David Miller is the Managing Editor of Loveland Magazine

Cardinal Land Conservancy Secures Future of Historic Grailville Site

Threat of development leads to protection in perpetuity

by David Miller

Loveland/Miami Township, Ohio – In sending a press release with this good news for the Loveland and Miami Township residents who worked so tirelessly preserving 89 acres of land at Grailville “in perpetuity”, Andy Dickerson with the Cardinal Land Conservancy said, “David, we’re getting ready to send this out, but I wanted to send it to you first. We just found out this morning… good news!”


Andy Dickerson

After a yearlong effort in collaboration with The Grail and the Grail Land Preservation Group, Cardinal Land Conservancy has received favorable confirmation from the Natural Resources Assistance Council District 10 that its application is being recommended for funding to the Ohio Public Works Commission.

The $4.897 million grant through the Clean Ohio Green Space Conservation Program will allow Cardinal to purchase 89 acres of the historic Grailville site in Loveland. Once used for spiritual growth, education, farming, and retreats, this property became a target for development in recent years due to its desirable location. Outspoken community members and former members of The Grail partnered with Cardinal to protect its scenic natural areas, historic buildings, and spiritual legacy.

For over 70 years, Grailville served as a retreat center and organic farm for The Grail, an international women’s organization focused on spirituality, ecology, and social justice. The property includes woodlands, wetlands, and productive farmland. Its historic buildings date from the 1830s and are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The House of Joy at Grailville

The grant is the largest in Cardinal Land Conservancy’s 8-year history. It adds to the over 8,500 acres the land trust has already protected in Southwest Ohio. Cardinal holds and monitors 57 easements on private properties and the titles to 11 nature preserves to ensure the land is protected from development and maintained in a largely natural condition. Cardinal is based in Milford however hopes to relocate its offices to the House of Joy on the Grailville site.

Sharon Scovanner (Loveland Magazine file photo)

Loveland resident Sharon Scovanner with the Grail Land Preservation Group told Loveland Magazine yesterday, “Today was a big day. It looks like the funding is coming through which is just amazing. It feels amazing what we have been able to accomplish in these eighteen months.”

“The protection of this new nature preserve in Loveland will be a huge benefit for the community as Cardinal Land Conservancy will protect it in perpetuity, said Dickerson in the early news release to Loveland Magazine.

Cardinal will need to raise additional funds to restore select buildings on site for public and private use and eventually open the property as a public nature preserve. Dickerson says that restoration efforts will begin as early as possible. Cardinal also hopes to work with healthcare professionals to utilize this preserve as a place where they can meet patients and “prescribe” nature as a treatment for certain mental and physical health problems.

This LOVELAND MAGAZINE TV video is from an August public hearing before the Clermont County Commission in which members of the Grail Land Preservation Group and the Grail advocated Commission support for securing the grant.

In this LOVELAND MAGAZINE TV video, Andy Dickerson explained the details of the grant and what he was asking the Miami Township Trustees to do.

About Cardinal Land Conservancy:

Cardinal Land Conservancy is a nationally accredited land trust serving 7 counties in Southwest Ohio. Its mission is to preserve waterways, native habitat, farmland, and open space in Southwest Ohio by working with individuals, families, and communities. For more information, visit www.cardinallandconservancy.org.

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