Hobart Urban Nature Preserve is located in the heart of Troy. Visitors can be replenished and inspired by activities such as bird-watching, leisurely walks and observing nature while escaping the hustle and bustle of city life.
Visitors enter via a country lane that is flanked by oak trees and a waving prairie. A trail system leads you through open grasslands, beside a wetland and past four welded steel modernist sculptures that were donated from the collection of the Hobart Welding Institute. The sculptures are placed in distinct habitats to highlight the relationship between nature and art.
In 1997, members of the William Hobart, Peter Hobart, William Howell and Robert Bravo families gave a generous 80 acre donation of farmland, located in the heart of Troy, to the Park District. In 1999, a master plan was created by Human Nature, Douglas Reed and Elizabeth Bravo-Benson. The plan is intended to celebrate the dialogue between the native and agrarian landscapes of Ohio, and it has been recognized with a national ASLA award and featured in several professional journals.
Phase one of the preserve was directed toward the major earthworks, re-sculpting the natural drainage patterns and creating a lake with wetland edges and the first trail loop. Two grants made this first phase possible, one from the Clean Ohio Conservation Fund and the other from the Land & Water Conservation Fund. 1,700 native trees and shrubs were planted along the new headwater streams and around the lake. Many of these were made possible through the Park District’s "One Tree at a Time" campaign, which encourages the public to buy trees in recognition of special people or organizations in their lives. The master plan calls for planting a total of over 10,000 trees, so there are many more opportunities.
Phase two of the preserve involved the entry drive, parking area, entry sign and wall. The main entry, off of Dorset Road, brings visitors into the preserve via a country lane experience that is flanked by Oak trees and waving prairie. The corten steel sign and gate, as well as the glacial boulder wall, help feature a unique mix of old and new. The steel also creates a visual linkage to some unique features in the preserve, four welded steel modernist sculptures, Eclipse, Split II, Weldicon, and Trinity, were donated from the collection of the Hobart Welding Institute. These sculptures are placed in four distinct habitats to highlight the relationship between nature and art. Check out this link to learn more about the Sculptures in the Park!
In harmony with the restored natural setting, land management is geared toward promoting a diversity of plant and animal life, providing a unique respite from the hustle and bustle of city life, where visitors can be replenished and inspired by activities such as bird-watching, leisurely walks, and observing the seasonal changes of the landscape. Continual development of the preserve are in the planning stages, adding interpretive signage, two trail loops, native plantings, educational and art opportunities to a new preserve just beginning to blossom.
Donation for park entrance
In continuing support of the Hobart Urban Nature Preserve, which the Hobart family donated to the Miami County Park District in 1997, the Hobart family donated 1498 shares of stock to be used for the development and construction of the Tyrone Street entrance to the Preserve. Julia Hobart of Troy, Katharine Hobart-Moore of Evergreen, Colorado, and Surridge Hobart-Frank of Boulder, Colorado donated the stock. The family has hired Human Nature of Cincinnati and Douglas Reed of Boston to prepare a conceptual design for the location. The final decision will meet with approval of the Park Board of Commissioners.