Land Trust Protects Scenic 12-Acre Farm

Indiana Township, PA – Allegheny Land Trust (ALT) and landowner Susan Orenstein worked together to protect 12 acres in Indiana Township using a conservation easement on “Catch the Wind Farm”.

Placing an easement on the farm has ensured that the land will forever be conserved, and will never be developed.

“This farm, a portion of a much larger farm that existed here for more than a century, is a precious place that allows wildlife and plants and the water sources that sustain them to thrive adjacent to the large open spaces of Hartwood Acres,” said Susan Orenstein, who owns the land. “I’m thrilled to give up my right to profit financially by development in order to preserve the far more important value of the land itself, and am grateful to ALT for helping me to do that.”

A conservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement between a landowner and a land trust or government agency that permanently limits uses of the land to protect its conservation values. Landowners retain many of their rights, including the right to own and use the land, sell it, and pass it on to their heirs, and entrust the land’s development rights with a conservation entity.

In addition to federal tax benefits that land owners can enjoy from donating a conservation easement, surrounding communities benefit from the protected scenic beauty, wildlife habitat, and water quality.

“We were excited to work with Susan on the easement to protect her land. The Cedar Run area is one of the last remaining vestiges of the county’s agricultural heritage, and ALT is very happy to be a partner in protecting it,” ALT VP of Land Resources and Capital Projects Roy Kraynyk said.

Catch the Wind farm is comprised of a woodlot, scenic pasture, and a shallow valley. It will be monitored, maintained, and protected by Allegheny Land Trust using a restricted stewardship fund created with a donation from Orenstein.

Protecting more than 2,200 acres of green space in the Pittsburgh region, ALT now has a conservation area within 12 miles of every Allegheny county resident. These lands provide natural areas for recreation, environmental education and improvement of our region’s sce¬¬nic quality, biodiversity, and quality of air and water.