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.

Susan Fitzsimmons’ Story

Susan Fitzsimmons understands the value of our region’s natural resources from a multitude of perspectives. Growing up in a Western Pennsylvania family in the forest products business instilled in her a respect for land and forests, and the importance of balanced use and stewardship. Her personal experience of raising her children to enjoy the region’s natural beauty deepened this appreciation.

Susan is Vice President for Snavely Forest Products, a multiregional wholesale building products distributor founded by her father. In addition to being the first female chair of her industry trade association, she is also the first female chair of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy board of directors.

“Because our business has primary focus on sustainable and renewable products, we have always been committed to responsible procurement and stewardship,” she explains. “This has shaped my conservation ethic. Many people do not realize that more trees are planted and wood is grown in the United States than is ever harvested any year in the country —growth exceeds harvest by 38 percent annually. Sustainability really is our future.”

Susan‘s awareness of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy evolved naturally from what she loved to do. She owned a condominium near Seven Springs when her daughter and son were growing up, and the time spent hiking, fishing and just playing in the Laurel Highlands had a big influence on them. Eventually she learned of the ongoing land protection role that WPC has in that region, and was delighted to discover WPC’s stewardship role of Fallingwater.

Susan is involved in the Conservancy because she sees an immediate impact on the region, emphasizing that the work is “… not just for the future, but also for today.”

She comes by her philanthropic spirit and focus on conservation naturally. A beautiful part of her family’s legacy involves the ambitious plan to reforest an entire country. Her father, Christian Snavely, spearheaded efforts to plant a million trees in Haiti through an education program that teaches farmers how to plant and grow trees to repopulate their depleted forests. He provided the first 1,000 trees, and his friends and family continue this important work.

Susan brings this same can-do, approachable attitude, energy and charisma to her leadership of the Conservancy. When asked what aspect she loves best about WPC, Susan explained, “It’s down-to-earth people doing down-to-earth work that every person in Western Pennsylvania can enjoy. You don’t need to have a lot of financial resources to enjoy nature.”

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

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