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June 20,2016 - Nature is Everywhere at Babcock Ranch
SWFL Sustainability

By Gary Mooney

June 16, 2016

The New Today: Babcock Ranch Lights Up Southwest Florida Horizon

Nature is everywhere. “As soon as you drive over the entry bridge, you experience a half-mile water feature, with oaks, pines, cabbage palms, and tree-lined streets,” John offers. In addition to the surrounding preserves, pocket parks and water recreation are prevalent. Every neighborhood features a recreation amenity as well as a trailhead to paths that band the vibrant community together. John describes Babcock Ranch as “Front Porch Central! Neighbors will share community gardens, growing everything from chives and basil to food, and few things connect people like food.” Neighborhoods feature front porches facing inward so everyone lives on a park, while alleys are in the rear for refuse and other unsightly services. “You will never see a garbage can in front of a Babcock Ranch residence,” smiles John! Water recreation is strongly encouraged, though there will be no power motors on the lakes.

“The Town master plan allows everyone to walk to Downtown,” John explains. “Our Main Street is actually called B Street in ode to Crescent B Ranch, the historic name of the property. It will have several essential elements, like restaurants, a combination ‘Town Hall meets an Outfitters,’ with a K through 8 charter school, ice cream store, and wellness center that is more a YMCA on steroids!” Collaborative work space can be a business incubator or communal spot for the growing number of those in their 50s, 60s, and 70s who still professionally dabble. Downtown will be ideal for a business breakfast or lunch, then working with like-minded people.

John comments that “fun is at the top of the Babcock Ranch list!” Its center green accommodates 1,000 people and will host concerts in the park, Friday night food trucks, and a wide variety of special events. “Most of our residents will be from the ‘G.I. Joe Generation,’” John says. “They dress casual and live a relaxed lifestyle. They do not want or need a formal county club setting, and that is our strength.”

Our ancestors believed in something greater than just living; they valued community.

The most common misconception about Babcock Ranch to date is that “it is so far out in the country,” John marvels in amazement. “The truth is it is just 4 miles east of I-75 and 15 minutes from Downtown Fort Myers, with convenient access from I-31. Babcock Ranch is in an extraordinarily-convenient location.”

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