Homeownership is a big part of The American Dream. At Knoxville Habitat for Humanity, we are a proud partner with individuals and families who are living in substandard housing conditions who want a safe and comfortable place to call home.
HUG stands for Habitat Urban Gardens. It's an educational and cooperative program involving homeowners, Knoxville Habitat for Humanity, and master gardeners.
The mission of HUG is to educate and assist homeowners in the landscaping of their new homes using donated plants and materials. The major focus is on the homeowner. Knoxville Habitat for Humanity provides the support, while master gardeners provide the landscaping expertise. Emphasis is placed on "putting the right plant in the right place" so as to provide an attractive and colorful landscape.
Click here for a detailed history and overview of our HUG program.
Although teaching is the first step in the HUG process, various forms of instruction continue throughout the whole HUG program. Master gardener Becky Fairchild demonstrates how to plant a plant in the Knoxville Habitat for Humanity teaching garden. The HUG instructional program includes about 15 lessons, all taught by master gardeners. The HUG classes are highly interactive and use many real objects and hands-on activities. Homeowners are given a "Homeowners Landscape Handbook" when they begin the HUG program.
On-Site Landscape Planning
A master gardener assists the homeonwer to plan and draw a landscape plan on site. The principles of landscaping, taught in class, are followed during the landscape planning process. Homeowners may choose plants from the HUG nursery or purchase their own. Onsite landscape planning can be a family activity.
Planting at the Right Depth
Installing the landscape is the most enjoyable and satisfying step in the HUG process. Master gardeners actively teach homeowners and their families how to plant the plants in their respective yards. The installation work follows the landscape design plan.
Presentation of HUG Bucket to Homeowner
After the homeowner has completed the HUG process of going to class, planning the landscape, and installing the landscape, he or she is presented the HUG Bucket as a trophy for all of the hard work. Here, volunteer HUG manager Dave Craig congratulates the homeowner and thanks the volunteers for their time and effort. This was the 100th home that HUG landscaped for Knoxville Habitat for Humanity.
The HUG Garden at Beardsley Farm
The one-acre HUG nursery is located at Beardsley Farm on Reynolds Street, across Western Avenue from The News Sentinel. The purpose of the nursery is to hold plants that are donated until they are moved and installed in homeowner landscapes. This bed is part of the perennial garden. In addition, there are shurb, grass and shade-plant gardens. There are more than 3,000 plants in the HUG nursery.
If you would like to volunteer for the HUG program, please click here.