Online STEM Workshops Available for Public Schools
The WLT is excited to offer excellent online STEM nature workshops free of charge to Westmoreland County public schools, to the extent that funding permits. Dr. Paula Purnell, our Partner for Educational Programming, has developed Earthworm Wonders and Microgreen Gardeners workshops under Pennsylvania’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program featuring engaging videos, narrated PowerPoints, and supplementary activities and handouts. More information is also shown below.
Floodplain Scavenger Hunt for Ackermann Preserve
Visitors to the Ackermann Preserve can now enjoy a Floodplain Scavenger Hunt thanks to Simetra Design, Sense of Place Learning, and volunteer photographers! The scavenger hunt can be printed at home, and laminated copies for use at the Preserve are available at the Ackermann Information Kiosk.
The Westmoreland Land Trust’s 2019 Annual Report has been issued. Thanks to all who helped with its production – and to all who helped or supported the WLT throughout 2019.
Thanks for your help at the Ackermann Preserve!
Many thanks to John L., Stephanie, Travis, Mark, Eric, and Tammy for your help during the last week in May pulling garlic mustard during socially-distanced visits to the Ackermann Preserve. We carried out 17 oversized garbage bags filled with garlic mustard!
If you visit the Preserve through mid-June and wish to help, you will find bags for collection and removal of the garlic mustard in the Information Kiosk. Quite a bit remains on the upper part of the Pipeline Trail and on the Pipeline Trail side of the quarry.
We are excited to announce the availability of WLT nature oriented educational workshops to participating Westmoreland County school districts! Dr. Paula Purnell, our Education Partner, has developed excellent STEM-based workshops and supporting materials.
Video and online materials suitable for teachers’ use while schools are closed are available to public schools for use free of charge (to the extent that funding permits). For your school district to participate, a letter of support from your superintendent is required. Once the WLT receives that letter, teachers may request a workshop for their class(es).
For businesses, the WLT’s PA Educational Incentive Tax Credit program is an excellent way to support delivery of high-quality educational workshops free of charge to participating Westmoreland County schools. A business may apply for generous tax credits (90% for a 2-year commitment, 75% for a 1-year commitment, up to $750,000 for the business annually) for commitments to the program. Tax credits are offered each year to eligible applicants until the PA funding allocation is spent; for this reason it is important for a business to apply very promptly (new applicants on July 1, renewing applicants on May 15). More information is available online.
As of 10/19/20, school districts that have authorized use of the workshops are:
City of Jeannette
Mount Pleasant Area
Earthworm Wonders materials for remote instruction include 2 videos, a narrated presentation, and supplementary materials. Teachers’ and students’ responses to the workshops – whether in-class or online – are uniformly positive and enthusiastic. Email
firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Thank you Colin Sheehy and Pittsburgh Camera
Thank you Colin Sheehy and Pittsburgh Camera for your extraordinary contribution to the WLT! Colin produced several short videotaped interviews of members of our board and community. Colin’s videos cover many topics, and may be found on the Youtube page for the Westmoreland Land Trust.
Donations for the Westmoreland Land Trust and the 2020 March for Parks
Thank you Robert L. Thomasson III and Spitzer Toyota for the recent donation of $5,000 to the Westmoreland Land Trust, and donation of $5,000 for the 2020 March for Parks.
Thank you Robert and Spitzer Toyota! Read more about the March at https://www.co.westmoreland.pa.us/761/March-for-Parks. NOTE: The 2020 March has been cancelled, but donations will still be accepted.
Thanks to AmeriCorps Service Member Stephanie Jellison for creating our new story map about the Ackermann Preserve!
Thanks to our excellent designer John Hapach and WLT volunteers for our new brochure/trail map for the Ackermann Preserve (funded in part by a grant from the Community Conservation Partnership Program Environmental Stewardship Fund under the administration of PA’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Recreation and Conservation, administered through Pennsylvania Environmental Commission’s Laurel Highlands Mini Grant Program).
Thanks to I.B. Dronin Photography for a generous donation to the WLT of a beautiful (drone) aerial tour of the Otto and Magdalene Ackermann Nature Preserve.
Thanks to cartographer and WLT Board member Loree Speedy for preparation of our new map of the Ackermann Preserve (published with funding provided in part by a grant from the Community Conservation Partnership Program Environmental Stewardship Fund under the administration of PA’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Recreation and Conservation, administered through Pennsylvania Environmental Commission’s Laurel Highlands Mini Grant Program). Watch for additional information about the Ackermann Preserve.
Welcome new AmeriCorps Service Member Stephanie Jellison
The Westmoreland Land Trust is pleased to welcome new AmeriCorps Service Member Stephanie Jellison. Welcome Stephanie!
Welcome new Board Members
The Westmoreland Land Trust is pleased to welcome Alyson Fearon, Andrew L. Mack, and Joseph Romano to the Board of Directors.
Welcome Alyson, Andy, and Joe!
Natural Areas book available
The Westmoreland Bird and Nature Club has received the second printing of their excellent book, Natural Areas in and around Westmoreland County. It is the combined work of over 35 members of the WB&N Club, the Audubon Society and local naturalists, most of whom are self-taught and have a love for the local Pennsylvania landscape. It is edited by long time club leader Dick Byers, and is a guide to 98 natural areas within 35 miles of Greensburg.
The book has something for everyone—hikers, birders, wildflower enthusiasts, and history buffs. A little bit of the history of each site is included, as well as a list of birds and plants that the visitor is likely to see. Scenic views and can’t-miss features are given. Even for those who are new to exploring nature, or looking for a short excursion for the kids, the book is an excellent resource.
The book is being sold at cost for $40, and may be obtained by emailing Dick Byers at email@example.com. If you would like to see the book, each of the member libraries of the Westmoreland Library Network has a copy. The WB&N Club will donate proceeds from sales of the book to the Westmoreland Land Trust to support conservation of land in Westmoreland County.
New Story Map
Here is a story map about our project, Green by Design, to evaluate land across Westmoreland County. Please contact us or stop by for a brochure about the project, or to learn more about our work. The story map was financed in part by a grant from the Community Conservation and Partnerships Program Environmental Stewardship Fund, under the administration of the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, through Pennsylvania Environmental Council’s Laurel Highlands mini grant program.
Thank you to all who support us!
Thanks to you our fund drives are a success. And thanks to you we are able to complete work well beyond the capacity of our small staff! Whether you have contributed funding or effort, your support of the Westmoreland Land Trust has made a big difference in our work to conserve land of special ecological, historic, scenic, or recreational value in Westmoreland County.
Help build a future where throughout Westmoreland County open space and recreational lands abound, water resources are protected, and wildlife flourishes. Thank you to all the people and organizations that help our work, whether with a contribution or effort!