Advancing its Mission of “Renewal of the Earth”
Miami Township, Ohio, – Grailville, just on the outskirts of Loveland — a center of The Grail in the U.S. — announces that 40 acres of land has been placed into a conservation easement and purchased by Clermont County Park District through a Clean Ohio Fund grant. The grant requires that deed restrictions be placed on the acreage that prevents it from being developed. The Park District plans to manage the land as a natural area with hiking trails.
The area will be open to the public once the trails and access are developed. The 40 acres of this sale raises the total placed in conservation easement and sold to The Park District to 113 acres. The initial sale—enabled by the Trust for Public Land—was for 73 acres in 2017.
The grant requires that deed restrictions be placed on the acreage that prevents it from being developed.
There have been concerns by neighbors and community members about the future of this land, considered a prime location to be developed, just outside the City of Loveland since The Grail in the U.S. voted to close the functions of the Grailville Retreat and Program Center in 2014. “The women of The Grail in the U.S. have taken their responsibility to this land seriously, voting that the number one priority for sale would be conservation,” according to Terrie Puckett, Executive Director of The Grail in the U.S. “It is important to them that what happens in this space that they love is aligned with our mission and values, which is why the process is now in year four.”
Called by our spiritual values, we envision a world of peace, justice and renewal of the earth brought about by women working together as catalysts for change.
Grailville, established in 1944, is a center in the U.S. for The Grail, an international women’s movement founded in the Netherlands in the 1920s. Their mission: Called by our spiritual values, we envision a world of peace, justice and renewal of the earth brought about by women working together as catalysts for change. The more than 230 members, 61% over the age of 80, reside across the U.S. in communities big and small and take part in a wide variety of actions and activities to live the Grail mission locally, nationally, and even globally, according to Puckett. Grail members meet in person every three years to evaluate how they are meeting the mission goals. At their meeting in 2014, they determined it was time to transition in order to meet new challenges facing members, communities, and the world. “The process has been one of prayer, discussion, exploration, and discernment,” said Puckett.
While the Grail has voted to sell approximately 240 acres of land, mostly to the south of O’Bannonville Road, they have retained about 72-acres on the north side to develop a revitalized Grail center on a smaller footprint, where they will invite community-based nonprofit organizations to develop micro-land projects. “By welcoming and supporting these projects we hope to encourage innovation and continued education, in an atmosphere that has a 74-year history of challenging individuals to step outside the boxes they are placed in or have placed themselves,” explained Puckett.
The remaining 100-plus acres on the south side, including 63 acres certified organic land, fields, and woodlands, are available for sale.
The remaining 100-plus acres on the south side, including 63 acres certified organic land, fields, and woodlands, are available for sale. “The process is slow moving as our members work with intentionality, but our goal is to be able to bring new life to that land within the next year bringing to a close our 5-year time of transition,” said Puckett.
Deborah Sullivan, Grail member and member of the National Leadership Team added, “Grailville holds special meaning to our members. Over the last 73 years, members of the Grail have adapted to an ever-changing and evolving world, moving from private farm, to Year School, to programming like Semester at Grailville and the emergence of the Grail Women Task Force, to how most Cincinnati area people have known Grailville – as the retreat and program center.”
What ails thee?
Sullivan also said that at each point Grail members have asked the question of the world “What ails thee?” and then moved to create a space that provided solutions and opportunities. “Our goal over the last four years—in answering that question has been to reimagine the future of The Grail in the U.S. and then determine how this space at Grailville helps us move our mission forward,” said Sullivan.
As in all transitions, our memories, relationships and knowledge stay with us even as the space changes to meet the challenges of a new generation.
“The U.S Grail is committed to maintaining a vibrant presence on our property to the north of O’Bannonville Road even as we find new uses for the land to the south,” Sullivan said. She added that they recognize that their moving forward may mean significant changes to the property as people who have visited or participated in a program know it or remember it. “We are committed to finding solutions that are congruent with our mission and values. As in all transitions, our memories, relationships and knowledge stay with us even as the space changes to meet the challenges of a new generation.”