Bird in Bethel Park

Courtesy of Allegheny Land Trust

Wildlife has become abundant again on the Bethel Park property that is proposed as perpetual green space.

The conservation nonprofit Allegheny Land Trust will conduct a community informational session at 6:30 p.m. June 25 at the Bethel Park Municipal Building for residents to learn about the group’s project to acquire and permanently protect a 40.5-acre green space in the municipality.

Allegheny Land Trust has the property under contract for acquisition and is working to raise the funds necessary to complete the transaction so the area will remain wooded green space for the enjoyment of current and future area residents.

“We are working with the municipality and local residents to preserve this land as a permanent community asset, so we want to be sure everyone understands what we are trying to do and what it will take to make it happen,” said Tom Dougherty, the land trust’s vice president of external affairs.

The informational session will feature a brief introduction about the land trust, followed by a presentation of the relevant property’s history and current state, reasons for its protection, plans for future stewardship, status of the project and the need for community support.

The green space, located along the Bethel Park-Castle Shannon line off Connor Road, was used as a dumping ground for dirt and rock debris from the Mollenaur Mine 3 from the mid-1890s through the late 1930s. Over the years, it has slowly been reclaimed by nature and now is crisscrossed with walking trails used and cared for by neighbors.

Protecting this green space would ensure that the flora and fauna reclaiming this site have permanent habitat, save steep slopes from development, absorb rainwater at the head of the flood-prone Saw Mill Run watershed, enhance property values by offering protected trails and open space and provide opportunities for historical and environmental education.

“We recognize that green space like this is a true asset in so many ways, and we’re really excited to work with the land trust to protect it forever for current and future residents and the greater benefit community,” said Tim Moury, Bethel Park Council president.

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