Evans Farm October 2017 Newsletter

 

Special Edition
New Urbanism Breakdown

New Urbanism promotes the creation of diverse, walkable, compact, vibrant, mixed-use communities composed of the same components as conventional development, but assembled in a more integrated fashion, in the form of complete communities. – New Urbanism.org

 

If you have spent any time around Evans Farm, you have likely heard the term “New Urbanism”. But do you know exactly what New Urbanism means and its influence on Evans Farm? Let’s break it down for a better understanding. New Urbanism is a style of planning and design that began in the United States in the early 1980’s, at Seaside, FL, and is heavily based on urban design practices and community planning patterns that were prominent in many vibrant communities throughout much of history.
New Urbanism design principles promote neighborhoods, neighborly community patterns and environmentally friendly development. Ultimately, New Urbanism is about “Placemaking”, creating plazas, parks, neighborhoods, and communities, each “Places”, that are desirable, comfortable spaces for human pleasure and community enjoyment.

NewUrbanism.org defines New Urbanism with 10 principles that influence the design standards. These are:
1. Walkability – Evans Farm has several nodes that have all been designed ¼ mile from each other. This allows community members to walk from the commercial district, to the entertainment pavilion, to the local elementary school and then to the local ball fields,without getting in a car. There will also be over 4 miles of bike/walking paths connected to over 30 miles of hiking/walking paths in Alum Creek.
2. Connectivity – When being designed, the developers accounted for automotive traffic, as well as, pedestrian traffic. One example is, alleys have been incorporated in the design allowing vehicles to avoid much of the pedestrian traffic, since people will mostly be walking on the sidewalks, in front of the houses.
3. Mixed-Use and Diversity – It is our goal to have a diverse range of families (age, culture,
race, religion, income levels, etc.), as well as, businesses.
4. Mixed Housing – Since Evans Farm has 13 approved builders, a variety of styles, sizes, and
prices of houses will be built in close proximity to each other.
5. Quality Architecture & Urban Design – Evans Farm has developed architectural standards
that must be followed when designing and constructing every house. These design
standards maintain a higher level of architecture that is not necessarily found in other
Central Ohio communities.
6. Traditional Neighborhood Structure –Evans Farm provides varying lot sizes while
designing open spaces within two blocks of every resident.
7. Increased Density – Shops, buildings and houses are built closely together to allow
walkable distances for community members.
8. Green Transportation – Evans Farm promotes walking, bicycling, and battery-operated
vehicles.
9. Sustainability – Sustainability guidelines have been written to explain the vision of Evans
Farm, related to sustainability. These guidelines elaborate on development and
maintenance of the community.
10. Quality of Life – The vision of Evans Farm is to use all of these principles to create a life
worth living for every individual living, working and visiting this community.

 

Norton Commons Tour Overview

Our development team has traveled across the country, and in fact, around the world to study
numerous New Urbanism communities as well the desirable (and undesirable) traits of historic and
desirable older towns. To this point, in our interest to share the Evans family and development
team’s focus on these community design principles, we have held several seminars, forums, and
numerous public presentations, over the past 18 months, to bring focus to the future New Urbanism
community, Evans Farm.
Recently, the Evans Farm team was asked to host a tour to one of these New Urbanism communities
to promote a greater understanding of community design and development. Through our travels,
two communities were identified as being similar and reflect a great deal of the vision defined for
Evans Farm. These communities are Westhaven, in Franklin TN and Norton Commons, in Louisville,
KY. With our friendship and a great deal of help from Charles Osborne III and David Toms,
developers of Norton Commons, a bus tour to Norton Commons was arranged for Monday, October 9.
A few days after we returned, builders who accompanied us on our tour were asked to provide their
thoughts on the visit and their experience. The following paragraphs share a few of the builders’
insights.

 

The New Urbanism Experience
Written by: Dan Troth, GreenTech Construction
“The bus leaves at 7am sharp!” was the word that went out. It was still dark out as we loaded onto the bus and took our seats while breakfast treats and cups of coffee were passed through the aisles. We were finally heading out on the field trip to Norton Commons that Dan and Tony had been promising us. The three and a half hour ride to the Louisville, Kentucky village passed quickly and we unloaded near the center of town. We walked down beautiful tree lined streets where one quickly notices something big that is missing: garages. Each home’s garage is entered from the rear and cannot be seen from the street, as one of the goals of New Urbanism is to minimize the use of cars.

 

Almost all of America’s suburbs require us to get in a car to go anywhere while communities like Norton Commons and Evans Farm allow us to safely step out of our homes and walk down a street, wave to neighbors sitting on their front porch and meet friends at a coffee shop or restaurant. You can walk to the YMCA or to the bank or drop your kids off at school or go shopping. And if you want to take a bike ride on pathways or go sit by a pond or stroll through a park or just watch your kids or grandkids play a ball game, it’s comforting to know that it’s all close at hand, without the necessity of a car. Another striking difference between Norton Commons and your typical suburban development is the great diversity of housing styles that appeal to all ages and to a range of income levels with the goal of creating a diverse and welcoming community. Reading about New Urbanism and Walkable Communities and seeing pictures in magazines is one thing but when you actually stand and walk in one it feels quite different. You hear yourself saying, “This works. I would like to live here.” I understand what Dan and Tony have been talking about for the last two years and feel their passion and vision. Evans Farm promises to capture a sense of community that many feel has been lost. It brings back a healthy and sustainable connection to each other that is sure to last generations and as a builder I am proud to have the opportunity to be a part of it.

Upcoming Events

*Please join with us in gratefully giving back to our community by bringing some non-perishable food items for our local food bank.

Ask a Builder
Answers written by: Mark Braunsdorf, Compass Homes

What was your first impression when you entered the neighborhood?
My first impression when we visited Norton Commons in Prospect, KY, was the attention to detail and how much thought must have been put into the community prior to development. As a builder, our philosophy at Compass Homes is to put “more thought per square foot” into each home and I immediately noticed the little details that were utilized during development.

Describe the feeling of walking down a residential/commercial street in Norton Commons.
We were able to walk the entire neighborhood, and didn’t have to get in a car the entire day. I was struck by the interactions that took place with people we saw, complete with smiles and waves from neighbors. Cars at intersections even turned a different direction to allow us to continue walking (because there are multiple ways for them to get where they wanted to go), and a fire truck even stopped and the firemen said hello to us.

Based on Norton Commons, what does “community” mean, in your own words?
Community for me is about the opportunity to connect with people. At Norton Commons, it reminded me of living on a college campus. In College, it was the outdoor and indoor common areas that made the interactions with the people in our community unique and special. Norton Commons has this same uniqueness. Community is the ability to communicate and live outside your home with others who support and know you.
How do you believe Evans Farm compares to Norton Commons?
I believe that Evans Farm will be quite like Norton Commons in that in 10-12 years the trees will mature and you won’t be able to tell the difference between this community and one that is 150 years old. The feeling of connectedness will be dramatically different than what we currently experience in our subdivisions.
What are you most excited about with the Evans Farm development?
We are excited to be a part of such an innovative community. Since we are a boutique-sized homebuilder we are able to select where we want to build. Similar to the other communities around central Ohio, we are excited to be a part of a community that will provide homeowners maximum equity while ensuring they are connected and part of a community while living in their home.
Compass Homes is a boutique-sized homebuilder building homes with “more thought per square foot” and efficient designs in communities with the highest rated schools in central Ohio. We do this through having detailed processes and a highly trained and experienced staff who are passionate about what they do and genuinely care about our clients.


Evans Farm September 2017 Newsletter

Continuing High Quality Childcare in Our Community
Written by: Pamela O’Brien

Twenty-three years ago, we opened the doors of Hugs-n-Hearts Early Learning Center. We were one of the first businesses in the now thriving Polaris area. Teddy bears lined the hallways and 12 smiling teachers waited in the doorways to welcome the children that would be the first of over 4,000 students to eventually join our family. Today we are a thriving private childcare center with nearly 40,000 feet of classroom and education space, and approximately 70 full and part time teachers, and 550 students currently enrolled.

Educators, parents, and developmental specialists have long known that a child’s brain develops more quickly from birth to age five than it ever will again. Early childhood education is the key to providing a sturdy foundation that will affect learning and development throughout a person’s life. Our 23 years of experience and our close relationships to our former families have allowed us to examine the long-term impact that early development of skills has had on our student’s lives in our community.

Our location in one of the fastest growing areas of Ohio (and the U.S) has been a factor vital to our success. Delaware county, the Olentangy Local School District, and the “Polaris” business/retail corridor have seen unprecedented growth in the last 23 years. Delaware County has been the fastest growing county in Ohio since the early 1990’s. The county has 4 public school districts, with median household incomes and median home values above the national averages. The median age of residents is 35, and 34.6% of residents are under age 18.

The Olentangy Local School District (OLSD) encompasses 95 sq. miles in southern Delaware County, and has long been one of the fastest growing districts in the nation. From 2000-2017 the enrollment in OLSD has exploded from 5,166 to almost 21,000. Olentangy’s enrollment increases by an average of 900 students every year. During the growth, OLSD consistently earned extremely high marks from the Ohio Department of Education. Since 2000, OLSD has been awarded the “Excellent” and “Excellent with Distinction” ratings from the state. All three district high schools have ranked in the top 15 schools in Ohio and top 300 in the nation.

The staff at Hugs-n-Hearts is our greatest asset. We have made it a priority to put our teachers first and compensate them well above the industry standards. We are very fortunate to have passionate, loving, and dedicated teachers. They consider their classrooms their home away from home. They take pride in their work and have the autonomy to design and implement their own teaching style based on center wide themes and learning goals. Our ability to establish trust and respect with our staff creates a workplace where creativity and uniqueness is celebrated. At Hugs-n-Hearts, we exceed the standards outlined by the state, and we surpass them by embracing the teachers’ individual ideas and strengths. On average, our teachers have been here for 10 years, with an average of nearly 16 years in the early childhood field. Many of our teachers have been with us for well over 17 years.  They proudly hold Associate and Bachelor degrees in Early Childhood and Teaching. Their education combined with teaching experience and involvement in our community make our teachers highly regarded to the families in our community. The relationships we build with the families at “Hugs” are long lasting and remarkable. The respect that the teachers, parents, and children have for each other is evident, and lends to the Hugs-n-Hearts reputation of being exceptional. We are excited for this upcoming opportunity to be a part of the Evans Farms community.

Pamela O’Brien is the founder and director of Hugs-n-Hearts. Pam is a good friend to Evans Farm and the Lewis Center community. We are looking forward to having Pam and Hugs-n-Hearts in Evans Farm!

Current happenings with Evans Farm:

• Over the past month, things have been moving very quickly! With a great deal of cooperation from the local weather, substantial progress has been made on Phase 1 construction. Utilities are being installed, curbs are in place and stone base and asphalt for Evans Farm Drive, Red Oak Street and other drives should be installed by the end of the September!
• The Final Plat for Section 1 should be approved by the County Commissioners on October
2nd. We expect to have lots available for purchase by October 3rd or 4th!
• Conceptual design for the initial phase of the Town Center retail and commercial area has begun. We expect construction of our initial commercial phase to begin in early 2018.
• We are very busy at the Evans Farm nursery as well. We are preparing our 5,000 nursery trees for the fall and winter. We are also well into our schedule of the collection of native tree seeds and acorns for next year. Among the early tree seeds that we’ve collected are paw paws, white and chinquapin oaks, flowering dogwoods, redbuds, yellow buckeyes, and others.

 

Sales Team Update

Written by: Ray Hustek, Sales Director

With excitement building as we approach construction of the first homes in Evans Farm, we often have people ask if there are any good lots still available. The answer is “Yes!”. The most exciting thing about watching the project develop is being able to experience the actual views that some of our future residents will enjoy from their front porches. Along the western edge of the first phase are a group of lots that will have spectacular views of water and trees from the front porches. Lots 4-6 and 25-29 are some of our most economically priced lots and range from $62,000 to $71,000. Lot 6 has a park next door and may be the best lot that is still available in the first phase. Residents who live along this strip will have an easy walk to the restaurants, shopping and the YMCA in the Evans Farm downtown district. There are lots remaining in most of the size and price ranges and we would love to show you the site. Please call 614-800-8820 to schedule your private “gator” tour of the property, or stop by the Information Center which is open 7 days a week.

Get A Taste of Evans Farm

The weather could not have been more beautiful at Evans Farm for our approximately 500 interested guests that gathered on August 27th to “Get a Taste of Evans Farm”. Most of the builders, some of our future commercial tenants, and other local companies that have helped to make this community possible, gathered onsite and provided a vision of what the community could be like, by “getting a taste” of their services. These services included, but are not limited to, food, recreation, information, and visuals to help the public understand how Evans Farm differs from other subdivisions in the area.

The YMCA contributed by providing a bounce house, a gaga pit (similar to dodgeball but played in an octagonal pit), and a craft area where people, young and old, could make their own troll headbands. The Evans Farm staff created a LEGO wall, pipe tunnels, and a sandpit just for this event, although the LEGO wall can be reused, possibly in a future park. Additionally, other vendors brought small games that they kept at their booth and provided free giveaways for playing or just stopping by to talk with them.

Our sales team, builders, and vendors were all available to the public to learn more about details regarding Evans Farm and answer the many questions from everyone. Gator tours were also offered for those interested in going onsite to see the progress that has been made. Several attendees requested stopping at specific lots to get a glimpse of their prospective view off their front porches. Once all the gator tours were complete for the day, it did take a little while for all the dust clouds to clear the site.

Several restaurants also participated in the “Get a Taste of Evans Farm” event. Ice cream, cupcakes, meatballs, sausage, iced coffee, tacos, sushi, fried rice, and General Tso’s chicken were prepared by the vendors for the event. All the food must have been delicious because most of the vendors ran out or did have much food left toward the end of the day.

If you were unable to attend, but would like to learn more about the builders, vendors, or additional information regarding Evans Farm, please stop by our Information Center or call our office at  614-800-8820.


Evans Farm Community Get Together

Community Get Together: Get a Taste of Evans Farm Living

Get a Taste of Evans Farm Front Porch Living August 27th 2 PM- 5 PM

Details:

📅 Sunday, August 27 at 2 PM – 5 PM

📍 Evans Farm SIte 1549 Lewis Center Rd., Lewis Center, Ohio 43035

RSVP on our Facebook Event Page: Facebook.com/events/Get-a-Taste-of-Evans-Farm/

Bring the whole family to the for a community get together! All of our builders will be there!

Enjoy food from vendors such as Amato’s Woodfired Pizza, Pizza Cabin, Koko Tea Salon & Bakery, Johnson’s Real Ice Cream, The Blarney Stone Tavern and Royal Ginger Restaurant & Sushi Bar (Polaris).

 Amato's Woodfired Pizza, Pizza Cabin, Koko tea salon & bakery, Johnson's Real Ice Cream, The Blarney Stone Tavern and Royal Ginger Restaurant & Sushi Bar (Polaris)

There will be a LEGO Wall and big sand pit for the kids!

Parking:

Evans Farm Info Center

Woodgate Home Furnishings

Call for more info: 614-800-8820

 


Engineering Plans for Section 1 Approved

Current Happenings with Evans Farm | July 2017

• Final engineering plans for Section 1 have been approved. Construction of the sanitary lines is complete. Water and storm lines begin construction on July 12, 2017. Streets and curbs are estimated to start in mid to late August 2017.

• Construction of Section 1 is targeted for completion near the middle of September 2017. Single family lots are expected to be available for closings at the same time.

• We have begun the architectural design of our initial phase of the Evans Farm commercial development, The Market, that includes both sides of Evans Farm Drive. Stop by the Evans Farm Information Center and check out our early architectural drawings/streetscape.

• We are planning several upcoming Evans Farm community events! Be sure to follow Evans Farm on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for upcoming events, including details for an Evans Farm community get-together on August 27, 2017!

engineering plans approved for Evans Farm

Stop in and see us

Give us a call

614-800-8820

Evans Farm Information Center Hours

Monday through Thursday: 10 am – 5 pm

Friday: 10 am – 4 pm

Saturday and Sunday: Noon – 5 pm

 

 


Common Sales Questions Answered

Evans Farm July 2017 Sales Update

Written by: Ray Hustek, Sales Director

The most common sales questions we receive in the Information Center are “How much is it going to cost to build a home in Evans Farm?” and “When will construction start?” Since you will be building on your own lot, you will have a large measure of control over the budget. Perhaps kitchen appliances are important to you, but the type of flooring doesn’t have to be imported from South America. Or maybe you love hand crafted cabinetry, but having a crystal chandelier in the foyer isn’t a requirement. Our builder partners are able to help you create a reasonable budget. Each of the builders will be able to give you some guidelines based on homes they have recently built that are of a similar size and finish level to your dream home.

Over a month ago, Evans Farm worked with our architectural consultant to assemble a substantial number of house plans from architects across the county who specialize in the design of New Urbanism homes. We invested in this effort to provide our future residents with ideas, access to architects, and potential access to successful house plans as they approach the design and construction of their homes. These house plans are easily accessed through our website. You are welcome to review them and contact the architects who designed these homes.

We are all excited to see construction start and we believe the first homes will be underway in the next 60-90 days, weather permitting. We anticipate the first residents and Downtown vendors to be occupying their Evans Farm homes and storefronts early next summer.

Get your sales questions answered on an Evans Farm Gator TourAt the Evans Farm Information Center, we are here to help. From selecting your lot, choosing an architect, planning your move, or simply sharing design ideas, our expert staff is here to answer your sales questions and guide you through the process.

The Information Center is open Monday through Friday 10-5, Saturdays and Sundays noon-5, and by appointment. If you would like a Gator Tour of the property please call us at 614-800-8820.


Talking Trees with First Graders

Talking Trees at Camp Skeeter in Olentangy Schools

Written by: Kristin Piper, Sustainability Director

Olentangy School District logo

Heritage and Arrowhead Elementary Schools, in the Olentangy School District, were gracious in allowing me to participate in Camp Skeeter this year talking about trees. Camp Skeeter is an educational “camp” during school hours for first graders, teaching them about nature and environmental topics. They have guest speakers present specific topics. I was fortunate in being invited to talk to over 200 students about trees. Among my responsibilities, as the Sustainability Director at Evans Farm, is to manage the greenhouse where we are growing over 40 different types of trees this year.

Kristin Piper talking to first graders at Heritage elementary school about treesThe presentation began by the first graders telling me what trees need to grow. All the classes were very knowledgeable on this topic, which impressed me.

We then spoke about everything that trees provide for us. Several amenities were mentioned, from oxygen and shade to fruit and wood. Again, they came up with some really awesome answers.

Each class was encouraged to ask any tree related questions that came to their minds. Some of the more popular questions were:

  • “What is the oldest tree?” (Up until 2013, a bristlecone pine in Methuselah lived almost 5,000 years)
  • “What is the tallest tree?” (The redwoods in California can get up to 300 feet tall)
  • “What is the shortest tree?” (The dwarf willows in the northern hemisphere only reach 1-6 cm tall)

After the first class, I had to Google search a few questions so I was better prepared with the facts for the next class. A few of my favorite, unique and entertaining questions included:

  • “How is a tree a living thing when it doesn’t have a face?”
  • “How can you tell the difference between the different types of trees?”
  • “How do trees use carbon dioxide to make oxygen?”
  • “When does a tree make bark?”

First grade class at Heritage Elementary school with treesLastly, Evans Farm was able to give a 1-2 ft. Sawtooth Oak to each first grader, along with their teachers and staff. The students were very excited to be able to take a sapling home and plant it.

These small Sawtooth Oaks were started from acorns that were collected in the fall and planted in January of this year in our Evans Farm nursery.

We are very hopeful that we will be able to participate in Camp Skeeter next year and provide trees to all the first graders again.

Thanks to the administration, staff and students of Heritage and Arrowhead Schools!

 

 

 


Delaware County Health District Helping Residents

Health of Delaware County

Traci Whittaker, Public Information Officer for Delaware County Health

Written by: Traci Whittaker

The mission of the Delaware County Health District is to foster, protect and improve the health and the environment of our residents and our communities throughout Delaware County, Ohio. Much like Evans Farm’s vision, several Health District public health programs and initiatives are helping residents sustain a healthy environment, through education and enforcement.

Some of those programs include our Keep Delaware County Beautiful program, Creating Healthy Communities and by the work of our registered sanitarians in our Environmental Health Division. These programs will benefit the residents of Evans Farm, as part of Delaware County.

The Delaware County Health District heads up a variety of active coalitions, including Keep Delaware County Beautiful (KDCB), which is an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, Inc. The KDCB Coalition provides recycling and litter prevention activities and environmental education programs to residents and businesses of Delaware County.

Keep Delaware County Beautiful (KDCB) kayakers health

KDCB also works with the Delaware, Knox, Marion and Morrow (DKMM) Solid Waste District to provide special waste disposal information and coordinates the recycling drop-off locations throughout the county. The program also coordinates a variety of beatification activities such as annual river clean-up events, picking up roadway litter and planting a variety of beneficial plants and trees. KDCB is always seeking volunteers to help keep Delaware County beautiful!

Delaware County Creating Healthy Communities Logo Preventing Chronic Diseases in OhioIn 2014, the Delaware County Health District was able to secure funding through the Ohio Department of Health for the Creating Healthy Communities (CHC) program. The five-year award, which totals $95,000 each year, is being used in the county to support and promote healthy eating, active living and tobacco-free environments.

Nearly 7 in 10 Ohio adults have a chronic disease or condition, including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or obesity. For this reason, the Health District aims to strengthen our communities and improve health outcomes by increasing access to local farmers’ markets and community gardens, assessing and implementing safer routes to school and increasing the number of tobacco-free policies for public spaces.

In addition, our Environment Health division is a vital resource to those who own or rent a home in Delaware County. Our staff works to decrease the chance for disease transmission through our water supply, from vectors such as mosquitoes and ticks and from animal bites. This unit is dedicated to educating, promoting and using enforcement if necessary to provide the healthiest environment for our residents. Thankfully, the past century has provided great advancements in public health, including properly treating home sewage, providing safe drinking water and protecting the public from vector-borne disease transmission.

Keep Delaware County Beautiful program volunteers planting and wateringThe Keep Delaware County Beautiful program coordinates the recycling drop-off locations in both Orange and Berlin Townships on behalf of the DKMM Solid Waste along with helping coordinate curbside recycling in both those township communities.

In an effort to prevent the spread of mosquito-borne diseases, our mosquito control program has two types of mosquito traps located in both Orange and Berlin Townships. Those traps include a Biogents trap designed to trap the mosquito that carries Zika virus and a West Nile trap designed to trap mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus. Subsequently, the mosquitoes within those traps are taken to the lab for routine testing.

If you would like to know more about these programs or how to volunteer for KDCB events, please contact Traci Whittaker at twhittaker@delawarehealth.org or call 740-368-1700. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Traci Whittaker is the Public Information Officer with the Delaware County Health District.


Evans Farm Getting Close to Construction of First Homes

Evans Farm May 2017 Sales Update

Written by: Ray Hustek, Sales Director

We are getting close to construction of the first homes in Evans Farm. Lot owners are preparing architectural plans for review and builders are designing their first market homes. As you prepare to build, there are a multitude of tasks that need accomplished. These tasks include meeting with the architect and builder, talking with your lender, selecting the home’s finishes and making the decision about the timing of selling your current home to best reach your personal goals. We are here to help you with any or all of these checkpoints.

Image: Consider Lot 1 for your home constructionIf you have not yet selected a site for your future Evans Farm home, have you seen Lot #1? This lot is priced at only $64,000 and features an east-west exposure with a short walk to the Downtown. This corner lot may be the best remaining site for a wrap-around porch and wonderful light year-round. Stop by the Information Center for a private tour of this or any other site in Evans Farm.

The Information Center is located across from the Evans Farm site at 1550 Lewis Center Rd and our hours are Monday-Thursday 10am-6pm, Friday 10am-5pm, Saturday and Sunday noon-5pm.


Front Porch at Polaris Fashion Place

Come Visit on Our Front Porch

Written by: Kristin Piper, Sustainability Director

Photo: Evans Farm front porch at Polaris Fashion Place

Recently, the Evans Farm team constructed and installed a “front porch” display in the Polaris Mall. This display is intended to provide information to the community and offer a place to slow down to enjoy life. The video reel highlights Evans Farm’s vision, past events, and community members’ excitement of the new development.

Next time you are at Polaris Fashion Place, stop by our booth, relax, and visit with others in our rocking chairs.


Vision of Evans Farm, Section 1: Reflecting back on family

Vision of Evans Farm, Section 1:  Reflecting Back on Family

Written by: Tony Eyerman

Tony Eyerman childhood photoAs we quickly approach the opening of our first phase of development for Evans Farm, I find myself reflecting back on our initial days of the planning and design of the community about 8 years ago and back further to my days growing up in Columbus.

My family lived in Linden (many of my family continue to live there), a series of neighborhoods on the north side of Columbus. It was a great place to grow up. A place filled with families of all ages. A community of folks from all backgrounds and all income levels. Neighborhoods with parks, homes with front porches, alleys, safe streets (for street football and for kids on bikes), corner drug stores, and open lots for sandlot baseball, softball and football. For a kid growing up, during my elementary years, it was as good as it gets!

At the start of my high school years, my family moved to the Northland area, an area with similar community attributes as what I experienced growing up in Linden. As many children have lived, on any summer’s morning we’d leave home after breakfast, with our neighborhood group of friends, on our bikes and head, with gloves on our handlebars, for a sandlot field, a fishing hole, a creek for catching frogs and snakes, or any number of other attractions and spend the day enjoying our friends and our community. We knew that we had to be home by supper and we always were (or we’d go hungry!). We mostly avoided mischief, while usually under the watchful eye of our neighborhood’s parents. We always knew that if we were scolded or corrected while out with our friends and it got back to our parents, we’d get it ten-times worse when we got home!

FPhoto: Eyerman childrenamily times included getting together at my grandparents’ homes or at a local park with all of our aunts, uncles and cousins and doing much of the same. Playing indian-ball in the alleys, whiffle ball at the park with my cousins and uncles, family volleyball, dodgeball, tag, and fishing, are among my fondest memories with my family…and sing-alongs on my grandparent’s front porch. Sitting on the swing or a rocking chair on the front porch, if you were lucky enough to grab one of the seats, we’d sing everyone’s favorite songs and old camp songs until the children would collapse in their parents’ arms, then we each headed our own ways back to our respective homes.

It was the best of times! I look back and am so grateful to have been part of a such a loving family, neighborhood, and community in which to learn and live.

In reflecting on the beginnings of Evans Farm, I am thankful, that many members of the Evans family had similar experiences as they grew up in similar neighborhoods. At our initial meeting, about 8 years ago, the Evans family and I began talking about what Evans Farm should become. In our first discussion, we shared a bit of our backgrounds and discovered that we each had shared many of these “old urbanism” neighborhood/ community values and qualities, as well as similar personal experiences, while growing up. These shared common experiences became the “seed” that, when woven with the New Urbanism principles, ultimately, grew into the Vision for Evans Farm.

We pray that you, your family find and enjoy simple, beautiful living at Evans Farm!

 

Current Happenings with Evans Farm

  • Final engineering plans for Section 1 are quickly progressing towards completion. We are hopeful that we will receive our approvals in mid-May. Construction on the water, storm and streets would begin immediately after the approval of the plans.

Photo: Building new the 2,000 square foot greenhouse

  • The new Evans Farm greenhouse construction is completed. We outgrew the corner of our previous greenhouse, generously offered by Ed Kapraly of Riverside Native Trees. Our new greenhouse remains at Riverside, but we now have 2,000 s.f of new indoor growing space.
  • Our Earth Day and Arbor Day activities were very successful. In total, we will have given away several hundred saplings to residents of our community. As part of our sustainable efforts, we are meeting with first grade classes in two of our neighboring Olentangy elementary schools to present the benefits of trees and sustainability while also passing out oak saplings to the first graders and staff.