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Effects of Nature on the Quality of Life

Human beings have lived surrounded by nature for most of their existence. Only recently in human history did we begin to build large, modern cities. People can become stressed from living so close together, which may mean compromised immune systems, shortened life spans, and increased stress.

Human beings don’t need to live in the wild to get the benefits of nature. Areas with generously-sized parks will still have enough greenery to help residents attain nature’s health benefits. This can even be true in small natural oases in populated cities; for example, New York City with its Central Park. You can improve quality of life by using available green space.

Many kinds of positive effects occur with regular visits to parks or woods. Cognition improves, depression lessens, and systolic blood pressure drops, as does overall stress drops. Mental focus improves to the point that even those with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) experience improvement in their condition. In general, most mental illnesses seem to respond positively to time spent in nature.

It would also appear that spending regular time in a natural setting encourages people to lead a healthier lifestyle. Part of this may come from decreased dependence on things like drugs, alcohol, or tobacco, after regular exposure to green space. That, in turn, helps restore the natural balance of the body.

How can you benefit routinely from nature, yet still live in a sizeable city? One could buy wooded land and build a house on the property. However, it would be much more reasonable to take advantage of wooded areas and undeveloped land around your own home. One such example is South Peak’s development of condominiums and single-family homes in the Roanoke Valley. There are forests, a large lake, trails for hiking, and many other kinds of encounters with nature. If you are not as adventurous, there are spectacular views of nature through the windows of the residences.

Other natural treasures include the Blue Ridge Mountains and Appalachian Trail. There are a half-dozen sizeable parks in the area, and some of them allow camping which could extend your time with nature to an entire weekend.

There are many ways to be involved with all the natural benefits South Peak has to offer. You can purchase one of our condominiums or single-family homes as a getaway from your permanent residence. This would allow you flexibility to maintain your current lifestyle while having a place to “get away from it all.” However, if you are ready for a more drastic change, you can begin a new chapter in your life by moving to one of our beautiful residences full time.

If you would like more information, or advice on how to purchase a residence in South Peak, contact us and ask about our vision for the community. We’ll be glad to talk to you and help you with any questions about our properties and how living here can help improve your quality of life.

The Plan to Save Roanoke’s Tanglewood Corridor

Roanoke County, Virginia, stands as the largest metropolitan area in the southwest region of the state. However, economic disturbances and retailer uncertainty have left their mark on Roanoke Valley, causing visible signs of decline and leaving some to wonder if the area can recover. One major culprit is the Tanglewood Mall. Once a bustling center of activity, the mall has struggled alongside others across the country. While the empty storefronts and low traffic are evidence of hard times, Roanoke Valley continues to provide both residents and visitors a high quality of life in its rural and urban areas, not to mention its natural beauty.

Revitalizing Roanoke Valley

But even those positive factors find themselves at risk. That’s why 2016 saw the beginning of a study and eventual plan to revitalize the area known as the 419/Tanglewood corridor to meet the needs of businesses and residents and to attract more of both to Roanoke Valley. After several hearings where current residents and those in the surrounding area voiced their concerns and hopes for the future of the Valley, development began on a plan focused on a common thread that ran throughout those discussions. The plan calls for a new layout of walkways, sidewalks, and bike paths to connect neighborhoods with one another while utilizing once vacant buildings for new mixed-use town centers. This has become known as the 419 Town Center Plan.

Throughout the 80s and 90s, cities and towns across the country focused on building commercial centers and larger roads. The input received during the plan’s development process showed a stronger desire for a tighter sense of community instead, where neighbors would feel closer to each other. Residents have also expressed the desire to attract new businesses to the area by renovating downtown and main street areas.

Renovating Roanoke’s Neighborhoods

The plan also includes efforts to renovate the homes in neighborhoods as well. One such neighborhood is South Peak, which aims to combine luxurious living with Roanoke’s beautiful scenery. Surrounded by wooded areas and spectacular views of the area’s mountains, South Peak hopes to attract new demographics to the area that will help it thrive economically and culturally. At the end of its renovation period, South Peak will boast single-family homes and condos, seven office buildings located conveniently near downtown, and the construction of new retail spaces that will appeal to national retailers. South Peak strives for all of this while remaining connected to and playing a role in the greater 419 area.

As originally conceived, the 419 Town Center Plan to revive the Tanglewood corridor will take a decade. In the years that have passed since those first hearings, interest in the large-scale renovation of the area has continued to gain interest, and not just locally. Areas facing similar dilemmas to Roanoke are looking to the project and closely watching its progress, hoping it may provide a solution for them as well. If it does, neighborhoods like South Peak Roanoke, Virginia may become an increasingly common—and popular.