Recreation

  RECREATION  EDUCATION   HISTORY    COMMUNITY


Each year, The Scott Conservancy sponsors one or more special outings - be sure to check our calendar for updates.  Whether it be bird-watching, hiking or biking, it is sure to be fun.  Sometimes the outings are on our land or in our watershed, and sometimes we take a trip outside the area for some regional flavor.   

Paper Crab Apple Leaves #2 by Patricia Eckstrom

The conservancy is also a good place to meet people who like to camp, fish, hike, bike and boat.  Although the conservancy no longer sponsors canoe trips, we encourage our members to organize their own private floats.   And of course, bring your friends to our hikes!  We have over two miles of trails running through over 50 acres of our 72 acre Kane Woods Nature Area for you to enjoy.

 HIKING

hike the Kane Woods TrailsWith 72 acres of forest, consider a weekend hike of the Kane Woods Nature Area in Scott Township. Enter the woods from the valley or the hill at one of four trailheads 


Bottom of the hill:  Whiskey Point Trailhead on the corner of Scrubgrass & Main Streets, Scrubgrass Run Trailhead.

Top of the hill:  JCC Trailhead located at the rear of the Jewish Community Center parking lot on Kane Blvd., or the Providence Point Trailhead that's conveniently located for the residents of Providence Point.  

Kane Woods Trails Map

Kane Woods Trailhead entrances are open to anyone wanting to walk the trails.  Explore our trails on your own or with a group of friends.  The trails are color-coded and named, with colored metal signs on wooden posts clearly marking trail intersections. Trail maps are available at the trailheads. If you've never been on a Conservancy hike, consider joining us this year.  We have a few guided hikes each year.  

  

 BIKING

Biking on the Panhandle Trail - street crossing

Come out to the Panhandle Trail for a few miles of biking.  

Walkers Mill parking lot - Panhandle Trail

Join the Ramblers at Walker's Mill station for a Panhandle Trail hike/bike 

Portion of proposed hiking/biking trail thru Scott Township
Scenic bridge on Robinson Run by Oakdale.

You'll ride by quaint towns and scenic bridges as Robinson Run, a tributary of Chartiers Creek, snakes along the Panhandle Trail.  A trail feasibility study has identified a potential new route through Scott Township and adjacent municipalities (map) that could eventually link up with the Panhandle Trail to improve and increase the region's hiking and biking opportunities.    

  

 CANOE CHARTIERS CREEK

Float Chartiers Creek

Float beneath quaint bridges that span stretches of tree-lined banks as you navigate on Chartiers Creek toward the Ohio River.  Churn your way through exciting rapids below Canonsburg one moment, then round the bend to discover an immense great blue heron rookery nested across 5 large sycamores. 

Canoe Sojourn Map

Lunch break on the bank of the ChartiersStop off and explore  Allegheny Land Trust's Wingfield Pines Conservation Area and Upper St. Clair's Mayview Wetlands.  Indulge in a journey of contrasts as the primordial wilderness snakes through an urban setting.  Spring wildflowers splash steeply forested hillsides while towns perch on creek banks overhead.

The upper watershed run is 12 miles and the lower watershed run is 12 miles, for a total of 24 miles of navigable run on Chartiers Creek.  Although the conservancy no longer sponsors canoe trips due to insurance costs, some of our members like to organize their own excursions.  There are several put-in and take-out points along the way for boaters that want a short, quick run after work or on the weekend.  

The upper watershed creek access points include Canonsburg at Southpointe (put-in), ALT's Wingfield Pines (put-in/take-out), Chartiers Park in Bridgeville (take-out above dam).  The lower watershed creek access points include Chem Tech building off Washington Pike in Collier Township (put-in below dam)  Carnegie between Main St. and Mansfield Bridges (put-in/take out) Sharp Edge Creekhouse in Crafton (put-in/take out),  McKees Rocks (take-out). You can also put-in at McKees Rocks for a float on the Ohio River.  


Education

  RECREATION  EDUCATION   HISTORY    COMMUNITY


 

COMMUNITY PROGRAMS & WORKSHOPS

  

The mission statement of the Penn State Master Gardener volunteer program is to support the Penn State Cooperative Extension by using research-based info to educate the public on best practices in consumer horticulture and environmental stewardship. 

The program was established to help the cooperative extension reach the consumer horticulture audience. Master Gardeners receive extensive training in the various phases of gardening. In return, they dedicate volunteer time to teach horticulture based on recommendations stemming from university research.

Gardening Program:  The Scott Conservancy is currently sponsoring a gardening education program for the general public in 2011.  Jane Peart, Penn State Master Gardener Class of 1998, is setting up a series of workshops for the Scott Conservancy membership. 

The program list includes topics like pruning, fall clean up, garden design, bulbs and vegetable gardening.

Early this spring, we offered a program called "Design your Landscape" and it was quite a success.  Martha Swiss, the evening's instructor and a Penn State Master Gardener, using before and after examples, provided useful information on how to assess your landscape, create a design to achieve the needs and desires of your landscape and how to execute your design.  

Attendees at the program, held at the Scott Park Lodge in Scott Park, also received a handout that included a list of trees and shrubs for natural landscaping and a list of publications for further reading. 

Allegheny County Penn State Master Gardeners will present "Fall Garden Forum" this fall.  

downspouts drain stormwater from gutters into rainbarrel

The average rain barrel holds about 40 gallons of rainwater, and while rainwater isnít clean enough to drink, it can be used after the storm to water the garden, wash the car, even fill a small wading pool or your backyard pond. 

Most summer storms in our area yield about 0.25 inches of rain, though some can locally drop more depending on the path of the storm. 

One or two rain barrels could easily catch and hold the runoff from most storms Ė thatís 40 gallons that wonít end up in the creek during a rain storm, and that you donít have to pay for in your municipal water and sewage bill.

Rain Barrel Workshop:  Those raindrops add up, as weíve seen lately in some flooding incidents.  While the issue may seem too big for any individual to do something about it, a rain barrel at the end of a residential downspout can make a big difference in the amount of stormwater pouring into Chartiers Creek and its smaller tributaries.  Individuals can be part of this stormwater solution by making their own rain barrel for home use at a Rain Barrel Workshop.  

Shortly after Hurricane Ivan left its mark on the region, The Scott Township Community Room was the site of a rain barrel workshop sponsored by the Scott Township Environmental Council and the Lower Chartiers Watershed Council.  Under the guidance of Don McGuirk, the participants constructed rain barrels for use at home.  Larger rainbarrels are available from farm supply outlets.  

Building a rain barrel isnít difficult and doesnít require a lot of expertise.  Participants are provided with recycled, clean food barrels and required hardware, and only need to drill a few holes and put it all together.  You are given instructions on installing the rain barrel once you get it home.  

Itís simple enough for children and adults, and fun enough to want to make two.  Itís also equipped with an overflow hose to direct water away from the foundation during a storm and a mosquito screen to cover the inflow opening to keep breeding mosquitoes out.

To see how it all adds up, imagine if everyone on your street or neighborhood had a rain barrel or two, and see how quickly it adds up to thousands of gallons of water being held back from the creek in every storm, and how much is not being used from the municipal water supply.

  
  

History 

  RECREATION  EDUCATION   HISTORY    COMMUNITY


We partner each July with the Neville House, St. Luke's Church and the Woodville Plantation to bring the historical Whiskey Rebellion alive.

 

THE WHISKEY REBELLION

Reenactors from Anthony Wayne's Legion that helped defend Bower Hill, give visitors to the Kane Woods, the Presley Neville House and Old Saint Luke's Church a glimpse into the life of a soldier in colonial times. 

Kane Woods featured historically during the Whiskey Rebellion: The Kane Woods, Old St. Luke's Church, the Neville House and the Neville mansion on Bower Hill all have historical significance dating back to Revolutionary times.  In 1996, the Conservancy, with the support of the Scott Township Commissioners, received approval from the Pennsylvania State Historical and Museum Commission to erect a state historical Marker on Bower Hill, the site of General Neville's mansion, which was burned to the ground during the Whiskey Rebellion. 

The Whiskey Rebellion is important in U.S. history because it provided the first real test of the new American Constitution..  

In 1794 an angry mob of Whiskey Boys marched through the Scott Conservancy's Kane Woods to "Bower Hill," the plantation home of the Federal Inspector of the Excise, General John Neville, which was located at the top of Kane Boulevard near the old Kane Hospital, now Providence Point.

The insurgents burned Neville's home. Neville, a Federalist, narrowly escaped the grasp of the crowd. 

Our Kane Woods Trails, through which the Whiskey Boys once marched, are named in honor of the rebellion.  

An historic marker now marks the location of Neville's home on Kane Blvd.

Old St. Luke's Church, the oldest church established west of the Allegheny Mountains, where Neville worshipped, is also marked by an historic marker.

Yearly re-enactments of the battle have been taking place each summer in the Kane Woods since the trails grand opening in 2008. 

A walking tour thru the Kane Woods is accompanied by activities at Old St. Luke's Church, Presley Neville House and the Woodville Plantation on Bower Hill where General Neville's mansion was burned to the ground by the Whiskey rebels.

One of the unique features of the Kane Woods is its historical significance. Most of the land was once owned by General John Neville, who was a Revolutionary War veteran.  General Neville served at General Washington's side during the Revolutionary War and they were close personal friends, both having grown up in Fairfax County, Virginia. He served at Valley Forge, and fought alongside his close personal friend General George Washington at the Battle of Yorktown. Before the war, he served as the commander at Fort Pitt, and his son, Presley Neville, was aide-de-camp to the Marquis de Lafayette, the French political and military leader, who supported the cause of American independence.  

After the war, General Neville's role in our nation's history continued. Saddled with enormous debts from the Revolutionary War, our new nation under the leadership of President George Washington instituted an excise tax on whiskey to raise money to pay off the war loans.  President Washington appointed his trusted friend General Neville, Inspector of the Revenue for Western Pennsylvania, and charged him with collecting the tax. 

Local farmers, however, violently opposed the new tax. Whiskey distilled by the farmers and sold throughout the country and even as far away as New Orleans was their main source of income. With barely enough cash to make ends meet, the farmers believed the tax would ruin them. They organized protests against the tax, some of which turned violent.  The hostilities culminated in fighting that broke out on July 16 and 17, 1794, between local farmers, federal troops, and supporters of General Neville at his estate on Bower Hill.

Neville's Bower Hill Mansion and other buildings on the estate were burned to the ground by local farmers during the fighting. They became known as the Whiskey Boys.  

An angry President Washington responded by dispatching 13,000 troops, a force larger than any he commanded during the Revolutionary War, to put down what became known as the Whiskey Rebellion.

As the federal forces marched on Western Pennsylvania, the rebellion collapsed, yet the legacy of the rebellion left its mark on American history. A keen student of American History, President Harry S. Truman, called it one of the ten most important events in American History, and President Abraham Lincoln citied Washington's action as a precedent in using force to oppose the secession of the Southern states in 1860.  

General Neville worshipped at Old St. Luke's Church and the Church's cemetery is the resting place of many of our region's earliest settlers including a number of Revolutionary War veterans.  A state historical maker was erected at Old St. Luke's Church, in Scott Township, to honor the role it played in American History. Old St. Luke's is the oldest church established west of the Allegheny Mountains. The church is still preserved today as a house of worship. Reverend Richard Davies led the effort to secure approval for the St. Luke's Historical Marker.

  

  

 

WWII MEMORIAL RESTORED

Ed Stevens, a Korean War Veteran, Judge John G. Brosky and Zack D'Alesandro, Jr.

WW II Bower Hill Memorial Rededicated: One of our conservancy members who is making a difference is Judge John Brosky.  Judge Brosky stepped up to volunteer his time and considerable organizational and people skills to help preserve, refurbish, and move to a new location a neglected and deteriorating memorial to the World War II veterans from Bower Hill.

The Judge, during his remarks, said that, "Freedom is not free." 

The stars beside the names for four of the veterans on the memorial, and all of the names on the memorial are a silent testimony to their sacrifice. 

Maybe the next time you're driving by, you can stop to read the names, or leave flowers at the memorial. 

Thanks to the efforts of the Judge, the memorial will be there a long time, and the names will be remembered for a long time.  God help us if we forget.
  

After reading about the neglected memorial in the "Scott Conservationist", and seeing that his good friend and tipstaff Harry Volkhart was one of the names listed on the memorial, the Judge sent a donation to the Conservancy to help with the restoration. But he didn't stop there. He arranged with the County to have the memorial moved to a better location on Kane Boulevard. He worked with Roger Gaydos of the Gaydos Memorial Company to have the memorial refurbished and repolished. 

Another of the Judge's friends, Richard Thomas of the Richard L. Thomas Body Shop, furnished a crane and the manpower to move the 2,300 pound memorial to its new site. 

And he did this all in about two months, in time to have the memorial rededicated on Veteran's Day, November 11th. 

Over a hundred people gathered on that day, making the rededication ceremony that the Judge organized one of the most memorable in some time. 

Many of those present were  World War II veterans who came to remember their friends who served this country so bravely and so well 60 years ago.

Their courage preserved our freedom, and as we well know, Americans are still serving today to preserve that freedom. 

One of them, Air Force Colonel Alan Thompson, who attended the re-dedication with the University of Pittsburgh color guard, was himself headed overseas after the ceremony. 

 


Community

  RECREATION  EDUCATION   HISTORY    COMMUNITY


For twenty years now The Scott Conservancy has been putting to flight the notion that the spirit of volunteerism is dead and we have all become a nation of self-centered couch potatoes.   Whether it's been landscaping a barren traffic island, helping to clean our water of mine pollution, or leading hikes in the Kane Woods, Conservancy members are making a difference in Scott Township.  

 

SPRING PLANTINGS & CLEANUPS 

 

Scott Conservancy members volunteer to help plant  community flower garden

A couple hours of work and your volunteer effort results in a public garden enjoyed by motorists, including yourself, as you drive past our traffic islands throughout the summer.  

The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy designed the Patty's Park traffic island and provides the flowers and tools volunteers need for the planting. The flower beds at the Greentree and Cochran Road traffic circle are maintained by The Scott Conservancy.

Earth Day cleanups in your neighborhood are a great learning experience for children accompanied by a parent or guardian. 

Earth Day is always a good time to stage a cleanup. And in Scott Township we always have a lot to clean up - from trash along our major roadways to debris on the hiking trails in the Kane Woods Nature Area.  

The Great WPA Cleanup: Join Pennsylvanians across the state for the Great PA Clean-up each year on Earth Day weekend.   The cleanup really improves our community's appearance by removing litter that has accumulated along our major roadways.  They are Scott's "front door" and after the long winter are in need of sprucing up! Volunteers that come to the Municipal Building on the corner of Lindsay Road and Greentree Road will be directed to various roadways in the township in need of cleanup. 

Volunteers wishing to clean up the Kane Woods on Earth Day meet at the Whiskey Point Trailhead, at the newly constructed shelter, and park in the lot located on the corner of Main Street and Scrubgrass Road across the street from the Veterans Bridge.  

Patty's Park Traffic Island: Designed by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, Patty's Park is a traffic island on the corner of Hope Hollow and Route 50 across from Flynn's Tire.  Although the Scott Conservancy doesn't sponsor this garden, conservancy members work together with township volunteers and commissioners each spring to help with the spring planting.  Flowers and tools are provided and volunteers can conveniently park at the end of the Flynn Tire parking lot closest to the island.

Cochran/Greentree Traffic Island: The flower beds at the Greentree and Cochran Road Traffic Circle, maintained by The Scott Conservancy,  are highly visible to motorists traveling this busy intersection.  A drip system, installed using $2000 in grant money from Pennsylvania's Department of Community and Economic Development which was then matched by Scott Township, makes plantings easy to water.  What a visible way to showcase The Scott Conservancy and help to promote environmental awareness. 

  

ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP

Map of 72 acre Kane Woods Nature Area

The Scott Conservancy's Kane Woods Nature Area is home to deer, fox, wild turkey and several species of birds under a canopy of large, ancient trees.  The conservancy spent a decade acquiring the land and blazing two miles of trails through the property.  

A five acre stand of ancient oaks is also preserved on a steep hillside by Vanadium Road.  

iron oxide "yellowboy" characteristic of abandoned mine drainage

The Scott Conservancy's AMD passive reclamation project on Scrubgrass Run mitigates the effects of abandoned mine drainage and serves to educate future environmental scientists. 

The University of Pittsburgh's Environmental Geology Lab class lead by Professor Charles Jones visited the AMD site on Old Scrubgrass Road where the students studied the effects of abandoned mine drainage and its effects on the environment. The students were exposed to the various techniques used to help reduce those negative effects such as the passive system used here. 

Kane Woods Nature Area: Land acquisition is an important goal of the Scott Conservancy.  The Scott Conservancy has been able to acquire 77.5 acres over the last 10 years.  

The land is open for our residents to enjoy nature in the 72 acre Kane Woods Nature Area.  The two miles of trails on 42 acres of the 72 acre nature area are marked with color-coded signage that can be accessed from four trailheads.  Trails in the Scott nature preserve are named after leading figures and events in the Whiskey Rebellion, since many of its key events took place right here in Scott Township.  

Trail maps are available at the Whiskey Point Trailhead, where a large parking lot has been created to accommodate parking during events, and a shelter with seating has been built.

We have also conserved a 5 acre wooded hillside in the nearby Vanadium Woods along Vanadium Road.   

Master Plan: A master site plan for the Kane Woods Nature Area and the property adjacent to Scott Park owned by Scott Township will be our guide as we continue to develop the Kane Woods Nature Area, thanks to a grant from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, matched by the Baptist Homes. 

We also want to thank all those who came to the public meetings that were held to gather input for the plan. The plan was completed by Civil and Environmental Consultants and contains estimated costs for the recommended improvements.  

Scrubgrass AMD Pond: Reflecting conditions left behind from a by-gone era, Scott Township's Scrubgrass Run, which drains into Chartiers Creek, is polluted by abandoned coal mine drainage, commonly referred to as AMD.  The Scrubgrass Run AMD Project, funded primarily through grants from the PA DEP and US EPA,  mitigates this pollution passively using a collection pond. The orange sediment recovered from the site, referred to as "yellow-boy" is recycled and used for pigment in paints and dyes.  The Scott Conservancy was named Environmental Group of the Year for 1996 by the Allegheny County Conservation District for its AMD passive reclamation project on Scrubgrass Run. 

 



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October 17, 2011

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