Volunteers are the backbone of Valley View and we welcome people who are interested in helping us! We have a number of committees that are focused in different areas. Our volunteers include people of all ages, individuals, groups and people satisfying service hours. Please email or call if you are interested in learning more. All ideas and helping hands are welcome.
Development Committee – Valley View is a grass-roots, volunteer organization with an operating budget that is funded through events, donations and grants. The development committee works to secure community sponsors, help to build our membership and find appropriate grants to support our efforts so we can be financially secure.
Outreach Committee – The outreach committee takes the lead on planning and coordinating the various events and fundraisers we host throughout the year. Volunteers can jump in to help during a particular event or dive into the details of planning larger events such as Haunted Hayrides and Toast to the View.
Education Committee – Valley View serves as an outdoor classroom for Pattison Elementary and we work each year to bring more groups to the property. Outdoor education focuses on exploring, engaging all senses, moving, discovering and connecting with our natural world. Volunteers help us develop and lead fun experiences for children of all ages.
Agriculture Committee – Valley View has a number of agricultural projects including a well-established community garden with approximately 60 gardeners, bee hives, a one acre hops field and a 2 acre garden that is in development stages. With direction from the newly hired farm manager, the agriculture team works on general garden maintenance, plant propagation and harvesting fresh produce and hops.
Creative Arts Committee - There is a long history of fine arts, music and community fellowship at Arrowhead Farm. We have a passionate group eager to develop experiences for all ages to stimulate their imagination and explore their artistic talents. Volunteers will share in our plans and help us make our vision a reality.
Land Management- Our property is 190 acres so we have a long, ongoing to-do list. Property maintenance, brush removal, invasive control, structural repairs, construction and equipment maintenance and repair are all consistent tasks we need to address. Volunteers help on our organized work days and/or come at various times that work best for them to tackle specific work.
We are constantly working to maintain and improve our property for visitors. For decades before Valley View was formed, this land was used only for tenant farming. Work was done to prepare fields and grow crops, but there was no attention paid to invasive species such as honeysuckle or to what we now consider important cleanup and property maintenance chores. We couldn’t survive without our small mowing team who groom more than 5 miles of trails and we are so thankful to all the individuals, scout troops, schools and community organizations who have contributed to the thousands of volunteer hours over the past decade.
Valley View has two historic barns that were built by the ancestors of the Laudeman family in the mid 19th century. The photo above shows the dairy barn as it existed in 2003 after several days of clearing brush away to gain access to the structure. As you can see in the photo, the barn was collapsing and almost a complete loss when we first started working to restore it. This barn is benched into a hillside so that produce from the fields could be nearly red at near constant temperature. It has a hay loft and grapple with rail in the upper ridge beam so that hay could be brought in from the fields and put up for the winter to fee livestock. It is constructed of hand hewn mortise and tenon timbers and has a hand laid stone foundation. The structure was definitely worth saving and after hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars, it was as shown in the photo below. Our long term plan is to use this barn for education programs and potentially as a stage on the elevated floor for outdoor concerts
With each year that passes, more and more groups are coming to Valley View. Among others, the teachers at Pattison Elementary School which borders Valley View are regularly bringing their classes outside to Valley View to learn about the natural world and history of the area. One of the biggest roadblocks to expanding our outdoor education programs is that we do not have a space with seating, tables, a place to convene or serve as a meeting point. An open air shelter will provide the most versatility and service to the broadest range of visitors. The addition to our property will meet logistical and safety needs such as: ADA accessibility, lighting, protection from inclement weather, a staging area for gatherings, classes and hands-on learning.
We want this to be well beyond the average structure. The design of our shelter is both ambitious and the most progressive in our region. We have partnered with the Cincinnati Living Building Challenge Collaborative to create a design that is environmentally responsible and compliments Valley View’s natural setting. Our project will be a permanent example of specific choices we can all make to protect our natural resources and to give as much as we take. The Living Building Challenge is a rigorous green building certification which includes strict criteria regarding the site, water, energy, health, materials, equity and beauty. The program was developed by the International Living Future Institute. Our plans meet all the standards and we intend to be the first certified project in the Cincinnati region. The cost of such a shelter is substantial. At this time, we are working to secure the funding, donated materials and labor to build the shelter. If you would like to be a part of this project, please contact us to discuss further details.
We have had a number of projects generously completed by individuals, groups or businesses who have donated labor, professional services and equipment at no cost to Valley View to accomplish much-needed work that we simply would not have had the resources, funds or equipment to do ourselves. Mike McCurdy designed, constructed and funded the garden tool shed in 2013. It serves as much needed shared storage space for more than 55 gardeners.
Mike McCurdy and Bob Smith designed, constructed and funded the garden tool shed in 2013. It serves as much needed shared storage space for more than 55 gardeners.
HGC Construction and Mike Huseman have supported Valley View since day one completing both small and large scale projects. They constructed and installed the kiosk at the trailhead in 2005 which to date serves as an information point for our visitors. In 2016, HGC reconstructed the driveway at Arrowhead Farm, remedied major drainage issues, rebuilt a portion of the original farm road leading to the bottoms and repaired the access road at the south entrance to the property. This, in particular, was a project that Valley View would have waited literally years to complete.
Lykins Energy Solutions and Jeff Lykins provided more than half the necessary funding in 2015 when we had an emergency call to action to repair and replace the plumbing and heating system following a major boiler failure at the farmhouse at Arrowhead Farm. We were able to avoid additional damage to the house with the immediate assistance. Lykins Energy has also helped us greatly reduce our energy bills for the farmhouse making those utilities a manageable expense.
Duke volunteers with the Hamlet District helped at Arrowhead Farm in the summer of 2015 as a part of their Global Service Event. They arrived with heavy equipment including bucket trucks and took down a number of hazardous limbs and dead trees. It was amazing what they accomplished in one day.
Kevin and Liz Jones, owners of Tree Top Tree Trimming donated their time and equipment for the day in the summer of 2016 chipping cedars trees, along with most of the honeysuckle that had been cut on the right side of the driveway at Arrowhead. Sean is a long-time friend of Valley View’s that has worked on our barns and equipment. Most recently, Sean completely rebuilt and refinished our old Ford Tractor.