Conservation BenefitsThe benefits of protecting this parcel in Sewickley include:
More land in the scenic Fern Hollow corridor remains undeveloped.
Scenic values. Fern Hollow protects the scenic quality of the Fern Hollow Road corridor that meanders through the undeveloped, wooded stream valley for approximately six miles. Trails on the uplands offer dramatic views of the entire Little Sewickley Creek watershed.
The Allegheny County Natural Heritage Inventory calls for protecting Biological Diversity Areas and surrounding areas for buffer.? The project area is located on the easterly edge of the Camp Meeting Woods BDA and solidly within the Little and Big Sewickley Landscape Conservation Area.? Acquisition of this parcel prevents the possibility of garden chemicals and invasive plants being introduced by new homeowners if the property was developed.? The American Chestnut Society is working to re-establish the American Chestnut (Castanea dentata) in the area.
Continued use of trails by hikers, naturalists, equestrians and others.
Recreation/Education. The existing trails provide access for guided nature walks by the Sewickley Heights Park Naturalist. The trails are also used by the historic Sewickley Hunt and others from the region for leisurely walks to reconnect with the land or for an invigorating run. Several Park trails would be severed if the property was sold and developed.
Assurance of the high-quality water rating of Little Sewickley Creek
Preserve and Enhance a Fragile Ecosystem. Conservation of this parcel helps to preserve the current level of biodiversity of the Campmeeting BDA. Specifically, the heavily wooded slopes, spring seeps and quality watercourses on the property will be preserved for the future. The property and surrounding Park has abundant plant and wildlife that is the focus of nature study year-round.
Thirty-six arcres are effectively added to Sewickley Heights Park.
Cultural Heritage. The Sewickley Hunt, formed in the 1920’s, uses the trails for a “drag hunt” that is run two times per week. The Hunt is a family event attended by people of all ages, attracting about 50 participants per hunt. In 1995, the Hunt recently celebrated their 75th Anniversary at which 150 riders attended. The Hunt maintains the trails that are used for their events. Acquiring this parcel will protect trails historically used by the Hunt, which has become a unique tradition in this part of southwestern Pennsylvania.
Local property values are enhanced and municipal service demands and costs are reduced
For more information, please see this fact sheet from the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA).