Area developments that preserve nature and forests appeal to residents who seek a connection outside of their homes.
Words by Megan Felling
etting outside into nature can have many health benefits, both physical and mental. Studies have shown that being in nature can restore and strengthen our cognitive capacities, increase focus and attention, as well as boost the immune system, lower blood pressure and reduce stress.
Many popular new home communities are becoming more and more resort-like with world-class amenities, including abundant green space and access to nature. Being in close proximity to nature and trees makes today’s communities a destination where people can focus on building a healthier lifestyle, whether by escaping to a neighborhood park, hiking through the woods or spending a few minutes enjoying a water view.
Dave Gale, developer of the Winterset neighborhoods, notes that, in today’s market, “Buyers have options, and discerning buyers value trees and green spaces.”
Hundreds of acres of native woods lend a forested backdrop to Winterset’s properties, where each lot was created to maintain as much of nature’s amenities as possible. The homes highlight the land.
“As a developer, Dave is committed to an environmental vision of a community with nature at the forefront,” says Dave’s wife, Susie Gale, a local real estate agent. “Living near nature makes it easier to stay active. It’s a whole different way of life to be close to nature. It’s an added amenity to be on a trail just minutes from your home.”
Timothy and Marianne B. sought out a nature-inspired lifestyle at Loch Lloyd more than 25 years ago. They chose the community because they wanted to feel like they were in the country—but still in a neighborhood—while staying close to their St. Thomas More parish and school for their children. They chose a wooded lot with a pond in the backyard as their homesite.
“The lot actually had one of the original farmland ponds that some of the construction workers remembered fishing [in] as kids, so there is a lot of history,” Timothy says. “The kids and I were able to go on a lot of hikes when they were growing up—we knew the woods like the backs of our hands.”
Marianne adds that the view of the trees drew them in. “We can see the lake from our deck; it feels like living in a treehouse,” she describes.
The couple enjoys watching the wild animals that live nearby—deer, turkey, blue heron and even bald eagles. They paint a picture of a lifestyle they couldn’t find anywhere else:
“We spend quite a bit of time on the deck enjoying the view,” Timothy says. “I’ll read the paper, grill or just watch the turtles in the pond. We are on a quiet cul-de-sac where the grandkids can ride their bikes. It’s peaceful and relaxing. Living here has added to our quality of life.”
Be one with nature at these communities:
Located just southwest of K-10 and K-7, six communities of single-family and maintenance-provided villas wind through rolling hills, limestone bluffs, treed valleys, tranquil lakes and open green space. Hundreds of acres will always remain in their natural state and preserved, with an abundance of wildlife. There is a 65-acre sailing and fishing lake, a top-rated golf course and miles of walking and nature trails. The Estates at Canyon Oaks, the newest single-family neighborhood, is now accepting lot reservations.
Comprised of The Estates of Forest View, The Hills of Forest View and The Meadows of Forest View, a variety of homes and homesites are available. A Rodrock Development, this Olathe community offers impressive amenities, including a cascading 50-foot waterfall, natural rock bluffs and lush greenery. There is trailhead access within the neighborhood to Cedar Niles Park, offering miles of mountain biking and hiking trails.
This private, gated community in Cass County offers low-maintenance villas, custom-designed homes on the golf course and premier lakeside estates. With extensive amenities, residents enjoy a resort lifestyle. A new neighborhood of wooded homesites with acreage has expanded the community into Johnson County, Kansas—just minutes from the 135th Street corridor with easy access to shopping and dining.
A Matt Adam Development at 173rd and Quivira in the Blue Valley school district, The Sanctuary will feature three areas totaling 200 luxury single-family homes. Nature trails and a sparkling creek wind their way through the community. In addition to being surrounded by nature and extensive amenities, it is also located near Heritage Park.
Within a secluded, 47-acre parcel of heavily wooded and rolling terrain sits 36 estate-sized lots for those looking to build a custom home. Or choose from one of several new homes under construction and for sale from the team of award-winning builders. Fifteen-foot side-yard buffer zones and tree-preservation easements have been created to conserve the natural landscape and create privacy. Just west of K-7 on 119th Street, this Prime Development community includes an 11-acre private park abundant with wildlife.
Each of the six distinct neighborhoods of Winterset in Lee’s Summit has direct access to miles of walking trails leading to the Hundred Acre Woods, an old-growth forest resting in the Cedar Creek Valley. There’s also a connection to Missouri’s Rock Island Trail. With thousands of tree plantings and hundreds of acres of preserved parkland, two fishing lakes, butterfly gardens and pocket parks galore, Winterset was the first community in the Midwest to achieve the coveted Global ReLeaf award. The newest area, Winterset Falls, has opened its first phase of 21 lots for custom, single-family homes built by a respected team of builders.
Wolf Valley Ranch
A B.L. Rieke Development along 191st Street in Bucyrus, this 40-acre parcel consists of four estate-sized tracts of approximately 10 acres each. Homes will have views of mature trees and a tributary of Wolf Creek, which meanders through the lots. This property provides an opportunity to build a country estate while enjoying easy access to 69 Highway, Blue Valley schools, the Overland Park Arboretum, shopping, restaurants and more.
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