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Communities organized around interests
Old 03-03-2019, 03:54 AM   #1
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Communities organized around interests

This question is inspired by the current thread on The Villages. Are there communities organized around interests other than golf? I think I read that we boomers were fueling a range of specialized communities, but don't remember where. (E.g. there is St. Louis's Ballpark Village).

Obviously there are likely clubs and interests groups in most planned communities, and not every interest or hobby can inspire a development. But I am hoping to find communities organized around nature preserves (i.e. similar to golf, but a different focus).

Ideally, I'd find a large nature preserve with volunteer opportunities, lots of people interested in the natural world, community gardens, maybe trips to similar places. Ideally in Florida. I know many communities are starting to advertise preserves, rather tentatively, but have any gone in on them like places do on golf?

But, this question encompasses communities with other interests too. Boating? How do you find out about them?
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Old 03-03-2019, 07:06 AM   #2
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https://www.newhomesource.com/guide/...-nightly-views

Here is a link to some communities that boldly go where no man has gone before.

Seriously though, The Villages as noted is very golf oriented. Where I live there is also golf, but out here in what they call the Florida Nature Coast, there is hiking, kayaking, and plenty of wildlife (not just the one's at the bar). Most of Citrus County where I live is protected state forest. There are volunteer opportunities with Florida State Parks with four state parks in the area.
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Old 03-03-2019, 07:26 AM   #3
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For yours, I'd google something like "Florida Nature Preserves" and then try to find communities around there. You're likely to find people interested in the preserves living near there. I'd probably start by making sure it's the kind of preserve I'd be interested in getting involved with, visiting it, and finding out about the communities. IMO you don't need to find a place where everyone is fully engaged, just enough to have a core group involved in volunteering and other activities.

You may find you have to find other search terms like "nature centers" or "nature foundations" to get what you want. I live in a place with an active nature foundation I am involved with. I wasn't specifically looking for that when I moved but I'm glad I landed here. A lot of people are more interested in the recreational opportunities (golf, skiing, tennis) but there is a solid group involved with the nature foundation, myself included.

That's probably how I'd start looking for most things like that. Google your interest, narrow down or broaden as needed, start digging in on some, pick your area, etc. If I'm a boater, I probably look for "private marina" or "sailing club" or whatever and narrow down to my interest of ocean, lakes or rivers, and go from there.
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Old 03-03-2019, 07:29 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Col. Klink View Post
https://www.newhomesource.com/guide/...-nightly-views

Here is a link to some communities that boldly go where no man has gone before.

Seriously though, The Villages as noted is very golf oriented. Where I live there is also golf, but out here in what they call the Florida Nature Coast, there is hiking, kayaking, and plenty of wildlife (not just the one's at the bar). Most of Citrus County where I live is protected state forest. There are volunteer opportunities with Florida State Parks with four state parks in the area.
I have an amateur astronomer friend I'll pass this along to. I could see him retiring to a dark sky community! I think often about what we have lost in the night sky. My first trip to the desert southwest, I walked to window at night and gasped. It was incredible. My town is doing what it can, passing ordinances requiring lights to be shielded from above, but it is too late. Many lights are "grandfathered in" and many neighbors are still nonplussed by mere darkness. I asked one of my neighbors why she turned on her outdoor light at night and her response was "it's so dark out back." I guess my distant ancestors rightly feared the night (we are a diurnal species, and "night owls" are not the norm), but we don't have real security concerns here.
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Old 03-03-2019, 07:30 AM   #5
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Jonestown comes to mind.
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Old 03-03-2019, 07:37 AM   #6
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Thanks, RunningBum. I'm on the mailing list for Babcock Ranch near Ft. Myers, which started out with a big preserve, but just sent me info on their new "championship golf community." I think it's a former cattle ranch.
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Old 03-03-2019, 09:56 AM   #7
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A common one is for aviation enthusiasts to live on/around a small airport, with some of these laid out from the beginning for easy access from house to runway. Often they will have a hangar attached to the house.
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Old 03-03-2019, 10:15 AM   #8
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https://www.desmoinesregister.com/st...ok/2702330002/

Here is a link to a planned community being built around a common interest of growing your own food.
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Old 03-03-2019, 10:15 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Col. Klink View Post
https://www.newhomesource.com/guide/...-nightly-views

Here is a link to some communities that boldly go where no man has gone before.

Seriously though, The Villages as noted is very golf oriented. Where I live there is also golf, but out here in what they call the Florida Nature Coast, there is hiking, kayaking, and plenty of wildlife (not just the one's at the bar). Most of Citrus County where I live is protected state forest. There are volunteer opportunities with Florida State Parks with four state parks in the area.
We visited Citrus Hills, On top of the world and The Villages, out of all we preferred Citrus Hills, Homes seemed better constructed and the communities less dense. The Clubhouses seems to be frequented by the less geriatric too. The Fitness center we visited was superb and not crowded at all, the resorts pools were glorious. Terra vista was our favorite development/village.

We however had one complaint (Well 2 actually, the area is too far from the beach for my liking and a little too far from a major city (Tampa). But out of everything we have seen in the Nature Coast, The Villages of Citrus hills is leaps and bounds ahead of TV and OTOTW. We noticed the homes were a little more expensive, newer and better built (IMHO). But I guess one gets what one pays for. Hernando is a bit of a dive, but hey, welcome to Florida. Inverness is a lot better and only a short drive away.
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Old 03-03-2019, 10:36 AM   #10
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Jonestown comes to mind.


After reading this thread I was wondering about a community organized around MY interests - - staying home alone playing video games by myself, surfing the internet for a variety of cool, interesting stuff, ordering various junk from Amazon, eating lunch at restaurants, and so on.

Now that would be great; my neighbors would stay inside their own homes, and not bother anyone, make any noise, have objectionable parties, or even gossip. The community would have to have MUCH better internet service than my present community has, several competing video game stores, and perhaps a bigger variety of ultra-cheap restaurants serving nutritious, delicious food, but that's about all that would be needed.
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Old 03-03-2019, 10:42 AM   #11
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After reading this thread I was wondering about a community organized around MY interests - - staying home alone playing video games by myself, surfing the internet for a variety of cool, interesting stuff, ordering various junk from Amazon, eating lunch at restaurants, and so on.

Now that would be great; my neighbors would stay inside their own homes, and not bother anyone, make any noise, have objectionable parties, or even gossip. The community would have to have MUCH better internet service than my present community has, several competing video game stores, and perhaps a bigger variety of ultra-cheap restaurants serving nutritious, delicious food, but that's about all that would be needed.
I haven't actually researched it, but The Villages probably has a club devoted to your interests. If not, one could start such a club and I'm sure it would be well subscribed. In fact, you could probably start a club about clubs.
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Old 03-03-2019, 11:18 AM   #12
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I haven't actually researched it, but The Villages probably has a club devoted to your interests. If not, one could start such a club and I'm sure it would be well subscribed. In fact, you could probably start a club about clubs.
Probably so!
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Old 03-03-2019, 11:38 AM   #13
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A common one is for aviation enthusiasts to live on/around a small airport, with some of these laid out from the beginning for easy access from house to runway. Often they will have a hangar attached to the house.
My BIL lives in one. Everyone has hangers and the planes taxi down the streets to the runway.
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Old 03-03-2019, 12:15 PM   #14
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Ours evolved purely by accident and is hardly organized or deliberate.

We live right on the ocean and have a neighborhood beach and cove. It's not really private but it's out of the way so no one other than neighbors use it.

Everyone in the neighborhood has a boat of some kind moored in the cove. There's always someone who'll give you a lift out if your boat is in deeper water during high tide or help with a stubborn engine.
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