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Environment & Energy

Land Trust Receives Grant to Acquire 30 Acres of Sewickley Green Space

The Allegheny Land Trust wants a 30-acre chunk of land in Sewickley, and a new grant might help obtain it.

The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has provided a $250,000 grant to acquire the green space along Waterworks Road.

“It’s primarily going to be used for wildlife habitat, water interception, absorption and the scenic character of the borough and surrounding boroughs around Sewickley,” said Chris Beichner, Land Trust CEO and president.

Because the green space already does most of this, Beichner said they plan to really just leave it as is.

“What’s on it now is basically woodlands and a few trails and a stream, some springs,” Beichner said. “So it’s basically exactly the way we want it, we wouldn’t really do anything to it.”

The green space also features the original horse and buggy trail that runs from Sewickley to Sewickley Heights.

The Land Trust is currently in talks with Sewickley Borough about buying the land, which Beichner believes will help protect against over-development in Allegheny County.

“In the last 60 years, Allegheny County’s population has grown by about ten percent, but land development has grown by 267 percent,” Beichner said. “So it’s a way to balance the green space that’s being used up for development purposes.”

He said the acquisition will also help wildlife continue to populate their natural habitat in the woodlands rather than in back yards.

“There’s a lot of public benefits to keeping the green space as green space versus having it being developed in the future,” Beichner said. “A lot of benefits to wildlife, birdlife and certainly water quality within the watershed.”

The Land Trust owns about 45,000 acres of land throughout the county.

Beichner said the organization hopes to protect their acquired green space so future generations can appreciate the woodlands and the water quality that exists today.