Audubon Greenway Phases I, II, III & IV
Since 2003, Allegheny Land Trust has been acquiring tracts in Sewickley Heights, to form the Audubon Greenway. The goal is to make a connection between the ALT protected properties and municipal parks in the area to create a large, green footprint in the community.
These properties consist of open meadows, wooded slopes, spring seeps and headwaters of Little Sewickley Creek – a “Medium – Gradient Clearwater Creek Community” as defined by the Allegheny County Natural Heritage Inventory (ACNHI). They are located within the Little and Big Sewickley Creek Area Landscape Conservation Area (LCA) which is the buffer surrounding the Camp Meeting Woods Biological Diversity Area BDA. The Camp Meeting Woods BDA has been ranked “Exceptional Significance” and contains two occurrences of State Significance – NC001, State Significance S3; and NC002, State Significance S2. Following is an excerpt from the ACNHI.
"This [Campmeeting] BDA is recognized as both a High Diversity Area and a Community/Ecosystem Conservation Area which encompasses a significant forest and stream community. The many topographic features, aspects and elevational ranges provided within this large BDA add to the overall biological diversity and potential natural qualities of this site."
Miles of trails exist on the properties that help to link Sewickley Hills Park to the extensive trail system of Sewickley Heights Park. The total acreage of the two public parks and adjacent conservation lands held by ALT is more than 1100 acres.
One portion of the Audubon Greenway has almost one mile of frontage on Audubon and McGee Roads and is less than a minute from the Mount Nebo interchange of I-79, an area that is experiencing accelerated growth, including a 384 unit apartment complex and a 392 unit townhouse complex under construction.
The first piece of property acquired for the greenway was zoned for single and multi-family housing sites, that if constructed, would have had a significant negative environmental and aesthetic impact. A large area would have been cleared and graded to create level building pads for homes and driveways Construction would have destabilized the moist wooded slopes, disturbed spring seeps and degraded the water quality of Little Sewickley Creek with erosion. Landscaping for new homes would have introduced exotic and invasive species into the ecosystem, and lawn care would have introduced harmful chemical fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides into the soil and watercourses of the BDA. Fortunately, Allegheny Land Trust has been able to successfully raise the funding to acquire and protect this land as permanent green space.