be included in the green infrastructure design include modified drainage channels, pervious pavement, cisterns, rain barrels, irrigation piping, rain gardens, native plants and increased tree cover, including edible plants.

Contact: Nancy Givens at (270) 745-2842 or Rodney Goodman at (270) 843-6027.

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