Community, HOA & Neighborhood Trails
Trails continue to gain in popularity as an amenity for residential developments, and the COVID 19 pandemic, which resulted in overcrowding at popular trails and trailheads, fueled the demand for small, neighborhood trail systems. These trails allow residents to enjoy walking, running, cycling, and even bird watching — all in a natural environment, often accessed right out their front door.
STS has designed trails for communities before homes are built as well as designing and building trails in open space for existing developments.
In response to requests from residents in his own community, Mark went to work just as the pandemic was spreading to the United States. Within a few weeks he had built several trails that connected two communities and linked to washes, giving residents the ability to walk on natural surface paths and washes for miles, all in their neighborhood.
A growing trend is the investment in trails by homeowners associations (HOAs) an organization that makes and enforces rules for condominiums and townhouses, and planned communities. HOAs often provide services that are typically otherwise unavailable, such as streetlights, trash collection, and recreational amenities like trails.
Many communities have significant potential to benefit from a well-planned and constructed trail network on common open space. Those benefits include:
Increased property values. Numerous studies confirm that trails increase property values. Along a popular trail in Austin, Texas, a study revealed that the home price values increased from 6 to 20%.
A Family-Friendly Activity. Walking is something family members can do to relieve stress and improve health together, and a neighborhood trail system adds the benefits of convenience and no admission fees.
Increased Fire Protection. Trails provide a natural fire line, and can stop small fires from spreading. Trails in community open spaces also can reveal where vegetation controls may be needed to bring them up to Firewise standards, and make vegetated areas more accessible for vegetation control.
Resource Protection. Professionally designed and constructed trails can provide ways for people to enjoy their neighborhood with minimal disturbance to animal habitat, and without creating erosion. Trails create more opportunities for wildlife to co-exist with us.