Cinco Ranch in Katy, TX, by TBG Partners

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This 2,018-acre site at Cinco Ranch in Katy, Texas, is one of the fastest-growing master-planned communities in the U.S., from TBG Partners. It offers residents a variety of home options, as well as outdoor recreation and relaxation, in a setting that’s both harmonious and ecologically sound. Love to walk? You’ll adore the walking paths here, wending around ponds, natural wetlands, and a central lake. A growing network of “greenbelt” trails makes jogging, walking, or cycling between neighborhoods, facilities, schools, and the like not only realistic but enjoyable. Building a neighborhood is largely a matter of livable transportation; if you can walk, bike, or jog to your neighbors’ homes, to a continuing education class, or to a PTA meeting, odds are you’ll be more likely to go to more of them.

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The best part of all this? You might love the wood-and-stone bridges, the wide-open spaces, or the beautiful use of natural boulders and water to enhance the sun-drenched paths. But we suspect that one of the best spots on everyone’s list is the water park: look at it from the aerial view and you’ll want to take the plunge! Surrounded by comfy loungers and enhanced by waterspouts that are fun for all ages, this park’s got a hidden bonus: it’s largely supplied by rainwater harvesting at the community’s central (and popular) Lake House, and is actually LEED certified. Check out the broad, white limestone deck, the neat planting beds, and the shaded areas (always a plus) — and that alone might “sell” you on this well-designed community with an eye to the future: Cinco Ranch, by TBG Partners.

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Written by Janet Butler

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Janet W. Butler is a freelance writer, editor, and editorial consultant by day and a “small soprano” by night. An RWA Golden Heart Winner, she is the author of the inspirational romance From the Ashes (“the best little book no one’s ever heard of”), published by SANDS Publishing in 2001; and a romantic suspense, Voice of Innocence, from Desert Breeze Publishing. She is a Chicago native transplanted to northeast Indiana, where she lives with her husband, daughter, and Cassandra “Trouble” Butler, S.R.C. (Spoiled Rotten Cat).