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NEWS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: April Kopas WESTMORELAND COUNTY LAND BANK [email protected] 724.830.3050 Westmoreland County Land Bank Teams up With Keep PA Beautiful to Tackle Blight (HERMINIE, PA) The Westmoreland County Land Bank is partnering with Keep PA Beautiful to help turn a blighted structure into an active community green space. The Land Bank acquired the property located at 3372 Pike Street in December of 2015, and the Redevelopment Authority for the County of Westmoreland will demolish the dilapidated building paving the way for an Eagle Scout project that will transform the former eyesore into a community asset. There will be a check presentation on Wednesday June 22nd at 10 a.m. on-site in Herminie. Of the $6,000 Strategic Community Greening Partnership Grant program conveyed by Keep PA Beautiful, $1,500 will go towards this project in Sewickley Township. Other projects in the area benefiting from this grant are Jeannette Greenspaces, a community garden located in downtown Jeannette, and a mural beautification project on the side of the Geyer Performing Arts Center in downtown Scottdale. There will be a check presentation in Scottdale for the Geyer mural also on Wednesday June 22nd at noon. Keep PA Beautiful is an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, Inc., the nation’s largest volunteer-based community action and education organization, with a mission to empower Pennsylvanians to make our communities clean and beautiful. “We are grateful for the opportunity to team up with the Westmoreland County Land Bank to support community projects that combat blight. We commend the Scouts for taking the initiative and being active community stewards and are eager to support them in their efforts” explained Shannon Reiter, President, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful. Upon demolition of the blighted structure, the resulting vacant lot will be the subject of an Eagle Scout project from a local Boy Scout troop. Within the 52’ x 54’ area, scouts will construct a 30-foot flagpole in the center, with at least two park benches circling the flagpole. An American Flag and a Commonwealth of Pennsylvania flag will be provided from State Representative Ted Harhai’s office, and a County of Westmoreland flag will be provided by the Land Bank. The plan also calls for moving the “Herminie Established in 1889” sign from across the street on to the property, surrounding it with paving stones and mulch. Completion of the Eagle Scout project is expected to be by September of 2016. “It really is encouraging when we are able to have so many different people and organizations come together to make truly a wonderful project happen,” said April Kopas, Executive Director of the Westmoreland County Land Bank. “We have been actively involved with several projects in Sewickley Township since they have joined the Land Bank, and we look forward to many more. Thank you to the Sewickley Township Supervisors, Keep PA Beautiful staffers, and also to the Boy Scouts for taking on this project, turning what was once an eyesore into a valuable and visible community asset.” The mission of the Land Bank is to deter the spread of blight; to promote redevelopment and reuse of vacant, abandoned, and tax-delinquent properties; to support targeted efforts to stabilize neighborhoods; and to stimulate residential, commercial and industrial development while working with local government partners and other community stakeholders. To view available properties or to learn more about the Land Bank, visit www.westmorelandlandbank.com. # # #