One man’s dream, now a 150-acre park

January 2, 2015 By Carrie Blackmore Smith
Cincinnati Enquirer

Driving through Milford's Valley View Nature Preserve in his pickup, Chris Habel points out the exciting things happening: developing wetlands, community gardens, a new hops operation, barns from the 1800s that are being restored.

The tough early years are now in his rearview mirror.

Twelve years ago, Habel had been a stranger – not even a Milford resident – when he opened his mouth at a city council meeting and suggested a plan to save 150 acres, including some of his wife's ancestral farm land, from becoming a subdivision.

Ultimately, he would convince many of his plan, take on a $2.5 million burden and overcome even his own doubts, as he fought for land that contains an extraordinary concentration of prehistoric sites and was settled by some of Milford's most influential families.

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