This is a pretty great note about the Bundoran Farm preservation development in Albemarle County: (click through to read the whole thing)
I received this nice letter below from Joe Barnes at Bundaron (sic) Farm after posting about his wonderful conservation development. I want to share it with you. I love his comment about the TV reporter. This is how all development should be
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As a “neighbor” of this development, I have to say that it is one development I’m glad to have in our area. Not only are the being light on the land, but they are actually enhancing biodiversity while doing it. Since the development began, the population of bald eagles on-site has actually increased. I’ve also seen areas that were previously grazed fields restored as wetlands full of wildflowers. How many other developments could claim to have that kind of net positive effect during the development process?
Sure, in some ways, no development is the most sustainable of all; however, if you’re goign to develop in the rural are then this is how it should be done. As Jim probably can testify, I’m not a fan of development in general so my praise of Bundoran doesn’t come lightly. They’ve blazed a trail, and now it’s up to local government and citizens to learn from their model and apply it elsewhere.
Bundoran farms is one of those rare rural developments with an honest name. Most are named after whatever they have destroyed forever in the process of construction, but Bundoran actually keeps a working farm in it’s center. Great.
However, I don’t want to speak for Joe Barnes, but as a member of CNU, I think he would disagree that all developments should be like this. The design for this clearly reflects its rural setting, and would not fit well in other “transects.” Most development is going to be happening in urban areas, and the best practices there would lead to a very different design.
Dan, you make a good point. I think that for rural area developments, and buffering urban areas, this is a good model. It doesn’t make sense in a growth area, or an urban area. In those places, something along the lines of new urbanism (i.e. mixed use, walkable) makes much more sense. The reverse is true as well… I’ve seen “town centers” going up in essentially rural areas (often on former farmland), and that is complete misapplication of the new urbanism concept.
Lonnie, thanks very much for noticing our wetlands restoration project! It is something that we have worked very hard on, and are quite proud of. We are also very excited about the bald eagles that enjoy hunting and fishing here at Bundoran. I have also started to see some peregrine falcons occasionally, something I haven’t seen in this neck of the woods before. As Bundoran Farm’s Natural Resources Manager, I am tasked with ensuring that the natural systems here flourish and that Biodiversity increases while maintaining a working farm.
Most people I know that drive by there on a regular basis have noticed. The fact that the difference in those wetlands is clearly visible zipping by in a car is evidence that you are doing things right. It also speaks to the hidden potential of the land itself that was just waiting for someone to come along and bring that out.
We’d like to get the Natural Heritage committee out there sometime in the near future to see first hand more of what you are doing, and see if there could be ways we could do more to encourage sustainable practices like those you’ve implemented.
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