Monday, February 22, 2010

Save Turtle Creek

Ever heard of Turtle Creek Stream Valley? Well, it needs your help and passion to save a unique stretch of 6 miles in the valley.

The Turtle Creek Greenway Plan Study Committee wants to hear your ideas about conservation, recreation and restoration potential for about 6 miles of the Turtle Creek Stream Valley. It is recognized as a local treasure of remarkable natural beauty and ecological value that offers educational and recreational opportunities. The Greenway encompasses the gorge and is part of a larger regional continuum of greenways and also serves as a resource to protect the Turtle Creek communities from flood damage. These communities have united to share in the responsibilities to remediate, protect, and preserve the Greenway for future generations.

Fast forward to 2010 and a DCNR grant in their pocket, the team is working in close cooperation with the Regional Trail Corporation, four municipalities, both counties, and assorted other stakeholders to evaluate the feasibility of such a project. Some of the land under consideration is already public, but much is private. Diane Selvaggio, executive director of the Turtle Creek Watershed Association, said little money is available from the state or foundations to buy land, but a study of what do with the area could help obtain funding. "It's really quite a jewel in a fairly urban suburban setting," Selvaggio said. "Many of those involved in this project feel one of the best ways to preserve a natural area is to put a trail through it so the community realizes it is a community asset."

The working group is now prepared to update the general public on the progress and to collect more information that will help us make smarter decisions as we proceed. The first public meeting introducing the Turtle Creek Greenway project concept to the community will be held this Wednesday, the 24th, at the Murrysville Senior Center (3091 Carson Avenue) starting at 7:00 p.m. Join us!

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