Back in September 2018, Gallagher and Henry noted the trend of homeowners embracing their front yards as a place for relaxation, recreation, and camaraderie. We were seeing it more and more in our single-family home communities and soon discovered it had emerged a national trend as well.
Seeking a more robust sense of community in an increasingly digital age and a growing recognition of the benefits of being in nature and among others, the so-called Front Yard People were ditching backyards with privacy fences – valuable and practical as those might be at times – for a visible spot in front of the home.
Parking chairs on the driveway, sitting on their porches, or playing games in the front yard, residents waved hello to neighbors, engaged in spontaneous conversations, and generated stronger ties to their community. Being out front, many found, prompted a deeper connection to the neighborhood, heightened safety, and gave a positive boost to daily life. As we noted back in 2018, numerous studies over the years have tied outdoor time as well as interpersonal connections to improved energy, creativity, stress, and overall health.
Over the past two years, this trend has only accelerated further as social distancing, Zoom meetings, and quarantines became all too commonplace. For many, the pandemic proved isolating, disconnecting them from their traditional social circles. For many others, the pandemic stirred an increased focus on personal relationships and mental health, both of which can be aided by being outdoors and connecting with others.
The Front Yard People movement we continue to see in our Gallagher and Henry communities stands a lively counter to the challenges of the past two years.
While the backyard still serves as an important space – and many of our homebuyers have created vibrant spaces out back packed with outdoor kitchens, hot tubs, and children’s games – the emergence of the front yard as a gathering spot offers a dynamic alternative to the privacy of the backyard.
As people yearn for simpler times, genuine connections with others, and a richer sense of community, the front yard becomes a place for socialization, inclusion, and good neighborhood vibes to take flight. In Gallagher and Henry communities like Farmingdale Village in Woodridge, Covington Knolls in Lemont, and Radcliffe Place in Tinley Park, we have seen neighbors huddled around a fire pit and kids playing hide and seek. It’s an inspiring sight for our family-owned business.
With spacious lots and front yards, driveways, and walkable streets, our Gallagher and Henry communities provide residents the opportunity to be out front and build stronger ties to their neighborhood and one another. That’s important in today’s age and we are proud to help cultivate that with thoughtful community design.
As warmer weather approaches, we hope we continue to see residents in our communities welcome new neighbors, expand their social circles, and enrich their lives.
For many years, Gallagher and Henry has said that we build the best homes in the best communities. It is becoming more and more true each day.