Grailville has been accepted into Kroger’s Community Rewards program. That means that you can now earn money for Grailville when you shop at Krogers! We would really appreciate your help – this simple step can create a significant source of revenue for Grailville!
To do this, you need to link your Kroger Plus card to Grailville’s Community Rewards Account number:
- Go to www.krogercommunityrewards.com and click the green ‘enroll now’ button
- Create a user account (you will need to enter your Kroger Plus card number)
- Confirm your account by replying to the email from Krogers
- Link your account to Grailville by editing your profile – Grailville’s account number is 83541.
This is a great and simple way to support Grailville. If you would like more information or need some help registering your please do not hesitate to contact Grailville’s Offices at 513.683.2340 and ask for Morgan Lyn.
Why Volunteer at Grailville?
Below are a list of the Top 5 Reasons why it is a great idea to become a volunteer at Grailville.
#5: It’s good for you.
Volunteering at Grailville provides physical and mental rewards. We here at Grailville are stewards to 315 acres of land that promote serenity, simplicity and enlightenment. After spending some time at Grailville you will leave with less stress and a renewed sense of self.
#4: You are a resource.
Volunteering provides valuable help and resources to Grailville’s dedicated staff. Your time and skills will make a world of assistance that only another set of hands and skill set can provide. The estimated value of a volunteer’s time is $15.39 per hour. Volunteering for just one hour a week is the equivalent to giving an annual gift of $800 to Grailville!
#3: It brings the community together.
As a volunteer you will be able to work with and beside a diverse group of people all working for the common goal of making Grailville better. Not only is there a sense of teamwork, it is also a fellowship of those who share in this sacred place and our mission.
#2: You get a chance to give back.
We all strive to walk in the Grailville mission. By volunteering you create an opportunity to schedule and plan for time to actively support the Grailville community and be a benefit by being a supportive and caring resource to the mission and the place.
#1: You believe in Grailville.
At Grailville, our volunteer opportunities are unique, varied and designed to help our community, teach our volunteers new skills and to inspire their everyday lives. Projects encompass one-day, short-term and long-term schedules and cross many areas of interest.
As stewards of 315 acres, Grailville relies on a community of volunteers to help us maintain a beautiful, accessible, and mindful space. This year, Grailville will host two Grailville Volunteer Days (April 26 and July 12) ideal for: families who want to spend together-time; students and youth groups needing service projects hours; and businesses that support employee volunteering. All are WELCOME!
Grailville is also currently scheduling group volunteer dates for schools, team building activities and conferences throughout the year. Grailville group volunteer activities see the best results with 15-20 individuals for a 3-hour block between April and October. If you are in need of a group volunteer site for your organization, contact us today to discuss dates and options.
To become a volunteer at Grailville, contact Grailville’s Volunteer Coordinator, Terrie Puckett, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 513.683.2340.
Grailville was recently chosen as the recipient for the Clermont County Chamber of Commerce 2014 Salute to Leaders award. This award honors non-elected individuals or organizations that have made a major contribution to the quality of life in Clermont County in 2013.
Grailville’s Farm Manager, Mary Lu Lageman in the fields.
Grailville was granted the award in the “Environmental” class. Originally, this was part of the Environment/Parks/Recreation category, but it was divided into three awards because there were so many nominees. The overall category is defined as:
An individual or organization that has made an impact on improving preservation, development of green space, the environmental quality of life in Clermont County, or providing recreational opportunities for the citizens of our county.
Grailville also won The Salute to Leaders in 2001 for the 2000 year. The award was in the same category, but came before we built the constructed wetlands.
The awards dinner will be held on March 11th at the Oasis Conference Center in Loveland. If anyone would like to attend the event, please contact Terrie Puckett at email@example.com for further information.
One foot in front of the other, I make my way along the South Trail at Grailville. The absence of city noise, traffic, pollution- is thoroughly refreshing. My breath falls naturally into a deep pattern. Breathing in, I welcome peace. Breathing out, I let go of my stress. I enjoy the inclines and challenges that this trail offers. My legs feel strong and capable!
As I turn the corner, I take a moment to absorb the beautiful art that is in front of me. A stunning owl sculpture, beautiful fabric installations, and an artistic bench highlight the natural beauty of this place. Further along the trail, I stop to play the musical instruments on the “upper loop.” The singing birds compliment the sounds of the tree xylophone. This trail offers me exercise, time to reflect, beauty, and holistic well-being.
Hiking is an incredible sport full of adventure and physical benefit. Weight loss, decreased hypertension, and improved mental health are some of the many physical benefits that hiking offers. Hiking also helps folks to connect to the natural world. Hikers become familiar with various plant and animal species, weather patterns, and natural flows of the land.
At Grailville, we have enhanced the beauty of our trailways with nature-inspired art. The installations provide spaces along the trail to stop and reflect, such as the Meditation Garden on the South Trail and the “Hope” space on the North Trail. Musical instruments, sculptures, mosaics, bird houses, hanging mobiles, art benches, tree sweaters, and other art forms infuse the trailways with creativity!
Grailville offers hikers a holistic experience, full of inspiration. The trails are both physically challenging and thought provoking.
Since its launch in Fall 2011, the Grailville Trail Project has engaged over 300 individuals in trail art projects and maintenance. The project is propelled by quarterly Trail Volunteer Days, which provide opportunities for the community to beautify the land at Grailville. Trail Volunteer Days are geared towards people of all ages, interests and levels of experience, and a great way to meet interesting folks from the community and spend time in the great outdoors! They are family friendly and volunteers consistently comment that Trail Volunteer Days are “full of fun” and “a great way to build community.”
Please join us for a hike, volunteer day, and/or natural art installation!
Posted in General Interest
Tagged community, Grailville, grants, green, hiking, light, Loveland, meditation, nature, non profit, Ohio, Ohio Arts Council, retreat, search, sustainability, sustainable, trails, walking, zen
One of our sponsors for Grailville’s upcoming Farm to Fork: A Celebration of Women Farmers event and a long time supporter and collaborator is Xavier University. This year Xavier University announced the addition of 3 new sustainability degrees. Find out more about Xavier’s unique programs and philosophy of agricultural based programs in a liberal arts educational framework from Xavier’s own Kathleen Smythe, a professor in the program.
Xavier University has just launched three new undergraduate sustainability degrees. The most unusual in terms of our current course offerings is our LAND Bachelor of Arts degree. The full title is the Land, Farming and Community degree and it is inspired by a number of perspectives. Most obvious, perhaps, is Aldo Leopold’s idea of “land community,” a notion that calls humans to membership in, not simply stewardship of, the land or ecological communities of which they are a part. Second, increasing popularity of farmers’ markets, restaurants that serve local food, and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs all suggest a shift in human consciousness, perhaps a return to a human truth, that food is an essential element in our humanity. The role of the sacred meal in all human societies suggests how far we have strayed from a meaningful connection to the sustenance our bodies require.
We have commodified food and its production, reducing our connection to it in ways that, as Wendell Berry eloquently argues, have done violence to our families, bodies, and communities. We are beginning to realize that such a distorted relationship to food impacts far more than what we eat; it affects our health and longevity, our social relationships, our communities’ vitality and resilience, our educational aspirations, and our spiritual well-being. Thus, many at Xavier (and elsewhere) are acting on the belief that a more humane future requires a very different relationship to our food and the way it is grown, processed and distributed.
In this view, agriculture is the ultimate foundation for a liberal arts degree in that it suggests a well-rounded, multidisciplinary perspective on human history. This is in contrast to the dominant interpretation in the United States since the middle of the twentieth century, that agriculture is primarily a science. While it is important to understand the science of soils, plants, and climates, it is just as important to know the art of agriculture–the historical, economic, theological, literary and folk traditions that have been part of our collective journey to this point in time.
While the LAND degree obviously seeks graduates, the course and degree work in agriculture are essential to Xavier’s position as an important regional educational institution in the early 21st century. Recognizing the far-reaching impact of our agricultural and food policy and choices, Xavier graduates now have the opportunity to take a course related to agriculture in a number of disciplines. In particular, as Xavier seeks to educate for societal engagement, an agricultural degree and its component courses, are an important part of a well-educated public. There is a need to bridge the divide between the private and scientific interests in agriculture (heavily invested in production and increasing production) and public interest in agriculture (increasingly interested in quality and environmental sustainability). Creating a public capable of such work is part of the objective of Xavier’s LAND major.
Correcting a long-standing urban bias in college education is another objective. Our education has given little attention to the quality and work of rural living and has contributed to a global unsustainable trend of rural “brain drain.” Industrialized agriculture is capital intensive but not labor intensive. Therefore, what in the early twentieth century were diversified rural economies in Iowa and Indiana, for example, have become primary economies in corn or soybeans, commodities for industry and export, not local consumption. Rural exodus has been the result, not just in the United States, but across the globe.
What is even more insidious is the impact this has had on youth in farming areas. For, as sociologists Patrick Carr and Maria Kefalas show in their book, Hollowing Out the Middle: Rural Brain Drain and What it Means for America, parents and educators alike in rural America are encouraging their best and brightest to leave town for greater opportunities, sealing the fate of their own hometown in the process. If we seek meaningful employment for the greatest numbers, as well as ready access to healthy food across the country, the trend toward glorifying urban living (as Richard Florida does) must be balanced with an understanding of the aggregate costs of such choices.
I have encountered a number of students from rural areas who were encouraged to leave for better opportunities elsewhere and who find the study of agriculture a surprising lens through which to examine their own experience and family history. In a class in Spring 2012, two students from rural backgrounds indicated that the course deeply impacted the way they thought about their future. Prior to the course, each assumed that they would have to build a life in an urban area, a lesson they had imbibed in their hometown growing up. Both realized that their choices were wider than they had realized and included living in a rural area, if not their hometown.
Xavier’s LAND degree integrates the Jesuit tradition and education of the whole person with sustainability, and aims to produce liberal arts farmers, entrepreneurs, policy-makers, etc. grounded in practical experience, scientific inquiry, questions of ethics, morality and spirituality while suffusing our university with discussions about food and agriculture from a holistic perspective.
For more information about our degrees or to visit our campus to see some of our onsite initiatives, please click here.
Dr. Kathleen Smythe
One of the major missions of The Grail & Grailville is to cultivate the creative power of women. We feel that the creativity of women is empowering, enlightening, and can be seized in a way that promotes leadership and strong futures for women around the world. As a transformative artist (an artist that cultivates communal & individual healing through the arts), I strongly relate to our effort to cultivate creative endeavors. The Trail Project that I have been managing for the past two years is one way that I have engaged the arts at Grailville. It has been a process of cultivating community and encouraging the release of creative energy on the trail ways. Creativity has manifested in sculptures, chimes, art benches, bird houses, and much more!
I engage with The Grail’s creative mission in several ways; one involves travelling, teaching, and leading community art projects around the world. For the past three weeks, I have been on a “transformative arts” journey! My trip started with a mosaic mural workshop at The Magic Gardens in Philadelphia. Isaiah Zagar, a famous community artist, taught me and the other participants his very unique folk art mosaic style. We installed a 3-panel mosaic in South Philadelphia. I was able to immediately put these skills to use, as I led a mosaic mural project for the BuildaBridge International Institute with 25 people. At the November National Grail gathering, I will put the mosaic-making skills to use again as I lead the Grail women in a collaborative project. I hope to keep employing mosaic mural making in my community art work! It is a wonderful means of collaborating and celebrating the metaphors that “every piece finds its place” and “harmony can be created from broken pieces.”
On my trip, I also taught a few courses for an international community arts institute called the BuildaBridge Annual Insititute. 25 artists and community leaders from around the country attended this year’s institute to discuss the role of the arts in: human development, healing, education, and community development. I taught “Arts in Social Services,” “Arts for Transformation,” and I assisted in the development of a curriculum and simulation for “Arts Relief & Recovery.” All of these topics are very complex, interesting, and multi-faceted. And so many of them directly apply to programming at Grailville and the international work of The Grail.
I am looking forward to further integrating my artwork and teaching in the transformative arts field here at Grailville!
Grailville Retreat & Program Center
Dear Grailville Writers,
I’m writing to make sure you know about events the weekend of September 7 with the fabulous writer Rebecca McClanahan. Rebecca was one of my teachers/mentors at Queens University’s MFA program. She is in high demand for writing workshops throughout the country—in fact we are already filling up the workshop with writers from other parts of Ohio, from Pennsylvania, Kentucky….But don’t worry, there is room for you too!
Rebecca’s tenth book, The Tribal Knot: A Memoir of Family, Community, and a Century of Change, is the focus of her rare visit to this area. (She has also published five books of poetry, a collection of essays, and three books of writing instruction include Word Painting: A Guide To Writing More Descriptively, which is used as a text in numerous writing programs.) We are lucky enough to have her at Grailville for two events: a workshop, Making Their Stories Your Own: Shaping the Raw Material of Family History with Rebecca McClanahan,on Saturday, September 7, 10 am – 5 pm, and a reading and book discussion as part of Original Light, our Arts Celebration (and Grailville Supper!) on Sunday, September 8 from 4 pm- 7 pm. (Rebecca’s talk will begin the event at 4 pm, followed by an art opening of a photography and mixed media exhibit from various artisans of Grailville’s longtime colleagues, the Yellow Springs Dharma Center.)
Please note that while Rebecca’s events are included as part of our Practice of Poetry series, the events will focus on literary nonfiction as well as poetry and all forms of writing. The program is to be a sure fit to anyone interested in family or cultural history, memoir, or the writing craft.
What else can I say about Rebecca? She is an amazing teacher! I only had her for one semester at Queens, and learned so much about the craft of literary nonfiction. I’ve used chapters from her writing instruction books in classes I teach and as inspiration for my own writing. And while you might not (yet) find her name on a bestseller list, her publications and awards are impressive (and barely begin to do her justice). Her work has appeared in The Best American Poetry, The Best American Essays, The Pushcart Prize series, Kenyon Review, Georgia Review, Gettysburg Review, Boulevard and in anthologies published by Beacon Press, Norton, Doubleday, St. Martin’s, Putnam, Penguin, and numerous other publishers. Her work has also been aired on public radio’s “The Sound of Writing,” “The Writer’s Almanac,” and “Living on Earth.” Her awards include the Wood Prize from Poetry, the Carter prize for the essay from Shenandoah, and literature fellowships from The New York Foundation for the Arts, the North Carolina Arts Council, and the MacDowell Colony. And despite all of this, she is as warm and unassuming a person as you would ever hope to share writing with!
Here is a link to a flyer about Rebecca’s latest book, The Tribal Knot, which includes a code for 30% off print or e-book. FYI—Rebecca will also be interviewed on WVXU’s “Around Cincinnati” in September (show airs at 7 pm) and she will read and sign books at Joseph Beth Crestview Hills on Monday, September 9 at 7 pm, sponsored by Thomas More College. You’ll be able to sit back and say, “Hey, I know her.
Practice of Poetry Facilitor & Senior Program Associate
Since fall 2011, Grailville has been working to revitalize the trails on our property. A major component of this effort has been art installation on the trails. Since fall 2011, Grailville has installed art benches, sculptures, bird houses, mosaics, and much more! On June 14th, 2013, Grailville hosted a visiting artist. Pam Siegler is a trail artist from Mulberry, Tennessee. Her trail artwork features natural instruments that anyone can stop and enjoy, and words, quotes and designs randomly placed to enhance the hiker’s experience with her land. She has been featured in the Tempo Magazine of the Elk Valley Times of Fayetteville, Tennessee and has an article describing the inception and implementation of her innovative nature trail experiences in American Trails online magazine. Siegler is a retired middle and high school science and choral teacher, she has an MA in education and currently teaches private voice, piano, and guitar lessons and works in her shop (a converted double car garage) creating heart messages, gourd chimes, musical instruments, and custom walking sticks for hikers. She installed two xylophones, wind chimes, heart messages, and walking stick art on our South Trail. Check out all of the pictures of her installing and creative play!
To visit Pam’s website, please click here.
Visitors to the Grailville Store will find a number of new items this Summer and returning visitors will still enjoy the eclectic variety of Fair Trade items from around the world that we have been focusing on for the past several years.
The Grailville Store is also the sole outlet for Trina Paulus’ sculptures including “Adsum,” “Fiat,” “Meditation,” “Holy Family,” and her timeless “Nativity” set. This is available either as a complete 17-piece set, or in smaller combinations: Starter Set: Mary, Joseph and Infant; Shepherd Set: Shepherd, sheep, boy with lamb and girl with basket; Wise Men Set: Arab, African and Asian with gifts and an Epiphany Child. Individual pieces are also available for replacement a lost or damaged figure in the Nativity Set.
From Ten Thousand Villages we have added a wonderful selection of scarves and shawls from countries such as Nepal, India, Bolivia and more. The soft warmth of alpaca wool is a favorite as is the stunning variety of silks as well as cotton, viscose and rayon.
In addition we have introduced a selection of jewelry from around the world. Earrings and necklaces using turquoise from Peru and other South America countries are popular. Silver, bone, wood, tagua nut and more make for an interesting display.
Of course, baskets from Uganda with their intricately woven designs are very colorful and reasonably priced. The collection of crèche sets from around the world features kisii stone nativities from Kenya, colorful nativities from Peru, Mexico, Guatemala and Chile, along with hand-carved olive wood nativities and Christmas ornaments from the West Bank. Lamps made from Himalayan rock salt are beautiful and unusual.
We carry earrings designed and made by women in Cincinnati at the Sarah Center an enrichment center that encourages women to develop their strengths and talents.
Herbal pillar candles, chakra candles and soy filled votives as well as travel candles from Crystal Journey Candles are unique and sought after. A new line of nature based cards and bookmarks from Your True Nature offer sound but humorous advice from trees, rivers, gardens and animals. Heartwood Creations is a family company whose small handmade wooden boxes we have carried for a number of years. The exquisite inlaid designs and etched “word” boxes make delightful gifts.
You will also find cards and journals from Brush Dance and books by Grail authors and friends.
AMA Samy, a Jesuit priest and Zen Master from India offers a meditation retreat at Grailville each year and we are fortunate to carry his books in our store.
We know that we are helping provide a means of livelihood for the families who produce these hand-made items and at the same time we are able to help support the ongoing work of Grailville itself.
Grailville Store Manager
The Grailville Store is open Monday thru Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and Saturday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. If you would like to purchase some of the Grailville Store merchandise online, please click here.