Protecting and Preserving the Ohio River Corridor

The Journey to Protect Delshire Preserve

In the late 1960s, the Delhi subdivision of Delshire was created, consisting of 33 homes and surrounded by 17 acres of greenspace with steep ravines and terrain too difficult to build upon. The builder, foreseeing buyers’ attraction to homes surrounded by undeveloped greenspace, had the greenspace specifically zoned for park and recreational use, and later donated the land to a local recreation facility, with the intent that the property be kept untouched.

 


Rick and Diana Veid purchased their home in Delshire in 1992, and one of the major selling points was the vast woodland lying just beyond the home’s backyard. As they settled into the neighborhood, the Veids were continuously enthralled with the gorgeous scenery the woodland provided. Hundreds of wildflowers bloomed in the spring; a rainbow of foliage ushered in fall; and deer and flocks of birds called the greenspace home throughout the year. Several years after the Veids moved in however, this sanctuary was in danger of extinction.

Fast forward to 1994. Seeking financial aid to repair and maintain its facilities, the recreation facility decided to sell the gifted greenspace to the Drees Company. Drees had already begun to develop land on the other side of the greenspace and was interested in expanding further. However, before the sale could proceed with the process to re-zone the greenspace for residential use, the recreation facility had to receive signature approval from a majority of Delshire homeowners. Enter the Veids.

As one of the first homeowners approached by the facility, Diana reviewed the proposal and became extremely concerned for the future of the greenspace she and her family had come to respect and enjoy. She immediately contacted her neighbors, and thus began their journey to forever safeguard the wooded sanctuary. In search of a land conservation group that would not only protect the property but also maintain it, the Delshire community contacted the Western Wildlife Corridor (WWC) to assist them in the fight to protect their community asset.

By working cooperatively over the next two years, the Delshire community, WWC, Drees and the local recreation facility reached a viable solution that met everyone’s needs. In 1996, Drees purchased the 17 acres from the facility and deeded 13.4 of the acres to WWC. Drees also donated an additional $5,000 to WWC for land upkeep. With this solution, Drees was able to develop the two plots of land it wanted; the recreation facility received the money it needed for improvements; the neighbors of Delshire felt secure in the knowledge that a majority of the greenspace would remain so forever; and WWC came one step closer to its mission to protect and preserve the wildlife corridor along the Ohio River.

Today, the 13.4 acres of greenspace, now referred to as the Delshire Preserve, stands as one of the largest tracts of land under WWC’s care. WWC volunteers can often be seen on the preserve cutting back invasive alien plants like Amur honeysuckle and garlic mustard, or simply removing litter. Rick and Diana Veid know they fought a worthwhile battle every time they look out the window and take pleasure in the vast woodland that welcomed them into their home more than a decade ago.

Click here to see the map of Delshire Preserve