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DCNR grant to protect 53 acres

Jamil Preston-Wiley, 9, of Gibsonia, casts a line while fishing with his grandmother, Jamila Wiley, and Landon Key, 13, at Glade Run Lake in Middlesex Township. Wiley said they go fishing at the park almost every two days.

The efforts of the Glade Run Lake Conservancy to protect land and uphold water quality around Glade Run Lake again will expand.

The conservancy, in partnership with the Allegheny Land Trust, received a $313,000 Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources grant to purchase and protect a new 53-acre tract of land in Middlesex Township for open space and passive recreation.

The land is adjacent to a 120-acre tract of land protected by the trust and the Glade Run Lake Conservancy in 2021 using a conservation easement. The trust plans to purchase the new land tract and later transfer it to the state Fish and Boat Commission.

“We are extremely excited to continue efforts with the Glade Run Lake Conservancy and the local community to protect land around this unique lake in this rapidly developing area,” Chris Beichner, president and CEO of the Allegheny Land Trust, said in a statement. “These grant dollars offer a significant boost to our efforts to protect this land and promote the community's resiliency.”

The trust said protecting the space would ensure permanent annual capture of 371,000 pounds of carbon and approximately 77,000,000 gallons of rainwater.Siggy Pehel, president of the Glade Run Lake Conservancy, described the project as “another building block piece in a larger Lego puzzle.”“In 2017, we laid the foundation by restoring the dam and spillway to refill the lake; in 2021, we placed a conservation easement on Joan Goswell's land, and now this property is directly adjacent to that land and contains the main source of water to the lake,” Pehel said. “We will continue adding blocks in 2022, 2023 and beyond to preserve and protect the lake and its watershed.”Protecting the lakeRoy Kraynyk, vice president of Land Protection & Capital Projects at ALT, explained that protecting this portion of land will help uphold water quality around Glade Run Lake for the future.“The land will be forever green, so you'll have the trees and meadows that hold back and sequester water and purify water as it flows into the lake,” Kraynyk said.

“If the land was developed, you'd have erosion, you'd have runoff, you'd have polluted runoff from insecticides and herbicides, and runoff from driveways, and salt from roads that would be developed to serve the housing plan,” he explained. “By eliminating the development, we're eliminating the potential for all those impacts to the watershed, and in addition, the additional stormwater that would be created from a development. “Kraynyk and Pehel hope that this effort is one of many between the two organizations.“This is hopefully the start of something big,” Kraynyk said. “This is really the start of what we hope is an ongoing and long-term conservation effort in Middlesex and around the lake.”Pehel described 2021 as a “very productive year” for the conservancy, and said that while the organization's work of refilling the lake finished in 2017, they plan to stay busy.“From my perspective, the biggest thing was getting the money to refill the lake. This is probably the next biggest thing after that,” he said. “With the property, once that's all signed, sealed and delivered, that will give us 53 more acres to have for trails.”“This announcement of the grant is another puzzle piece that has fallen into place and would not have happened without ALT,” he added.

Glade Run Lake Conservancy continues to work to preserve land around Glade Run Lake at the park in Middlesex Township.Joseph Ressler/Butler Eagle
Landon Key, 13, and Jamil Preston-Wiley, 9, of Gibsonia, prepare bait for fishing at Glade Run Lake in Middlesex Township on Dec. 31, 2021. Joseph Ressler/Butler Eagle

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