Newsletter - March 27,2008

Below is a text version of our latest Newsletter. If you would like to receive our Newsletter in your e-mail box, complete with the latest pictures from our site, you can send us your e-mail address in the form below, and you will begin to receive timely updates of our progress.

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Bear Creek Prairie On Hold

The past year has been challenging for the housing industry and developing communities. Though not affected as dramatically as some, we in Columbia have not been immune. The direction of the overall economy has everyone from potential buyers and lenders to developers and builders waiting in suspense. After weeks of watching the economy deteriorate, it has become far less predictable how soon Bear Creek Prairie could become a viable community; therefore, moving forward at this time would be unfair to early residents. Due to these uncertainties we've concluded that the prudent thing to do is to put the project on hold. Needless to say, this is a painful decision in many respects.

Bear Creek Prairie started with a vision for a model of sustainable land use development - a Conservation Community that could foster strong, multigenerational community living in healthy, energy efficient homes. Our plan preserves the integrity of this local native Missouri prairie remnant, the woodlands, plants and wildlife. The site design encourages interaction among neighbors. The construction techniques are easy on the environment and reduce energy use. As our planning progressed, similar concepts across the nation and the compelling reasons behind them have been gathering momentum. Although not yet mainstream, "green" building now seems inevitable, and energy efficiency has become a necessity.

The Bear Creek vision, unusual for Missouri, quickly gathered support from neighbors, city officials, and potential homeowners. Many of you contributed your ideas and ideals, talents and resources, and other forms of strong support. Some of you have reserved lots because this is the kind of community you want to call home. Last fall, we created the house plans for Bear Creek's first two families. We broke ground, and grading for the entrance road is virtually complete. Plans are in place for a low-impact stormwater management system, including raingardens. Sewer and water lines were being installed, until our progress was interrupted by the start of one of the wettest winters on record in Columbia. And then the economic news began to deteriorate, as well. We know the weather will improve. The economic climate and its consequences are harder to predict.

How long this downturn will last is anyone's guess, but we remain cautiously optimistic. Although there is not yet a Conservation Community in Columbia, we hope there still can be. Most of the planning and engineering has been completed, and some infrastructure is in place. Inquiries are still coming in and new subscribers are being added to our newsletter. The goals and plan for Bear Creek Prairie continue to be favorably received - but we, the project, and those of you who want to live here need and deserve more certainty and stability than present conditions offer.

Having gotten this far, we hope to see this community be realized. If enough of us want Bear Creek Prairie community in Columbia, surely it can happen. Your thoughts and ideas and referrals remain welcome, and we'll continue to explore new avenues and report any changes from our end. Let's keep in touch.

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Newsletter Sept 10, 2007

Below is a text version of one of our previous Newsletter. If you would like to receive our Newsletter in your e-mail box, complete with the latest pictures from our site, you can send us your e-mail address in the form below, and you will begin to receive timely updates of our progress.

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Groundbreaking has Begun

Groundbreaking has started with slabs of prairie soil being scooped up by Bart Menning and his rubber tread Bobcat. These slabs will serve a variety of purposes. First they will help to protect the Prairie that is being preserved. Nearly 1000 cubic yards (5' wide by 1' deep) of prairie soil and plants have been placed just north of the preserved prairie to protect it from any erosion that may occur during construction.

These slabs will serve as a seed bank for future prairie plantings as well as a repository for direct transplanting to raingardens and other landscape features. Ann Wakeman of Rockpost Landscaping has advised us that saving the soil, which is ideal for our drought tolerant native plants, is as important as saving the plants themselves. Several other native plant specialists have seconded and enthusiastically support our efforts in this preservation.

Why Bear Creek Prairie Should Be Your Next Home

The following is a summary of the many reasons to choose a home at Bear Creek Prairie. If you are concerned about the ever increasing cost of heating and cooling your home, our list of features will help to reduce utility costs and pay huge dividends for the life of your home. Great care is being taken to provide a healthy, livable home and a vibrant community atmosphere.

Energy efficiency built in:
SIPS wall construction
Energy Star appliances
Energy efficient lighting
Geo-thermal or high SEER heating and cooling

Homes built for low maintenance:
Durable fiber-cement siding
Roof underlayment with reflective foil that keeps your home cooler in summer to further reduce cooling costs
Water conserving, native plant landscaping

Homes built for healthy indoor air quality:
No VOC paints
No off-gassing cabinetry and countertops
Choice of all hardwood or ceramic tile floors Homes built to NAHB Green Build Guidelines

All this is in addition to living in a community where you can get to know your neighbors around a central plaza with gathering places, a community garden and room for play. Bear Creek Prairie will utilize low-impact development techniques with rain-gardens, bioswales and the existing prairie and woodlands to treat stormwater on-site. The preserved prairie and woodlands will add beauty to the setting as well as provide environmental and ecological benefits. Sidewalks and pedways will connect the entire community as well as connect directly to the city's Bear Creek Trail.

The Community Building will include amenities such as a mail-room, book-exchange library, excercise room and game rooms. A Coffee-house and Market is planned to enhance the neighborhood experience.

Many home styles and sizes are available. See our Website www.bearcreekprairie.com for floor plans and prices. Some flexibility in certain floor plans is possible. For more information about Columbia's most energy efficient and only low-impact conservation community contact Andy Guti at andy@bearcreekprairie.com

How to Forward this Newsletter

Please feel free to forward our Newsletter to your acquaintances. Some of our potential residents have heard about us in this manner. We would like to point out, however, that the ideal way to forward this letter is by using the Forward email link (blue type) at the bottom of the Newsletter. If you use the standard forwarding technique within your e-mail, a problem could arise if your friend chooses to Unsubscribe. They would in fact be inadvertently deleting your name from our subscriber list instead of theirs.