Vice-Chairman Peg Schweinsberg and Member Gary Stokum accept the WCCF's President Choice Award on May 20, 2016

Vice-Chairman Peg Schweinsberg and Member Gary Stokum accept the WCCF’s President Choice Award on May 20, 2016

Independence Conservancy recently received a $10,000 unrestricted grant from the Washington County Community Foundation (WCCF) to help establish the Langeloth Valley Conservation Area near Burgettstown.

Voicing her strong support for conservation and environmental preservation, WCCF President Betsie Trew noted that Independence Conservancy has stepped up to fill a void in land stewardship in Washington County, and that its work to mitigate mine and industrial threats to water supplies “impacts every living creature within the (Raccoon Creek) Watershed.”

The President’s Choice Award assists small but developing charities. Besides program quality, applicants are judged on community impact and improvement in the organization’s finances over a period of years.
The Langeloth Valley Conservation Area (LVCA), located near Burgettstown, will permanently preserve 73 acres of woodlands, wetlands and streams south of the former American Zinc & Chemical Company smelter site in Smith Township. The Conservation Area will also safeguard the Langeloth Borehole AMD Treatment System, which removes over 200 tons of iron and other pollutants from the headwaters of Raccoon Creek each year, allowing aquatic life to thrive downstream.
The Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds, based in Huntingdon, has contributed an additional $7,500 in support for the LVCA. LVCA will serve as a southern anchor for the Raccoon Creek Greenway, a network of protected green spaces offering low-impact public recreation opportunities throughout the watershed.
Independence Conservancy has achieved over $1.5 million of environmental reclamation and land preservation since its founding in 1999. With the help of community partners, land owners, volunteers and donors, the Conservancy’s vision is to protect and conserve green space and clean water in the Raccoon Creek Region.