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History of Durbin Estate Project


What is the Durbin Project?

This project is a multi-phase project to develop a mixed-income mixed-use green affordable housing community as a statewide demonstration. It is being developed in partnership between Western Kentucky University and Habitat for Humanity, with many other state and local community partners.

The Durbin Project is located at a 14.3 acre site owned by Habitat for Humanity Bowling Green-Warren County (HFH BG-WC) and is within the Jennings Creek watershed and Bowling Green city limits. It is being designed to incorporate an integrated green infrastructure, high energy efficiency buildings, renewable energy, native plants and habitat restoration features, and sustainable agriculture practices. It will eventually comprise up to forty-three high energy performance residences, a community center, shared green space and walking trails, community gardens, and other features. Community education, school education, media outreach and professional training are integral parts of this project. The site will be used as an outdoor learning laboratory for area schools and for research projects by the University. Project results will be broadly disseminated through media, social networking, and a PBS documentary.

Funding has been acquired for Phases 1 & 2 from the Kentucky Division of Water, through Environmental Protection Agency 319(h) nonpoint source pollution funds under the Clean Water Act. Phase I will create an integrated green infrastructure using Low Impact Development (LID) techniques to manage stormwater and Phase 2 will create road, utility and associated green infrastructure to permit housing construction to begin. Goals are to enhance water quality and sustainable community development, and to promote public awareness through Best Management Practices (BMPs); professional and community education; and cooperation among agencies, citizens, and government.


The goal of this project is to demonstrate an integrated green infrastructure statewide demonstration for community development that can be broadly replicated to reduce nonpoint source pollution, educate the public, and improve quality of life for communities.

Site Plans

For on site pictures of the site before development click here.

map of site


Date Event
2006  HFH BG-WC purchases 14.3 acre site for future build
2007  BGGreen Partnership for a Sustainable Community presents concept to Board
2008 Initial site plan is developed by WKU Geog-Geol class
2010  Federal 319(h) funding from #PA is awarded by Kentucky Division of Water
Jan 2011  Project begins/first Advisory Coucil meeting held
Feb 2011  Tour/Charrette for public participation in community design
Mar 2011  Flood analysis by WKU Hydrology class
April 2011  Survey and Engineering Plans by Arnold Consulting Engineering and Surveying
May 2011  Roundstone Native Seed becomes partner
June 2011  Best Management Practices-Implementation Plan (BMP-IP) approved
Sept 2011  Open Neighborhood Meeting
Nov 2011  Planned Unit Development (PUD) approved by Bowling Green City Commissioners
Mar 2012  Rain Barrel Workshop for Dishman-McGinnis Families
Aug 2012  $297,000 Grant Extension from the KY Division of Water
Aug 2012  Vernal Pond installation
Aug 2012  Green Infrastructure Implementation by Scott & Ritter, Inc. begins
Oct 2012  Native pond plants planted in the vernal pond
Nov 2012 Installation of 50 white pine trees as a trail border and 40 bald cypress trees in the infiltration basin
June 2013 Plugs Planting Day-small settings of grass plants were planted in upland drainage channel
June 2013 Native grass seeds were planted in the upland area, channel and bio-infiltration area
June 2013 Underground utilities were installed for the first three houses
July 2013 Gravel bed is installed for the on-street parking lane
Aug 2013 Permeable blocks on installed for the on-street park
Aug 2013 Bio-swales along on-road parking lane has been completed
Nov 2013

Three classes from Dishman McGinnis Elementary School attended the Durbin site to learn about karst environments, nonpoint source pollultion and watershed management.



trash clean up

Old basin filled with rain run-off

Old channel at bridge

New channel with water at bridge

new drainage from culvert

Two week after the vernal pond had been installed.

Grass plugs planted in upland drainge channel.

cypress trees in bio-infliltration basin

Pine tree planting day

Bioswale along the on-road parking lane




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 Last Modified 12/4/18