Developers of The Ponds, a flourishing residential community located along Kelowna’s Upper Mission South Slopes, have been long-time advocates of nature’s essential role in healthy community planning. Today, as they prepare to launch Phase 5 of the development, it’s easy to see, easy to feel, how this philosophy, carefully applied to each neighbourhood along the way, has worked to create a truly nature-rich community.
In 2005, award-winning author and journalist Richard Louv coined the phrase “Nature Deficit Disorder” to describe negative consequences to individual health and the social fabric as people, particularly children, move indoors and away from physical contact with the natural world. Since then, a new nature movement had gained tremendous ground affecting both individual lifestyle choices and the decisions of forward-thinking community planners and developers such as the team behind The Ponds.
Looking to experience the differences a thoughtfully-designed, nature-friendly community plan can make? Just take a short drive to The Ponds, stand at the centre of the new Phase 5 neighbourhood and look around. The home sites surrounding you offer 360-degree access to natural landscapes, a day-to-day living environment that is increasingly hard to come by.
Feast your eyes on the gloriously unfettered, far-reaching view of Lake Okanagan the homeowners of lots 1 through 10 will enjoy. Here, it’s easy to picture many nights on back patios enjoying late dinners watching the windswept blues of the lake, peppered with white sails. Then, a glass of wine under the stars overlooking Kelowna’s city lights. Tomorrow, wake up to the warm fragrance of sunny grasses, spicy bushes and flowering trees. Enjoying a coffee on the deck, you watch as the kids ignore their iPads and head down to Hill Spring Pond for another adventure filled with sticks and overturned rocks, painted turtles and other creatures yet undiscovered.
It’s truly quiet up here. City sounds are replaced by bird calls, Meadowlark, Hawk and Chickadee, as the sun rises over mountain meadows beaming with wildflowers, deer and dragonflies. The Ponds’ paved community trails wane to nature paths weaving through the fields, inviting mountain bikers, dog walkers and snowshoers to explore the natural parkland, the canyon waterfalls and the endless wilderness beyond. No bike racks, no leashes, no phones. Gone are the days you have to load up your gear, get into a car and drive to enjoy nature.
The rear yards of lots 28 to 34 border the park surrounding Jack Smith Lake, thus offering a perfect view of the lake.
A picturesque mountain lake, Jack Smith is a nature-lover’s dream, a Group of Seven painting made real with many books read, many moments shared along its rocky shores. Surrounded by pebble-stone beaches, tall pines and fallen trees, the reflective waters sparkle in the sunlight as swallows swoop above. And in winter, the lake comes alive with brightly clothed kids in skates keeping parents busy with shovels and hot chocolate. A basic, yet truly Canadian pleasure, now so hard to come by.
On the other side of Gordon Drive, foothills slope up to Kuipers Peak, a natural rock bluff look-out in an oasis of park-protected land. A hike to the Peak is a weekend tradition or a place you take guests to admire the bird’s-eye view of the Okanagan Lake valley below as it stretches from Peachland to Fintry. Overhead, eagles soar as the sunset transforms the sky into feathers of ever-changing colour. At night, kids and adults alike marvel at the constellations and the Milky Way, vivid in the absence of artificial light. Apart from on TV, have you ever heard a Great Horned Owl call out in the dark of night?
Mother Nature guides the moral compass at The Ponds where designers and developers incorporate the surrounding natural environment – not just structured parks and man-made water features – but wild, pure landscapes framing nature-friendly living spaces to nourish healthy families and a happy community.
Phase 5 is made up of 34 mid-sized lots offering uniquely natural living experiences through a selection of home sites with varying orientations and configurations. Future Phase 5 residents will benefit from acquiring their own builders to create custom walk-out ranchers and 2-storey homes to suit the land while fulfilling individual aesthetic and lifestyle needs.
Now that Phases 1-4 are sold out, The Ponds has moved its Sales Centre further uphill, along Gordon Drive to the corner of Clarence Avenue. The sales office will reopen at the end of September in preparation for Phase 5 sales in October. In the meantime, customers are invited to visit the website at www.the ponds.ca, call 250-764-8700 or drive up to explore the prospect of a soul-soothing, back-to-nature, back-to-health living experience. Simply take Gordon Drive all the way up, into the wild.