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      College students go green to support new Habitat for Humanity neighborhood

      Dozens of students gathered at the Grand Traverse Mall on Saturday to show off their creations for the Habitat Home Challenge. The event featured more than 50 model homes, all made out of recyclable materials.

      A group of Northwestern Michigan College students are going green for a unique class project focused on raising awareness for Habitat for Humanity and the organization's new Depot Neighborhood project.

      Dozens of students gathered at the Grand Traverse Mall on Saturday to show off their creations for the Habitat Home Challenge. An event that the professional communications class put on, along with officials from Habitat for Humanity, to help spread the word about their new neighborhood development.

      More than 50 model homes, all different shapes and sizes, were on display. The homes were built by local teams from schools, businesses, families, or individuals.

      Teams competed in different categories like best overall, best youth, most environmental, most creative, and people's choice.

      The main rule for the competition was that every piece of the home had to be made out of recyclable materials. Organizers say that the youngest future architect's designs seemed to be the most eye-catching, and that everyone got something out of the project.

      "The learning for the college students was important but the more important part is to show that we need to support community events and especially a community build like the new Depot Neighborhood because 10 families who are looking to give back will now have awesome housing in our area," said Northwestern Michigan College business instructor, Kristy Mcdonald.

      The winners in the categories will be on display at various locations around Traverse City, and the rest of the homes are being properly recycled.

      Habitat for Humanity's Depot Neighborhood will be sustainable, net-zero housing with energy efficient qualities for Grand Traverse Region Habitat families. Those families that get to live in the depot could see their energy bills drop to pennies a year.

      For more information on the Habitat for Humanity, the Depot Neighborhood, and how you can get involved, click here.