Allegheny Land Trust (ALT) has received an $81,000 Community Conservation Partnerships Program Grant Award from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) toward the purchase of a critical 19-acre property on the South Side of Mount Washington to expand Grand View Scenic Byway Park. The total project cost is $224,000.
ALT's role in this project is to partner with the Mount Washington Community Development Corporation (MWCDC) to acquire privately-held land to complete a contiguous greenway from Grand View Park on the north face (city side) to Mount Washington Park on the south face (Saw Mill Run side). In 2007 in cooperation with the MWCDC, ALT successfully protected 11 acres and in addition to the 19 acres currently under agreement is also brokering the gifting of five parcels directly from the landowners to the City of Pittsburgh.
DCNR is the primary source of state support for Pennsylvania recreation, parks and conservation initiatives. "These grants allow us to partner with communities so that they can expand and improve the wonderful assets that make the places we call home vibrant and attractive," says DCNR Deputy Secretary, Cindy Dunn.
In addition to the DCNR grant, ALT has received a $20,000 grant from the Katherine Mabis McKenna Foundation. The funding plan includes a goal of 10 percent of the project cost ($22,400) to be supported by the local community.
"We know that local support is critical to meet state matching requirements and to demonstrate to other major funders that the local neighborhood is behind this effort," Mount Washington resident Paul Tellers remarked. "We're committed to helping ALT and the Mount Washington CDC protect the remaining green spaces in this community that make it so unique."
Conserving the land as permanent green space will expand the park, protect the scenic landscape and wildlife habitat and help to control storm water runoff. The tract connects other private and public green spaces and provides passive recreation in the form of hiking trails. The dense woodlands help to buffer noise and air pollution firm vehicle traffic on Saw Mill Run Boulevard.
"As Pittsburgh grows its brand as a ‘green' city, we need the community to help our area stay truly green," ALT Executive Director, Roy Kraynyk, said. "This grant is a great kick-off for 2010 and the local campaign which is already beginning to bear fruit due to the enthusiastic efforts of local residents."
The mission of Allegheny Land Trust is to help local people save local land that contributes to the scenic, recreational, educational and environmental well being of our communities. Most recently, ALT's Board of Directors adopted a new strategic plan that calls for the implementation of the ALT GREENPRINT – a regional land conservation plan and map of conservation priorities that provide the greatest public benefit. Since its incorporation in 1993 ALT has protected over 1,500 acres in 21 municipalities in Allegheny and Washington Counties.
To learn more about Allegheny Land Trust visit www.alleghenylandtrust.org or call 412-741-2750.