CHIPLEY - When it comes to construction projects, Chipola Area Habitat for Humanity usually focuses on building homes to meet local needs for safe, affordable housing; however, the organization’s newest endeavor is to spearhead the building of a new gazebo at the Chipley Farmer’s Market, a proposal made to members of the Chipley City Council by Habitat’s Executive Director Carmen D. Smith.
While the goal is to replace the deteriorating structure, which has been an iconic fixture in the courtyard of the Chipley Farmers Market for more than a decade, Smith says Habitat is looking to partner with Chipley and its residents to build something a little more: community.
“The gazebo is at the center of nearly every downtown event,” said Smith. “We wanted to give back to Chipley and work side by side with its residents to bring new life to that site.”
Smith’s call to service was answered by Community South Bank, Grace Assembly at Chipley, Rivertown Community Church, Shiloh Baptist Church, and Yes Lord Deliverance Ministries, all of which had representatives present at a recent meeting with Smith and the City of Chipley to plan the next steps.
“We are so excited about the opportunity to bring different pockets of the community together to work toward this goal which will help improvement the quality of life for all of Chipley’s citizens,” said Smith.
Chipley Mayor Tracy Andrews agrees.
“I am so excited about this partnership,” said Andrews. “It is an opportunity for our community to build something together, both the gazebo and a lasting bond.”
Smith states the existing landscape will be salvaged as much as possible and be replanted, in addition to new landscaping, lighting, and electrical outlets. The existing plaque currently located inside the gazebo will be placed in a marker outside the gazebo once the project is complete.
This project comes at no cost to the City of Chipley or the taxpayers.
Deconstruction of the existing gazebo is slated to begin the week of July 6. To volunteer to assist with this project, contact the volunteer teams at any of the mentioned churches or businesses, or call Habitat for Humanity at 850-482-2187, ext. 100.