Conservation Areas
Carnegie to Ingram 

Click orange conservation area

Map showing conserved land, trails, Chartiers Creek, roads & communities in the Crafton-Thornburg section of the Greenway
Ingram | Thornburg | Oakwood | Crafton | Parrish | Idlewood

Crafton Floodplain Trail

The Chartiers Flood Control Authority levee functions as a walking and biking trail through the Chartiers Creek floodplain in Crafton, making it a defacto conservation easement.  The trail winds past a combined sewer overflow, the CIT ballfields, private property owned by a soil mining operation, and Crafton Borough's maintenance yards.   

The trail disappears there into a meadow, where boy scouts from Sheraden recently planted over 300 sycamore, silver maple and walnut seedlings for Arbor Day, as an Eagle Scout Project. 

Just past Crafton Borough Maintenance yards, the path takes up again with 1000' feet of improved gravel trail, funded with $20,000 from the Laurel Foundation.  It follows the Flood Authority property to Bell's Run.

This portion of the trail was built in 2003 by Eric Wallhausen of Green Earth Landscaping and is visible from space, as you can see from the satellite photo.

The improved trail ends at Bell's Run. 

Numerous packed dirt bike paths wind through private property before  connecting with Chartiers Nature Conservancy's Idlewood wetlands on the other side of the busway bridge.  

Walk this trail to encounter some of the most scenic nature with abundant wildlife for an urban area.  Turkey and deer are numerous, and fox, all variety of woodpeckers, hawks and finches can be found lurking in these woods and riparian meadows.

Idlewood Wetlands 
Conservation Area

These 9 acres of wooded slope land directly adjacent to Chartiers Creek lie on the northern cut bank, or cliff side of the creek in East Carnegie in the 28th ward of the City of Pittsburgh, between Idlewood Road and the Airport Busway bridge.

Once upon a time, maybe 50 years ago, the Idlewood Wetlands was a city dump. Convenient access, at both Idlewood Road and the now defunct Turner Bridge, contributed to the size of this landfill, which is now layer upon layer of trash inter-bedded with dirt. This area was a trash transfer station and until moonlight access was blocked at the Turner bridge, it became popular for illegal dumping

But thanks to Mr. Frank Crown, president of the Idlewood Road Property Company, who donated  this land in 1998, then Pittsburgh city councilman Alan Hertzberg, who arranged the donation, the efforts of Dick Sullivan and Tom Byers of Chartiers Nature Conservancy, a $6,800 grant from Mr. Crown, $10,000 Five Star Grant from the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, a $15,000 Community Foundation Grant from the Heinz Endowment, and countless volunteer hours to make it happen -- this land has been successfully restored to nature from its humble origins as a landfill. 

Visit the wetlands habitat, walking trails, and nature center shelter, built by Eric Wallhausen of Green Earth Landscaping in log/pioneer style.  

The Idlewood land is the first link in the Chartiers Greenway trail system, functioning as the trailhead for the initial 8 mile section of the proposed "Chartiers Trail" which begins here in East Carnegie. With the help of grassroots environmental volunteers, with YOUR help, it can eventually join with Pittsburgh's newly proposed riverfront park on the bank of the Ohio River

Thornburg Floodplain 
Conservation Area

Obtained by eminent domain by the borough of Thornburg in 2002, this 27.58 acre floodplain property, inundated during hurricane Ivan, was the remaining portion of the site of the historic old Crafton Golf Course. You can see the pine trees sticking up out of the floodwaters from hurricane Ivan in the photo.  This important property functions as a natural receiving basin for stormwater runoff, functioning as a floodplain is supposed to function - economically, as well as environmentally, by preventing lost business revenue and saving taxpayer FEMA money.   

Funding from the DCNR, Laurel Foundation, neighbors, friends and the Leon Falk Family Trust helped offset the nearly one million dollar purchase price of the property.  The land is now used primarily as a dog park for area residents to walk their dogs and enjoy the creek.

Parrish Hillside 
Conservation Area

The long, narrow, four acres in Rosslyn Farms, a 2,600 foot long by 165 foot wide expanse which aprons the steep hillside to the railroad tracks, is located directly across from the confluence of Bells Run with Chartiers Creek. The land extends for a half mile along the hillside to Lewis Run, which separates Rosslyn Farms from Thornburg, across from Crafton Borough's Maintenance Facility. 

Donated by Sarah P. "Sally" Ford to the Chartiers Nature Conservancy in 2002, the property is named in honor of her family name in which is was originally deeded. Running parallel with Chartiers Creek, the long, narrow wooded parcel will forever remain as riparian buffer. 

Conservation Area

The 4.9 acre Oakwood Valley property is located across the street from Crafton Elementary School.  It is bordered by Crafton Boulevard, the Port Authority busway, and the Oakwood Bridge.

Bell's Run, a tributary of Chartiers Creek, flows directly through the property creating a small floodplain surrounded by steep, heavily wooded hillsides. According to local historian Betsy Martin, a trolley company dammed the stream and flooded the Oakwood Valley in the early part of this century to create a lake meant to encourage riders to use the trolley line on summer days and weekends. 

Now an impaired stream, Bell's Run runs milky white from abandoned mine drainage aluminum discharge..

The Laurel and McKenna Foundations helped fund this land acquisition, along with  the charitable contribution of Carl and Edith Mayle, who sold the property to Chartiers Nature Conservancy at below market value after having owned it for 36 years.

Ingram Wetlands 
Conservation Area

The Ingram property, 8.22 acres of gently sloping woodlands, with a wetland valley which floods during rainstorms, is bordered by Ingram Avenue, North Duane Avenue, and the Ryder Truck facility. Purchased by the Chartiers Nature Conservancy from the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh in September of 1999, it had been under considerable development pressure.  The acquisition was financed with grants from the Laurel and McKenna Foundations. 

Nearby  Ingram, Crafton and Pittsburgh residents are assured that this undeveloped greenspace will be preserved in a natural condition. 

Scout Troops have developed marked hiking trails that the public can enjoy.

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Ingram | Thornburg | Oakwood | Crafton | Parrish | Idlewood