Spring and summer are beautiful here in Elbert County! If you’re eager to get outdoors and enjoy nature’s bounty, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re eager to catch some excitement at the rodeo or meander along peaceful trails, there are plenty of possibilities near Elizabeth, Colorado. Interested in adding some outdoor fun to your schedule? Here are a few of our favorite recommendations for these sunny seasons: 

Explore Castlewood Canyon State Park

Castlewood Canyon State Park is just a hop, skip, and a jump from Elizabeth. Located in nearby Franktown, this park is the perfect destination for a day trip. In addition to grills, picnic tables, and canyon trails, this venue offers an up-close-and-personal look at Colorado history. Here, visitors can view the remains of the Castlewood Canyon Dam that burst in 1933. 

Take Part in the Historic Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo

If you’re looking for some exhilaration, look no further than the historic Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo. This year, the big event takes place from June 6th-9th. There’s a ton of excitement to be had here, from PRCA rodeo performances to mutton bustin’. This gathering has been part of our town’s history for nearly a century, dating back to when it first started at Casey Jones Park in 1937. 

Enjoy Fishing at Bingham Lake Park

While not technically located in Elbert County, it’s close enough! Bingham Lake Park is nestled in nearby Parker, Colorado, which is about a 15-minute drive from Elizabeth. This quiet getaway is a favorite for those who love to fish, as the lake is well-stocked with a variety of warm water game such as large-mouth bass, black crappie, channel catfish, and more. If you’re bringing along someone who isn’t into fishing, there’s a nice 1.25-mile trail loop and a picnic shelter. 

Hike at Independence

If you can’t get enough of the great outdoors, nothing compares to having access to nature right from your own backyard. Our conservation community was planned with a deep appreciation of the land, and we’ve incorporated an impressive trail system for our residents’ enjoyment. Throughout the neighborhood, you’ll find trails that lead to bluffs and overlooks that offer stunning views. 

Elbert County and the surrounding areas offer a plethora of opportunities for getting in touch with nature. The ideas highlighted here are ideal for exploring this spring and summer when the weather is just too nice to stay inside. If you’d like to learn more about the exceptional new homes and amenities at Independence, our team would love to connect. Please contact us to learn more about move-in ready homes! 

Spring is in the air, and it’s a great time to start planning your garden! If you’re looking forward to enjoying your spacious new yard, flowers are an excellent way to brighten it up with a splash of color. Because of our semi-arid climate in Colorado, not all flowers will thrive here–so it’s important to plan your garden with care. If you’d like to plant perennials this year, here are  some options that are well-suited to our state: 

Rocky Mountain Columbine

Rocky Mountain Columbines will add a delightful burst of blue to your yard. They flourish in late spring to midsummer, and can grow up to two feet tall. They’re also deer-resistant and low-maintenance, making them the perfect addition for Colorado gardens. To grow Rocky Mountain Columbines, plant them in a spot that offers full sun or part-shade with well-drained soil. 

Purple Coneflower

If you’re looking for a bold flower to plant, you’ll love the deep hues of the purple coneflower. This is another low-maintenance perennial that tends to do well here in Colorado. These flowers love sunshine and can be planted in full sun, but will also tolerate some shade. Find a sunny spot and some rich soil for them, and they’ll bloom wonderfully throughout summer and fall.

Russian Sage

Russian sage are beautiful herbaceous perennials that are virtually maintenance-free once they’re established. They bloom with delicate tubular flowers that are great attractors of hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies. The colors are muted silvery lavender, which look lovely in any yard. Although this plant is generally very resilient, it needs some protection during cold snaps. 

Shasta Daisy

Daisies are synonymous with cheer, and they’re perfect for adding some charm to your landscape. Shasta daisies are fast-spreading and bloom in late spring to early summer. Like other perennials mentioned here, shasta daisies do best with full sun and well-drained soil. When mature, clip some to enjoy in a vase on your table or countertop and bring the beauty indoors! With spring in full swing, are you ready to get outdoors and start tending to your garden? Whether you’re already an avid gardener or just getting started, the flowers highlighted here are great candidates for growing in our state. If you’re on the search for a home where you can put down roots, we welcome you to explore Independence. Located in Elizabeth, Colorado, our community offers small-town charm and ample opportunities to enjoy nature, including a community garden. To learn more about move-in ready homes, please contact our team.

Earth Day began on April 22, 1970 and has been celebrated on the same day each year since. If you’re interested in living more sustainably for the future of our Earth, there are many ways to take the first steps. Small actions can add up to big changes, and Earth Day is the perfect time to start thinking about your carbon footprint–and how to reduce it. Ready to make some simple changes to help the planet? Here are a few eco-friendly practices that are easy (and even fun) to implement: 

Start Composting

If you’re not already composting, there’s no time like the present to get started! Composting is common here in Colorado, and it’s very simple to get the hang of. If you’re not familiar with this method of natural recycling yet, it involves keeping organic matter (such as food scraps and coffee grounds) that will decompose. The resulting compost is nutrient-rich and excellent for gardening. To start a backyard compost bin, you’ll just need a container with good airflow and a place in the yard with adequate sunlight. For a step-by-step guide to composting at home, check out these recommendations.

Go Paperless

One of the most important tenets of Earth Day is waste reduction, and going paperless is a great way to achieve this. Nearly all companies offer digital billing and statements now, so whenever you have some spare time, sit down and double check that you’re opted in for paperless communication. It just takes a few minutes to confirm your preferences, and you’ll be doing your part to reduce clutter and promote a healthier planet. 

Invest in Reusable Food Containers

As recently as 10 years ago, sealable plastic bags were the ubiquitous choice for packing lunch on the go. Now, there are much better options for keeping food fresh. Brands such as (Re)Zip and Greater Goods have reinvented the resealable storage bag, which is perfect for everything from cereal to sandwiches. Instead of being a one-hit-wonder like single-use bags, these are both washable and durable. 

Drink From a Reusable Cup

Hydration is important, and one of the biggest ways you can help the Earth is by ditching plastic water bottles. Stocking up on bottled water is convenient, but it only takes a few days to get used to the new habit of filling your reusable water bottle and carrying it with you wherever you go. If you want to go the extra mile, find a travel mug that you love and bring it to the coffee shop. For those latte-a-day folks, this simple swap can make a world of difference for the environment. 

This Earth Day, show your commitment to our planet by making a few easy changes to your lifestyle. The eco-friendly practices highlighted here are some of our favorite ways to make a difference, and they’re nearly effortless to stick with. If you’ve been looking for a community that honors the Earth all year round, you’ve found the right place at Independence. As Colorado’s first conservation community, we have a deep appreciation for the land. Here, homes are built with the most energy-efficient materials possible, and our state-of-the-art water conservation program ensures that we conserve this precious resource. If you’re interested in learning more about our community environmental standards, please contact our team.

Springtime has arrived! If you’re ready to give your home a deep clean, now is a great time to freshen up your space and get rid of the clutter! Although spring cleaning is great in theory, it can be challenging to put into practice. Not sure where to start or what to focus on? We’ve got you covered! Here, we share a few of our favorite tips to help you get started and set yourself up for success. 

Start With a Purge

Before you get into the nitty gritty of spring cleaning, it’s wise to start with an honest evaluation of your home. Like Marie Kondo suggests, take some time going through each room and determining what you really need–and what can go. If it’s not an active part of your daily life and it doesn’t hold sentimental value, then you’re probably better off parting with it. Cutting down on clutter is a great first step in creating a space that you love (and that’s easier to maintain). 

Use Dishwashing Soap to Clean Under Large Appliances

Large appliances are notoriously difficult to clean under, so the crevices collect crumbs, dust, and other unwanted debris. Because these areas are so hard to reach, consider moving the appliances a few times a year to give the floors a good clean. Be careful with this endeavor, and bring in some helpers to give you a hand with unplugging and gently moving the appliances just far enough for clearance. Depending upon the condition of the floors, you may need to use dishwashing soap and hot water to remove built-up grime. For stubborn cooking grease and caked-on dirt, use a scraper. 

Give Your Microwave Some Attention

Even if you’re diligent about covering food in the microwave, it’s very easy for splatters to escape. Because of its frequent use, the microwave is often one of the dirtiest parts of the home. If you want to show this appliance some love, add it to your spring cleaning list! To get an efficient clean, start by microwaving a cup of water to loosen debris. If you’re wanting to keep your microwave spotless all year round, consider investing in an AngryMama. This award-winning microwave cleaning device is great for effortlessly loosening grime using a mix of vinegar and water. 

Optimize Entryway Space

The entryway sets the tone for how your home feels. If it’s cluttered with shoes, coats, and other belongings, just a few simple steps can help you optimize the space. If you don’t already have a key rack and shoe holder, these two space-savers are great. A key rack or multipurpose organizer is perfect for ensuring that keys and other items, like mail, have a home so they never get lost again. Having a dedicated place for shoes is also ideal, and will make a world of difference in how your entryway looks and functions. 

Shred Old Documents and Digitize Important Ones

If your household is like many others, you may have piles of mail to sort through. Whether your documents accumulate on the countertops or in a junk drawer, your spring cleaning schedule should include shredding everything you don’t need. When you do come across a document you’d like to hang on to, digitize it for paperless filing. While you’re at it, take some time to set your preferences to paperless so you’ll receive fewer paper documents to keep up with in the future.

Spring in Colorado is a beautiful time of year, and leaves many homeowners feeling motivated for a fresh start. The tips shared here are a few of our favorites for livening up your space. If you’re interested in a fresh start, we invite you to explore our move-in ready  homes in Elizabeth, Colorado. To learn more about our community and new construction homes, please contact our team.

Colorado is one of the top states in the nation when it comes to festivals. Whether you’re interested in concerts, cultural events, or some of our state’s more eccentric gatherings, there are plenty of options to enjoy! Ready to plan your schedule? Here’s an overview of festivals in 2024 throughout Colorful Colorado: 

March 1-3: WinterWonderGrass Festival in Steamboat Springs

If you’re a fan of bluegrass, brews, or both, you won’t want to miss out on the WinterWonderGrass Festival in Steamboat Springs. From March 1-3, this beautiful resort town known for its champagne powder every ski season will welcome more than 25 bluegrass artists for a spirited, musical celebration. During the three-day event, you’ll also have the opportunity to sample craft beers from 20+ Colorado breweries! To purchase your tickets, head over to this site.

May 23-27: Mountainfilm in Telluride 

For film aficionados, Mountainfilm in Telluride is a must. This renown documentary festival started in 1979, and has been debuting award winning films for artist enthusiasts, cinema entertainers and filmmakers ever since. At Mountainfilm, attendees can count on a wide variety of new feature films, shorts and animations created by talented storytellers and changemakers, as well as participate in engaging programs. Passes are available here.

May 31-June 1: Mike the Headless Chicken Festival in Fruita

Our state certainly has some quirks, and Mike the Headless Chicken Festival is one of the strangest (and most fun!) traditions around. This festival honors a chicken named Mike who managed to survive without a head for 18 months in the 1940s. After the story of Mike got out, his hometown of Fruita began to celebrate each year. In 2024, you can make the trek to Fruita from May 31-June 1 to participate in the festivities, including dancing to live music, participating in the 5K, and exploring food and artisan goods from dozens of vendors. 

June 8-9: Highlands Art Festival in Denver

Colorado has a thriving artist community. Denver is especially well known for the arts, and there are excellent art festivals each year. If you’re looking for new artwork or simply want to meet local artists, make the short drive to Denver for the Highlands Art Festival. From June 8-9, the Highlands Masonic Lodge will showcase work by dozens of local artisans. Categories include painting, sculpture, metal, glass, mixed media, and more. 

June 8-August 11: Colorado Shakespeare Festival in Boulder 

If you appreciate the work of Shakespeare, you’ll want to hop over to Boulder to attend the Colorado Shakespeare Festival. For more than 60 seasons, this festival has delivered captivating performances by a professional theatre company in association with CU Boulder. This year, there are three plays to enjoy: Macbeth, The Merry Wives of Windsor, and Arden of Faversham. Macbeth is running from June 8-August 11, and The Merry Wives of Windsor will be offered July 6-August 11. Arden of Faversham is showing on July 28th only. Tickets are available here.

Regardless of your interests, chances are good that the state of Colorado offers a festival to celebrate. The gatherings highlighted here are just a quick glimpse of what’s going on in 2024, and there are many more to choose from. Located in Elizabeth, our new community offers a unique blend of small-town charm with excellent proximity to Denver and beyond. If you’d like to learn more about our move-in ready new homes, please contact our team.

Spring is on the horizon! Since busier schedules often accompany longer days, you may be searching for quick and easy recipes that the whole family will enjoy. When you’re short on time, these one-pot-wonders come together in minutes and are sure to please even the pickiest eaters. 

Tomato Basil Pasta

When you’re looking for a hearty yet healthy dinner, this tomato basil pasta won’t disappoint. It’s packed with bright and tangy flavors and is ready in just 30 minutes. It’s also super customizable, so you can keep it vegetarian by using vegetable stock instead of chicken stock. Need to up the protein? Just add chicken! 

Chicken Enchilada Skillet Casserole

If your family loves the taste of enchiladas but you don’t want to spend all evening on a laborious dish, this chicken enchilada skillet casserole is the perfect solution. Be sure you have an oven-safe skillet on hand, because this deliciously cheesy casserole needs to bake at 350 degrees after being assembled. 

Sheet Pan Pizza

Looking for an easy pizza recipe? This sheet pan pizza is about as simple as it gets, and it’s sure to please a crowd. This dish can be made using homemade or store bought dough and sauce, so you can trim even more prep time off if you’re in a hurry. Plus, you can customize by adding your favorite toppings!

Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese

Mac and cheese is a family-friendly classic, but if you want to spice it up a bit, try this twist on the original! This recipe features rotisserie chicken, finely chopped veggies, and three types of cheese. Because it’s so creamy and only calls for a three-quarters of a cup of hot sauce, most won’t find it too spicy, but feel free to scale this ingredient back if you’re serving to a younger crowd! 

Lasagna Soup

There’s nothing more comforting than a bowl of soup on a chilly evening. If you’re ready to try a new soup recipe, this lasagna soup is definitely one to put on the weeknight dinner rotation. It has all the best flavors of classic lasagna, but doesn’t require a lengthy prep time. Top it with some cheese and pair with crusty bread, and you’re not likely to have leftovers! 

When life gets busy, it can be challenging to keep up with meal preparation. Luckily, the recipes highlighted here require minimal prep and cleanup time. If you’re ready to create one of the dishes mentioned above in your brand new kitchen, take a look at the move-in ready new homes in our community. Independence offers meticulously crafted homes and family-oriented amenities that you’ll love. To learn more about availability, please contact us.

If you’re thinking about making 2024 the year that you purchase a brand new home, we encourage you to explore our conservation community in Elizabeth, Colorado. We offer expertly crafted, energy-efficient homes by some of the most reputable builders in the nation. Regardless of what you’re looking for, we feel confident that we have a floor plan to perfectly suit your lifestyle. One of the best aspects of moving into a new home is the opportunity to start fresh with décor–and this year is full of exciting options. Ready for some inspiration? Here’s a look at this year’s top interior design trends: 

Nature-Inspired Design

Nature has always been a mainstay in design, but it’s looming large in 2024. Access to nature has numerous benefits, including improved mood and better productivity. If you’re looking for ways to incorporate nature-inspired elements within your home, there’s no shortage of options. Indoor plants can be a great addition to an office or living room, while earthy tones can be used throughout the home to promote a serene environment. 

Color Saturation

In years past, pops of color were ubiquitous. These little splashes of color were great for adding a touch of playfulness without overpowering the room, but design experts are predicting a wave of color saturation. Monochrome color drenching is a timeless choice, but if you’re more interested in the here-and-now, it’s the year to experiment with pastels. 

Natural Stones

Uniqueness will be one of the biggest trends of the year, and one way to achieve this is to incorporate hand-picked natural stone. There are many possibilities for including natural stone in your home, ranging from backsplashes to countertops and beyond. Whether you prefer highly veined marble, muted travertine, or moody slate (or something else entirely), the sky’s the limit when it comes to home customization with stone. 

Mixed Metals

Mixed metals are making a grand entrance, and will be right at home in bathrooms and beyond. If you appreciate bold design, incorporating mixed metals into the home can create a rugged, eye-catching look. Metals with warm undertones, such as brass and bronze, tend to complement each other and lend a strong, yet earthy vibe to the room. 

2024 is sure to be an exciting year for trends in home décor. If you’re ready to purchase a new home and make it your own, we’d love to have you as part of the Independence community here in Elizabeth. To learn more about availability, please contact our team. 

Treehouse Magic, photo courtesy of Houses High Treesort

Valentine’s Day is almost here! Whether you plan to spend the day with someone special or you simply want to treat yourself to some self-care, there are plenty of ways to celebrate near Elizabeth, Colorado. If you’re looking for inspiration to make the day memorable, here are some of our favorite ideas below: 

Book a Stay at Treehouse Magic 

Looking for an out-of-the-box option for date night? A stay at Treehouse Magic won’t disappoint! This eclectic treehouse offers an elevated glamping experience right here in Elizabeth. At Treehouse Magic, you and your sweetheart can enjoy the 6,476-feet view from an ancient Ponderosa Pine. This off-the-grid hideaway is equipped with a cozy kitchen, smart projector for movie night, and a patio where you can sip coffee as you revel in the mountain views. If you’re looking for a memorable destination that’s close to home, this one certainly fits the bill!

Enjoy the Beauty of Nature

Elbert County is known for its small-town charm and access to nature. If you and your loved one enjoy each other’s company in the great outdoors, nothing compares to a quiet walk or picnic. Evans Park offers trails with picnic tables along the route, so pack some refreshments and make a day of it. If you prefer to stay close to home, we’re proud to offer miles of hike and bike trails within Independence. Many of these trails overlook scenic views, which are perfect for exploring with your Valentine – if snow is not an issue! 

Indulge in Self-Care

Valentine’s Day is also the perfect opportunity for some much-needed R&R. Whether you’re surprising your special someone or you’re looking for ways to treat yourself, a spa day is an excellent choice. Natural Reflections Spa is located in Elizabeth, and offers high-end services such as advanced facial aesthetics, and lash and brow tinting. If you’re looking for an idea for “Galentine’s Day” or some solo self-care, a mani/pedi at OMG Nails is always a treat. 

Create a Special Menu

Valentine’s Day is one of the most popular occasions for dinner reservations. If you don’t feel like fighting the crowd but still want to enjoy a delicious meal, try creating your own special menu at home. If you’re dining with your significant other, it can be fun to re-create the menu that the two of you enjoyed on your first date. You can also never go wrong with a simple four-course meal, complete with a wine pairing and chocolate-dipped dessert. Need some inspiration? We love these recipes!

Whether you’re celebrating with a partner or just want to show yourself some love, the ideas mentioned here are sure to make Valentine’s Day extra special. When you live in Elizabeth, Colorado, there’s no shortage of ways to spend quality time with those who mean the most to you. If you’d like to become part of our conservation community here in Elbert County, we welcome you to explore our available move-in ready new homes. Please contact our team to learn more! 

Winter in Elbert County is a beautiful time of year. Although Colorado is one of the country’s sunniest states with over 300 days of sunshine per year , late winter and early springtime also bring freezing temperatures,  snow and ice. Historically, March is the snowiest month in our state. Whether you’re new to Colorado or simply new to homeownership, you may be wondering about how to prep your home for the snowy season. We’re here to help! Below, we offer tips for winterizing your home in Independence. 

Purchase Salt and Sand 

There are many reasons to purchase a brand new home, and energy efficiency is one of the most appealing options. When you move into a newly-built property here, you won’t have to worry about maintaining the furnace this year or wrapping pipes before a freeze. However, there’s no escaping a slushy driveway when it snows. To reduce the risk of falling, be sure to have plenty of salt and sand on hand. When snow or ice is on the forecast, sand is great for spreading on the walkways before the first flakes have fallen. Once there’s been snowfall and you need to increase traction, salt or ice melt is your best bet. 

Place Mats in the Entryway

You want your new home to remain in mint condition for years to come, so it’s important to be proactive about preserving the flooring. Tracking in snow and ice throughout the winter can lead to increased wear and tear, but protecting the floor with mats can prevent this problem. Whether you choose a heavy-duty commercial-grade mat for the winter months or simply place towels down, your home will be protected from the elements. 

Prepare For Freezing Weather

If you want to go the extra mile in prepping for winter weather, you can prepare in advance for a deep freeze. To ensure that your sprinkler system is damage-free and ready for the spring, you can drain the irrigation lines. For an added layer of protection, let water drip from the sinks when the temperature dips below freezing. 

When you purchase a brand new, energy-efficient home within the Independence Community in Elizabeth, Colorado, your winter maintenance checklist isn’t very long! If you’re ready to begin a new chapter in the home of your dreams, we invite you to explore our exceptional community. We offer a wide variety of floor plans crafted by several of the nation’s most reputable builders. If you’re ready to move forward in the process of finding your perfect home, please contact our team. We look forward to meeting you! 

Colorado’s snowiest season is upon us! If you’re new to the neighborhood or have questions about clearing the roads, we have answers for you. The Overlay District and Elbert County will be working together this year to keep our neighborhood safe and accessible, and we also need your help to keep the roads clear for snow plowing!. Here’s what you need to know about the procedures for clearing snow this winter: 

Elbert County Will Clear Certain Roads

To best serve our residents, Elbert County has accepted a limited number of roads for clearing. The county will be taking care of the following streets this year:

Hancock Parkway

Williams Loop

Hart Avenue/Hart Circle

East Witherspoon Drive

The Overlay District is Contracting With a Snow Removal Firm 

For the remaining streets within Independence, the Overlay District is contracting with a snow removal firm. This firm will also be responsible for clearing snow from the sidewalk along Hancock Parkway and the mail stations. 

What To Do When It’s Snowing

In addition to the snow removal services we bring to Independence, we need your help to ensure it’s a smooth and effective process with access to everyone. When it’s snowing or snow is anticipated, please do not park on the street. The snow plows are large and need room to operate, and will not enter streets with parked vehicles. 

Let’s work together to create a community that’s safe and accessible for all residents! If you have questions regarding snow removal procedures, please don’t hesitate to contact us.