Pitt–Johnstown first Pa. college to earn Audubon certification

On June 11, Pitt–Johnstown became the first Pennsylvania college or university to earn “Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary” and only the eighth overall, according to Audubon International.

Dave Finney, supervisor of campus grounds, has led the effort to obtain sanctuary designation. Finney and his crew maintain a 655-acre campus with 15 miles of trails.

"To reach certification, a property must demonstrate that they are maintaining a high degree of environmental quality in a number of areas," said Christine Kane, CEO of Audubon International.

These categories include: Environmental Planning, Wildlife & Habitat Management, Water Quality and Conservation, Resource Management, and Outreach and Education. Properties go through a recertification process every three years.

"The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown has shown a strong commitment to its environmental program. They are to be commended for their efforts to provide a sanctuary for wildlife on their property," Kane said. “By taking action to implement indoor and outdoor conservation projects, the administration, faculty and staff … have demonstrated their commitment to the sustainable management of their natural resources.”

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