After a yearlong effort in collaboration with The Grail
and local community partners, Cardinal Land Conservancy has received favorable confirmation by 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 Movement, 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 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.
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. 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. 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.