Meet Our Volunteers
Darran White Tilghman
Darran White Tilghman is the ShoreRivers Director of Community engagement. She relocated here several years ago with her husband and two daughters. Along with ShoreRivers’ Chester Riverkeeper, Darran led the installation of beautiful native landscaping around the Garnet House. She worked with the family to determine their preferences for both blooming perennials and edibles, like native blueberries. She teaches that native plants soak up and clean stormwater runoff before it reaches the Chester River, which is presently polluted by nutrients and sediments that mostly come from within our own watershed. She notes that if we do not have clean water, we will not have economic opportunities or quality of life. And environmental quality does not have to be expensive. Changing practices on one’s property means fertilizing and mowing less and planting natives.
“I am personally and professionally excited to partner with Kent Attainable Housing, especially under Darius Johnson’s leadership” she says. ShoreRivers seeks partnerships with groups that share values of community and ecosystem health: “It’s essential, because environmental degradation and social injustice have the same causes, and lasting solutions must address both. With partners like Kent Attainable Housing, we are working to build the future we want to inhabit together.
Faith Wilson of Chestertown is known for her liminalist art. For over 30 years she has created textile art, seen often in small and large painted floorcloths and wall treatments. She also has renovated an old house, “with lots of help from friends and relations” and grabbed the opportunity to pass along the help she had been given and the skills she had learned to volunteer for work on the Garnet House.
She was also motivated by her friend Diane Russell, who had renovated several houses. “It was on Diane’s bucket list to work for Habitat for Humanity so when I heard about Kent Attainable Housing, I signed us both up. Diane was really my inspiration,” Faith said. Both did caulking, painting, and finish work and had a totally good experience. Because of the COVID pandemic, there were not a lot of people able to work together, but she was impressed with the enthusiasm and experience in the group. She appreciated the chance to learn, and “it was a lot of fun,” she said. Both women will volunteer again with KAH, if asked.
Ed Minch, KAH Board VP, has had a 45-year career in energy efficient home systems and retrofits. He has trained builders, architects, HVAC contractors, and insulators in the science of energy efficiency. “I have been in construction my whole life. My brother and I built 7 houses from the bottom up in the mid 70’s. Having been retired for 6 years, thesuggestion of doing it again hit home. In addition, I live right off of Cannon St. and have been watching it gentrify since we moved here in 2005. I wanted to help those forced to move away to have a place to go to,” he explained. Ed has logged in 374 hours to complete the house and another 300 plus hours to design, get plans approved and coordinate the engineering, building and delivery of the home with the modular company.
Bob Ingersoll, lifelong resident of Kent County, has supervised five recent local construction projects: the Sultana Education building, the conversion of the police department building to Sultana housing, Sumner Hall and Kent County Arts Council renovations, and the Chestertown Marina building. “I have learned that you always get more out than you put in, something I seem to continuously learn, and find it to be new each time. You almost always invest time in things you deem important, and the dividends are the feeling you get for doing it, and learning along the way,” said Ingersoll. Bob logged in 119 hours to finish the house and another 50 plus advising and troubleshooting before the house arrived.