Erin and Kathryn have enjoyed the rare privilege of growing up in a Rodrock Development community for the entirety of their childhoods. Well, to be accurate, Kathryn was 6 months old when the family settled in Windham Park in Overland Park. But aside from those formative months, the girls have “grown up Rodrock” and it’s a joy they wouldn’t change for anything.
“The community I grew up in was the picture-perfect idea of everything a child can imagine,” Erin said. “My sister and I were constantly outside in the cul-du-sac playing with our neighbors until the sun went down each night. Our summer days consisted of trips to the pool and treats from the ice-cream man later in the day.”
“Every memory I have of growing up in the Windham Park community is a great one,” Kathryn agreed.
The girls’ parents still remain in the neighborhood, some 24 years later, and are proof that you don’t mess with a good thing.
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“I can’t imagine having lived somewhere else or having other neighbors,” said Erin. “I hope my parents continue to live in this house for many, many more years, because I can’t imagine separating from it and the memories it contains.”
Kathryn credits their amazing neighbors for helping keep her parents happily ensconced in the community, long after she and her sister have left for college and beyond.
“I swear I’m not just saying this, but we have the best neighborhood around,” Erin said. “The majority of my neighbors have been here since we were kids, so it’s special to see all the kids grow up together. I’ve formed such strong relationships with all my neighbors and could go to them for anything. Although the kids and parents have all gotten older, you can drive down our street any summer night and see everyone crowded around, chatting about their days, and catching up about life.”
Many of the events that brought all the neighbors together when the girls were young — and still do, to this day — were thanks to Darol Rodrock’s one-of-a-kind Moms’ Council. Formed in the early 1980s, the Council was part of Rodrock’s greater plan to build a true sense of community.
An abundance of family-friendly activities are planned thanks to the Council, including spring egg hunts, pool-opening parties, July 4 bike-a-thons, and pumpkin-carving contests. These events help new neighbors get to know each other, forge friendships and build a true sense of togetherness, which resonates deeply with families.
“The Moms’ Council would throw fun pool parties or back-to-school events,” recalled Kathryn. “They were always a blast and all the kids in the neighborhood looked forward to them. The Halloween parade was one of my favorites. It would take place on the wooded path behind our house, and it was so much fun to parade around with my friends and win fun prizes.”
“And the holiday hay rides!” Erin added “I loved having the horses take us through all the streets to see all the Christmas lights and decorations.”
Photos of both girls on Santa’s lap, taken at Rodrock Development-sponsored parties, still elicit giggles from the sisters. The first picture was taken when Kathryn was about 6 and Erin 4.
“I remember we were so excited to sit on Santa’s lap for a picture,” Kathryn recalled. “We always laugh when that picture shows up every year around the holidays. So when we were asked to redo the picture last year, we were excited! It’s fun to look back and see pictures like that that bring up great memories.”
Rodrock’s promise has always been to build “better communities,” and that promise has manifested itself by building outstanding developments where neighbors become friends and children have a “village” to which to turn. These aren’t just streets and homes to Rodrock. His communities are a place where children grow, memories are made, and lifelong friendships are formed — and this is truly the difference behind his continued success. As a father, former teacher, coach and home builder, he personally understands what makes for a successful neighborhood. And he’s committed the better part of his life to building that dream for area families.
Windam Park is deeply special to Erin, as she’s first to admit, “I would not be the person I am today without those people who’ve supported me and helped me create some of the best memories of my life.”
“I wouldn't trade my childhood growing up in my neighborhood for anything,” seconded Kathryn. “Living where I did provided me with amazing memories and countless friends who have turned into family.”
For more information, visit Rodrock.com.