Month: May 2018


Women Build Day 2018 draws volunteers from all over Whatcom County

Women Build Day volunteer Ramona Lambert shovels mulch while other volunteers reconstruct a shed. Photo by Marcie Miller.

Blue skies and sunshine greeted the 50 volunteers who turned out on Saturday, May 5th, for Habitat For Humanity in Whatcom County's annual Lowe's Women Build Day. Their goal was to work on site prep for our biggest project - the 54-unit Telegraph Townhomes.

Volunteers helped rebuild a construction shed that needed to be moved out of the way of upcoming construction, and continued work on wetlands mitigation efforts along Baker Creek. There was a lot of mulch moving.

On hand to help were six of the seven Mata family children, who were putting in their final hours of "sweat equity" needed to fund their Habitat home in Kendall. After living with another family since their home in Maple Falls burned down three years ago, they are expected to be able to move in next month! Stay tuned for an invitation to the Mata family's home dedication.

Habitat partner homebuyers contribute 500 hours of sweat equity toward their new house. That can be divided among family members and performed in a variety of ways, from working on their home to working in the Habitat Store. With Mario Sr. and six kids clocking hours, they were able to fill that requirement easily.

"It's awesome what you guys are doing," Johnny Mata said, regarding the Telegraph Townhomes project. His sisters, Jess, Gabby, Michelle, Mari and Dani agreed.

"It's great to be able to provide homes," Dani added. "It's good to know there are still nice people in the world."

They spent the afternoon helping to add more mulch around the saplings and shrubs planted near the pond at the rear of the property.

The Women Build volunteers were divided pretty evenly male and female. As our affiliate moves into the Telegraph Townhomes project, there are big plans to reboot the once active Women Build program in Whatcom County. Annual Women Build Day is just one small step toward that goal.

"Women Build Day is about empowering women," Habitat Whatcom Executive Director, John Moon, explained. "It's not about excluding men. It's great for our mission, and it's a win-win as many homeowners are single women."

The Mata family, left to right: Jessica, Johnny, Dani, Mari, Michelle and Gabriella. Photo by Marcie Miller.

As work wraps up on the Mata family home, volunteer crews will move on to Linda Clow's home in Acme and the Telegraph Townhomes project.

There is plenty of work to go around, with volunteer jobs for all skills levels and abilities. Get involved in volunteering for Habitat Whatcom or sign up for an upcoming build day. For more information on the Telegraph Townhomes project click here.

Members of the Mata family pitch in on Women Build Day at the Telegraph Townhomes site May 5th.

Wetlands Mitigation @Telegraph Townhomes

This year, Habitat Whatcom’s Women’s Build Day will be held on May 5th, 2018, at 1050 Telegraph Rd, the soon-to-be construction site of up to 54 townhomes.
In addition to prepping the site for construction, which is slated to begin this summer, volunteers at Women Build Day will also be bringing the Young Roots wetlands mitigation project to a close.

50+ 4th Graders

Telegraph Townhomes will be constructed along the north fork of Baker Creek, a tributary of Squalicum Creek and a potential home for both bull trout and coho salmon. The Young Roots Wetland Mitigation project was undertaken to lessen the environmental impact this​ development would have on the nearby fish bearing stream.

To complete Young Roots Wetland Mitigation project, Habitat partnered with 4th grade students and their teachers from Parkview Elementary and Columbia Elementary to offer these students the hands-on opportunity to come out onto the mitigation site and to learn the importance of this project. Over 50 students came out to the site on February 28th, 2018 to remove pre-existing invasive species, prep the site for planting, plant sword fern, and begin mulching. 

Panorama view of volunteers working on one section of the Wetland Mitigation project
Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association planting

Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association

Additional students and volunteers joined Habitat and the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association in a subsequent community planting party in March. With oversight from qualified professionals specializing in riparian mitigationthese amazing volunteers successfully planted 925 native trees and shrubs over 22,000 sq. ft. of stream bank. The successful growth of these trees and shrubs will provide a natural buffer for the stream, wetland and wildlife. This buffer will help shield the area from the runoff, lights and noise of Telegraph Townhomes, ensuring a sustainable environment for generations to come. 

Women Build Day: Completing the Mitigation

Volunteers present at this year's Women Build Day will complete the final stage of this project: mulching the mitigation area. Volunteers will also begin construction of a silt fence on the property.

The Wetlands Mitigation project fulfills land requirements, allowing Telegraph Townhomes construction to begin. Thanks to this project and the incredible volunteers who stepped up to get it done, 54 Whatcom County families are one step closer to a permanent place to call home!

Join us this women build day!

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