For this edition of Where I Live, several residents of the Berkshire community came together to provide a collection of essays on what their neighborhood means to them.
Carolina Rey: Berkshire builds community
My parents’ dream has always been to build their own house. My mom has a degree in architecture, and when we finally bought the land from American Legend, she enjoyed customizing the different aspects of our future home.
When I was 12, we finally moved in after about nine months of construction. We were so excited to move into a house we had built just for us. We immediately noticed that Berkshire had an amazing sense of community and family life. It was such a different atmosphere compared to the other places I’ve lived.
Even the small things make such a big difference here. We have a Facebook group for the neighborhood, and in it there’s a section where everyone with pets puts a picture of them and their contact information in case they ever get lost. There have been so many instances where someone’s dog has snuck out and a family has found it and posted about it to find the owner. It’s helped a lot of people keep their pets safe, including our dog, Hope.
The group is also a great way to meet neighbors since there is always someone hosting some activity, whether it’s a workout class, a cooking class, or someone looking for a babysitter. I’ve met so many families through it. I babysit for multiple families in the neighborhood, and I have met all of them through the group.
There are specific moments that come to mind when I think of what we’ve done for each other, one of them is from right after the February storm. Our neighborhood was hit hard. We lost power for days, and it was incredibly frustrating. While all my friends were having rolling blackouts, we were all stuck inside with no electricity and heat for days on end. Not once did the power come on. During this time, we all kept each other updated on the Facebook page. We helped each other where we could and continued to do so throughout the aftermath of the storm.
Many of the houses in the neighborhood were flooded, and some people’s roofs even caved in. My family came back from a hotel to our water heaters broken. There were many of us that also had this problem, and heaters were out of stock almost everywhere. This meant my family had no way to take showers, and we had to boil water constantly to use.
We finally found a water heater, but it would take about two weeks to deliver. During this time, our neighbors volunteered to let us shower at their house. This made such a difference for us! My brother and I had to go to school every day and we couldn’t have gone if it wasn’t for them. There were also men in the neighborhood that checked people’s houses for flooding when they were still out of town and tried to fix the heaters as best as they could.
Those few things are just a few examples of how Berkshire always comes together to help each other through tough times. Here at Berkshire, we are family, and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
Carolina Rey is a student who has lived in Fort Worth since 2011. She is originally from Rhode Island and enjoys all the things there are to do in Fort Worth.
SJ Jumonville: Putting down new roots
Growing up in my hometown, my neighborhood was full of families with kids my age. I remember riding bikes up and down the streets with all the kids from the block, long summer days spent at the pool, and the playground.
My career took me away from my hometown, moving from state to state every few years. I longed for my son to have the same tight-knit community upbringing that I had as a child. When the opportunity presented itself to move back to Texas, I searched many communities until I found Berkshire. It fit all my criteria, including a top-rated school district.
Our evenings are spent riding our bikes throughout the neighborhood on the bike paths or fishing in the community fishing pond, afternoons swapping between the community pool and the park.
I know that if I ever need a helping hand, our community steps up to the task. For example, during the snowpocalypse earlier this year, families kept in touch to ensure that other neighbors were safe. Anything from batteries and water to larger things such as gas and generators were shared to safeguard others’ well-being.
From the neighborhood amenities to the neighborliness of the families around me, I know that my son will have the same community upbringing that I did living in Berkshire.
SJ Ellis Jumonville is a High Volume Recruiter for JPMorgan Chase & Co., her regions include Indiana and Kentucky. She and her 13 year old son Logan, have lived and played in the Berkshire neighborhood since early 2020.
Monica Marie White: A permanent residence
What can I say? I’m a Hispanic with a Texan accent who loves North Fort Worth. I was born in Dallas. So, I still have “Oak Cliff, that’s my hood” roots with a little yee-haw implanted in me. I’ve lived in Funky Town for the past 25 years.
To most, Berkshire is just another community in North Fort Worth. Our family was excited the minute we drove into the community. It has a warm-hearted welcome. We were gifted immediately with a welcome basket at our doorstep. Due to COVID-19, it wasn’t until Easter 2021 we fully experienced what Berkshire has to offer. The Social Committee presents unforgettable family-oriented gatherings. Recently, I’ve joined the Berkshire Social Committee and am extremely excited to help coordinate future get-togethers!
My husband, Joe White, is not only a Navy veteran but also was an Army brat growing up. Meanwhile, I was a daddy’s brat to Victor Torres! We both know what it’s like to bounce around not having a set foundation. Therefore, we share the envision to keep our kids in the same school district until they graduate. Although, now it’s beyond keeping them in the same district. Instead, we want to keep them in the same community: Berkshire! Raising them among a loving, caring, closely integrated community that considers us as a boundless family.
Berkshire represents the lyrics, “This Cowboy’s Hat” by Chris LeDoux. For instance, “…no matter how different we dress, or look or talk, we all have a lot of things in common.” Everyone illustrates the saying, “Give you the shirt off my back” with a big ‘ol Texas grin. Many are anxious to help thy neighbor and expect nothing in return.
Fun facts about where the name Berkshire originates: Berkshire is a county in South East England. It was known as the Royal County of Berkshire in 1957 because of the existence of Windsor Castle. In December 2019, my husband secretly proposed to me in Paris. That evening, we celebrated our engagement on a dinner cruise coasting along The River Thames. In London, we used maps to the Windsor Castle. My husband asked if we were at Windsor Castle. Of course, the local bartender heard our accent. He said, “Yes, and you just missed the Queen!”
We can now share with our community and laugh about it now. Not to fret, we did find Windsor Castle! Not to mention, the King and Queen, are happily content in their Berkshire Community. I would’ve never imagined when we moved in March 2019 that this was the start of my next chapter in life.
Monica Marie White has lived in Fort Worth for 25 years and in Berkshire for over three. She attended Texas Wesleyan and received an associate degree from Tarrant County College NorthWest. She is an office manager for Decocrete and is continuing her education in business management.
Mariana Duke: A place to unwind
Where I live, I get the city lifestyle mixed with a family culture. I work in Dallas and the commute hasn’t been an issue for me because I know that when I get home I’ll come to a peaceful and quiet environment. The best part is that it is without having to move to the country.
Having a pond next to my house and it running to my backyard allows me to go sit down, unwind and relax while I listen to running water after a long day at work. My kids get to run around and enjoy their playground in the meantime. I call that a win-win, emphasizing that the city also comes with peaceful environments. The bonus is you get to hop into the traffic and get to places in a matter of a few minutes.
Berkshire community has become family to our family of six. We have endured storms, hail, outages, constructions, and each time we have all offered to help one another. We have become close friends with a few neighbors and plan play dates for our kids. We love where we live!
Mariana Duke has lived in Fort Worth for over 26 years. Duke is a licensed cosmetologist, online boutique owner, studied business management, and has been in the telecommunications industry for over 8 years.
Nancy Kimbro: Neighbors to rely on
It all started when my husband took a new job and we needed to move closer. Our daughter and family lived in North Fort Worth, so we knew we wanted to be near them as well. We found a new construction home in the Berkshire development that fit our needs perfectly and put us 0.8 miles from our 3½-year-old granddaughter. We were coming from a three-lot situation in rural Runaway Bay where we had no HOA and had space from neighbors, peace and quiet.
We could not have known what an awesome neighborhood we were moving into! I immediately joined the Berkshire Facebook page to become familiarized with the area as well as our neighbors. One night, I needed two potatoes for dinner because I failed to plan properly. I decided to reach out and see if anyone had a couple I could borrow. Within minutes I had a response of “they’re on my porch at XXXX, come and get them, they’re yours.” No payment was needed, just the generosity of a new neighbor. I was blown away!
Since then, it has become even more apparent what a wonderful group of people share Berkshire. If you need something, someone will have it for you. If you need help with something, multiple people will come to your aid. If you need a doctor/dentist/attorney referral, you will get many recommendations.
During the February freeze, the true character of the residents came out in full force — checking on those who were riding it out, offering to share their motel room to those who couldn’t find one, bringing food, water, whatever to those who needed it because they couldn’t leave. It was truly amazing!
I was asked to join the Berkshire Welcome Committee and get to deliver welcome baskets to newcomers to make them feel at home. Kinney and I are truly blessed beyond measure by moving to Berkshire and making great friends. It’s a wonderful place to live!
Nancy Kimbro and her husband, Kinney, moved into the Berkshire neighborhood in May, 2020. She is semi-retired and keeps her 4-½ year-old granddaughter, Harper and works part time for American Legend homes as a Sales Assistant.
Berkshire Census Breakdown
Berkshire, a master-planned community, is located in the 28.3-square-mile census tract 1141.03, which includes other neighborhoods as well. This data includes some individuals beyond the Berkshire community.
Total population: 28,891
Two or more races: 2%
0 to 9: 18%
10 to 19: 16%
20 to 29: 10%
30 to 39: 17%
40 to 49: 16%
50 to 59: 10%
60 to 69: 7%
70 to 79: 3%
Less than high school graduate: 5%
High school graduate (includes equivalency): 23%
Some college or associate’s degree: 33%
Bachelor’s degree or higher: 39%
Median earning (population 25 years and over): $110,171