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Watching ducklings grow practically from their front door and strolling along a boardwalk perched over a thriving wetland are common occurrences for nature lovers Jim and Patty Foster. But they don’t have to live isolated in the country to enjoy these natural moments — rather, the two are residents of the environmentally sensitive master-planned community of Cross Creek Ranch.
After falling in love with the peaceful ambiance found throughout the Fulshear development, the Fosters said they chose The Pond neighborhood specifically for its proximity to the boardwalk that extends over a large pond measuring nearly 48 football fields.
“We love all of the walking trails in the community and particularly how the boardwalk goes out over the water,” Jim said. “It’s just beautiful at sunset with so many colors reflected on the water. Of course, at our age, we call it the Golden Pond.”
Patty said she and her husband watched a group of 30-40 ducklings mature this year during frequent walks on the boardwalk.
“We’ve seen quite a bit of wildlife out there,” she said. “Before we moved out here last year we went out to the boardwalk at dusk and thought we saw a bunch of leaves — it turned out to be an alligator.”
The 50-acre pond serves as not only a community amenity, but also as an engineered water-quality basin that is the third and final filtration system for gray water before it flows back into streams or is used for irrigation within the community.
“The flow of the water through the pond was carefully designed so the water comes in contact with numerous wetland plants and shelves, which removes sediment and other materials,” said Matt Baumgarten, as associate with SWA Group.
Wetland shelves were built along the edges of the pond to serve as wildlife habitats. Plus, rather than occasional plantings of wetland grasses, contiguous plantings were installed along the water’s edge to establish a robust sanctuary for nesting birds and other wildlife as well as provide filtration.
“As places for wildlife become more and more fragmented, the idea of creating a place that’s a system rather than a plant or two is essential to what we are trying to do in Cross Creek Ranch,” Baumgarten said.
The Pond enclave where the Fosters live is the closest to the pond and boardwalk. The Fosters can watch the wildlife from their home, and other properties in The Pond will face the waterway. The Fosters were the first to purchase a home by Sitterle Homes in the patio home neighborhood and moved in last year.
“We closed on March 12 and moved in March 13,” Patty said. “This is the second place we stopped and loved Sitterle’s design and the property.”
Jim said their homesite will have no backyard neighbors. Many other properties in the neighborhood border a community greenbelt, ensuring privacy for neighborhood residents, said Rob Bamford, general manager of Cross Creek Ranch.
Sitterle Homes offers 10 patio home designs in The Pond, priced from the $270,000s and ranging from 1,942 to 2,694 square feet. Joining Sitterle Homes in the neighborhood is Darling Homes, which offers nine designs from 2,288 to 2,996 square feet priced from the $310,000s. Options such as extended covered patios with outdoor fireplaces, additional garage storage, wine alcoves and second-floor attic storage let Darling buyers customize their homes.