On December 31, 2014, Allegheny Land Trust (ALT) closed on the 8.5-acre Fairhill Recreation Association project in Sewickley, making 2014 the first year in the organization’s 20-year history to acquire five properties in one calendar year.

ALT acquired 76 acres in 2014, and brought the organizations total protected green space to over 1,700 acres in Allegheny and Washington Counties. The land value of the 76 acres totaled about $1.4 million, of which $430,000 came from land donations.

“2014 was a banner year for us. We would not have been successful without the excellent collaboration with our volunteers, funders and partners,” ALT President & CEO Chris Beichner said. “I’m proud of the work our Board and staff has put in to advance our goals and to create beautiful, natural preserves for wildlife habitat, water management and passive recreational opportunities.”

Other green space protected by the land trust in 2014 includes a 9-acre parcel in Sewickley Borough, which protects an important headwater area; an 8.5-acre parcel in Richland Township; a strategic 2-acre parcel in Elizabeth Borough providing trail head access and road frontage for the Dead Man’s Hollow Conservation Area; and a 48-acre parcel in Sewickley Hills that expanded the Audubon Greenway Conservation Area linking Sewickley Hills Park to Sewickley Heights Park.

Though the land trust said they don’t expect to close on as many properties again in 2015, they have already made significant progress on two Sewickley-based projects that exceed the 2014 total protected acreage. One parcel includes 58-acres in Sewickley Heights Borough that would ultimately expand and become part of the borough’s park, and the other is a 30-acre parcel offered by Sewickley Borough that ALT was the successful bidder on.