Trees used in the greening of Providence were carefully selected more than three years ago -- chosen not only for their ability to provide shade, but also to create a street scene reminiscent of small-town communities on the East Coast, according to John A. Ritter, chairman and chief executive officer of Focus Property Group, the master planner of Providence. The trees offer seasonal blooms with many featuring foliage that change colors, thereby giving residents a feeling of four seasons.
"Our vision was to create a similar kind of community as found in other parts of the country, with wide tree-lined boulevards with beautiful shade canopies, while staying sensitive to the fact that we live in a desert," Ritter said. "We bought the trees years ago, knowing that from day one Providence would look more mature with much larger trees than found in most new communities."
The larger trees selected for Providence's streets and parks include Raywood Ash, Allee Elm, Bradford Pears, Chitalpa, Desert Willows, Rio Grande Ash, Southern Live Oak and Pistachio trees. Mondel pine trees will border the entire exterior of the Providence community.
Providence ultimately will plant about 4,000 mature desert-adaptable shade and specimen trees, along with countless drought-tolerant shrubs and plants, including dozens of different types and varieties, to provide a comfortable, colorful community for its residents -- all the while keeping water conservation a high priority.
Mature shade trees yet to be planted are being held at the Providence tree nursery, which can be seen across the street from the information center.
Visitors can see examples of the drought-tolerant plant palette in the community's Demonstration Garden located on the west side of the information center. Built as a resource for residents, the Demonstration Garden will host a series of landscape seminars to educate homeowners on how they can design their backyards with desert-adaptable plants that provide shade and beauty. The first seminar will be held in the fall.
The conservation procedures put in place at Providence encourage builders to incorporate water-saving and environmentally sensitive design features into their residential subdivisions. One such effort can be found in an agreement made by builders to eliminate turf from the front yards of homes in favor of other forms of desert-friendly landscaping.
Future residents will have access to a community with tree-lined streets, scenic parks and a central promenade.
American Traditions is the Providence theme. To name the community's parks, Focus Property Group utilized names of American literary and historical icons. Huckleberry Park draws its name from numerous sources, most notably Mark Twain's classic character, Huckleberry Finn.
Huckleberry Hound, a popular cartoon character of the '60s and '70s is an additional influence, as is author Henry David Thoreau, who once referenced a search for huckleberries as inspiration for his writing.
Knickerbocker Park was named in honor of literary great Washington Irving, whose "Knickerbocker Tales," a collection of stories from 18th century upstate New York, include "Rip Van Winkle" and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow."
The baseball parks of the development will have the look and feel of old-fashioned ballparks and will be named after Brooklyn's Ebbets Field and the Baseball Hall of Fame's Doubleday Field in Cooperstown, N.Y.
Ebbets Field, home of the Brooklyn Dodgers until the team pulled up stakes and moved to Los Angeles in 1958, is where baseball fans first caught sight of Jackie Robinson breaking baseball's color barrier in 1947. The historic stadium was torn down in 1960.
Doubleday Field, a replica of the Hall of Fame ballpark that was built and named after the game's founder, Abner Doubleday, is another Providence athletic field that recalls baseball's storied past.
Providence includes 33 acres of parks and 10 miles of trails systems; another 63 acres have been set aside for two elementary schools and one middle school. Providence will be composed of an estimated 7,500 single- and multi-family units in 39 subdivisions.
There are 15 home builders participating in the Providence master-planned community and each builder brings distinctive architectural designs reminiscent of classic American style, Ritter said. Providence is located at Interstate 215, the Las Vegas Beltway, and Hualapai Way.
Home builders now selling at Providence include Avante Homes, Beazer Homes, KB Home, Kimball Hill Homes, Lennar, Meritage Homes, Pardee Homes, Pulte Homes, Ryland Homes, Toll Brothers and Woodside Homes.
Additional home builders, including Astoria Homes, Fairview Residential, R/S Development and Warmington Homes Nevada, are expected to begin offering houses for sale in the coming months.
For more information on Providence and Focus Property Group, call 433-5084 or visit providencelv.com and focuspropertygroup.com.