Turtle Creeker | Summer 2015 | Supporting the Community
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TCDC Curb Appeal Grants

The Turtle Creek Development Corporation (TCDC) has an exciting opportunity to assist homeowners in Turtle Creek with exterior home improvement projects that will boost the curb appeal of their home. TCDC is accepting applications from current Turtle Creek homeowners and renters to receive up to 50% (with a maximum of $150) of the project cost.
Why curb appeal?
  • A recent study found that good landscaping can add 7–15% to your home’s value.
  • Experts consistently say that landscaping and curb appeal projects have the best return on investment.
  • The National Association of Realtors reports that curb appeal sells 49% of all houses.
  • Exterior improvements can improve safety both for the homeowners and the street.
Potential projects could include:
  • New windows and doors can make your house sparkle and may save you heating costs.
  • Outside lamps could beautify a lawn, and provide a lighted area that tends to be safer at night.
  • Window boxes can instantly brighten the outside of the house and make it harder to break into windows.
  • Replacing hardware (numbers, handles, etc.) and upgrading a mailbox will not only change the look of your house, but these changes can also increase your safety. House numbers that stand out are important for emergency personnel.
  • Small gardens or added trees improve air quality, home values, and health of individuals living in and around the home.
If you are interested in this program, please contact the Mon Valley Initiative via email or phone to request an application packet.
Turtle Creek Local Businesses


What is the Turtle Creek Development Corporation?

The Turtle Creek Development Corporation (TCDC)
is committed to revitalizing and sustaining Turtle Creek as a livable community. TCDC is an all-volunteer organization. In addition to a variety of activities geared to improving the quality of life for the residents, TCDC takes a lead role in housing rehabilitation, home ownership opportunities, and workforce development through a partnership with the Mon Valley Initiative.
Previous TCDC projects include:
  • Purchased, renovated and maintain the Grant Street and D’Amico Apartments.
  • Finished several houses as part of the MVI “Rehab for Resale” Housing Rehabilitation Program.
  • Produces the Turtle Creeker, the only Turtle Creek community newsletter.
  • Planted the Thompson Street Garden.
  • Transformed the curb appeal of Turtle Creek homes through the Turtle Creek Curb Appeal Matching Grant Program.
TCDC meets on the 4th Wednesday of every month at 5:30 p.m. at the Human Services Center (519 Penn Avenue). For information on how to join, or for more information about TCDC, please contact Bethany Bloise at or
(412) 464-4000 x.4031.

Turtle Creek, Naturally

A visitor driving through town on the TriBoro Expressway might wonder where we get the name "Turtle Creek." With so much asphalt and urban development, you need to know where to look to find the Creek. Even then, the streambed itself is paved with concrete. Our best view is probably from the new Greensburg Pike Bridge (pictured above), where one can imagine early pioneers and Native Americans canoeing to John Frazer's trading post here in the valley. Much has happened to Turtle Creek since those days.

Here are some facts about our namesake:

The Watershed--Turtle Creek starts in Delmont, and joins the Monongahela in North Versailles. The whole watershed drains 147 square miles, spanning 33 municipalities. Within the Borough of Turtle Creek, two tributaries join the Creek - Sawmill Run and Thompson Run (though Sawmill Run is largely underground her in town).

Flood Control--The concrete streambed of these tributaries and Turtle Creek were a result of a US Army Corps of Engineers flood control project started in 1962.

Water Quality--Acid mine drainage from coal mines throughout the watershed has severely affected aquatic life in the creek and its tributaries. The process is difficult to stop - acid mine drainage is still being produced by mines from Roman times. Urban runoff has been identified as another source of pollution, especially in lower Turtle Creek. When paving and buildings keep rainwater from soaking into the ground it can carry oil, fertilizers, salt, and other chemicals into our streams.

According to Amy Miller, Conservation Specialist with the Allegheny Conservation District, efforts to treat the abandoned mine drainage are ongoing. It is quite costly and typically done by nonprofits such as the Turtle Creek Watershed Association or Allegheny and Westmoreland Conservation Districts.

But the work is paying off! The water quality further upstream in Monroeville, near Saunders Station Road, has improved enough that thousands of trout are released each year. Smallmouth bass and walleye have been caught as close as Trafford.

In spite of being urban, paved, and polluted, the Creek contributes to our quality of life. The mere presence of running water can calm us and bring our focus back to nature - and to what we might miss when driving through on the highway.

By Linda Patchel

Mayor's Corner: Support Your Volunteer Fire Department!

Mayor Kelley Kelley

Summer is upon us, and it's a time for friends and family to enjoy the fairs and festivals that pop up around this time of year. They are a great way to come out and support a community or organization!

Our annual Turtle Creek Fireman's Fair will be held August 13 to 15, 2015. We will have great food, games, and rides for the kids. On Friday, August 14, we will have a parade that will include a number of local fire departments and the fair will conclude with a fireworks display on Saturday the 15th. We would love to see everyone in Turtle Creek and the surrounding communities come out and support our local volunteer fire department!

The Turtle Creek Fire Department (TCFD) has been in existence since 1904, and it relies on people who volunteer their time to serve our community. The volunteer firefighters are responsible for responding to calls (even calls to rescue cats and pump out basements), attending classes and training programs inside and outside the department, fundraising, and attending regular monthly meetings. Most do this while holding full-time jobs and family responsibilities. These men and women risk their lives for nothing other than the desire to help others in need. They use their free time to attend training courses or work fundraising events like the annual fair.

Recently, there has been some negative press concerning volunteer fire departments. Of course there are problems, but I am happy that we have a number of local government officials finally talking about them and looking for solutions. Before seeing volunteer fire departments in a negative light, think about all of the similar issues all fire departments are facing, and are doing their best to adapt to the changing environment:
  • We do not have the number of people volunteering that we once did.
  • The costs of joining a volunteer fire department are rising in terms of time and financial commitments.
  • Funding for local volunteer fire departments is spread thin and there is never enough.
Fundraising events like our fair are so important to our survival. Community support and participation are integral parts in keeping our local volunteer fire departments going.

I am asking all Turtle Creek residents and those in surrounding communities to please come down and support the TCFD at their annual fair this year. Have fun, eat a ton of great food (funnel cakes made by yours truly), meet up with your friends and neighbors, and take the time to thank the members for all they do for our community.

I hope everyone has a safe and wonderful summer.
- Mayor Kelley Kelley
The Mayor’s Office is located at 125 Monroeville Avenue, Turtle Creek, PA 15145. Office hours are by appointment only. Changes and updates to the schedule are posted to her Facebook page: Turtle Creek, PA—Office of the Mayor. Also visit the Crime Watch page: Turtle Creek, PA Crime Watch.
The Crime Watch group meets the third Monday of every month at 7pm. Council meetings are the first Monday of every month at 7pm in council chambers.
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Turtle Creek Development Corporation
PO Box 148
Turtle Creek, PA 15145

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For more information, email or call 412-464-4000 x.4031.