The following is a copy of a press release from the Allegheny Land Trust published October 20, 2021.
Middlesex Township, PA - A 120-acre tract of woodlands and rolling meadows in the headwaters of Glade Run Lake in southern Butler County has been permanently conserved as a result of a collaborative effort between Allegheny Land Trust (ALT), the Glade Run Lake Conservancy (GRLC), and longtime Middlesex Township landowner Joan Goswell.
The land will be preserved through a conservation easement donated by Goswell to be held and monitored in perpetuity by ALT. The ALT and GRLC said this effort was the first of what they hope will be many land conservation accomplishments in the watershed.
"We are extremely excited to be working with the Glade Run Lake Conservancy and the local community to protect the land around this unique lake in this rapidly developing area," said Chris Beichner, President & CEO of ALT. "Conserving this land preserves the rural character and scenic beauty of the community and is essential to ensuring that the excellent water quality of the lake is maintained forever."
Glade Run Lake awash with autumn colors. Credit: Renee Eiler (left image) and Melissa Brown (right image)
GRLC was originally formed to ensure that the lake would be restored after it was drained in 2011 due to its unsafe earthen dam. Now that the dam has been rebuilt, GRLC is focused on the threat that encroaching suburban sprawl has on water quality.
"Protecting land in the lake's immediate watershed is the only way to keep the water clean and the habitat safe and productive for animals, birds, and fish," said Siggy Pehel, President of the GRLC. "Our members live in the community and know the lake intimately, but we (the GRLC) don't currently have the necessary knowledge, expertise, and capacity in land conservation, so we were pleased to find a willing partner in Allegheny Land Trust to help us protect Glade Run Lake."
The two organizations have identified and prioritized the most sensitive lands in the watershed and have created a plan to collaboratively pursue the conservation of those lands through a variety of conservation tools including conservation easements like the one on Goswell's property. Conservation easements are voluntary legal agreements between a landowner and the easement holder that permanently limit future development of the land while permitting the landowner to retain ownership and usage rights as specified in the easement.
In this case, Goswell will continue to own, live on, and enjoy her property as she has for much of her life, while knowing that her beloved land will be preserved in its natural state as woodlands and meadows forever.
"It is very satisfying to know that my land will contribute to the health of our lake and to the rural character of our community long after I am gone," said Goswell. "I hope my conservation easement will encourage others to conserve their lands too. If we let our land be gobbled up by housing developments, then it will all be gone forever - and our lake and our community would never be the same.
Learn more about GRLC's efforts related to land preservation by reading our blog post from September 2020 titled "Preserving the Watershed of Glade Run Lake with Conservation Easements".
We also encourage you to watch "Preserve & Protect, The Story of Glade Run Lake", a short film recently created by Wild Excellence Films which discusses the GRLC's current efforts to preserve the watershed Glade Run Lake resides in.
The Glade Run Lake Conservancy (GRLC) is dedicated to the restoration, ongoing preservation, and improvement of Glade Run Lake and its adjacent lands, located in southern Butler County, Pennsylvania. By encouraging the use of Glade Run Lake and its surrounding park land, the GRLC promotes outdoor recreation, environmental conservation, and education of the natural world for people of all ages.
The Allegheny Land Trust (ALT) was founded as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 1993 in response to the rapidly declining amount of green space in Allegheny County. To date, ALT has protected more than 3,300 acres in order to protect our region's unique natural beauty, provide accessible outdoor recreational opportunities, improve water quality, sustain biodiversity, and enhance the overall quality of life for all. ALT's strategic priorities are in land protection, land stewardship, community conservation, and environmental education.