On Dec. 8, Central Fulton Master Gardeners will celebrate its 100th Atlanta Habitat for Humanity home.
By the end of this year, CFMG master gardeners will have contributed more than 1,700 volunteer hours and directed and educated more than 3,500 Atlanta Habitat volunteers in landscaping and plant care.
For each home, a lead master gardener conducts a site analysis and selects plants appropriate to the property. The new homeowner is welcome to provide input and be present when plants are selected. Then a team of (typically) three master gardeners provides expertise and time to supervise installation of the home’s landscape.
“The most rewarding aspect of the CFMG effort is meeting and working with the new homeowner,” said Rich Sussman, CFMG project coordinator.
“Atlanta Habitat homeowners are first-time homebuyers, and they’ve completed 250 hours of sweat equity – including helping build their own home and homes for others to complete the requirements of Atlanta Habitat’s homeownership program."
Landscaping takes place on the seventh build day when the home is dedicated and formally presented to the new homeowner. While the house itself is undergoing final touch-up, some of the approximately 40 Atlanta Habitat volunteers on the build site that day help prepare the grounds, lay sod, sow grass seed, plant annuals and perennials, and sometimes plant trees – led by master gardeners.
The homeowner is provided information about identifying, planting, and maintaining the new landscape, and the lead master gardener reviews final instructions with the homeowner and presents a folder containing information about the new plants and their maintenance.
“We are so grateful for the support of Central Fulton Master Gardeners and look forward to many more rewarding years of working with them,” said Larrie Del Martin, president and CEO of Grant Park-based Atlanta Habitat.
“The valuable service they perform has beautified neighborhoods throughout our area and inspired new homeowners to enhance not only their own homes but to get involved in community-wide initiatives."
— Marci Bozeman and Alan Olszewski, Central Fulton Master Gardeners