Category Archives: land protection

Summer Outdoor Education Series

Get outside with our Summer Outdoor Education Series!  We have something for everyone!  The programs are all free.  However, please consider a donation to 3VCT if you enjoy these programs.

Precious Preschoolers

Preschoolers checking out cool creek critters.

June 10, 9:30 to 11 am.  CRAZY COOL CREEKIN’.  For preschoolers and their adults.  Explore the amazing critters that live in our local creeks!  Come prepared to get wet and dirty!  Meet at the Edge of the Farm Conservation Area (5398 McCoy Rd).




Wonderful Wednesdays

Meet at the Fitton Center for a beautiful bike ride!

June 14 at 6 pm.  BEAUTIFUL BIKING. Bring the whole family and join Amy Weber for a family friendly ride along the Miami River Bike Trail in Hamilton.  Meet at the Fitton Center, 101 S. Monument in Hamilton.




June 21 at 9 am.  THE TREES AROUND YOU.  Join Richard Munsen from Miami University and L’Obel Nursery to learn all about the trees around you.  Meet at Ruder Preserve, at the corner of Bonham Rd. and Shadowy Hills in Oxford.

June 28 at 6 pm.  HERON ROOKERY VISIT.  Come see great blue herons near the end of their nesting season at their rookery on Four Mile Creek!  Meet at 690 Hogue Rd. in Hamilton.

Backyard Birders

Backyard Birders out in their element!

It is not too late to join our Back Yard Birding program for 3rd to 6th graders!  The second of five meetings is June 19 at the Edge of the Farm Conservation Area, 5398 McCoy Rd in Oxford.  Our wonderful instructor Suellen Albert is using Cornell Lab of Ornithology BirdSleuth and Habitat ConnecEons curriculum to help kids learn about birds in our area!  Email to register.  Visit this link for future dates and locations.

Share Button

Save the Date! The Summer Picnic is on June 25th!

Come enjoy good friends and good food at the annual picnic!

Bring your family and friends and join us for the Annual Summer Picnic on Sunday June 25 from 12 to 3 pm at Leonard Howell Park on Bonham Rd!   There will be a potluck lunch at noon followed by a tree dedication at Ruder Preserve in honor of Orie Loucks, one of 3VCT’s founders.

Following the dedication there will be a variety of activities including canoeing, lawn games, a watermelon eating contest, a hike to the Black Covered Bridge with a talk on its history by Steve Gordon, and music throughout the afternoon.  We look forward to seeing you at this great family event!

Share Button

The 52nd Annual Hueston Woods Arts and Crafts Fair is this weekend!

52nd Annual Hueston Woods Arts & Crafts Fair Flyer

Come join us this Saturday and Sunday (June 10-11) at the 52nd Annual Hueston Woods Arts & Crafts Fair where volunteer representatives of Three Valley will host a booth alongside regional artists and crafters. Our natural surroundings and habitat provide inspiration for the artists exhibiting their work at the fair, so it makes sense to us that we join in the fun! Stop by to say hello and learn more about our summer educational programming. The fair is being held from 10 am to 5 pm each day at the Pioneer Farm, 6924 Brown Rd. in Oxford. Admission is $4 for adults 12 and older; children under 12 are free. Proceeds support the preservation and educational outreach programs of the Oxford Museum Association.

Share Button

Salamander Run Preserve Transfer Celebration

Steve Gordon (TVCT), Randy Evans (TVCT), Eric Hollins (TVCT), Thomas Schneider (OH EPA), Laura Hafer (OH EPA), and Agnes Marchlewska (TVCT) / Photo provided by Mark Boardman

Salamander Run, a beautiful natural area comprising over 125 acres of restored wetlands, woodlands and prairie, is now the newest public park of MetroParks of Butler County. On May 21, Three Valley Conservation Trust helped to celebrate the transfer of Salamander Run Preserve to MetroParks of Butler County.  The park is in Morgan Township located at 4821 Layhigh Rd. Hamilton OH 45013.

Thomas Schneider (OH EPA), Jonathan Granville (MetroParks of Butler County), and Mark Boardman (TVCT) participate in the ribbon cutting/ Photo by Steve Gordon

Once farmland, the land required considerable restoration including removing invasive plant species such as honeysuckle, replanting large areas with native trees, and recreating ponds and vernal pools. Walking trails from a parking area will allow nature lovers to enjoy the plants and animals of several wildlife habitats and experience more natural Ohio environments. The name, Salamander Run reflects the presence of one of its native inhabitants – salamanders.

Hiking at Salamander Run Preserve/ Photo by Steve Gordon

Irises blooming in a vernal wetland at Salamander Run Preserve/ Photo by Steve Gordon

Eric Hollins, a subcontractor at Three Valley Conservation Trust, was the principal person in charge of the restoration projects. He was assisted by Steve Gordon as well as many other people (volunteers and other subcontractors) and many local and regional governmental agencies and non-profits.  Restoring this property and making it available to the public as a park owned and operated by MetroParks of Butler County is a remarkable illustration of constructive collaboration of private landownership, government agencies (local, regional, state, and federal), non-profit entities (e.g. TVCT) and volunteer citizens.  The conservation of this property is legally guaranteed by a conservation easement which will be monitored by Three Valley Conservation Trust in perpetuity.  Congratulations to everyone involved.

Salamander Run Preserve is part of the larger Paddys Run Conservation Project that is protecting groundwater supplies and providing natural resource conservation in the Paddys Run watershed. Uranium processing (1950s through 1980s) related to the nuclear arms race damaged the watersheds of this area of Butler and Hamilton counties. To partially offset the environmental damage, the U.S. Department of Energy provided millions of dollars to help improve the groundwater by ensuring high-quality surface water conditions.  Salamanders are a bioindicator of high-quality surface water conditions.

Natural Resources Trustees: Jennifer Finfera (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service), Thomas Schneider (OH EPA), Penny Borgman (U.S. Department of Energy), and Laura Hafer (OH EPA)/ Photo by Steve Gordon

The Fernald Natural Resource Trustees, represented by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, were partners with TVCT and MetroParks of Butler County to facilitate the purchase, restoration and perpetual protection of this property.



Share Button

Summer Picnic- Save the Date for June 25

The Summer Picnic will be held on June 25 at 12:00-3:00 pm at Leonard Howell Park. Everyone is welcome to attend the Summer Picnic! In addition to lunch, there will be a guided walk of Ruder Preserve and an official tree commemoration for Orie Loucks, one of our founders who died last October.

When: Sunday, June 25 at 12:00-3:00pm

Where: Leonard Howell Park on Bonham Road. The following is a map of the area.

Share Button

Lindenwald PROTOCOL Movie in the Park

Benninghofen Park in Hamilton, OH / courtesy of Hamilton Parks Conservancy

Lindenwald PROTOCOL is hosting a Movie in the Park on Saturday, May 27, 2017 from 2-10 pm.

The event will be held at Benninghofen Park in Hamilton (at the corner of Noyes and Van Hook Avenues). The event starts at 2 p.m. with members of Badin Rocks band performing and continues until the movie Sing begins at dark. TVCT will be there with an informational table, along with more than 40 vendors and several local businesses and groups. Admission to the event is free, with food and drinks available for purchase.  A free raffle for those in attendance will be held before the movie.

Share Button

TVCT Supports Monarch Conservation

Workshop participants survey milkweed for monarch eggs and caterpillars/ Photo provided by Randy Evans

Randy Evans, TVCT’s Stewardship Speacialist, attended a two-day Monarch Conservation and Citizen Science Workshop.

The workshop was presented by the Univ. of Minnesota Monarch Lab and Monarch Joint Venture and hosted by the Cincinnati Nature Center. It focused on monarch ecology and biology, monarch conservation efforts, and citizen science programs available.

Monarch egg on milkweed buds/ Photo provided by Randy Evans




Randy Evans is listed as a speaker resource with the Federated Garden Clubs of Cincinnati and Vicinity and is available to speak to groups about monarchs and habitat conservation. Randy can be reached by email at

Share Button

The Three Valley Conservation Trust Office Is Moving

The Three Valley Conservation Trust office location will change July 1. Our new location will be the “Oxford Professional Building” located at 5995 Fairfield Rd, Suite #3A on the corner of Fairfield Road and McGuffey Avenue.

Capital Varsity was a wonderful host/landlord for us for the past few years, and we are grateful to them. Our decision to move to offices shared with RE/MAX Realty will result in lower costs (office rent plus utilities are lower), better parking, windows in all offices, a nice shared conference room, entry and kitchen, and separate spaces for staff as well as work space for interns and volunteers. RE/MAX has been very welcoming and is doing all it can to encourage our smooth transition. Thank you, RE/MAX, for making this move possible. Overall, the TVCT Board decided that this change in location would be an improvement – physically and financially.

Many would love to relocate to a farmhouse surrounded by huge trees and overlooking farm fields and a pond, stream or wetland (reminds me of the wonderful years in the Beck Carriage house). Some day, maybe. But the accessibility and functionality of the Oxford Professional Building will be a welcome improvement.

Come by in July and visit us – we’re easy to find, and there’s plenty of parking.

Share Button

Three Valley Conservation Trust Scholarship Winners

Congratulations to Kevin Ketring, Jacob Schlichter, and Wyatt Snodgrass. They are this year’s winners of the Three Valley Conservation Trust Scholarship. It is with great pride in all the applicants, and especially our three winners, that we can publicly announce these winners.

Kevin Ketring grew up on a farm and intends to return to farming after his college degree (current interest is Finance).  He was the president of his senior class, in the high school student senate, National Honors Society, FFA, 4H and sports. In addition to school and farming, Kevin helps clear honeysuckle from the woods on his farm. Way to go, Kevin!

Jacob Schlichter comes from a farming family. He is a long-time member of 4H and FFA, earned the prestigious State FFA Degree, and was a member of the Rural Soils Judging Team that qualified to participate in the National Land Judging competition in Oklahoma. Jacob was inducted into the National Honor Society and for the past year has interned with Dr. Ken Krom at the Krom Veterinary Service. He plans to attend Miami University before going to vet school at Ohio State.

Wyatt Snodgrass has extensive experience in conservation. He volunteers for the Raccoon Creek Watershed Partnership, the Waterloo Aquatic Education Center and is a Stream Restoration Volunteer for Bulter County Soil and Water. In 2016, he worked for MetroParks of Butler County and the Ohio Division of Wildlife (Fisheries Conservation) and in 2017 he will begin pursuing a B.S. in Wildlife Conservation at the University of Rio Grande.

The purpose of this annually awarded scholarship is to provide support for applicants pursuing careers that relate to the mission of the Trust. For example, work in agriculture, conservation, ecology, water management and sustainability represent some but not all of the related careers. Applicants are judged on the basis of a personal essay describing their commitment to conservatioan, an application, and two letters of recommendation. They do not need to be a high school or college student. Usually, there is only one award winner, but this year, there was enough money available to make three awards. Information about this scholarship is available on the TVCT website.

Congratulations to Kevin, Jacob, and Wyatt!

Share Button

Ruder Preserve Is All Yours!

Did you know that Ruder Preserve is one of the few properties owned by Three Valley?  And that means that as a partner of the Trust, it belongs to you!  And that means . . .  that you are always welcome to help in the restoration effort underway there!
The restoration has been moving along this spring with the help of many MU students and some TVCT members – – THANKS EVERYONE!  Here’s what we’ve accomplished:
  • another ~1 to 1.5 acres cleared of honeysuckle
  • garlic mustard pulled on much of the western side of the property
  • ~125 trees and shrubs planted
  • ~90 of those trees and shrubs caged to protect from deer browse
  • some lesser celandine sprayed with glyphosate herbicide
  • a small bench built and placed near the low level dam (THANKS Hays Cummins’ ecological restoration class!)
  • 2 dead trees cut down (if you need firewood, please feel free to come and get it!)
However, as the summer begins and MU students leave town, we still have ~ 50 trees to plant, plants to water if the rain ever stops, cages to make, stakes to put into cages to keep them in place, and – as always – more honeysuckle to remove.
So, since Ruder Preserve belongs to YOU… would you be willing to help?  If so, please contact:
We’d really love for the Ruder restoration to become your project, and for you to enjoy the results this summer as you walk the beautiful trails.
Share Button