The Allegheny Land Trust has received an anonymous gift of 10 acres in Sewickley Heights, increasing the trust’s protected properties to six in the Quaker Valley area, the non-profit announced this week.
The gifted property is located near the headwaters of the Little Sewickley Creek Watershed which has been determined to be "very special" through a 1994 report called the Allegheny County Natural Heritage Inventory, the land trust said.
More recent research by Duquesne University has determined that the water of Little Sewickley Creek to be of exceptional quality and may be the cleanest in Allegheny County.
"The abundant green space within the watershed helps to maintain water quality by acting like a sponge to absorb and filter water that either soaks into the ground or flows directly into the creek," the Allegheny County Land Trust said in a news release.
The newly-gifted property brings the total amount of protected land to more than 165 acres in the valley.
Allegheny Land Trust's goal for the property is to make a connection between this land and property already owned, as well as municipal parks, to create a large, green footprint in the community.
By doing this, the land trust said protected land will maintain a high water quality, provide recreational trails, increase property values and provide scenic beauty to the community.
“Protecting certain land as permanent green space helps to maintain the integrity of the landscape that makes the community such as attractive place to live,” Sewickley Heights Mayor John Oliver said in a news release.
In 2010, Allegheny Land Trust conducted a land use study called the Sewickley Heights Vision Plan, which identified land critical to protect and maintain the scenic and historical character and recreational and natural assets of the community.
Since then, three properties have been protected by the Allegheny Land Trust that contributes to what the study refers to as the Cultural Landscape.
The land trust has also received, from RT Partners LP, an 88-acre gift of wooded land in Marshall Township adjacent to the Venango Trails residential development currently under construction.
According to the land trust, the property is at the headwaters of the Brush Creek watershed, and a section of the historic Venango Trail that once connected the “Forks of the Ohio” with Presque Isle exists on the property.