Allegheny Land Trust adds 48 acres to Sewickley-area 'greenway'

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Sunshine peeked through the clouds today as supporters of the Allegheny Land Trust cut a red ribbon to mark the addition of 48 acres to the Audubon Greenway.

“Cordelia May is beaming down on us today,” John Rohe told people gathered for the event in Sewickley Hills. Mr. Rohe is vice president for philanthropy for the Colcom Foundation, one of the major contributors to the land purchase. The late Cordelia Scaife May established the foundation in 1996.

The tree-covered 48 acres, which will remain undeveloped, adjoin the Sewickley Hills borough building and municipal park. The tract extends from Interstate 79 west to Magee Road. On the other side of Magee Road is the land trust’s existing Audubon Greenway.

Plans call for land trust properties ultimately to provide a “green” connection between municipal parks in Sewickley Heights and Sewickley Hills.

Other donors toward the project, in addition to the Colcom Foundation, include the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Peaceable Kingdom Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation, the Katherine Mabis McKenna Foundation, the Sierra Club, the Laurel Foundation and individuals.

A total of 111 people gave $81,000 toward the $610,000 purchase of the property, according to land trust board chairman Steve Quick. The seller was the Catholic Institute, the real estate arm of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh.

As undeveloped land, the 48 acres will help reduce flooding risks by holding up to 40 million gallons of annual snow melt and rain runoff, according to the land trust. The protected woodlands also will help to maintain the rural character of the adjoining neighborhoods.

Since 1993, the Allegheny Land Trust has protected 1,700 acres in 23 municipalities.

Len Barcousky: or 724-772-0184. First Published July 31, 2014 12:00 AM

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