"Our Shared Legacy"

WPC Sets Ambitious Goals to Conserve Exceptional Places

Conserve - Spring 2013

It is hard to imagine what Western Pennsylvania would be like without the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.

Since 1932, WPC has been dedicated to conserving exceptional places and providing ecological protection to natural resources. The Conservancy has been devoted to protecting resources – the forests, rivers and streams – that have improved the ecology and quality of life in the region for generations.

From the 1945 acquisition of the property that would become McConnells Mill State Park with its Slippery Rock Creek gorge to last year’s acquisition of a parcel along a stream in the heart of the Pennsylvania elk range, the Conservancy has done more to conserve Western Pennsylvania’s natural resources than any other nonprofit organization. WPC has helped to establish ten state parks, has protected or restored more than 1,500 miles of rivers and streams and has conserved more than 233,000 acres of land.

Through the support of thousands of members and volunteers, the Conservancy has enriched the region’s cities and towns through 135 community gardens and other green spaces. The organization has served as Fallingwater’s steward and public custodian since 1963.

Now, WPC is seeking help to build on its past successes and to tackle the most ambitious goals it has ever attempted in its history.

The Conservancy will continue to focus its energies on conserving the region’s exceptional places. It seeks to safeguard Western Pennsylvania’s most important natural areas that are yet to be conserved; continue to bring gardens and green spaces into communities so that nature may reach people where they live; and preserve Fallingwater as an example of living in harmony with nature.

“We have an opportunity to protect our very best natural places and to revitalize our communities,” said Thomas D. Saunders, WPC’s president and chief executive officer. “The stunning and ecologically rich resources in our region warrant this level of effort.”

During this decade, WPC seeks to:

  • • Conserve 50,000 acres of natural lands containing forests, ridges and valleys – lands of such significant conservation value that they merit and require protection;
  • • Restore and protect 1,500 miles of creeks and streams, to improve public health, enhance recreational opportunities and preserve habitat for fish and other wildlife;
  • • Connect people to nature by planting 20,000 trees across the region and establishing endowment funding for community gardens; and
  • •  Sustain Fallingwater by building its endowment, carrying out the preservation required to maintain this iconic example of organic architecture and expanding on-site educational opportunities.

With the help of supporters, the Conservancy seeks to raise $40 million to help achieve these goals.

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