Earth Day Field Trip

Come join the Westmoreland Land Trust for an Earth Day celebration of wildflowers along the rich wooded slopes of Otto and Magdalene Ackermann Nature Preserve.  The first part of the walk is an easy stroll along Old Dirt Road Trail.  Those who wish to continue on a moderate walk can join us down the Wedding Trail for waterfalls and trilliums.  Along the floodplain of Blue Dell Run, see more flowers, and learn about recent tree and shrub plantings, and new interpretive signs.  
We will practice social distancing. See https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/visitors.html for ways to enjoy the outdoors. Stay home if you do not feel well. Stay at least 6 feet away from people you don’t live with. Wear a mask.
Everyone of all ages is welcome, and no need to register.  Attend with walking shoes that can get muddy. If you have any questions, please contact Loree Speedy at loreespeedy@gmail.com or 724-518-6022.
Directions:  To reach the reserve from points east (Greensburg/ Irwin turnpike interchange) – From Turnpike, travel US 30 WEST (toward Pgh). Travel US 30 for 4.8 miles to turn right onto Leger Road. There is a Sheetz on the left corner (but get in right lane).Turn right onto Leger Road and travel (bearing left at any Y’s) through the countryside for 2 miles. (Ignore the closed road signs as they are referring to the bridge over Brush Creek).
At the base of a hill, continue straight onto Ardara Road when Leger Road turns right.  At the top of a hill, look for the green Ackermann Nature Preserve sign on the left and park at the end of the grassy strip between two homes.  It may look like you are turning into a lawn, but you will see the kiosk at the end of grassy strip.
GPS coordinates:  40.36105, -79.74410 – The GPS directions may direct you to turn right off of US 30 before Sheetz.  


Betsy Aiken
Executive Director
Westmoreland Land Trust
westmorelandlandtrust@gmail.com
724 325-3031

Spring Field Trips 2021

Featured

 Everyone is welcome, including non-members. Trips last 3 to 4 hours but one can leave at any time. For questions, call the field trip leader or Loree Speedy at (724) 518-6022 (cell) or loreespeedy@gmail.com.

Sunday, March 28, 2021, 1:00 PM

Little Sewickley Creek at Herminie, Westmoreland County

Coordinator: Loree Speedy; loreespeedy@gmail.com; (724) 518-6022 cell

This is a favorite trip for Snow Trillium. The walk is easy along an old railroad grade.

Directions: Take the PA Turnpike to Exit 67-Route 30/Irwin/Greensburg. Take the Route 30 East/Greensburg ramp. At the first stoplight on Route 30, turn right onto Arona Road, then another right after 0.5 mile onto unmarked Wendel Road. Travel this road 3.7 miles to a T. Turn right at the T and continue 1 mile to Herminie to a 4-way stop (VFD on corner). Continue straight to the next stop sign and turn left. Proceed through 2 more stop signs, end at a T, and turn right. Continue past the Dairy Queen on your right and continue down a hill; we will meet just before the highway bridge. Park on the left side.

These directions are difficult as roads are unmarked and state roads through Herminie sometimes look like alleys. If you can use them, the GPS coordinates will likely take you by a more direct route. GPS coordinates: 40.26050, -79.72700.

Saturday, April 3, 2021, 1:00 PM

Cedar Creek Park, Westmoreland County

Leader: Mark Bowers; Cell- 724-454-4012; E-mail:  monada55@gmail.com

Directions:  From Pittsburgh, travel PA 51 south to its junction with PA 201 (just after Bills and Willowbrook Plaza). Continuing on PA 51, travel 2 additional miles to the traffic light for Concord Ln and turn left.  (This traffic light at Concord Ln can also be reached by I-70 exit 46B and continuing north on PA 51 to the northern Concord Ln intersection across from C Harper car dealership.) Traveling on Concord Ln, turn left onto Municipal Dr. Continue about 0.6 mile, pass Timm’s Ln, and turn left into the main entrance to Cedar Creek Park. Follow this road downhill, cross the bike trail, and turn left to continue through a series of parking lots until you reach the farthest parking lot, near the Gorge Trail.

GPS coordinates: 40.17830, -79.77820. (The road configuration near Concord Ln has just been modified, and GPS units and Google Maps have not yet been updated).

Sunday, April 11, 2021, 1:00 PM

Crouse Run Nature Reserve, Allegheny County

Coordinator:  Loree Speedy; loreespeedy@gmail.com; (724) 518-6022 cell

Directions: We will meet at the restaurant parking lot along Wildwood Road between PA Route 8 and North Park. At intersection of Wildwood Road and PA 8, head west for ½ mile to a restaurant parking lot on the left.   If you are coming from North Park, the restaurant parking is on the right, 1.1 miles from the Wildwood Sports Complex.

GPS coordinates: 40.59020, -79.95710

A New Year’s Wish from Past-President, Chuck Tague

Past President Chuck Tague Died: June 17, 2016


I’d like to wish all of you a peaceful and productive New Year.
I’d also like to remind you that in the coming years our future
demands that we all must make well informed, conscientious
decisions in all aspects of our lives and society — decisions that take
into account their long term effect on the environment. These
decisions can only be made by people who are not only committed
to environmental responsibility, but have an understanding of the
interdependence of all living things, the need for the diversity of all
forms and all phases of life and the potential problems of
unrestrained human population growth. These decisions must be
made by people who believe we have a moral responsibility to future
generations to protect and restore the earth, its life, its
communities and its processes. These goals and commitments
must be shared, not only by all segments of our society, but by
every other nation on Earth.
However, the environmental legacy of the twentieth century is
threatened with this reality: unless we avoid some deadly pitfalls the
environmental triumphs we’ve achieved and the challenges we must
continue to address will soon be cast aside. Remember personal
survival always takes precedence. Environmental responsibility and
understanding require spiritual, moral and intellectual growth;
something that cannot occur in people that live in a world of
poverty, injustice, desperation and despair.
I spent Christmas Eve,1967, at a Marine Base in Da Nang, Viet
Nam. It was uncharacteristically somber for a Marine Base, probably
because of the holiday. Most of us tried to sleep. The marines in
the base were mostly young recruits, new to the country, waiting
for assignment. There were also some older marines returning to
their outfits.
I was no longer one of them. I was waiting for a flight to Okinawa,
then a discharge and home. I was much older, a hardened veteran,
someone who’d seen the war and returned to tell about it. But I
wasn’t talking much. I was 22.
I remember that night vividly. I couldn’t sleep. I just lay in my cot
and listened to the new marines whimper as they thought about
their limited future, the inevitability and the proximity of their
violent ends. Occasionally, one of the returning marines would
wake up and scream in terror.
I felt fear that night more deeply than I ever had before. Unlike my
companions, I was not afraid of a paralyzing, disfiguring injury or a
violent, bloody death. I had resigned myself to that months
before. I feared that with only a week or so left, that I successfully
avoided the inevitable. I would not die.
Instead I would return home and face a future that I could not
imagine, no matter how hard I tried. I would return to a family and
friends I no longer knew. I would be forced to deal with a hostile
society and my own bitterness. I would be expected to have
emotions; to make responsible decisions; to find solutions other than
attack or retreat.
When I returned home, I was not a responsible, contributing citizen.
My adjustment was long and painful.
We cannot expect people who live in fear; who live under the threat
of violence, either sanctioned by governments, or from individuals or
groups, to make decisions that consider the future and the common
good. Violence, fear, intolerance, hatred, poverty and despair are
all barriers to a sound environmental future.
I’d like to wish you peace in the new year, but instead I implore you
to aggressively pursue it.

Spring Field Trips Planned

All activities cancelled/postponed until further notice because of the coronavirus and Gov. Wolf’s “stay home” order.

Sunday March 29th Hutchison, PA – for snow trillium- 1:00 PM

Saturday, April 18th Rock Point, Ellwood City.- abandoned amusement park – 1:00 PM

Weds. April 22nd Camp Guyasuta – spring wildflowers -10:30 am

Friday 4/24 Riverview Park – Wissahickon Cabin area Great Horned Owl on nest – 1:00 PM

Emails will be sent with more information and directions. Thanks to our outings chair: Judy Stark 412-327-9537

March 12, 2020 Meeting

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John Canning presented “Riverview Park & Early Years of Wissahickon Hollow and Nature Club”.
John brought his “North Side” friends, Nancy- the Ranger at Riverview Park – and Ed. He had a dvd of old photos from the 1800’s which showed the beauty of the Allegheny Commons Park and the buildings of Old Allegheny City.

Riverview Park was created for the city folk to have a place to get away into nature. It was situated on the trolley line, and many neighborhoods were able to easily access it.

Riverview once had a zoo and a swimming pool. John spent his childhood playing in Riverview’s creeks and going to Summer Camp at the Wissahickon cabin, which was built in 1913. When the zoo closed, the nature cabin housed some live animals, such as snakes, frogs and a opossum.

Our Wissahickon Nature Club had its inception in 1941 at Riverview Park and took its name from the creek and cabin of the same name, where it held its meetings. When the cabin burned down, meetings were moved to other venues and today we meet at Fern Hollow Nature Center.

John shares a a laugh with Mark and Norm.
John attempts to use the DVD player at Fern Hollow Nature Center
19 members and guest attended the meeting.
Ryan, Pat and Yasmeen

Meeting December 12, 2019

Kate St. John presented Peregrine Falcons – A Success Story.

Kate has been watching peregrines since the 90’s. She explained the history of Peregrines in PA and the story of their successful reintroduction. She told the family histories of Dorothy, Hope and Morela and covered some of the other breeding pairs in our area.

22 members prepare to enjoy Kate’s program.

This was our annual Christmas Cookie party. Members brought cookies, ate cookies, took cookies home!

Kim likes the hot apple cider
So does Amanda
Kathy and Loree
A snowy Christmas favor
Thanks to Monica for making our annual Christmas favors.

We will take our annual winter break January and February 2020 .

November 14, 2019 Meeting

Donna Foyle presented Introduced and Endemic Birds from Three Hawaiian Islands. Even from a young age, Donna was fascinated with birds. She got her first camera at age 7 and the rest is history. Donna was on a bird tour in February with three other birder friends. Her photos were fantastic of beautiful introduced birds and also a few natives. Many birds are threatened because of introduced predators, ie rats and disease carrying mosquitoes. One albatross that she photographed had a leg band. She was able to trace the number to find out that it was probably seven years old, sex undetermined.

Monica introduced our speaker