November 2015: A couple from Virginia named Tom and Sheida were exploring Highland Green. At one point Sheida, who is trained in psycholinguistics, asked me to quickly describe Highland Green using three words.
Caught off guard, I uttered the first three words that popped into my head: “Community…Nature…Quality.” Later in the visit, we happened to run into Bob and Pat, who have lived at Highland Green for over three years. Sheida posed her question to Pat who immediately came up with: “Community…Nature…Convenient.”
Later, it occurred to me to pose the same question to all current Highland Green residents. Those who chose to participate emailed me their responses. After three weeks I had received 207 response words from 69 residents.
The Top Five results were telling. “Community” came in first by far with 31. The second most frequent word was “People” with 22 occurrences. “Nature” was third with 19. Fourth was “Friends” with 17, followed at fifth by the adjective “Friendly,” which garnered 15 mentions.
The Second Five response words included the esoteric “Beautiful,” “Lifestyle,” and “Conservation,” at spots six, eight, and nine. The ever so slightly more tangible “Convenient” and “Cooperative” were at seven and ten.
The rest of the words in descending order of frequency were: “Social,” “Nice,” “Comfortable,” “Home,” “Secure,” “Quality,” “Awesome,” “Financial,” “Homes,” “Financial Planning” (we’ll let this go as one word), “Well-designed,” (creative use of hyphen), and “Winning.”
This informal poll confirms some things I already know. Nature is a primary theme that sets Highland Green apart from any other planned community of which I have heard. The incorporation of the Cathance River Nature Preserve in our development, the use of the conservation land for educational and volunteer opportunities, and a spirit of sustainability at Highland Green is unique.
More significantly, this exercise reinforced for me that Highland Green is about people. Beautiful custom homes, lower-maintenance living, and a terrific Midcoast location are important. But ultimately, a supportive neighborly ambience and a sense of wellness through interaction with others can be the most powerful benefits of living at Highland Green.
Within the results of the “Three Words” survey “Community,” “People,” “Friends,” and “Friendly” combined accounted for 85 of 207 or 41% of responses. One Highland Green resident may have captured the spirit best with her response: “Friends! … Friends!! … Friends!!!”