Our Shared Legacy

Our Donors

We are grateful for every generous gift that will help the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy achieve its goals.

Man Standing by a River

WPC’s commitment to protect the land, water and life of the region could not continue without the support of members. To find out more, email members@paconserve.org.

Barbara Bott

Although Board Member Barbara Bott grew up on a dairy farm and has always loved the outdoors, it wasn’t until her early years with husband Bob Jennings that she grew to truly appreciate the value of wilderness preserved for everyone to enjoy.

“We lived in West Virginia for a year when we had no extra money, and no children. Our vacations were camping in the beautiful state parks.” Those enjoyable early trips born out of frugal necessity grew into a lifelong love for outdoor exploration. They eventually spent six weeks camping in the National Parks of the Western U.S., and established a tradition of outdoor vacations with their children. “These experiences fostered our love of parks,” she adds.

Love of nature and an interest in science shaped her career as well. Barbara became a high school biology teacher in order to share her knowledge and impart her excitement about the natural world to her students. Eventually Barbara and Bob wanted to extend their impact on the environment by directly helping to conserve and preserve land and water in the Pittsburgh region. They based their charitable giving on what had inspired them from the beginning.

“Having land to hike on, in the form of state parks and state game lands, and water to fish in and participate in water sports, is important to us,” said Barbara. The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy’s history of land preservation, including 10 state parks, motivated their first gift in 1982, and they have been loyal members ever since.

Now with their children grown, Barbara and Bob are more immersed in nature than ever. They are passionate about the health of our rivers, and live in a home they designed and built along the peaceful banks of the Allegheny River, near old growth forest, some of which the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy has helped preserve.

They stay informed about the environment (not surprising, given Bob’s careers as an asbestos litigation attorney), and their support of the Conservancy has adapted as our region’s natural resources face new challenges. “We are very concerned about the effects of Marcellus Shale well drilling on the land and the water supply,” she explains. “Clean drinking water is very important to us.”

In keeping with her chosen profession of teaching, Barbara strongly believes that “an educated citizen needs to understand the fundamentals of biology in order to make decisions concerning their life, and in their voting.” This informed outlook has focused their recent giving on WPC’s conservation science program, intending that their support helps WPC scientists monitor water quality and other potential impacts of drilling on our region.

Fortunately for the Conservancy, what began as a simple “roughing it” camping trip evolved into a lifelong commitment to the environment; Barbara and Bob’s love for the outdoors and support of WPC’s on-the-ground work are helping to create a healthy and vital future for Pennsylvania’s landscapes and waterways.

Our success will be our collective legacy, a testament to foresight and commitment to the natural resources entrusted to us.

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