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Message from the President: Our Heritage, Our Legacy

The past two years have been nothing short of incredible for those who have dedicated a portion
of our hearts, souls, energy, and time to the creation of a natural burial sanctuary in Cincinnati.

Since the formation of Heritage Acres Memorial Sanctuary, LLC, in November 2016, an ever-growing group of people have committed to something larger than themselves. Now, two years in, Heritage Acres has not only become a hard-working team, but we're also a family. We are friends – many of whom did not even know each other a couple of years (or even months) ago – friends who discovered a shared vision.

And our vision is on the verge of becoming reality.

As we begin a new year, we are at last in negotiations to purchase the property that would become Heritage Acres. We have targeted a gorgeous, 40-acre parcel of rolling farmland in Pierce Township, owned and lovingly cared for by the same family since the late 19th century. In other words, this land has its own wonderful heritage, which we hope to be blessed with maintaining for generations to come. We would pledge to: keep it in its natural state; protect it from being "developed" into yet another suburban subdivision; and preserve it in perpetuity using an adapted model of natural conservation burial, first developed by Dr. Billy Campbell at the South Carolina Ramsey Creek Preserve more than 20 years ago.

A portion of this particular property, like much of Ohio itself, was de-forested for agricultural
purposes around the time of the founding of this country. In the years ahead, it is our goal to leave
behind a living legacy through selective re-forestation, planting and nurturing groves of memorial trees – some even growing on people’s graves – near the existing woodlands that skirt one corner of the parcel.

Another dream project we have is the creation of a grief garden, comprised of plants and
botanicals that possess a cultural heritage connected to death and grieving. We also envision foraging worksh
ops, other educational events, and maybe even one day, an arboretum. In short, we plan to carefully cultivate and maintain a natural setting for walking, hiking, and breathing in the fresh air.
On this land, folks can remember their loved ones and, yes, at times, grieve their loss. We ourselves
can find a final resting place that feels right... by returning to nature as it has always been.

At the beginning of this new and auspicious year in the life of Heritage Acres, I am energized by all
the possibilities over the horizon... that simply await. We are creating not only a heritage, but a legacy. 

I hope you will join us in this wonderful work.

Happy New Year!

The Heritage Acres Team Is Growing!

We are thrilled to welcome our new Communications Chair, Emily Paver.

As the Communications Chair, Emily will manage the Heritage Acres mailing list, facilitate the
distribution of the monthly newsletter, and coordinate our social media activity. Her background in
public relations and writing — in both the not-for-profit and for-profit sectors — will assist in
growing Heritage Acres' visibility in the Cincinnati area and beyond.

And Emily couldn't be more excited to join the team! "Although I'm fairly new to the world of
green burial," she shared, "I have always held a deep passion in my heart for both environmental sustainability and the normalization of death." Emily's upbringing in rural Appalachia instilled in her an unwavering connection to nature. "I was
that child. The one in muddy rubber boots who, to my mother's dismay, would always climb trees much too tall and bring home 'creepy crawlies' in glass jars to admire, study, and eventually release. That childhood wonder plays a key role in the person I strive to be today."

Emily moved to Cincinnati about 10 years ago, studied and worked at Northern Kentucky
University, and now lives in Covington, KY, with her spouse, Bobby, and dog, River.

Welcome to the team!
Monthly Poetry Submission
“Bury Me Amid Nature’s Beauties” 

In the wild forest-shade,
Under some spreading oak, or waving pine,
Or old elm, festoon’d with the gadding vine,
Let me be laid.

In this dim, lonely grot,
No foot, intrusive, will disturb my dust;
But o’er me songs of the wild bird shall burst –
Cheering the spot.

Not amidst charnel stones,
Or coffins dark, and thick with ancient mould –
With tatter’d pall, and fringe of canker’d gold
May rest my bones,

But let the dewy rose,
The snow-drop, and the violet lend perfume
Above the spot, where, in my grassy tomb,
I take repose.

Birds from the distant sea
Shall sometimes hither flock on snowy wings,
And soar above my dust in airy rings,
Singing a dirge to me!

– Anonymous

Your Chance to Make Heritage Acres RealComing Soon!

Remember the story of the Velveteen Rabbit? A child’s stuffed animal is transformed from
an object of fanciful imagination into a real rabbit, because of the love it receives from that child.

In the next few weeks, you will be receiving information about how you can help make Heritage Acres Memorial Sanctuary real. Right now, our proposed natural burial ground and nature preserve – the first of its kind within a 150-mile radius – exists only in our imaginations. But later this month, we will embark on a $250,000 Capital Fund Drive to make that dream a reality.

Here is a photo of the serene rolling hills of our potential Pierce Township property.

We begin our campaign on “solid ground” and with good news:

  • We have located the place we want to “plant” Heritage Acres. It is a lovely 40-acre parcel of farmland in Pierce Township, which has been owned by the same family for generations. That family shares our desire to have their land – which features gently rolling meadows, mature woods, a creek, a pond, and more – preserved in its natural state for future generations to enjoy.
  • Our Board has voted to make an offer on the property. We are currently in negotiations to purchase this land. The better our financial health, the better chance we have of closing the deal.

  • Several members of our Founders Circle and other supporters have given us a tremendous start toward our fundraising goal! In December, nine generous donors/families gave Heritage Acres a total of $49,420 to kick-start our fundraising campaign. A half dozen other generous donors/families have pledged to add more than $53,000 to that total in early January.

  • Thus, by the time we officially kickoff our Capital Fund Drive, we will have already received just over $100,000 of the $250,000 needed to purchase (and preserve) the property that will become Heritage Acres Memorial Sanctuary!

Another photo of a quietly flowing stream that supports the property's diverse plant life.

As you might imagine with any such transaction, time is of the essence. We intend to have this
campaign completed quickly, and our Board is confident that we are well-positioned to do so. An ever-growing number of enthusiastic supporters want Heritage Acres to become a reality. Our Facebook followers and mailing list are expanding daily and we have received wonderful press coverage.

Soon, we will be reaching out to the Cincinnati and the tri-state area community, to corporations 
and grant-giving organizations, to environmentally-minded philanthropists, and of course, to you,
asking for support of our vision for green burial in Cincinnati. When a representative of
Heritage Acres contacts you, please be ready to give as generously as you can.

Together, we will love this dream... into reality!

Board Member Spotlight: Cole Imperi

Heritage Acres' very own, Cole Imperi, was interviewed by the Cincinnati Enquirer on her work
as a "death companion" and her recent ethnobotanical research on how people use plants to deal
with death, dying, and mourning. Cole's passion for assisting others in the navigation of death
is one of the many reasons why we're honored to have her on the Heritage Acres team!

Watch her interview below and read the full article here.
Thanatologist Cole Imperi, photographed at her home in Covington, KY, on Thursday,
Dec. 13, 2018, is researching the way people use plants to deal with death, dying and mourning. "When people are better at coping with loss, they are better at coping with life," Imperi said. 
(Photo: Albert Cesare / The Enquirer)

Thank You, Founders Circle!

As we begin 2019, we at Heritage Acres Memorial Sanctuary offer our deep appreciation
and profound gratitude to our Founders Circle. Without these committed supporters,
Heritage Acres literally would not be possible. They are the very definition of “early adopters.”

In 2017, this group banded together to offer generous startup donations of $2,500 each to get
Heritage Acres going. Again in late 2018, many of these same folks answered the call with even more generous contributions to lay the foundation for our upcoming 2019 capital fund drive. You will learn more about their support – and how you can follow their example – in the months ahead.

Thank you, Founders Circle, and Happy New Year! 

Antoinette Asimus
Bob & Connie Booth
Maureen Boylan
Forrest Brandt & Kathy Wade
Donna & Mark Buckley
Frank Collins & Louise Lawarre
Gretchen & Rowley Elliston
Peg Fay-Feder
Bill Gupton & Jennifer Sanders
Ann & Hank Jarboe
Bob & Ellie Lamb
Joann Meyer
John & Shannon Murley
Julia Sandman
Tracy Jo Small
Joan & Mark Stoffregen
Les & Steph Tacy
Make A Donation Now!
Make A Burial Commitment Today
Volunteer At Heritage Acres Memorial Sanctuary
Learn More About Green Burial
Copyright © 2019 Heritage Acres Memorial Sanctuary, All rights reserved.

Mailing Address:
2710 Newtown Road
Cincinnati, OH 45244

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Heritage Acres Memorial Sanctuary · 2710 Newtown Road · Cincinnati, Ohio 45244 · USA

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