RELEASE: LOCAL LAND TRUST RECEIVES GRANT TO PROTECT GREEN SPACE IN THE GLADE RUN LAKE WATERSHED
RESULTING MEDIA COVERAGE:
For Immediate Release
Middlesex Township, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources awarded a $313,000 grant to southwestern Pennsylvania land conservation nonprofit Allegheny Land Trust (ALT) on December 30, 2021 toward the acquisition of approximately 53 acres located on Sandy Hill Road in Middlesex Township, Butler County for open space and passive recreation.
“We are extremely excited to continue efforts with the Glade Run Lake Conservancy and the local community to protect land around this unique lake in this rapidly developing area,” said Chris Beichner, President & CEO of ALT. “These grant dollars offer a significant boost to our efforts to protect this land and promote the community’s resiliency.”
The 53 acres that ALT has under contract to purchase are located adjacent to a 120-acre tract of land protected by ALT and the Glade Run Lake Conservancy (GRLC) in 2021 using a conservation easement. When protected, this green space will help to ensure the health and vitality of the watershed by protecting the trees and other plants that help to maintain water quality and reduce flooding, maintain the rural and scenic beauty of the community, protect wildlife habitat, and more. Protecting this 53-acre green space would ensure permanent annual capture of 371,000 pounds of carbon and approximately 77,000,000 gallons of rainwater.
The land under contract would build upon recent land protection efforts by ALT and GRLC in the Glade Run Lake Watershed. Over the past several years, the two organizations have identified sensitive lands at greatest risk of development and are important to protecting the overall quality of Glade Run Lake, which is utilized by residents as a recreational resource. ALT and GRLC then used that analysis to create a plan to collaboratively pursue the conservation of those lands through a variety of conservation tools including conservation easements and outright fee ownership.
“These 53-acres are another building block piece in a larger Lego puzzle – in 2017, we laid the foundation by restoring the dam and spillway to refill the lake, in 2021 we placed a conservation easement on Joan Goswell’s land and now this property is directly adjacent to that land and contains the main source of water to the lake,” GRLC President Siggy Pehel said. “We will continue adding blocks in 2022, 2023 and beyond to preserve and protect the lake and its watershed.”
These acres are components of the visionary GRLC watershed strategy to acquire property contiguous to the lake, obtain conservation easements from landowners within the watershed, to assist landowners to acquire farm preservation for their properties, and to continue to grow the green space in a township that has expanded high density planned residential developments in near proximity to the lake.
“While many thought our work was done when the lake was refilled in 2017, the GRLC has continued hard work over the last five years to preserve and protect the lake and its surrounding properties within the watershed. Our focus is to continue this work,” Pehel said. “This announcement of the grant is another puzzle piece that has fallen into place and would not have happened without ALT.”
ALT was able to use the value of a conservation easement that was gifted to ALT by Joan Goswell in 2021 as a match for the DCNR grant that is being used to purchase the 53 acres. A small gap in funding will need to be filled by the end of March when ALT will purchase the 53 acres and later transfer it to the PA Fish and Boat Commission.
“We thank GRLC and ALT for their sustained partnership. Thanks to them, a critical property of recreational and environmental importance in the Glade Run Lake watershed has been identified and funds secured to allow the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) to acquire the approximately 53 acre property,” said Tim Schaeffer, PFBC Executive Director. “This property will be combined with the PFBC’s Glade Run Lake property and will allow for the public use, protection, and preservation of these properties and Glade Run Lake.”
About Glade Run Lake Conservancy The Glade Run Lake Conservancy (GRLC) is dedicated to the restoration, ongoing preservation, and improvement of Glade Run Lake and its adjacent lands, located in southern Butler County, Pennsylvania. By encouraging the use of Glade Run Lake and its surrounding park land, the GRLC promotes outdoor recreation, environmental conservation, and education of the natural world for people of all ages. More information can be found at gladerunlakeconservancy.org.
About Allegheny Land Trust Founded as a 501(c)(3)) nonprofit in 1993 in response to the rapidly declining amount of green space in Allegheny County, ALT has protected more than 3,400 acres to preserve our region’s unique natural beauty, provide accessible outdoor recreational opportunities, improve water quality, sustain biodiversity, and enhance the overall quality of life for all. ALT’s strategic priorities are in land protection, land stewardship, community conservation, and environmental education. More information can be found at alleghenylandtrust.org.
RESULTING MEDIA COVERAGE: