Experts for a long time have studied how our immediate surroundings affect us both mentally and physically, proving time and time again that by connecting with nature we experience less anger, fear and stress, and an increase in pleasant feelings.
Exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, it contributes to your physical well-being, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension and the production of stress hormones. It may even reduce mortality, according to scientists and public health researchers.
“Consider for a moment your all-time favorite vacation spot. Are you relaxed, less stressed or concerned about the things you can’t control?” asked local real estate agent Angie Ripley, who markets Cottonwood Canyon with Nita Criswell. “Are you surrounded by scenic views and at peace with yourself and those around you? Well, what if you could have that relaxed, calm and balanced feeling every day, here in Kansas City, close to work, family and friends? This is what we are offering at Cottonwood Canyon.”
Located in Lenexa just west of Interstate 435 off of Prairie Star Parkway/95th Street, the Cottonwood Canyon community encompasses two residential neighborhoods: The Lake and The Village. Prospective buyers can find homes in The Lake ranging from $600,000 to over $1 million, and homes in The Village from $450,000 and up.
The impact of nature here includes a captivating environment set on 300 picturesque acres of beautiful rolling hill terrain and forests, surrounded by the beauty of Canyon Farms Golf Club, adjacent to the Johnson County Trail System and near the 1,660-acre Shawnee Mission Park.
According to Ripley, the experience of connection with nature may be explained by studies that measured brain activity, where the parts of the brain associated with empathy and love lit up when participants viewed beautiful nature scenes. “But when they viewed urban scenes,” she said, “the parts of the brain associated with fear and anxiety were activated. Consequently, it appears as though Mother Nature inspires feelings that connect us to each other and to our environment.”
Ripley also notes that studies have found that nature also helps us cope with pain and discomfort, while another series of studies indicates that people surrounded by nature have stronger feelings of unity with neighbors, are more concerned with helping and supporting each other, and experience stronger feelings of belonging and a better capacity to cope with the ordinary demands of life.
“We have been so successful here at Cottonwood Canyon because the neighborhood is very attractive to buyers looking beyond a huge amount of square footage, for a relaxing, tranquil, beautiful way of life.”
Another big draw to Cottonwood Canyon is that it is a maintenance-provided community where the low $150 per month homeowner association dues cover snow removal, trash and complete lawn care. Future development will include a pool and neighborhood gathering area.
The marketing team recently asked current Cottonwood Canyon homeowners to submit photos of the views from their decks and patios for the community’s “2015 Best View Contest.” The general public is invited to check out these beautiful scenic entries and help determine a winner by casting a vote at www.facebook.com/cottonwoodcanyonks.
Prices: From $450,000 to over $1 million
Location: One mile west of Interstate 435 on 95th Street/Prairie Star Parkway in Lenexa
Hours: 12-5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday or by appointment.
Contact: Angie Ripley or Nita Criswell at 913-492-4444 or firstname.lastname@example.org.