ACCD Announces New Assistant Director
Allegheny County Conservation District (ACCD) welcomes Erin Copeland as new Assistant Director.


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Meet Erin Copeland
Most recently, Ms. Copeland held the position of Senior Restoration Ecologist at the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy.

While there, she collaborated with many partners across sectors to actualize watershed improvements based on ecological restoration and green infrastructure.

“Healthy soil and water are the underpinnings of our human community and ecology in Allegheny County,” Copeland said. “I look forward to working with this team to conserve and improve the county’s natural resources.”

ACCD recently completed a three-year strategic plan, which contains priorities and focus areas that relate directly to Ms. Copeland’s areas of expertise. The plan will be released on ACCD’s website in the coming weeks.

“I am thrilled to welcome Ms. Copeland to the ACCD team,” Executive Director Heather Manzo said. “As ACCD celebrates its 75th year of service, Ms. Copeland will be instrumental in the District’s continued efforts to assist communities in Allegheny County to manage complex water and land use issues in new and innovative ways.”

Ms. Copeland earned her Bachelor of Science in ecological and political science from Juniata College and Masters of Science in forest ecology from the University of Vermont.


New Resource Conservationists
ACCD made two additional strategic hires to its Regulatory Team.
Kalin Drennen was hired as a Resource Conservationist – GIS and Data Specialist in spring 2021. In this new position, Drennen will use GIS mapping and data analysis as an integral part of ACCD’s county-wide conservation efforts.

Drennen has more than 10 years’ experience in the environmental consulting field. He possesses a diverse skill set including GIS mapping and analysis, E&S inspection and environmental permitting.

Makenzie Priest, ACCD’s newest Resource Conservationist, received her degree in Civil Engineering from West Virginia University and spent the following two years working in the land development consulting field in Allegheny County. Her experience in E&S and PCSM design, knowledge of wetland and water resource conservation, and passion for environmental protection lend well to ACCD’s mission.

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