Grafton’s future as a protected remnant of Utah’s pioneer and agricultural heritage is finally secure.

Thanks to generous donations from many individuals and private foundations, three years of hard work by the Grafton Heritage Partnership Project culminated in the purchase of Grafton Property in and around the townsite that are crucial to Grafton’s future. The property includes three large pastures, one historic building (the Russell home), and a section of the Virgin River.

Shortly after the land was purchased on November 2000, the Partnership dedicated conservation easements on the property that will protect the agricultural, riparian, historical and open space values of the historic Grafton Townsite in perpetuity.

It was no small feat for the Partnership to raise such a large sum of money,” says Doug Alder, the Partnership’s fund raising co-chair. But with the help of so many donors, we were able to pull it off.”
Alder also commended the Grand Canyon Trust for its crucial role as fund-raising co-chair. Without their capabilities, the purchase wouldn’t have been possible.” Alder added.

Major funding for the purchase came from the George and Dolores Dore Eccles Foundation, Dr. Ezekiel and Edna Wattis Dumke Foundation, Katherine W. Dumke and Ezekiel R. Dumke Jr. Foundation, Bureau of Land Management, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Simmons Family Foundation, O.C. Tanner Charitable Trust, Jerry Atkins, Brent Beesley,R. Harold Burton Foundation, Utah Department of Agriculture and food, Utah Quality Growth Commission, Michael Saltman and many private individuals.

The conservation easements commit the property owner to protect specifically identified values on the land in perpetuity. Protective agricultural easements were placed on the three pastures, a historical easement was applied to the Russell home and a riparian conservation easement was established on the Virgin River flood plain inside the property boundary.

The City of Rockville holds the agricultural and historical easements. The conservation easement on the Virgin River flood plain is held by the Grand Canyon Trust. These entities ensure that the property owner is protecting the identified values.

The Partnership wishes to thank the Utah Quality Growth Commission and the Utah Department of Agriculture and Foods for granting funds that allowed us to purchase the agricultural easements.