Local non-profit land conservation organization Allegheny Land Trust (ALT) announced today that it will finalize the acquisition of 40.5 acres of woodlands in Bethel Park before March 31, 2020.

The permanent protection of this rare remaining green space along Route 88 near its intersection with Valley Drive has been ensured by ALT after working for almost a year in cooperation with the Municipality of Bethel Park, the local community, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and other supporting partners.

“We’re proud to conserve one of the largest remaining green spaces in Bethel Park for the health, well-being, and enjoyment of current residents and future generations,” said Tom Dougherty, ALT Vice President of External Affairs. “It took a real team effort, and ALT is extremely grateful for the support of local residents, Bethel Municipal Council, Senator Pam Iovino, and Representative Nathalie Mihalek.”

Over the past year, ALT worked to arrange funding for the acquisition through a successful community fundraising campaign, a contribution from the Municipality of Bethel Park, and grants from the Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County, the PA Department of Community and Economic Development, and the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

“The permanent protection of this land is well-aligned with the Keep Bethel Green imperative as outlined in our recently completed strategic plan,” said Bethel Park Municipal Council President Tim Moury. “It will be a true asset to our community in so many ways.”

Bethel Green is within walking distance of several thousand neighbors, and features an informal network of hiking trails, remnants of the area’s mining history, and a variety of resilient plant and animal species that have recently reclaimed it as a natural space. Its protection will preserve scenic beauty, provide a close to home place for healthy exercise, absorb thousands of gallons of rainwater at the head of the flood-prone Saw Mill Run watershed, enhance local property values, and provide opportunities for historical and environmental education.

The new conservation area will be owned and managed by ALT with volunteer support from interested community members and civic organizations.

“The creation of this permanently protected green space took a collaborative effort, and we look forward to working together on an ongoing basis with friends and neighbors to make it the best it can be,” said Dougherty.

Long-time Bethel Park Ward 5 Councilman Don Harrison expressed his excitement about the success of this conservation effort.

“There have been many different proposals for the use of that land over the years,” he said, “but this one will provide a lasting benefit to Bethel Park.”

ALT will host a public event to celebrate the acquisition of the property and discuss 2020 plans and opportunities for volunteer participation:

March 11 | 6 pm – 8 pm | Cool Springs Sports Complex at 3001 Cool Springs Drive, Bethel Park

All interested parties are welcome, and are asked to RSVP at:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/bethel-green-meet-greet-and-plan-registration-81988013355

 

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