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Thank you!

Thanks so much to everyone who contributes assistance or funding to the Westmoreland Land Trust!  It is your support and assistance that make our work possible, and we are deeply grateful.

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.

Upcoming Events

May
25
Sat
Evening Frog Walk @ Ackermann Nature Preserve
May 25 @ 8:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Join AAron Capouellez of PA Woods and Forests for a twilight frog walk at the Otto and Magdalene Ackermann Nature Preserve in North Huntingdon Township.  The vegetated floodplain of this preserve is home to many native amphibians, and spring is when you can hear them best.  This guided walk will be slow-paced, but will involve clambering down some steep sections of trail. Please wear sturdy waterproof shoes and bring a flashlight or headlamp.

Jun
1
Sat
WLT Volunteer Work-day @ Schwarz Farm Future Nature & Art Park
Jun 1 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Volunteer with the Westmoreland Land Trust! 

The staff of the Westmoreland Land Trust invites all interested volunteers to join them for a morning of environmental restoration work at Schwarz Farm Future Nature and Art Park. This morning’s work will focus on our pollinator garden, treeline, and farmhouse.  Please wear sturdy shoes, sunscreen, and insect repellent.

Evening Frog Walk @ St. Xavier Nature Preserve
Jun 1 @ 8:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Join AAron Capouellez of PA Woods and Forests for a twilight frog walk at the St. Xavier Nature Preserve in Latrobe.  The wetlands and riparian slopes of Monastery Run in this preserve host many native amphibians, and spring is when you can hear them best.  This guided walk will be slow-paced, but will involve walking through some wet areas. Please wear sturdy waterproof shoes and bring a flashlight or headlamp.

Jun
2
Sun
Guided Tour of St. Xavier Nature Preserve @ St. Xavier Nature Preserve
Jun 2 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Take a guided tour of the 248-acre St. Xavier Nature Preserve as well as Bellbrook, the former guesthouse of the Sisters of Mercy convent and St. Xavier Academy.  Tours are offered twice a month throughout the summer.

Jun
3
Mon
“Bugs and Buds” Nature Program @ Mt. Pleasant Public Library
Jun 3 @ 10:30 am – 11:30 am

Explore the fascinating world inside a pollinator garden as we take a
deeper dive into our Wildflowers and Pollinators Westmoreland Nature backpack.

Love them or hate them — bugs are amazing creatures! We’ll find out what makes a bug a bug, and learn about the important role insects play in growing our favorite flowers, fruits and vegetables.

We’ll use digital microscopes to look inside seeds, sing some buggy songs, and make a nature notebook to take home and keep exploring. To finish up, libraries can choose to go outside on an Insect Safari, or to stay inside and make-and-take home wildflower seed balls.

Jun
7
Fri
“Bugs and Buds” Nature Program @ Mt. Pleasant Public Library
Jun 7 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Explore the fascinating world inside a pollinator garden as we take a
deeper dive into our Wildflowers and Pollinators Westmoreland Nature backpack.

Love them or hate them — bugs are amazing creatures! We’ll find out what makes a bug a bug, and learn about the important role insects play in growing our favorite flowers, fruits and vegetables.

We’ll use digital microscopes to look inside seeds, sing some buggy songs, and make a nature notebook to take home and keep exploring. To finish up, libraries can choose to go outside on an Insect Safari, or to stay inside and make-and-take home wildflower seed balls.

Jun
8
Sat
Westmoreland Nature Explorers – Be a Better Birder @ Hempfield Township Park
Jun 8 @ 9:00 am – 11:00 am

Come to Hempfield Township Park for the first in a series of family-friendly nature workshops designed for children from 5 to 12 years old along with an accompanying adult. Each session will explore the Westmoreland Land Trust’s Nature Backpacks, which are available for you to checkout at the HTAC desk.

In this session, we’ll explore the Birds backpack and examine real feathers and nests, learn to use binoculars and field guides to identify our local backyard birds, sing a few bird songs, build a birdfeeder, and make a unique piece of feather art.

Note: preregistration with Hempfield Township is required, with a fee of $15.00 per student. Registration opens on May 1st for Hempfield Township Residents and May 8th for non-residents.  Deadline is 7 days prior to each date.

Jun
10
Mon
Green Gathering – Ecology Games & Conversation @ Schwarz Farm Future Nature & Art Park
Jun 10 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Join the staff of the Westmoreland Land Trust for a free board game night.  Explore Schwarz Farm Future Nature and Art Park and learn how to play ecology-themed games like Wingspan, Ecologies, Mariposas, and more!

Jun
11
Tue
“Bugs and Buds” Nature Program @ Greensburg Public Library
Jun 11 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Explore the fascinating world inside a pollinator garden as we take a
deeper dive into our Wildflowers and Pollinators Westmoreland Nature backpack.

Love them or hate them — bugs are amazing creatures! We’ll find out what makes a bug a bug, and learn about the important role insects play in growing our favorite flowers, fruits and vegetables.

We’ll use digital microscopes to look inside seeds, sing some buggy songs, and make a nature notebook to take home and keep exploring. To finish up, libraries can choose to go outside on an Insect Safari, or to stay inside and make-and-take home wildflower seed balls.

Jun
12
Wed
Birding Talk on “Breeding Birds” by Dr. Andy Mack @ St. Xavier Nature Preserve
Jun 12 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Calling all local birders! Ornithologist Dr. Andy Mack will present a birding talk on “Breeding Birds” at the Bellbrook headquarters of the St. Xavier Nature Preserve. This evening lecture will be followed on Saturday, June 15, by a guided bird walk from 7:00 to 10:00 AM through the fields and forests of St. Xavier.  This is the second of four “Birds Across the Seasons” paired events presented by Dr. Mack.  All events are open to the public and free to attend.

Jun
15
Sat
“Breeding Birds” Bird Walk @ St. Xavier Nature Preserve
Jun 15 @ 7:00 am – 10:00 am

Following his Wednesday evening lecture, ornithologist Dr. Andy Mack will lead a “Breeding Birds” guided birding walk this Saturday through the grounds of the St. Xavier Nature Preserve. The walk is free and open to the public, and all participants are welcome whether or not they attended the evening lecture.  Bring binoculars and dress for the weather.

Jun
16
Sun
Guided Tour of St. Xavier Nature Preserve @ St. Xavier Nature Preserve
Jun 16 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Take a guided tour of the 248-acre St. Xavier Nature Preserve as well as Bellbrook, the former guesthouse of the Sisters of Mercy convent and St. Xavier Academy.  Tours are offered twice a month throughout the summer.

Jun
17
Mon
“Bugs and Buds” Nature Program @ Scottdale Public Library
Jun 17 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Explore the fascinating world inside a pollinator garden as we take a
deeper dive into our Wildflowers and Pollinators Westmoreland Nature backpack.

Love them or hate them — bugs are amazing creatures! We’ll find out what makes a bug a bug, and learn about the important role insects play in growing our favorite flowers, fruits and vegetables.

We’ll use digital microscopes to look inside seeds, sing some buggy songs, and make a nature notebook to take home and keep exploring. To finish up, libraries can choose to go outside on an Insect Safari, or to stay inside and make-and-take home wildflower seed balls.

Jun
18
Tue
“Bugs and Buds” Nature Program @ Monessen Public Library
Jun 18 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Explore the fascinating world inside a pollinator garden as we take a
deeper dive into our Wildflowers and Pollinators Westmoreland Nature backpack.

Love them or hate them — bugs are amazing creatures! We’ll find out what makes a bug a bug, and learn about the important role insects play in growing our favorite flowers, fruits and vegetables.

We’ll use digital microscopes to look inside seeds, sing some buggy songs, and make a nature notebook to take home and keep exploring. To finish up, libraries can choose to go outside on an Insect Safari, or to stay inside and make-and-take home wildflower seed balls.

Jun
19
Wed
“Bugs and Buds” Nature Program @ New Kensington Free People's Library
Jun 19 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Explore the fascinating world inside a pollinator garden as we take a
deeper dive into our Wildflowers and Pollinators Westmoreland Nature backpack.

Love them or hate them — bugs are amazing creatures! We’ll find out what makes a bug a bug, and learn about the important role insects play in growing our favorite flowers, fruits and vegetables.

We’ll use digital microscopes to look inside seeds, sing some buggy songs, and make a nature notebook to take home and keep exploring. To finish up, libraries can choose to go outside on an Insect Safari, or to stay inside and make-and-take home wildflower seed balls.