In addition to building new homes and preserving existing ones, Habitat partners with community organizations to improve their facilities so that the entire neighborhood can be served better. Creating public spaces that all can enjoy strengthens the whole community.

We recently had the privilege of partnering with Olivewood Gardens & Learning Center in National City. Olivewood Gardens is a nearly 8-acre property that serves as an interactive indoor-outdoor classroom where youth, adults, and families can get a science-based environmental education, nutrition lessons, hands-on gardening and cooking classes, and job skills and leadership development training that build healthy families and a healthy environment.

We cleaned and painted the carriage house of a historic home that is on the property, and built a 75-foot cedar board fence that provides privacy and security. We were joined in this project by volunteers and two of our new National City future homeowners, Resty and Lucy. Their daughter was on a field trip with her school to Olivewood Gardens the same week they were at the property volunteering — talk about a community coming together!