The Fall 2013 issue of VISTAS is available online. You’ll find it in our VISTAS Archive. Click on the link below to get your own copy in the mail.
Looking for something on ALT’s website? Click on Search in the menu and enter your search terms to find it.
Allegheny County’s Greenways map now includes the ALT Greenprint, highlighting areas with the highest priority for conservation. You can download the Greenways map which is part of Allegheny Places, Allegheny County’s Comprehensive Plan.
An IRA Charitable Rollover permits individuals age 70½ and above to make charitable donations (think ALT!) of up to $100,000 from Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and Roth IRAs without having to count the distributions as taxable income. For information, please see the Independent Sector web site which also discusses proposed improvements to the law.
Chartiers Creek flowing through Chartiers Greenway
Allegheny Land Trust is accepting applications for the 2014 John Hamm Internship. This position (Chartiers Creek Watershed Intern) is made possible by generous donations from the PA Environmental Defense Foundation and the friends and family of Mr. John Hamm. Mr. Hamm, a local conservationist, supported local conservancies by serving on the Environmental Defense Foundation board, writing for their newsletters, raising funds to foster environmental programs and motivated others to do the same. The intern should hold the same spirit of adventure and commitment to the community as Mr. Hamm.
The Chartiers Creek Watershed Intern will:
Visit our Job Opportunities page for information about applying for the John Hamm Internship and other internship opportunities at Allegheny Land Trust.
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On Thursday, October 24, Allegheny Land Trust held a press conference to announce a $500,000 Gaming Economic Development Fund (GEDF) grant award for the Pittsburgh Cut Flower Property. ALT Board Members, elected officials, Richland Township officials and local residents joined ALT at the property to celebrate the competitive grant award and discuss future goals for the historic 180 acre landscape.
During the event, Majority Leader Mike Turzai, Representative Hal English, Senator Randy Vulakovich, Richland Township Manger Dean Bastianini, and Maryann Eisenreich from Governor Tom Corbett’s office gathered to offer support for ALT’s future visions for the property.
“This project is a huge benefit for the North Hills and all of Allegheny County as it will transform and return a long abandoned brownfield to the community – creating new recreational and economic opportunities,” explained Representative Mike Turzai.
ALT staff, board members and elected officials unveiled a fundraising banner at the end of the press conference, which highlighted the current fundraising accomplishments towards the Pittsburgh Cut Flower Property. With the help of the $500,000 GEDF grant, ALT has raised about 85% of the funds needed to acquire the property.
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When vandals destroyed a kiosk at the Catfish Pond entrance to Dead Man’s Hollow, it didn't take long for a team of employees from the Home Depot in North Versailles to swing into action. Working at the Home Depot store and on site, the volunteers replaced the kiosk and installed a new bench in the area. The original kiosk was constructed by T. J. Sabatello of Boy Scout Troop 99 as an Eagle Scout project.
When the Home Depot team finished the kiosk job, they went on to make improvements at two Liberty borough playgrounds, cleaning graffiti, repainting swing sets and adding new mulch.
Read the complete story of a great volunteer effort in this TribLIVE|Neighborhoods article.
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Allegheny Land Trust has been awarded a $110,000 grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation. The funding will support ALT’s general operations, including land conservation and stewardship objectives. In the next 12 months, ALT expects to protect at least 350 acres through various projects throughout Allegheny and Washington counties. These projects include active campaigns with the former Pittsburgh Cut Flower property in Richland Township and the 48 acres in Sewickley Hills owned by the Catholic Institute. (See following articles.)
The Richard King Mellon Foundation awards grants through a competitive application and review process. This grant highlights the Foundation’s commitment to ensuring the scenic, recreational and environmental well-being of communities in Allegheny County.
You can find the complete news release in our Media section.
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Allegheny Land Trust has launched a local fundraising campaign to protect 48 acres in Sewickley Hills that is currently owned by the Catholic Institute of Pittsburgh. On June 14th, a press conference was held to announce the new campaign and a fundraising sign was unveiled, showcasing the goal of raising $160,000 in local funds to complete the $660,000 needed to purchase the property. Senator Matt Smith (D-Allegheny) and Representative Mark Mustio (R-Allegheny) pledged to work together on supporting the project and a state grant application to the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR). Other presenters included Sewickley Hills Borough Council President Cindy Phillips and ALT Executive Director Chris Beichner.
The parcel to be protected is located between Magee Road and Interstate 79, and is adjacent to Sewickley Hills Park as well as land already owned by ALT. When this parcel is acquired by ALT, over 1,200 acres of contiguous ALT and municipal park lands will be available for public benefit and passive recreation. Benefits of protecting this property include higher local property values, hiking trails, habitat for wildlife, and preservation of the area’s scenic rural character.
ALT has submitted a $500,000 grant request to DCNR to help acquire this property. Local matching funds from the community are needed to leverage state and federal funds. So far, $40,000 has been pledged by local individuals, leaving $120,000 in donations needed by September 30th to purchase the land. You can help raise these local matching funds with a quick, easy online donation using a major credit card or through your PayPal account. Go to our How to Help page and be sure to select “Catholic Institute Property” to direct your donation to this project. Thank you for your generous support!
Read more about the land acquisition in this Tribune-Review article.
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As of September 1, 2013, the Local Community Campaign to raise $140,000 toward purchase of the Pittsburgh Cut Flower property has reached $80,734! These local funds are critical to release other major public and private grants that ALT has already secured to purchase and improve the land.
The total raised including all grants, individual gifts and pledges is $1,194,734! $1.4 is needed to buy the land and additional funding is needed to complete the clean-up and demolition, which is currently at $1.2 million.
ALT has received a grant of $509,500 from the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. In addition, a $500,000 grant through the Gaming and Economic Development Fund is awaiting final approval from the Commonwealth Finance Authority and a $250,000 grant from the Act 13 Marcellus Legacy Fund is pending with the PA Department of Community and Economic Development. We hope to hear about these grants soon. Please contact these elected officials to urge their support of ALT’s grant applications and please let us know if you do:
In addition to the 300 individual donors who have made gifts of as much as $10,000, many local businesses and corporate and charitable foundations have supported the community’s vision to protect 150 acres and a small piece of Gibsonia’s cultural heritage.
The property clean-up is nearing completion and ALT is trying to save several unique buildings and large industrial equipment artifacts such a coal hopper, massive blowers and boilers that created steam heat. Preserving these structures and one of the brick houses will save an estimated $250,000 in demolition and landfill costs. The large structures will be part of an open air museum and the brick house is being considered for a visitors’ center or a field research station for ALT, perhaps in collaboration with Chatham University. (See below for more information about the conceptual master plan for the property.)
Closing on the Pittsburgh Cut Flower property is scheduled for October 2013, provided clean-up is complete and sufficient funds have been raised to cover the land at $1.4 million. Clean-up costs are currently at $1.2 million. For more information and photos of the property, please visit the Pittsburgh Cut Flower Project page.
Please join your neighbors in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to protect this land forever by giving today. Contribute to the Pittsburgh Cut Flower Project by making an on line donation or mailing a check. Thank you!
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Over the past several months, Allegheny Land Trust has reached out to the Gibsonia community for input as they began the master planning process for the former Pittsburgh Cut Flower property on Bakerstown Road in Richland Township. “The community response was enthusiastic,” states Chris Beichner, executive director of ALT. “We really wanted the master plan to meet the community’s needs, market demand and innovation.” (A recent news release has more information.)
A solar farm with recharging stations for electric cars, a mixed use village, amphitheater, cafés and community gardens were some of the ideas suggested by more than 500 residents, former employees, students and professionals. These ideas and others have been synthesized into a conceptual master plan for the 150 acres of permanent green space and 30 acres of redevelopment.
These drawings depict ideas that ALT collected from more than 500 residents, children, students and professionals over the past several months for the 150 acres of permanent green space and redevelopment of the blighted land. (Click each image for a larger version or download this PDF file.) ALT thanks everyone who participated and welcomes additional input. Please call Roy Kraynyk at 412-741-2750 x203 or email him at with your ideas or comments.
Read more in this TribLive|Neighborhoods article.
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Please visit our Archives Page for older articles from this page.
Since 1993, ALT has protected more than 1,500 acres in 21 municipalities in Allegheny and Washington Counties. These lands help to manage storm and floodwaters, provide scenic beauty and protect wildlife habitat and biodiversity. Secondary benefits include opportunities for non-motorized passive recreation such as hiking, improved marketability and value of adjacent properties and preservation of a community’s rural character.
Allegheny Land Trust empowers people to shape the future of their community by providing the technical skills and know-how to protect treasured local open space. Green space is more vulnerable than ever as public subsidies are now being used to transform local green space into suburban sprawl.
Please take a few moments to explore our web site to learn more about ALT and our land conservation practices and programs.