Meccy and Eugene and the other Ackermann children donated the land in October 2009. The children recognized the extent of the obligation that the WLT was assuming to conserve this land in perpetuity, and each of the 5 children also made a monetary gift of $1,000 to the WLT to help with upkeep.
Painting of the floodplain in the Preserve by Otto and Magdalene's granddaughter, KC Grapes
The family’s donation of the Ackermann Preserve formed part of the WLT’s first land conservation project. The donation of this land was doubly valuable for conservation because it also served as a match that allowed WLT to secure DCNR* grant funding equivalent to its value, to acquire land along the Great Allegheny Passage to expand Cedar Creek Park, and in Murrysville to establish another free-standing nature preserve. * Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
Click to watch a short video showing Norbert and Joanne Ackermann and Bob Michaud (KC Grapes' husband and the groom in wedding photos).
Since then, the WLT has maintained the Preserve for public enjoyment as a natural treasure in North Huntingdon Township.
The WLT has maintained and built trails, removed invasive plants, and made improvements to the Preserve. This work has been accomplished with the help of Eagle Scouts, AmeriCorps Service Members, WLT Board members, United Way, and volunteers from local businesses including:
Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania and Maryland
First National Bank
RAI Trade Marketing Services Co.
W.N. Tuscano Agency, Inc.
The effort of individual and company volunteers has been invaluable, for it has allowed the WLT to make improvements at the Preserve which would otherwise have been impossible, including: