Growing Homes Habitat for Humanity projects are now a frequent feature at--but not many attendees have actually helped grow the materials they use to build the house. At the Society of American Foresters' 1998 convention, held in September at the Grand Traverse Resort in Michigan, attendees not only built a home for a local family, but they also used the project to showcase their forest management efforts. The association set up an information center, which attracted lots of media attention, says Bill Sterrett, the convention's publicity and Habitat for Humanity co-chair.
Another unusual aspect of the program: The Grand Traverse Resort allowed SAF to build the home right on site. The reason? So that attendees did not have to travel off-site to help out. "Anyone walking out of a meeting room could see our project," says Sterrett. More than enough people at the group's meeting offered to build the home. The tough part, Sterrett says, was bringing in a home-mover to relocate the new house after the convention. "That was quite a feat," Sterrett notes with a laugh.