UNION TOWNSHIP — It is undoubtedly clear to all of us that open, forested and agricultural lands are too rapidly disappearing in Clinton County, as well as elsewhere in the United States. However, this is not a trend that goes unnoticed or unchallenged.
Just this year a very special 221 acres at the intersection of Nelson and Center Roads and situated along Todd’s Fork, a tributary of the Little Miami National and Wild Scenic River here in Union Township, has been set aside.
It is a very special piece of land. It is called Todd’s Fork Nature Preserve and it will continue its current undeveloped status forever.
It is part of the Cardinal Land Conservancy (CLC), an Ohio non-profit land trust that grew out of a 2014 merger of Clinton County Open Lands Inc., the Southern Ohio Farmland Preservation Association, and The Citizens’ Land Conservancy of Hamilton County, with the Cincinnati Nature Center as a strategic partner.
Some may recall that Clinton County Open Lands was started as a Leadership Clinton project and several Clinton Countians supported it from its beginning in 2004. Cardinal’s service area now includes Adams, Brown, Clermont, Clinton, Hamilton, Highland and Warren Counties.
Currently, Cardinal holds easements or fee simple ownership of nearly 5,000 acres in these seven counties, and is always looking for additional land to preserve.
“All total, Cardinal holds and stewards Conservation Easements and donated land that protect 33 properties for their scenic, natural and/or agricultural conservation values. In addition to holding easements on a few thousand acres of farmland, we currently own and protect six nature preserves,” said Andy Dickerson, executive director of Cardinal Land Conservancy on a recent hike on the Todd’s Fork Preserve, one of the six nature preserves.
There are state and federal monies available for this sort of purchase, but they must meet very special and clear criteria. In the case of the Todd’s Fork Preserve, the Clean Ohio Green Space Fund helped Cardinal purchase the land.
In another development, Cardinal also was recently awarded Clean Ohio Farmland Preservation money to help preserve farmland through the Local Agricultural Easement Purchase Program. Interested farm landowners can contact Mr. Dickerson at 513-752-2828. The deadline to apply for that program is coming up soon, on Jan. 30, 2019.
Not enough can be said about the advantages that are possible for those who wish to preserve their land.
It is also important to know that special arrangements can be made so special characteristics of your property can be maintained — each agreement is personalized as much as possible within the law or the grant program guidelines.
If you might be interested to speaking about these possibilities, you may phone Andy Dickerson or Laura Curliss at 513-600-7171.
Clinton County truly has a lot to celebrate in the efforts being made to preserve our green heritage.