Allegheny Land Trust (ALT) partnered with Susan Orenstein to protect her historic 12-acre “Catch the Wind Farm.” The deal will protect a woodlot, scenic pasture, and shallow valley through a voluntary conservation easement. The easement will allow Orenstein or any future owners to continue to use the land, and ALT will control its future development.
Currently, ALT protects over 2,200 acres of green space. Yet, although Allegheny County has substantial green space for an urban area, it’s changing at a rapid pace. As the population declined 25% between 1960-2014, developed land increased by 69% during that same period. This continuous growth has made a significant impact on the municipality. In 2000, the County was about 50% green space and 50% developed. By 2020, the amount of green space will have shrunk to below 40%. ALT wants to preserve large parcels of land, such as Hays Woods and the Orenstein’s farm to ensure that a meaningful portion of green space remains protected.
Despite the importance of green spaces, according to the National Land Trust Alliance’s website, few Americans have heard of land trusts. ALT holds environmental education programs and invites landowners like Orenstein to preserve their land. Orenstein says, “I’m thrilled to give up my right to profit financially by development in order to preserve the far more important value of the land itself.”
For more information about ALT, visit https://alleghenylandtrust.org/.
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