Trust to keep Chippewa Township land in natural condition
Natural springs, two man-made ponds and trees dating to the 1930s are some of the features on 89 acres in Beaver County that two sisters plan to share with the public someday.
"We want other people to enjoy it," said Sue Sahli, a retiree living in Ohio who owns the property with her sister Jean Schaal.
Sahli and her sister, who lives in Ohio, recently donated the land in Chippewa Township to the Moon-based Hollow Oak Land Trust in the form of an easement, said the trust's executive director, Janet Thorne. It is the first property the trust has acquired in Beaver County, she said.
"It's exciting to know that this property will be protected for the foreseeable future," Thorne said. "It will remain in its natural condition and not be bulldozed. That's a benefit to us all."
An easement is an agreement permanently attached to the deed that specifies how the land may or may not be used — banning the commercial cutting of trees, for example, Thorne said.
This is the land trust's second easement, Thorne said. Its first — on a 6-acre plot in Franklin Park — occurred six or seven years ago, she said.
Founded in 1991, the trust owns more than 400 acres on nine distinct parcels across five townships in western Allegheny County: Moon, Franklin Park, Kennedy, Robinson and North Fayette.
The trust designates land it acquires as conservation areas, Thorne said.
"We intend to keep it in its natural state," she said. "This protects it so no one can ever put up on an office building. The land is for the public, free of charge, so they can do things like take walks and watch birds. We don't allow any mechanized vehicles on our lands."
Sahli called the land trust a "perfect fit" for the site.
"They specialize in smaller properties, and we wanted to work with them," Sahli said.
The Chippewa property, on McKinley Road, has been in Sahli's family since 1927, she said.