Thank you very much to everyone who contributed to the Westmoreland Land Trust on Giving Tuesday, or any time throughout the year! We are deeply grateful for your support.
Please consider a Gift to the Westmoreland Land Trust on Giving Tuesday
2023 Westmoreland Ramble
WLT has issued the 2023 Westmoreland Ramble! In recognition of the 250th Anniversary of Westmoreland County and Hempfield Township, the 2023 Ramble follows part of the route of the historic Forbes Road. This scenic drive of about 53 minutes and 23.5 miles is a great way to enjoy our fall color. A printable version of the 2023 Ramble is available online, or you may email your mailing address if you would like to receive a hard copy. Enjoy the Ramble!
Welcome Sarah Poklembo!
On September 5th 2023 WLT welcomed our new AmeriCorps Service Member Sarah Poklembo. Sarah is a graduate of Juniata College, having studied ecology, wildlife and natural resource management, and environmental issues. Sarah previously served on the Loyalhanna Watershed Youth Conservation Corps and comes to WLT from Westmoreland Cleanways and Recycling. Welcome Sarah!
You are invited …. Please join the Westmoreland Woodlands Improvement Association and the Westmoreland Land Trust at St. Xavier for a Walk in Penn’s Woods at 1 PM on Sunday October 1st! The WWIA will hold its 2023 “Walk in Penn’s Woods” at the St. Xavier Nature Preserve located at 106 St. Xavier Road, Latrobe, PA. The Preserve is situated along U.S. Route 30 and St Xavier Road just west of the Arnold Palmer Regional Airport. Participants can walk the Grove and grounds as well as some walking paths on the 248 acre property conveyed to the WLT by the Sisters of Mercy, to be conserved as a nature preserve open to the public. The Walk of about 1 hour in duration will be a gentle stroll through the Grove and surrounding areas. Parking is available on a mowed and marked portion of the grounds of “Bellbrook”, a Civil War-era guesthouse.
PixCams, working as part of an ongoing collaboration with Dr. James Kellam at St. Vincent College, has donated cameras and associated infrastructure to establish live streaming of the occupants of three nest boxes at the St. Xavier Nature Preserve near Latrobe! Find the streams at https://pixcams.com/wlt-bird-nest-boxes/.
Welcome Karen Rose Cercone!
WLT is very pleased to welcome Karen Rose Cercone as Operations Assistant. Karen Rose comes to WLT after teaching geology for many years at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Karen Rose received her AB from Bryn Mawr College and PhD from the University of Michigan, and later went on to earn an MFA in Fiction from the University of Pittsburgh. She brings experience in citizen science, volunteer tracking, relational databases, and accreditation to the land trust along with a life-long zeal for organization. Welcome Karen Rose!
Thankful for …
Once again the WLT has so much to be thankful for – the vision of landowners, the help of our volunteers, the support of our contributors, the assistance of our partner and sister organizations, and the dedication and commitment of our board and committee members. Many, many thanks to everyone who has helped to make 2022 and the start of 2023 such a productive time for the WLT! We are deeply grateful for your support and your commitment to the conservation of special lands in Westmoreland County, and are privileged to have your support.
The 2022 Westmoreland Ramble is not an event to be held on a particular day, but instead is a route for a scenic drive through parts of Murrysville, Export, and Delmont for a driver and a navigator. A printer-friendly version of the 18.2 mile route with an expected duration of 50 minutes is available online. The 2022 Ramble features information about some of the beautiful facilities, parks, nature preserves, and historic features of these communities.
Westmoreland Nature Backpacks
To help you explore nature in Westmoreland County, WLT AmeriCorps Service Member Loree Speedy led a project to enable you to borrow a Westmoreland Nature Backpack, available throughout the Westmoreland Library Network (WLN).
There are different backpacks for exploring Streams & Forests, Birds, and Flowers & Pollinators.
WLT created the backpacks in partnership with the WLN to make high quality tools, materials, and nature guides available for children’s and families’ use.
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 Coordinator ofEducational Programming, has developed Earthworm Wonders, Microgreen Gardeners, and Feathered Friends workshops under Pennsylvania’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program featuring engaging videos, narrated PowerPoints, and supplementary activities and handouts.
Natural Areas book
The Westmoreland Bird and Nature Club offers an 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 was 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.
If you would like to see the book, each of the member libraries of the Westmoreland Library Network has a copy.
Green by Design
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.
Salamanders and Snakes of Otto and Magdalene Ackermann Nature Preserve
WLT Americorps Service Member Aaron Capouellez has prepared a story map about the Salamanders and Snakes of Otto and Magdalene Ackermann Nature Preserve. The story map features excellent photos and clear descriptions of types of salamanders and snakes that either have been observed or are likely to be seen at the Preserve.
Frogs of Otto and Magdalene Ackermann Nature Preserve
WLT Americorps Service Member Aaron Capouellez has prepared a story map about the Frogs of Otto and Magdalene Ackermann Nature Preserve. The story map features excellent photos and clear descriptions of 5 types of frogs that either have been observed or are likely to be seen at the Preserve.