Latest Buzz at the Apiary 

John Crist, our beekeeper and Conservancy Board Member, maintains the hives

In the process of selecting the best location for our apiary, several considerations were considered. Is the location sunny or in the shade? Is the location protected from strong winds? Is there an ample water source near by? Will the bees be disturbed by pedestrian or car traffic close by? And, will there be any loud noises, such as constant machinery or construction noises, close by? 


All of these considerations were processed when a location for the Scott Conservancy Apiary was decided upon. Unfortunately, not all of them received as thorough a review as was needed. In particular, a nice, sunny location behind Providence Point was picked since it was sunny and away from traffic. A privacy fence also protected the hives from pedestrian traffic and offered protection from the wind. 


However, it was thought facing the hives toward the forest would be an advantage to the bees. This turned out to be incorrect because the woods, being north of the apiary, meant the hives would not receive sun at the entrance of the hives, which is really important in winter months. Also, the privacy fence close to the hives meant that very little sun hit the hives in wintertime at all. This lack of winter sun was determined to be the reason several hives did not survive the winter months. 


Therefore, a plan to extend the privacy fence toward the road was decided upon. This plan will enable us to turn the hives so the entrances face south, and will receive much more sun than is currently possible. This change should greatly increase the health of our hives. Work on this project will most likely begin in June. 


Apiary tours are available to anyone interested in viewing the apiary and learning more about the culture of honeybees. Please call or email the Conservancy to make arrangements.


    Honeybee swarm


What is a swarm? 


A swarm is a collection of bees that contains at least one queen that has split from the mother colony to establish a new one. A swarm is a natural method of propagation of honeybees. While working at the Apiary last year, we came upon a swarm that is pictured above. 



Why are bees important? 



Somewhere between 75% and 95% of all flowering plants on the earth need help with pollination - they need pollinators. Honeybees are pollinators. Pollinators provide pollination services to over 180,000 different plant species and more than 1200 crops. That means that 1 out of every three bites of food you eat is there because of pollinators. If we want to talk dollars and cents, pollinators add 217 billion dollars to the global economy, and honeybees alone are responsible for between 1.2 and 5.4 billion dollars in agricultural productivity in the United States. In addition to the food that we eat, pollinators support healthy ecosystems that clean the air, stabilize soils, protect from sever weather, and support other wildlife.

(Source:, Accessed May 31, 2016)



Tree Pittsburgh

The Scott Conservancy is partnering with Tree Pittsburgh by offering native species trees for sale at a very favorable cost. Tree Pittsburgh's mission is to protect and restore Pittsburgh's urban forest through community tree planting and care, education, and advocacy. Tree Pittsburgh's Heritage Nursery seeks to revitalize local forests, and the important services they provide, by growing a diverse range of native and heritage trees for planting efforts. The trees available for sale have proved both hardy in our local climates and resilient in modern conditions. The nursery stock is curated with pride to withstand vegetative competition and thrive after planting, even in the toughest conditions. These trees have resisted weather extremes, soil changes, and pollution over decades, making them ideal candidates. 

Scott Conservancy volunteers will be able to help with pickup, delivery, and planting of these reasonably priced trees. We hope you will consider planting a tree or two on your own property or on Conservancy property.

Contact: Keith Breitenstein 


Maintaining the smaller of the two traffic islands at the corner of Greentree and Cochran Roads is one of the contributions the Conservancy makes to the community. After the long winter, a little "Tender Loving Care" is needed. In the spirit of volunteerism, please help with the spring island cleanup and planting. 

The traffic island we maintain at the corner of Greentree and Cochran Roads is in bloom, or soon will be, due to the hard work and commitment of Mary Pitzer. The early spring flowers on the island are a joyful reminder that the long winter is over. 

This year the spring planting will be done in two phases: a cleanup phase, which may appeal to the non-gardeners, and a planting phase on the later date. 

The dates are: 

  • May 12 - Cleanup - bring cleanup tools such as rakes, large buckets, cutters, saws, and shovels. 

  • May 26 - Planting - bring planting tools. 

We will meet at the traffic island at 9:00 am on both dates. Following the work on both days, plan to join us for coffee at Starbucks on Greentree Road. Depending on the number of volunteers, the cleanups take about an hour. 

Jane Sorcan

Join us on Saturday, June 9th at 1:00 pm for a self-guided Nature Hike at the Pittsburgh Botanical Gardens located in Oakdale, PA. We expect the hike to last about 1.5 hours. 

Open since April 2015, Pittsburgh Botanic Garden has transformed 60 acres of land once mined, logged, and farmed into a flourishing garden for all to enjoy. Three miles of groomed trails take visitors through gardens, woodlands, and attractions including the award winning Lotus Pond and the peaceful Margaret Lawrence Simon Dogwood Meadow. Pittsburgh Botanic Garden is pet-friendly.

Jane Sorcan

Rain's A Pain When It Gouges Trails Again

Overflowing retention pond before sediment is removed

We love it when fresh rainwater fills the stream in Kane Woods. But we don't love it when the water cuts across our trails to reach the stream. That's what happened when a big downpour hit the area earlier this year.

Hillside runoff has long been a particular challenge along the Tom the Tinker Trail. Five years ago we had a small retention pond dug next to the trail, with a pipe running under the trail to the stream. Most of the time it does a great job of protecting the trail, but when a storm is strong enough the system can get overwhelmed. 

In late February, board member Kevin Russell checked on the pond after an especially heavy storm and discovered that leaves and other debris had blocked the pipe intake. The pond filled to overflowing, and the water escaped by running down the bank and across the trail. Ken was able to limit the trail damage by unblocking the pipe, which emptied the pond within about 20 minutes. 

When the weather warms up and we get some dry days, we'll need to put the trail back in shape, and remove sediment from the pond. As with most Conservancy projects, we rely heavily on volunteers. If you enjoy our trails and want them to stay safe and beautiful, please pitch in with a few extra hours, a few extra dollars, or both. 

The Scott Conservancy is a non-profit organization that maintains two miles of trails in the Kane Woods Nature Area for community use. It depends on donations and volunteers to keep the area maintained.

Outlet into stream from end of pipe at retention pond

Apiary receives donation from Pittsburgh Foundation

Much to our surprise, the Scott Conservancy received a grant from the Dr. Jeanne A. Cooper/Ault Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation in January 2018. We were given a grant of $600 at the recommendation of the grants coordinator at The Pittsburgh Foundation. We cannot thank them enough for their generosity. 

The use of the funds is limited to the maintenance of our apiary located near Providence Point, which we established in 2016 to further our mission of Environmental Preservation. 

We received a grant from the Dr. Jeanne A. Cooper/Ault Fund when the Scott Conservancy was included in The Pittsburgh Foundation Wishbook for 2016. We did not submit a grant proposal this year, so we feel honored that they chose to fund us again. 

We will use the funds to purchase items needed to continue to maintain the apiary. We are currently discussing changes to the apiary enclosure to allow more sun to warm the hives in the winter. Our beekeepers have noticed that hives shaded in the winter do not seem to do as well as those getting direct sunlight. Part of the funds generously donated will contribute to the cost of this project.

Annual Meeting 2017 Recap 

The Scott Conservancy held its Annual Members Meeting last November at Scott Lodge. We were pleased to welcome a special speaker Vivien Li, President of Riverlife. Riverlife is a non-profit organization that advocates for Pittsburgh's riverfronts. 

We also reviewed our activities the past year, which included a Solar Eclipse Party, Native Species Identification Project, Holiday Party, Campfires and Picnics, and our Rubber Ducky Race, our popular yearly fundraiser held at Scott Pool. 

Additionally, we recognized and were thankful for the following volunteer groups, businesses, and government entities that donated funds, goods, and services to the Conservancy last year. 

  • Scott Township 

  • Boy Scout Troop 834 and William Phifer 

  • US Coast Guard 

  • Pittsburgh Foundation (Fund 1409) 

  • Dr. Jeanne A. Cooper/Ault Fund of the Pittsburgh Foundation 

  • Wish Book Project in memory of Barbara Evans Crawford 

  • Chartiers Valley Outdoor Club 

  • All the Conservancy volunteers who donated time and skills to maintain the Kane Woods Nature Area and the Apiary 

The CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) savings for each ton of recycled paper is four tons of CO2 because less energy is needed to make paper from recycled fiber as opposed to virgin wood pulp. The savings does not even take into account the CO2 absorbed by the trees that are not cut down to make new paper. Keep Recycling!

Support Scott Conservancy:  Shop at

Did you know that you could support The Scott Conservancy just by making purchases on Amazon? Go to and set The Scott Conservancy as your supporting charity.  Thank you for your support!

EVENT: Traffic Island

May 12, 2018

May 26, 2018

TIME:  9:00 am
PLACE:  Corner of Greentree & Cochran Rds

EVENT: Nature Hike

June 9, 2018
TIME:  1:00 pm
PLACE:  Pittsburgh Botanical Gardens

EVENT: Rubber Ducky Race

July 4, 2018
PLACE:  Scott Pool

EVENT: Annual Meeting

November 14, 2018
PLACE:  Scott Lodge










  • Bob Gamble, President

  • Don McGuirk, Vice-President

  • Sarantos Patrinos, Secretary

  • Jane Sorcan, Treasurer

Board Members & Chairpersons

  • John Crist, Apiary

  • Bill Luxner, Trails

  • Don McGuirk, Trails 

  • Kevin Russell, Trails

  • Robert Celaschi, Trails

  • Robin Anthony, Website

  • Mary Pitzer, Traffic Island

  • Jean Miewald, Membership

  • Sarantos Patrinos, Newsletter 

Connect with Us

The Scott Conservancy
PO Box 13067
Pittsburgh, PA  15243

Whiskey Run Trailhead
1461 Scrubgrass Road

Scrubgrass Run Trailhead
1459 Scrubgrass Road















Where did the mountain go? 
It was pushed into the stream below. 
Mountaintop removal. 

Where did the fish all go? 
They died because the stream can't flow.
 Mountaintop removal.

Hazel Cope


Haiku are a short, Japanese form of poetry. Thank you to Hazel Cope for her poetry.  Hazel is a Scott Conservancy member








The Scott Conservancy

May 26, 2018

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