(July 5, 2016) – Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, in partnership with the Westmoreland County Land Bank, presented Sewickley Township and The Geyer Performing Arts Center of Scottdale, PA with seed grants of $1500 and $2500 respectively, to fight blight in their communities. In Sewickley Township, funds will support a Main Street Green Space Project after demolition of a blighted property in Herminie is complete. In Scottdale, The Geyer Performing Arts Center took ownership of a lot that was left behind after demolition of an adjacent property. The seed grant will support a mural overlooking the adjacent lot.
Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful’s mission is empowering Pennsylvanians to make our communities clean and beautiful. Shannon Reiter, KPB President explains the significance of the partnership with the Westmoreland County Land Bank: “Community revitalization is so critical but resources are limited. When it comes to community greening, a little can go a long way if it is done right. Through this pilot, KPB is leveraging resources by coordinating investments with economic and community planning already underway and then engaging local community organizations to nurture long-term community stewardship.”
“These kinds of blight revitalization projects are exactly why the Land Bank was formed,” said April Kopas, Executive Director of the Westmoreland County Land Bank. “We aim to help our member communities identify blighted properties, assist in coming up with a re-use plan, and then finding responsible stewards while generating tax revenue for those municipalities at the same time. Thank you to all the organizations involved for helping to make an immediate difference in our member communities.”
KPB’s Strategic Community Greening Partnership Pilot is supported by the Richard King Mellon Foundation. The Pilot aims to fund 2-4 individual green reuse projects throughout Westmoreland County in partnership with the Westmoreland County Land Bank. Each initiative will require a 50% community match and funds can be used to procure tools, equipment, green infrastructure, fencing or other resources needed to create, stabilize and maintain greenspaces. Project sites are identified based on current properties available to purchase or lease through the Land Bank. Sites will be considered for the pilot project once all other re-use options have been exhausted and local stakeholders determine that green-open space reuse is the preferred and most viable option for the community.
About Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful
Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful’s mission is empowering Pennsylvanians to make our communities clean and beautiful. Since 1990, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful and its volunteers have removed over 121 million pounds of litter from Pennsylvania’s roadways, greenways, parks, forests, and waterways. To learn more about Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, visit www.keeppabeautiful.org.