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September 25, 2020

Fauquier Habitat goes native around Haiti house

We’re trying to keep everything as low-maintenance as possible.
— Melanie Burch, Habitat staff member
Fauquier Habitat for Humanity has gone “green” with construction and landscaping of its 55th home.

Last week, 15 volunteers and staff members transformed the Warrenton home’s small yard into vibrant, low-maintenance landscape with 217 native plants.

The two-level house at 116 Haiti St. represents Habitat’s new focus on building structures that pay homage to traditional architecture in the community. The 2,000-square-foot house has a standing-seam metal roof, HardiePlank cement board siding and exterior walls framed in 6-inch lumber.

Warrenton architect Jim Hricko designed the four-bedroom, two-bedroom house to squeeze every energy dollar with high-performance windows, doors, appliances and heating/cooling.

In keeping with the structure’s EarthCraft standards, Habitat Community Development Director Mary Correia approached the Piedmont Environmental Council to help with landscaping. The new house stands just across part of the town’s Eva Walker Park from the PEC headquarters on Horner Street. The environmental organization two years ago established the Larson Native Plant Garden there.

Dan Holmes, PEC’s director of state policy, used his background in horticulture and master’s degree in landscape design on that project.

Mr. Holmes volunteered to design the Haiti Street landscape for Habitat and specified the plants that cover much of the one-tenth-acre lot.

The plants range from dogwood, redbud and holly trees to cardinal flowers, sedge and Joe Pye weed.

Thirsty species line a very wet area behind the house, along the park’s concrete fence.

“We’re trying to keep everything as low-maintenance as possible,” said Habitat Director of Operations and Planning Melanie Burch, who helped with the planting and mulching that took 10 hours on Thursday, Sept. 17.

The native plants will stand up better to drought and other extremes, according to Mr. Holmes.

Habitat has yet to select the partner family that will buy the new home. Its program requires buyers invest significant volunteer hours with the program and to complete an education regimen.

The new home represents part of an ongoing Habitat project, including new construction and rehabilitation, in the Haiti neighborhood. The PATH Foundation provided a $1-million grant that allowed the organization to buy nine properties there.
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Baldurr · October 20, 2020 at 8:06 pm
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chuckwalker · September 28, 2020 at 5:51 am
Mr.Holmes, just like in the books) In case you are having trouble writing book review consider visiting essaycreate com
Becca · September 26, 2020 at 2:35 pm
This is incredible! Thrilled to see people are still working on such amazing things in such tough times.
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