Westmoreland Land Trust appointees include Allegheny Land Trust staff member
The Westmoreland Land Trust has three new board members, including a staff member of the neighboring Allegheny Land Trust.
New Westmoreland trust board member Alyson Fearon, who plans to move from Monroeville to a new home across the county line in Murrysville, is the community conservation director for the Allegheny Land Trust.
Also named to the board were Andrew Mack, a conservation biologist who lives near Ligonier, and Joseph Romano, a Greensburg resident who recently retired as senior project manager for an Allegheny County engineering and environmental services firm.
Formed in December 2007 to conserve property that has ecological, scenic or recreational significance, the Westmoreland Land Trust has acquired more than 270 acres in seven local communities. The Allegheny Land Trust has protected more than 2,500 acres of green space in Allegheny and Washington counties.
The two nonprofit groups have benefited from sharing information, a process that should increase now that Fearon is involved with both.
“We think that it will definitely be a benefit,” said Betsy Aiken, executive director of the Westmoreland Land Trust. “We have not yet worked together on a project, but we have shared information about best practices. We look forward to having Alyson as a resource and also someone who can contribute information from us back to her organization.”
Fearon, who holds degrees in environmental science, sustainability and business administration, moved to the Pittsburgh area after an 11-year stint in the Marine Corps that included work as an intelligence analyst. She worked for PPG as a process specialist before joining the Allegheny Land Trust in 2017.
She has volunteered with the Friends of Murrysville Parks, helping to remove invasive plant species. She’s turned her backyard into a native habitat — conducive to birds, pollinators and wildlife — that is certified by the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania.
Fearon oversees the Allegheny trust’s urban conservation and green space efforts, an area Aiken said the Westmoreland trust is open to exploring in addition to the rural and suburban projects it has undertaken.
“I’m excited to work with them, getting to know their properties and being able to experience them firsthand,” Fearon said of the Westmoreland trust.
“We’re very excited about each of these new board members,” Aiken said, noting they will join 19 other members, filling seats left vacant by the recent departures of Mark Bowers, Jane Menchyk and Alex Graziani.
A grants and contract coordinator at Penn State’s Altoona campus, Mack taught at several area universities and also worked for Conservation International, the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Academy of Natural Sciences and Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s Powdermill Nature Reserve. He developed a conservation program in Papua New Guinea and conducted research on birds and tropical rain forests.
Romano, who was the natural resources group leader for Skelly and Loy, served as executive director of the Westmoreland Transit Authority and was a member of the steering committee for a comprehensive development plan covering Greensburg, Hempfield, South Greensburg and Southwest Greensburg.
Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, [email protected] or via Twitter .