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Plum/Oakmont

$90,000 DCNR grant will help to fund tree planting along Plum Creek

Michael DiVittorio
| Monday, Jan. 30, 2017, 11:00 p.m.

Trees will be planted along Plum Creek through a program made possible by a state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources grant.

State officials announced last week the Allegheny County Conservation District was awarded the $90,000 grant. It is being administered through the Allegheny Watershed Alliance, which will oversee the planting of 2,000 trees in five area watersheds.

“We're very excited about it,” said Alliance Executive Director Rebecca Zeyzus. “We're doing two acres in each of the five watersheds. This will take place over five years.”

Other county streams to benefit from the grant include Montour Run, Peters Creek, Turtle Creek and Streets Run.

“We selected five watersheds based on the presence of existing watershed groups or strong municipal collaboration,” said Zeyzus. “We're starting site analysis and querying people. We want people to understand why it's important to care about the environment and our water resources.”

The trees will serve as stream bank buffers. They will help slow creek erosion, improve water quality, intercept water runoff, provide shade and places for wildlife, Zeyzus said.

Communities impacted by the program include Plum, Oakmont, Monroeville, Penn Hills, Verona, Munhall, Homestead, South Hills, South Park and Murrysville.Zeyzus said the project cost is approximately $200,000, with the conservation district contributing $129,000 through in-kind services, expertise and some finances.

The grant was given through the DCNR Riparian Forest Buffer Grant Program, which will provide for the planting of up to 25,000 trees alongside a number of Pennsylvania streams.

Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-871-2367 or mdivittorio@tribweb.com.

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