Buerkle Woodlands

Project Profile

Project Location

Sewickley Hills, PA

Project Operator

Allegheny Land Trust

Project Type


Project Credits


Credit Availability


Project Contact

Alyson Fearon afearon@alleghenylandtrust.org

Allegheny Land Trust (ALT) is leading the 34-acre Buerkle Woodlands project in Sewickley Hills and Ohio Township, PA. These scenic woodlands are the gateway to Sewickley Hills, Sewickley Heights, and Bell Acres for area residents and visitors alike. The forested slopes and hilltop plateau are emblematic of the character of these communities, serving as a buffer from the noise and commercial development of a major interstate while providing important wildlife habitat.

The mixed successional forest includes oaks, hemlock, and pines dating back to the 1930s, and younger maple, cherry, and beech in areas that were previously used for agriculture. Preservation will prevent conversion of forestland to residential use, erosion of landslide prone slopes, absorb rainfall in the flood prone Kilbuck Run watershed, and improve air quality. Kilbuck Run’s flooding threatens homes and businesses at the bottom of the watershed near the I-79 and Route 65 interchange.

ALT is protecting the woodlands as well as an additional 30 acres that are not developable, for a total of 64 acres. This project continues the expansion of the multi-municipal Audubon Greenway that links Sewickley Hills and Sewickley Heights Parks. Audubon Greenway is a segment of ALT’s NW Allegheny Conservation Plan to create a greenway connecting municipal parks and other protected land.

Check out the Buena Vista Heights Conservation Area for information on another Allegheny Land Trust project.


Forest preservation projects not only reduce carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but provide ecosystem services or co-benefits that can be quantified. The co-benefits from this project represent a savings (avoided costs) of $71,598.03 per year, and $2,863,921.05 over 40 years.

  • Rain interception (stormwater management) – 16,027.80 m3/year, $33,876.49 per year
  • Air quality – 1.1058 tons/year, $2,725.95 per year
  • Energy use – cooling (electricity) – 48,668 kWh/year, $6,818.45 per year
  • Energy use – heating (natural gas) – 2,014,625 kBtu/year, $28,177.13 per year

Social Impacts

The 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are an urgent call for action and global partnership among all countries, representing key benchmarks for creating a better world and environment for everyone. Well-designed and managed urban forests make significant contributions to the environmental sustainability, economic viability and livability of cities.

The main SDGs for this project are described below, with more detailed information in the Project Design Document.

Changing rainfall patterns have exacerbated historical flash flood locations and increased landslide potential in the region. Historically poor air quality has more severe impacts when weather-related phenomenon trap particulates and ozone in our valleys. Protecting this forest will screen and remove air pollutants and reduce stormwater runoff.

The forested slopes and hilltop plateau of Buerkle Woodlands are emblematic of the rural character of these communities, serving as a buffer from the noise and commercial development of the interstate while proving important wildlife habitat.


Protecting this forest, which is zoned residential, will prevent disturbance of steep and landslide prone slopes and absorb rainfall in the flood prone Kilbuck Run watershed.

Total Credits Issued: 4,908

  • 2022: 4,908 credits issued

Total Credits Sold: 0

Total Credits Retired: 0

Total Credits Cancelled: 0

Total Credits Available for Purchase: 4,908

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