ALT Completes First Acquisition of Landscape-Scale Conservation Project

April 19, 2024

For Immediate Release

Collier Township, PA


Local land conservation non-profit Allegheny Land Trust (ALT) acquired 90 acres of woodlands in Collier Township adjacent to Collier Community Park.


This completes the first of ALT’s multi-phase Panhandle Greenway Conservation Project, a landscape-scale effort to proactively conserve high quality green space and add to locally conserved lands like Settler’s Cabin Park, Pittsburgh Botanic Garden, Collier Community Park, South Fayette’s Preservation Park, other public and privately conserved lands and the Panhandle and Montour Trails.


“Conserving this first parcel goes beyond preserving this specific property; it begins stitching together a growing, green fabric in the Panhandle Trail corridor,” ALT President and CEO Chris Beichner said. “It demonstrates a commitment to future generations, ensuring they inherit a cohesive tapestry of thriving ecosystems where they can permanently enjoy and connect with the benefits of nature.”


As a permanently conserved green space, this land supports the resiliency of the Panhandle Trail corridor by buffering the trail and nearby green spaces, preserving natural scenic beauty, providing a place for close-to-home outdoor recreation and environmental education, mitigating downstream flooding in Robinson Run and Chartiers Creek by absorbing 66 million gallons of rainwater annually, maintaining air quality by annually sequestering 322,000 pounds of carbon and 5,700 pounds of other pollutants, preventing further traffic congestion and enhancing the attractiveness of nearby communities to prospective homeowners.


Conservation’s significant role in improving water quality and mitigating flooding is underscored by the Pittsburgh region’s most recent stormwater incidents. In nearby Oakdale, streets and homes filled with several feet of standing water; at least nine people needed to be rescued from their homes.


“We see land conservation as a core solution to addressing many of our region’s challenges, like flooding,” Beichner said. “This land is now guaranteed to forever function as a natural climate solution to prevent exacerbated flooding by proactively maintaining natural, permeable surface in an area experiencing rampant development.”


The project received full support from U.S. Congressman Chris Deluzio, PA Senator Devlin Robinson, PA State Representative Anita Kulik, Allegheny County Conservation District, Allegheny County Parks Foundation, Friends of the Panhandle Trail, Pittsburgh Botanic Garden and County Council Representative Pat Catena.


“It is important for all of us to support important projects like this that promote conservation and recreation,” Rep Kulik said. “This project will significantly promote the beauty of our communities.”


ALT worked over a one-year period to raise the $630,356 needed to purchase the land. Support was provided by more than 110 individual community donors who gave more than $37,250, as well as support from the Richard King Mellon Foundation, the Katherine Mabis McKenna Foundation, the Colcom Foundation and Massey Charitable Trust.


As ALT moves onto creating a long-term vision for this site, it will also begin working on a second acquisition of the Panhandle Greenway Conservation Project. ALT has 140 acres in South Fayette Township under contract for permanent protection and will be working with the community to raise the necessary $1,170,085 needed to secure the land by the end of 2024.


“We’re excited to work with the community on the next acquisition in this important watershed to balance intense development pressures with thoughtful, strategic conservation,” Beichner said. “By working together, we can create an unparalleled network of interconnected parks, nature areas, trails and streams that serve as a truly unique regional, recreational and ecological asset today and for generations to come.”



Panhandle Greenway Conservation Project Link: