Executive Director Appointed

Mary Tate

Mary Tate

“This is an historic moment for our young organization,” Chuck Duritsa, chair of the Westmoreland Land Trust, said after the board endorsed the hiring of Mary Tate as the group’s first executive director at its meeting on January 20, “and the beginning of what we hope will be even greater success in conserving open space for the people of Westmoreland County.”

Tate has degrees from the University of Pittsburgh and Boston Architectural College and experience in the areas of planning and preservation. She worked as a preservation specialist, preservation consultant, and city secretary in and around metro Dallas, Texas where she also was involved as a volunteer for Cub Scouts, the PTA, and Autism Awareness. Originally from western Pennsylvania, Mary and her family recently left Texas to return to the local area.

“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to help the Westmoreland Land Trust build on the great foundation that’s already in place,” Tate said. She will quickly get the chance to do that, as her first day on the job is Monday.

Since 2008, the nine-year-old Westmoreland Land Trust has been achieving its goals solely through the volunteered time, efforts, and energies of some 23 board members. Board members will continue their active involvement, but having Tate as the dedicated staff person will help achieve goals more quickly and comprehensively, Duritsa said.

The Westmoreland Land Trust has conserved some 235 acres in six Westmoreland County communities, including the City of Greensburg, North Huntingdon Township, and Murrysville. Its most recent acquisition was 28 acres in Rostraver Township, obtained in partnership with the Westmoreland County Bureau of Parks and Recreation, and added to Cedar Creek Park.

The Westmoreland Land Trust executive director position was created with funding from the Allegheny Foundation.

Re-imagining Our Westmoreland


Thanks to everyone who came and offered their thoughts on Westmoreland County’s strengths and needs at the Reimagining Our Westmoreland workshop we held in conjunction with the Loyalhanna Watershed Association on Nov. 2.

Your input has been sent to the county for inclusion in the County Comprehensive Plan now being developed.  This plan will help guide local decisions through the year  2031.

Day of Giving – Thank you!

The Day of Giving was rescheduled for Wednesday, September 21 from 8:00 a.m. until midnight.

Thanks to everyone who supported us! That day, all donations earned  MATCHING Funds” from the Community Foundation of Westmoreland County.

And Westmoreland Land Trust is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization so your gift is tax-deductible under the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code, to the extent of the law.

“The Sky’s the Limit” – 28 acres added to Cedar Creek Park

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The  skies cleared…the people came…the planes flew…and the deed for 28 acres of land was transferred to the county, so it can be added to Cedar Creek Park.   Thanks to everyone who came to “The Sky’s the Limit” celebration event on May 12.

Here are some scenes including the property deed delivered by drone!!

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Mike Walsh, deputy secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources spoke at the event.

Members of the Mon-Valley Radio Control Club put on an amazing airshow.

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Drones with cameras and TV screens — along with radio-controlled model helicopters, jets, and giant-scale planes!!!

Kids’ activities included customizing their own airplanes.

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Wildflower walks were held.


A Hubsan drone with FPV ($500 value) was raffled off.

LollipopTree FoodVendor

Popcorn, hot dogs, and other fun foods were available, and the event was free and open to the public.


The new, 28-acre parcel of land we were celebrating will create a protective “buffer” for the Cedar Creek Gorge (behind the tree line), site of one of the best wildflower shows in western Pennsylvania, as well as new recreation opportunities for visitors, including hiking trails and more room for the radio-controlled model airfield (out of photo, to right).

The Westmoreland Land Trust and the Westmoreland County Bureau of Parks and Recreation raised the money for this land acquisition through competitive grants, one from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Bureau of Recreation and Conservation; and one from the Colcom Foundation. THANK YOU!

Westmoreland Land Trust and Westmoreland County Parks to Add 28 Acres to Cedar Creek Park

16#CedarCreekAdditionGreensburg, PA –The Westmoreland Land Trust, a nonprofit organization that seeks to conserve open space in Westmoreland County, and the Westmoreland County Bureau of Parks and Recreation have announced that 28 more acres will be added to Cedar Creek Park in Rostraver Township.

The two organizations partnered to acquire this new property because of its ecological and recreational value.

Located on top of a steep slope at the eastern edge of Cedar Creek Gorge, the new property will provide an important, undeveloped buffer for the gorge, which is a Natural Habitat Area and a designated Biodiversity Area of Exceptional Significance known for its spectacular wildflowers.

The property also will provide more recreation opportunities for park visitors, including new trails and, because of its elevation, new scenic outlooks, as well as room for enhancements to the existing radio-controlled model airfield adjacent to it on the north.

Cedar Creek Park is the second-most frequently used Westmoreland County Park. It offers prime access to the Youghiogheny River and the Great Allegheny Passage hiking/biking trail, and features ball and soccer fields, a boat launch, an amphitheater and 19 pavilions. The new acquisition will increase the size of the park to 480 acres.

Funding to acquire the new property was obtained by the Westmoreland Land Trust and the Westmoreland County Bureau of Parks and Recreation through competitive grants awarded by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Bureau of Recreation and Conservation, and the Colcom Foundation.

A celebration of the purchase of this property and its addition to Cedar Creek Park is planned for Thursday, May 12 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. “The Sky’s The Limit” will feature model aircraft flying demonstrations by the Mon-Valley Radio Control Club, a raffle for a drone, an airplane-flying contest, wildflower and bird walks, food and fun. It is free and open to the public and will be held on the new property, which is located by following Timm’s Lane into Cedar Creek Park.


Thank you, Donors!


Thanks to everyone who supported our efforts to conserve open space in Westmoreland County on the Day of Giving, Tuesday, May 5.

We raised a grand total of $3,206.85, that included gifts from 28 individual donors, and a percentage match from the Community Foundation of Westmoreland County/Pittsburgh Foundation.


WLT Acquires Link Joining Duff and Pleasant Valley Parks

January 2, 2015

Westmoreland Land Trust Acquires New Property to Link

Duff and Pleasant Valley Parks in Murrysville

 The Westmoreland Land Trust recently acquired a piece of property in Murrysville that, for the first time, will allow nature enthusiasts to move unrestricted on foot or bike between Duff and Pleasant Valley parks.

The non-profit land trust worked with the Municipality of Murrysville and the private property owner to negotiate the acquisition of this long, narrow, 22-acre parcel that creates a continuous green corridor linking the two existing natural areas. Read more

Scenes from “The Pieces are Coming Together” Event

Westmoreland Land Trust Adds 75 Acres To Duff Park, Murrysville
October 3, 2014

Westmoreland Land Trust Team Raises Nearly $2,000 for Turtle Creek Trail

TCRR_map_with_labels_4-7-14The Westmoreland Land Trust team was among the top-ten fundraising teams in the 2014 March For Parks event, raising nearly $2,000 to help build the Turtle Creek Trail.

This nearly 10-mile-long trail will run alongside Turtle Creek from the western edge of Lincoln Avenue in Export, all the way to Trafford, passing through Murrysville, Monroeville, and Penn Township along the way. Read more

Duff Park To Expand, Westmoreland Land Trust Announces

Fans of Duff Park soon will have much more nature to enjoy, thanks to the efforts of the Westmoreland Land Trust and the generosity of long-time Murrysville residents Theo and Pia van de Venne.

Conservation of three adjacent parcels of land, totaling a little more than 74 acres, was secured by the Westmoreland Land Trust, and the parcels soon will be transferred to the Municipality of Murrysville for annexation to Duff Park. The additional parcels will increase the size of Duff Park by almost 50%, to a total of more than 236 acres, and will expand the park to the south and west. Read more