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Guiding Principles for Prairie Crossing

Houses along Levi Baxter Street on a still evening
Ten important principles established by the community's founders have guided Prairie Crossing since its inception. Together, these Guiding Principles provide the framework for a way of life that respects the environment and enables residents to experience a strong connection between community and the land.

Lake Aldo Leopold supports a variety of native flora and fauna
Environmental protection and enhancement
Prairie Crossing's land was purchased to safeguard its open spaces. 350 of its acres are legally protected from development. Prairie Crossing is part of the Liberty Prairie Reserve, over 5,000 acres of publicly and privately held land that includes nature and forest preserves, farms and trails. At Prairie Crossing itself, greenways have been constructed and houses placed to protect the environment, native vegetation and wildlife of the Midwest.

An extensive network of sidewalks and trails make Prairie Crossing a walkable community
A healthy lifestyle
More than ten miles of trails, a stable, and a large lake with beach and dock provide opportunities for healthy outdoor exercise. The Prairie Crosssing Farm supplies fresh organic vegetables to the community. Individual garden plots are available at a small cost. Lake Forest Hospital has built a new facility at Prairie Crossing.

Sail boat on Lake Aldo Leopold
A sense of place
Prairie Crossing is squarely rooted in its central Lake County location. Landscape and architecture are inspired by the prairies, marshes, and farms of the area. Streets are named after prairie plants and early settlers who frequented the site. A palette of rich house colors derives from the warm tones of the native landscape. The community buildings - an historic barn, a schoolhouse, and a farmhouse - remind us that others have lived on this land before, and that others, to whom we have responsibility, will live here after us.

The Village Green overlooking Lake Leopold
A sense of community
In the belief that community and conservation can go hand in hand, the trails and gardens of Prairie Crossing are designed to be places where people can meet to enjoy and care for the land. The Homeowners Association has taken responsibility for the community amenities, design review, and other aspects of community life at Prairie Crossing. From the outset Prairie Crossing has sought to work collaboratively with its neighbors, seeking to achieve unusual synergies with homeowner associations, public officials, and local businesses.

Community gathering places encourage connections between Prairie Crossing neighbors
Economic and racial diversity
Prairie Crossing welcomes residents of all races. Its founders believe that a mix of incomes and races is essential to the future of our society. They have attempted to keep costs and prices down so that some homes will be within the range of families needing affordable housing in Lake County.

The Prairie Crossing Station
Convenient and efficient transportation
Prairie Crossing is approximately an hour from Chicago by train or car. There is rail service to Chicago and O'Hare Airport from two stations adjoining the site. Prairie Crossing lies within a triangle of three major roads: Routes 45, 137, and 120. Trails lead to the train station, the College of Lake County, the University Center of Lake County, the Liberty Prairie Reserve, Grayslake High School, and local stores and restaurants.

Prairie flowers and the north pond at Prairie Crossing
Energy conservation
Homes at Prairie Crossing have been constructed with techniques that reduce energy consumption by approximately 50 percent in comparison to new homes in the area. Community-wide recycling and composting programs are in effect. Prairie Crossing is designed to encourage walking and biking as alternatives to short trips by automobile. A wind turbine provides power to the farm. The new buildings of the Prairie Crossing Charter School are designed to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards.

The Prairie Crossing Charter School
Lifelong learning and education
The Prairie Crossing Charter School offers elementary education based on an environmental curriculum to children from two local school districts. Informal learning takes place through events at the Prairie Crossing Farm and Byron Colby Barn, and throughout the community. The College of Lake County and the University Center of Lake County are both located within two miles.

The condominiums at Station Square have attained Energy Starís highest rating for energy efficiency
Aesthetic design and high-quality construction
Professionals who are highly accomplished in their fields have been responsible for land planning and architecture. High standards of design and execution throughout Prairie Crossing are a priority. Prairie Crossing has received national attention for its beauty and design that combines town and landscape planning.

Restored natural landscapes offer beautiful views and valuable habitat
Economic viability
Prairie Crossing is being developed by families who wish to see the conservation community concept replicated elsewhere. They have made every effort to ensure that the project is economically feasible and have carefully budgeted for long-term success.


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