Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful and the Westmoreland County Land Bank, recently presented Sewickley Township and The Geyer Performing Arts Center in Scottdale with seed grants 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.
(Photo: LEFT - Representatives from Westmoreland County Land Bank, Keep PA Beautiful and Sewickley Township. RIGHT - Representatives from Westmoreland County Land Bank, Keep PA Beautiful and Geyer Performing Arts Center in Scottdale.)
“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,” said Shannon Reiter, Keep PA Beautiful President. “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 reuse 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 percent 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 reuse options have been exhausted and local stakeholders determine that green-open space reuse is the preferred and most viable option for the community.
For more information on programs, initiatives and special events, visit the Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful website. Click Here to sign up for regular updates from KPB, Like them on Facebook, Follow on Twitter, Discover them on Pinterest and visit their YouTube Channel.