PROTECTING 155 ACRES IN GIRTY’S RUN WATERSHED
April 20, 2020 | For Immediate Release
Reserve, PA – Local land conservation non-profit Allegheny Land Trust (ALT) signed an exclusive agreement to acquire and permanently protect 155 acres of green space located in Reserve Township and adjacent to the Borough of Millvale and Shaler Township.
Permanent conservation of this significant green space will preserve natural scenic beauty, provide close-to-home outdoor recreation and environmental education opportunities, absorb rainwater that would otherwise overwhelm Girty’s Run watershed, protect wildlife habitat for a variety of native flora and fauna already calling the green space home, maintain and improve air and water quality, and increase neighboring property values to contribute to the area’s resiliency and sustainability.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for the communities of Reserve, Millvale, and Shaler to work together to provide green space access to thousands of residents, improve stormwater absorption, and permanently protect a rare forest in an urban center,” said Roy Kraynyk, ALT’s VP of Land Protection.
ALT is working with the local community, the municipalities of Reserve and Millvale, and various other local, state, private, and public supporters to make this project a reality.
The area has been explored by and cared for by neighbors for years, and a network of informal trails winds through the green space passing scenic overlooks, open fields, wetland areas, and a biodiverse forest that supports a variety of logged native bird, mammal, and tree species. This green landscape is only 3.5 miles from Point State Park, and offers striking views of the Downtown skyline.
“It’s easy to feel like you’ve stepped into a secret oasis just a few strides into these woods,” Triboro Ecodistrict Director Brian Wolovich said. “Permanently protecting them would make them an incredible resource for all of our neighbors.”
The land, which touches three municipalities, would also connect thousands of other area residents with a green space. The land is within a short walk for thousands of Reserve, Shaler, and Millvale residents’ homes, a 0.2-mile walk from a Porth Authority bus route that runs through Millvale, and a 0.7-mile walk, jog, or bike ride from the Three Rivers Heritage Trail.
“By connecting our people to their public parks, we improve public health and strengthen community bonds,” State Representative Sara Innamorato said. “Community parks create the next generation of environmental stewards who will advocate for and protect our most precious public goods – our water, air, and open spaces.”
Beyond the areas benefits to stormwater retention, natural assets, and connection benefits, green space would also enhance attractiveness of Reserve Township, Millvale Borough, and Shaler Township for prospective young homebuyers as “proximity to open space” is an oft-cited factor in prospective homebuyers’ consideration of where to live. The protection of this land could also increase tax revenue while providing a community asset as proximity to green space can increase property values by 5%-30% based on distance from green space. “This is a rare opportunity for green space that would create access for so many in the surrounding communities,” Kraynyk said. “It would improve the quality of life not only for current generations, but also for generations to come.”