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Habitat for Humanity helpers assist Master Gardeners

By JOE CENTERS • Jul 15, 2019 at 9:00 PM

The Huron County Master Gardeners are watching their program grow.

The group took ownership of a new shed Thursday afternoon from Habitat for Humanity.

When Habitat builds a house, it comes with a shed.

Mark Boggs, construction coordinator with Habitat, talked about the program.

“We build about three houses a year and Master Gardner asked us to build this shed so we built this shed for their cost,” he said. “We’re here today to deliver it.”

Boggs has been in construction his entire life, including the last three years with Habitat and 1 1/2 years as coordinator.

“To me this is like fishing or playing golf,” he said. “This is more hobby than work. Pretty tight-knit group. ... It is just great.”

Boggs described Habitat as a “hand up and not a hand out.” 

“People need 400 sweat-equity hours to get an application to get into a house which comes with an interest-free loan. It usually takes a family about two years once they make contact to get into a house,” he said.

Volunteer Ray Chaffee said he has worked on 100 Habitat houses. 

“I started in ‘92 on house No. 4 on Glover (Avenue),” he said. “I deliver all their sheds to all of the houses because every house gets a shed to keep their lawnmowers and stuff in, unless they get a garage. If they get a garage, they don’t get a shed.”

Chaffee said he enjoys his time with Habitat.

“Real good,” he said. “You meet a lot of interesting people, too. They come in and learn. They bring a hammer, tape measure and pencil then we teach them how to use it.”

Along with building the houses, Habitat volunteers teach the new homeowners how to take care of them.

“No such thing as a maintenance-free house,” Chaffee said.

Shannon Ditz, project coordinator for the teaching garden, said the new shed and garden will be used for for wellness classes. She said with Habitat donating the work, it saved the Master Gardeners about $1,500.

“This is where we do a lot of our classes (and) a place for us to store our materials. ACT (Answering The Call Together Inc.) is going to be out the 27th of July to build our fence.”

There are more than 70 Master Gardeners in Huron County. 

“Quite a big group ... variety of different projects all over the county,” Ditz said. “We love it.”

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