The Scott Conservancy: Who We Are and What We Do
The Scott Conservancy is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization. Since our founding in 1989 we have been able to acquire and preserve 77.5 acres of green space in Scott Township and Mt. Lebanon.
In 2005, we purchased the wooded hillside that forms an emerald necklace encircling the Providence Point development. The original 44-acre acquisition was made possible through a Growing Greener Grant with matching funds from The Pittsburgh Foundation, The Laurel Foundation and private donations from citizens in Scott Township. This land is the keystone parcel of our Kane Woods Nature Area.
In the following few years we were able to add adjacent parcels, expanding Kane Woods to 72 acres, making it the largest remaining greenspace area in Scott Township.
We have also conserved a 5 acre wooded hillside in the nearby Vanadium Woods along Vanadium Road.
There’s nothing like sitting around the campfire with friends, sharing food and drink and swapping stories. The Scott Conservancy holds several campfire events each year at our Whiskey Point shelter. Become a member, and you’ll get email notification of the next campfire.
July 4 brings big crowds to Scott Township Park for a fun day of food, swimming and music. It’s also the date of our annual Ducky Race. You’ll find us at the entrance to the pool, sitting behind a table full of little yellow plastic ducks. Buy a $5 ticket (or $20 for five), and we’ll write your ticket number on the bottom of a duck. At race time, we haul all the ducks to the top of the swimming pool’s big slide. We send the ducks down the slide, and the first one to cross the finish line wins. If that’s your duck, you get half the money we collected from ticket sales. This is our biggest fundraiser of the year.
In August each year we gather for our annual picnic, again at the Whiskey Point shelter. We supply the hotdogs, the hamburgers and the grille, while our membership brings whatever food and drink they think we’ll enjoy.
In November our annual meeting is a time to recount the events and projects of the past year, and to look forward to new ventures. We also bring in a special guest speaker each year to highlight a topic of interest to our membership.
December isn’t always a great time to gather in the woods, so we gather instead at a local restaurant. You buy your own lunch and we’ll spring for dessert.
Scrubgrass Mine Drainage Treatment Site
Coal mining is a big part of Scott Township’s past. One unfortunate aspect lingers on in the form of polluted water that drains out of the former mines. The characteristic orange water is created by oxidation of iron pyrite. Scott Township’s Scrubgrass Run, which drains into Chartiers Creek, is polluted by this type of abandoned coal mine drainage.
The Scrubgrass Run Abandoned Mine Drainage Project was initiated by the Integrated Studies Program at Chartiers Valley High School in 1994. The site was a former leaf dump owned by Scott Township. The project was designed by the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Drainage ponds were built in 1997 with funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, the Western Pennsylvania Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation, the U.S. Office of Surface Mining, Scott Township, The Scott Conservancy and several local contributors.
The original design was a passive treatment system, meaning no chemicals or mechanical devices were used. It removed about 25 percent of the iron oxide and iron hydroxide from the water before it entered Chartiers Creek.
Additional treatment was added in 1998: a mechanical aeration system known as a Maelstrom Oxidizer. It speeds up the oxidation of the iron and results in removal of about 50 percent of the iron oxide and iron hydroxide. It was installed by O Two Environmental with funds from the state Department of Environmental Protection and the Heinz Endowments.
In 2003, the ponds were dredged, recontoured and lined with the help of a grant from the state Department of Environmental Protection. Now approximately 60 percent to 70 percent of the iron oxide and iron hydroxide is removed before the water enters Chartiers Creek.
There’s a little bit of green space where Greentree Road meets Cochran Road in Scott Township. We’ve been taking care of the smaller of the two traffic islands since 1993. Over the years we have worked with the township to bring in new landscaping and a drip irrigation system.
The flower beds at the Greentree and Cochran Road Traffic Circle are highly visible to motorists traveling this busy intersection. Conservancy member and Traffic Island Chair Mary Pitzer organizes the conservancy’s effort to maintains these plantings.
In 2015 the Conservancy placed a small apiary on our land near the forested area next to Providence Point. Beekeeper Beth D’Alessandro tends to our busy bees all year. Twice a year we harvest the extra honey not needed by the bees. We filter it, bottle it and offer it for sale.
When The Scott Conservancy incorporated on Sept. 5, 1989, we had no land of our own. But our goals include environmental protection, historic preservation and the promotion of public appreciation and respect for the environment and for the interdependent relationship that exists between human beings and nature.
In the early days we sponsored hikes and the nature study portion of the Scott Township Recreation Program. We sponsored the Great Scott Tree Contest in 1992 to determine the largest tree of each species in Scott Township. The overall winner was a willow tree at 1387 Cardinal Drive, having a circumference of 18 feet, five inches.
In 1994 we began our Scrubgrass Creek mine drainage project. The Scott Conservancy was named Environmental Group of the Year for 1996 by the Allegheny County Conservation District for its passive reclamation project on Scrubgrass Run.
We became a land trust in 2001 when Marilyn and Bill Kumpf donated two parcels of land at the cul-de-sac at the end of Jaycee Drive. Those 4 acres were the beginning of our holdings in Kane Woods.
We closed escrow on the biggest section of Kane Woods in 2005, when we acquired 44 acres surrounding Providence Point.
In 2008 the conservancy added 5.5 acres to Kane Woods, a parcel of pristine land left over from the Carleton Manor development of homes off of Bower Hill Road. This land is now accessible to the public.
The last link to the Kane puzzle came in 2009 with the acquisition of 22 acres of greenspace left over from the housing development nicknamed Birdland, whose streets are named for birds. The 17-acre parcel along with the 5-acre Ed Ryan property were acquired with a $13,000 grant from The Pittsburgh Foundation.
Thanks to the generosity of the Nixon family of Carnegie and the Oliver family of Sewickley, the Scott Conservancy received a donation in 2006 of approximately 5 acres of property along Vanadium Road. It had been in the Nixon family since 1936 and has remained virtually untouched since that time.
All of the Conservancy’s parcels have received tax exempt status. Using the parcel numbers below, a computer search can be performed at the Real Estate page found on the Allegheny County Office of Property Assessments site.
Vanadium Road Parcels:
These 3 parcels, totaling approximately 5 acres, are separate from the rest of our property and make up a pristine area containing many mature trees.
Kane Woods Nature Area Parcels:
Seven contiguous parcels, about 72 acres in all, create a very large greenway extending from the Whiskey Point Trailhead on Scrubgrass Road to Meadowlark Park in Scott Township.
Robert Celaschi – president
Kevin Russell – vice president
Jane Sorcan – treasurer
Mollie Gannon – secretary
Melissa Loizes – Newsletter
Jean Miewald – Membership
Mary Pitzer – Traffic island
Visit Kane Woods!
Scrubgrass Run: 1459 Scrubgrass Road, 15106 • Whiskey Point: 1461 Scrubgrass Road, 15106
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