Thursday, April 8, 2004

Valley Orchards will become sports complex



By Brenna R. Kelly
The Cincinnati Enquirer

BURLINGTON - A longtime Boone County farm and orchard will become a park.

The Hempfling family has grown apples and peaches for more than 70 years at Valley Orchards on Ky. 8 in Hebron.

Charles and Doris Hempfling have agreed to sell 70 acres to Boone County and donate another 18.5 acres for a park.

"They wanted to see the land continue to be green," said Boone County Judge-executive Gary Moore. "They didn't want to see it developed."

The land is next to Giles Conrad Park, a new riverfront park that is scheduled to open this spring.

"It will be one major recreation area," Moore said.

The almost 90 acres of Valley Orchards is flat and will be perfect for an outdoor sports complex, Moore said.

The athletic fields will carry the name Valley Orchards.

"That name has been a Boone County establishment for many years, selling produce and plants," Moore said.

The Hempflings sold apples, peaches and pumpkins at the farm.

The county will pay the Hempflings about $1.2 million over seven years, though the exact price has not been determined. The first payment will be made at closing.

Since the land had already been prepared, the family will continue to farm the land for a year.

Meanwhile, the county will complete a master plan for how to use the property.

The Hempflings' home is across Ky. 8 and not affected by the sale. The farm has been in Charles Hempfling's family since 1916.

The late Giles Conrad donated his land to the county for the riverfront park, which will feature trails and open space. Conrad gave 43 acres to the county.

E-mail bkelly@enquirer.com




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