Quaker Valley ecology is boosted by green space
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An anonymous donor has given the Allegheny Land Trust a 10-acre swath of green space near the headwaters of Little Sewickley Creek in Sewickley Heights.
The gift brings to six the number of land parcels in the Quaker Valley School District area controlled and protected by the 20-year-old land trust and increases the acreage to 165.
"It's adjacent to other property we own and furthers our plan to create an extended greenway in the Sewickley Heights area," said Christopher Beichner, trust executive director. "It's a critical piece of the plan that we've had on our radar for 10 years. The owner, who asked to remain anonymous, was nice enough to donate it."
The property was identified in the Allegheny County Natural Heritage Inventory, a 1994 report on ecological resources in the county, as an area of special value. The meadow area has helped Little Sewickley Creek maintain exceptional water quality by absorbing and filtering stormwater that then flows into the creek.
"Protecting certain land as permanent green space helps to maintain the integrity of the landscape that makes the community such an attractive place to live," Sewickley Heights Mayor John Oliver said last month when the gift was announced.
The gift advances the goal of the Allegheny Land Trust to connect the new and old tracts of property with municipal parks in the area to "create a large, green footprint in the community," according to the trust news release announcing the gift.
"By doing this, the protected land will maintain a high water quality, provide recreational trails, increase property values and provide scenic beauty to the community," the release stated.
The trust conducted a land use study in 2010, the Sewickley Heights Vision Plan, that identified lands critical for protection of the scenic and historical character of the area and that enhance its natural assets. Since then, the release said, the land trust has acquired three properties that "contribute to what the study refers to as the Cultural Landscape."
Mr. Beichner said the trust had a good year in terms of land acquisition and management. It received a gift of 88 acres of wooded property in the headwaters area of Brush Creek in Marshall donated by RT Partners LP. The property will be available for public recreation and hiking. The trust has conserved more than 1,600 acres of land in 23 municipalities.
First Published January 7, 2013 12:00 am