Left to Right: Photos courtesy of Peter Bastianelli - Kerze; and Kathleen Day-Coen
Visit Jackson Meadow once, and you will never forget the landscape: a sea of prairie surrounding cluster of handsome white homes with a wooded backdrop.
This is a conservation community of single-family homes, set amidst a more than 300-acre sanctuary of natural beauty. The neighborhood’s design is so unique that it has garnered attention for its spirit of preservation and restoration; almost 250 acres of land has been set aside in conservation easements. This land will be protected forever.
“The idea was basically to preserve…to give people a place to live in the country, but by clustering the homes, leaving the open space untouched,” explains developer Harold Teasdale, who lives in Jackson Meadow with his wife, Carol.
Jackson Meadow has 34 homes today; two are soon to be built and 28 sites remain. Lots are priced between $85,900 and $159,900, with homes generally starting upwards of $500,000.
All of the homes—each architecturally distinct—have been and will continue to be designed by well-known Minnesota architect David Salmela, who takes inspiration from classic Nordic farmhouses. Landscape architect Shane Coen, another Jackson Meadow resident, created the design and landscaping in the neighborhood, working closely with Salmela. Streeter & Associates, the current builder in Jackson Meadow, completes the award-winning design team.
“The light really comes in beautifully in our homes and provides a spectacular view of the landscape,” says Carol Teasdale, Jackson Meadow’s marketing director. “It really takes the older, traditional architecture and blends it with new, contemporary features.”
Jackson Meadow’s homes share similarities: all have energy-efficient galvanized steel roofs, modern Scandinavian interiors, and white exteriors.
“The white represents rural Minnesota; farmhouses were often times white,” Carol explains. “It really allows for the landscape to show up, so to speak.”
The homes also all have detached garages. The intention, Harold says, was to create a neighborhood where people had more opportunities to interact and connect.
The homeowner’s association—monthly fees are $30—is active, and social events are frequent among the neighborhood’s residents, many of whom are also active in the Marine community.
“It’s really comprised of a vibrant mixture of people, ranging from families to empty nesters,” Carol says. “It’s a wonderful place to raise a family. It’s a great place to retire.”
These neighbors work together: Most members of the association volunteer with prairie and woodland restoration efforts through Jackson Meadow’s acreage. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the St. Croix Watershed Research Station have assisted with restoration efforts.
“We’re used as an example of how to get a community to take on restoration,” Harold says, adding, “you really have a sense of community when people are working together to restore the land.”
Homeowners also help maintain the six miles of hiking and biking trails that wind among Jackson Meadow’s fields, forest and ponds—including grooming them for skiing in the winter. There’s even a sledding hill. It’s like being able to vacation in your own backyard, Carol says.
“Harold wanted to give the kids an opportunity to explore the land, and get creative. And that’s what’s happened,” she says. “The kids really grow up exploring nature year round.”
The association also maintains the common areas of the development.
“Most of the money and the effort really goes toward the open space and the restoration,” Harold says.
Jackson Meadow enjoys a setting in idyllic Marine on St. Croix, where the downtown has a general store that has been open for a century and delectable frozen treats at “The Scoop” ice cream parlor. William O’Brien State Park is also a short drive—or hike—away.
“The beauty of Jackson Meadow is that you have a sense of connectedness to your neighborhood and to the beautiful landscape,” Carol says. “You are not isolated and alone in the country.”