Local non-profit land conservation organization Allegheny Land Trust (ALT) announced on July 7, 2020 that it completed the acquisition of 155 acres of undeveloped land in Elizabeth Township for permanent protection as a conservation area.

The conservation of this large tract of woodlands in the rolling hills above the Youghiogheny River located roughly between Broadlawn Drive (to the North), Greenock-Buena Vista Road (to the East), Rock Run (to the South) and residential neighborhoods (to the West) will help to preserve the rural character of the area while creating a place for healthy exercise, outdoor recreation and environmental education for local residents.

According to ALT, the new conservation area will also help to prevent flooding and landslides by continuing to capture an estimated 128 million gallons of rainwater per year and preserve significant wildlife habitat.

“We’re proud to conserve such a large and significant green space in Elizabeth Township, and are excited about what its protection will contribute to the health, well-being and enjoyment of current residents and future generations,” said Tom Dougherty, ALT’s Vice President of External Affairs.

“This new conservation area is in easy walking distance for many nearby residents and is less than a half mile from an Elizabeth Forward School District elementary school, a middle school and the township municipal building,” Dougherty said. “We’ve already had conversations with the school district about how we can work together on environmental education activities on the site.”

ALT’s acquisition of the land was made possible by a grant from the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, a donation from the Pennsylvania State Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation and contributions from local community members.

“We are very pleased to have been able to contribute to this important local conservation project,” said Ralph Croushore, president of the local Peters Creek Trail branch of the Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation. “We are dedicated to the conservation of the wild turkey and the preservation of our hunting heritage so the best thing we can do is the protection of quality habitat.”

The new conservation area will be owned and stewarded by ALT with volunteer support from interested community members and civic organizations, and will be open to the public from dawn to dusk year-round.