Reserve & Shaler Land Protection Project

We Did It!

In 2022, Allegheny Land Trust worked to protect 62 acres of stunningly beautiful farm and forest land in the Girty’s Run Watershed in Reserve & Shaler Townships, upslope and upstream from Millvale Borough, and near downtown Pittsburgh. Collaborating with the previous landowner and a future farmer, ALT was able to conserve the total 62 acres of land – 45 acres acquired by ALT for permanent green space and 15.61 acres acquired by a new farmer for continued agricultural use (see map at the bottom of this page).

This project protects the health and well-being of current residents and future generations, enhance the long-term attractiveness and viability of surrounding communities, and contribute to overall regional environmental sustainability. The benefits that come from protecting this land are many:

  • Preserve the natural scenic beauty of this rare, highly visible hilltop land
  • Absorb 51 million gallons of rainwater annually to mitigate Girty’s Run flooding
  • Sequester approximately 250,000 pounds of carbon annually
  • Expand protected and connected habitat for native wildlife and plants
  • Potential for future connection with ALT’s nearby Girty’s Woods conservation area
  • Protect the unique rural and agrarian character of the community
  • Contribute to municipal MS4 pollution abatement requirements
  • Proactively addresses community and regional resiliency

The project was supported by more than 200 individuals in the community as well as the following local groups: Abeille Voyante Tea Co., Asgard Raw Dog Food, Franks Pizza & Chicken, Green Tree Garden Club, the Millvale Community Development Corporation, Millvale Ecodistrict, Millvale Music Festival, Millvale Tee Company, Montour Environmental Science Class, New Sun Rising, North Area Environmental Council, Pittsburgh Hash House Harriers, Q Development, RAL Landscape Design & Horticulture, Ruckus Coffee Gallery & Café, Shaler Area High School’s (SAHS) Sustainability Class and Sustainability Club, the Township of Shaler, Two Men and a Truck, and 412 Clean Teams.

We must highlight the amazing effort by the SAHS class and club. They originally set out to raise $5,000 toward the community campaign with their pollinator seed fundraiser. By the campaign’s end, they raised $19,356 all on their own toward the project! 

In addition to community support noted above, other funding was provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation & Natural Resources and the Massey Charitable Trust.

This land is protected for conservation purposes. If you’re looking to explore nearby green spaces, check out Girty’s Woods conservation area, which many of the above individuals, businesses, and funding sources came together to conserve in 2020-2021.


Recent Media Coverage: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (8/17) , WPXI (10/8), WPXI (12/18)

Upcoming Public Information Sessions & Grassroots Check-In Meetings:


Community Fundraising Progress:

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Progress Bar Updated 12/31/2022.