Westmoreland County Awarded Funding for Vital Conservation Efforts Through Growing Greener Plus Grants

Westmoreland County, a region known for its picturesque landscapes and rich biodiversity, is set to embark on essential conservation projects, thanks to substantial funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The county is part of a broader initiative that has allocated over $2 million to projects in the state’s southwestern region, demonstrating a significant commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainable development.

Projects Poised to Enhance Westmoreland’s Natural Beauty

The projects in Westmoreland County, funded through DEP’s Growing Greener Plus grant program, focus on streambank restoration efforts, habitat protection, and sustainable renovation. These initiatives are pivotal in protecting waterways, watersheds, and in reclaiming abandoned mine sites. The program underscores the Shapiro Administration’s dedication to empowering communities to innovate and progress in environmental conservation.

Westmoreland County’s Conservation Initiatives

  • Western Pennsylvania Conservancy ($138,580): This project is set to stabilize and enhance 1,800 ft. of streambank erosion and instream habitat along Little Sewickley Creek. By improving the habitat for aquatic life and reducing nutrient and sediment overabundance, the project aims to significantly uplift the water quality of the creek.
  • Westmoreland County Conservation District ($156,280): Focused on Monastery Run at the Adelphoi Village school campus, this initiative will stabilize approximately 500 ft. of severely eroding streambank. The project not only aims to bolster water quality within the Loyalhanna watershed but also seeks to protect the school’s facilities and property from the detrimental impacts of accelerated erosion.
  • Westmoreland County Conservation District ($186,505): This endeavor will see the installation of several stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) and a stormwater basin retrofit at the Regional Family YMCA parking lot. The project is a stride toward managing stormwater more effectively, mitigating flood risks, and preserving the quality of local water bodies.
  • Western Pennsylvania Conservancy ($122,166): Another project by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy will focus on stabilizing and improving 1,200 ft. of streambank erosion and instream habitat on Shannon Run. The initiative is designed to enhance the habitat for fish and aquatic organisms, curtail nutrient overabundance, and elevate the overall water quality of Shannon Run.

A Testament to Environmental Commitment

Interim Acting Secretary Jessica Shirley articulated the essence of these grants, stating, “The Growing Greener Plus grant program empowers communities to pursue environmental progress and innovation.” This funding is not just an investment in environmental projects but a significant step toward ensuring a greener, more sustainable future for Pennsylvania.