community

American Homes 4 Rent Opens Treaty Oaks Community in St. Augustine, Florida

AGOURA HILLS, Calif., Oct. 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — American Homes 4 Rent (NYSE: AMH) is pleased to introduce Treaty Oaks in St. Augustine, Fla., which joins its rapidly growing family of newly built single-family rental home communities. Treaty Oaks is American Homes 4 Rent’s (“AH4R”) 59th new rental home community and its sixth in the Jacksonville market, building upon the success of its Black Creek Village, Calebs Cove and Kindlewood communities.

“American Homes 4 Rent’s communities are a new, innovative choice in American housing that combine the benefits of a single-family home with the flexibility and low-maintenance of leasing,” said Zack Johnson, Executive Vice President of Acquisitions & Development for AH4R. “We are proud to open our new Treaty Oaks community as we expand upon our already strong presence in the Jacksonville area.”

Treaty Oaks adds 31 homes built, owned and operated by AH4R to its existing portfolio of more than 2,300 units in the Jacksonville market.

“We are a resident-focused company seeking to create better experiences and our new Treaty Oaks community leverages our deep understanding of our industry and the Jacksonville market,” said Brent Landry, Senior Vice President of Development for AH4R. “We know where home shoppers want to live, the design features they prefer and we have the unique ability to lease our homes quickly with our in-house sales team.” 

The homes at Treaty Oaks feature upscale finishes that residents appreciate, along with the benefits of lawn care and pet-friendly yards. All homes are designed with open concept floorplans, granite countertops, stainless-steel appliances, luxury vinyl plank flooring, elegant bathrooms, quality fixtures, central heating and air conditioning and two-car garages.     

Treaty Oaks features four- and five-bedroom homes ranging in size from approximately 2,000 to 2,200 square feet. Pricing starts from the $1,900s

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New Mesquite community will include thousands of homes

A new community planned for Mesquite will bring almost 4,000 homes.

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Dallas-based developer Huffines Communities is building the more than 1,400-acre Solterra community southwest of East Cartwright Road, two miles east of Interstate 635.

The new residential development is on part of the historic Lucas family farm.

Mesquite’s city council recently approved zoning for the $1.6 billion project, which Huffines Communities says will be the largest development in city history.

New homes in the project will start from $280,000 and range up to the high $400,000s.

“This is one of the biggest projects we’ve done, and we’re thrilled to make this a wonderful place to live and play as the home building market continues to sizzle,” Donald Huffines, co-owner at Huffines Communities, said in a statement. “Mesquite continues to see explosive growth, and Solterra will meet this demand with quality homes reminiscent of the quiet comfort of small-town living complete with community-centered amenities.”

Mesquite has been working for years with developers to plan what is one of the biggest undeveloped areas of the city.

The property is located about 11 miles from downtown Dallas and was once the family home and farm for Faithon P. Lucas, who owned the popular Lucas B&B restaurants in Dallas and sold produce and food products from the farm.

To honor the property’s heritage, Huffines Communities plans to include crops and livestock at Solterra and restore the pecan groves, orchards and pasture areas.

A new 27-acre lake will include a fishing hole with a deck.

Solterra will include a resort-style pool complex and miles of bike and hiking trails. A community amenity center will house a coffee shop, gathering rooms with lounge seating and offices with covered balconies.

There will also be fitness and a restaurant.

The first 650 to 750 Solterra home

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Appleton Eagle Scout completes major UWO Fox Cities campus community garden renovation

Though it’s near the end of the growing season, a large community garden on the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Fox Cities campus is shining brightly as 15 years of overgrowth was removed and new fencing installed.

Garden beautification efforts―two years in the making―were led by Eagle Scout candidate Elijah Eisen, 17, a junior at Appleton North High School, along with support from Bill Bultman, an emeritus faculty member and Rose Marie Lewis, senior technician on the UWO Fox Cities campus.

Eisen provided much-needed tender loving care to the area and installed new fencing to keep deer and other animals at bay. The garden plots allow individuals and families in the community to grow their own food and flowers. The previous fencing was missing and broken and allowed deer to feast on the garden “like a buffet,” according to gardeners.

With various delays―not the least included the coronavirus pandemic―Eisen is happy the project has finally been completed. He says he was 14 years old when he started planning the garden updates. He had talked to Lewis, unofficial scouting coordinator on campus, about potential Eagle Scout projects.

“Since the beginning, this (Eagle Scout) was my goal,” Eisen said. “I didn’t feel I  accomplished it if I did something small. I wanted one of the biggest projects she had.”

Though Eisen wondered really how hard the project to put up an eight-foot wire fence could be, he soon learned it would take hundreds of volunteer hours digging through layers of clay―and a lot of money.

Pushing through

“I was very up front with him (Eisen) about the scope and complexity of the project, but he has proven to be a very capable and diligent scout,” said Lewis, senior laboratory prep technician at the UWO Fox Cities campus.

Lewis, herself an Eagle Scout mom,

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101 Creative Community Service Ideas for Kids, Teens, and Adults

Photo credit: Aleksandr Zubkov - Getty Images
Photo credit: Aleksandr Zubkov – Getty Images

From Good Housekeeping

Participating in community service is one of the most rewarding things you can do. No matter your age, giving back can help you build friendships, develop new skills, and increase life satisfaction — all while making the world a better place. It’s no wonder that in a Good Housekeeping poll of over 4,000 people, 19% of respondents said they typically volunteer once a month and another 19% said they volunteer even more than that.

Ahead, we’ve found the most impactful community service ideas for volunteers of all ages. Remember: these ideas are meant to be general. If one speaks to you, think of ways you can personalize it toward your interests and expertise. Don’t be afraid to think big either. While you could totally pick up litter at the beach by yourself, you’d cover a lot more land if you organized a group to help you out. You might even ask everyone in that group to bring a can of food for a food pantry, too. It’s all about getting creative and brainstorming ways to make giving back fun. And if you’re hesitant to get out into your community, don’t miss these exciting virtual volunteer opportunities.

Community service ideas for kids

  • Make cards for seniors.

  • Grow vegetables and donate the produce to neighbors or a food bank.

  • Use chalk to write inspiring quotes on the sidewalk.

  • Choose which gently used clothes to donate to charity.

  • Pick up litter at a local park.

  • Write cards to service members.

  • Make a “New to the Neighborhood” guidebook for new kids at school.

  • Put on a talent show at a nursing home.

  • Offer water bottles or snacks to sanitation workers.

  • Collect donations in lieu of birthday gifts.

  • Choose foods at the grocery store to

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St. Anthony’s Soup Kitchen in Skowhegan creatively continues to serve the community

SKOWHEGAN — The cars continue to line up and roll through, while others walk up wearing masks.

The images of this weekly labor of love look different than they did just eight months ago, but it’s Thursday night, which means a free dinner is available to all who need one thanks to the volunteers at St. Anthony’s Soup Kitchen in Skowhegan.

“It’s going well. Our numbers increase every week,” said Aldea LeBlanc, coordinator of the kitchen.

St. Anthony’s Soup Kitchen, located in the parish hall of Notre Dame de Lourdes Church on Water Street, offered a free, sit-down, hot meal for anyone in need every Thursday night prior to the start of the pandemic in March. The ministry is entirely volunteer run.

“The meals were suspended until early June when the soup kitchen resumed again,” said Nora Natale, office manager at Christ the King Parish, of which the soup kitchen is a part. “Most of the crew was more than ready to see our guests again.”

“The need is so great here,” said Fr. James Nadeau, pastor of Christ the King Parish.

The diners are currently not allowed in the parish hall due to the pandemic, but nobody involved was willing to give up this important ministry that has helped thousands of community members through the years.

Now, volunteers wear masks and practice social distancing, the meals are served in a drive-thru format in the parking lot of the church and other recipients participate through take-out service.

While the delivery methods have changed, what has not is the appeal of the meals, which have included pork chops, barbecue chicken, and many other delectable choices.

“We also provide a vegetable and fruit of some kind, as well as donated desserts and bread,” said Aldea. “The meals are served from 4:30 to

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