Background: The following letter
was sent to
potential contributors to help fund the acquisition of the Wingfield
Pines property located in Upper St. Clair PA by the Allegheny Land
Trust. CLS was a major supporter of this project.
letter provides historical and contextual information that furthers the
understanding of this project.
August 15, 2001
Citizens for Land Stewardship supporter:
We have a story
think you will want to hear. It began four years ago when CLS was born
and with your continued support, will continue well into the future.
CLS formed to
conservation of natural resources throughout the township and we have
engaged the community, township and other organizations to a degree we
did not imagine we could. As you know, we have focused much of our
effort on Boyce-Mayview Park, seeing that the planning process
considers the natural values of the park. We will continue to do so.
But we have
always tried to
look at the larger picture, even larger than the 500 acres within
Boyce-Mayview Park. The park is part of the Chartiers Creek corridor
and upstream and downstream of Boyce-Mayview are other lands that have
incredible natural, recreational and educational value. One of those
pieces of land, known locally as Wingfield Pines
- a now defunct golf course bordering Chartiers Creek and Mayview Road
- came up for auction two years ago. Although the auction never
proceeded, CLS saw the possibility of adding this 70 acres of land and
wetland to the Chartiers Creek conservation corridor.
Allegheny Land Trust (ALT) - a Land Trust operating in Allegheny County
with expertise in property acquisition and ownership - to negotiate
with the landowner of the former golf course. Negotiations led to a
sales option for ALT: the selling price - $450,000 plus closing costs.
An application to the Pennsylvania Department of Recreation and
Conservation led to a grant for $230,000 to help fund the purchase of
the property. The challenge now is to raise
another $230,000 to match that grant.
the local group
championing stewardship of natural resources, CLS saw this project as
an absolute must to connect the people of the township and the region
with something unique, substantial and lasting, but the possibility of
raising the funds in short order was daunting. Out of the blue, before
the CLS Board could consider a plan of action, Board member, Rob
MacLachlan stepped forward with a proposal that suddenly made raising
$230,000 seem possible.
was a prominent
Pittsburgh architect whose credits include Heinz Hall and Point State
Park. His architectural firm commissioned Nat Youngblood - an artist of
national stature - to depict key events of the French and Indian War
through six paintings which were then photographed and used in the
creation of displays for the Point State Park museum. These marvelous
original paintings were then put into storage in 1969. When Rob's
father died, Rob held onto the paintings, wishing one day to see them
available to the public. When the chance to acquire the old Wingfield
Pines property became a real possibility, Rob saw the connection that
united his conservation ethic with his desire to see Youngblood's work
on display for the public. Rob agreed to sell the paintings and donate
the proceeds and tax savings to the purchase of the property.
The CLS Board
Rob's substantial lead and has committed $3770 of personal
contributions toward this project. We are doing this because we see
this land and the public uses it will provide as pivotal in defining
the future of the valley, including our township and neighboring
townships. We are now looking to our members and supporters to help
make this vision a reality.
The CLS Board
diligently to give voice to the natural values of the places in which
we live. We are incredibly proud of our members, like Rob MacLachlan,
who have invested so much of their time and resources in the
organization, in the township and to conservation. We
that you will stand up and be counted among our supporters who make an
investment in what the next generation, and many yet to come, will call
There are few
are more tangible and lasting than the legacy of land. Locally, there
are few things that will mean more to conservation. Please make
a commitment by making
a contribution to help reconnect the valley and the people living in
it. USC Citizens for Land Stewardship is a 501(c)(3) non-profit
organization, so your contribution is federal tax-deductible to the
extent allowed by law.
Thank you for
your support and commitment.
Citizens for Land Stewardship
T. Buckman - President
D. Wagner - Vice-President
R. Shimer - Secretary
S. Purdy - Treasurer
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