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.

Patricia Nichols’ Story

One of Patricia Nichols’ favorite volunteer memories is a particular moment as a Fallingwater “Ask Me” Guide. While standing on the bridge one sunny fall afternoon, there was a brief lull when no one else was there to disrupt the silence. Trish looked up through the stained glass-colored leaves to the blue sky, and at Bear Run below, and she found it to be magical, “With the sun shining off the water and the stucco of the house – Fallingwater sort of shimmers. I don’t know if you can catch that with a camera. It is just really beautiful.” She has experienced many other treasured moments in different seasons, and has “enjoyed being in the sun, and even the rain.”

Trish first became aware of WPC when she was in her twenties during a visit to Fallingwater. For years thereafter, her daily commute into downtown Pittsburgh took her past the community gardens at the Liberty Tunnel. The more that she became aware of the full scope of our programs, the more dedicated she became to the Conservancy. Recently retired as chief operating officer of an investment subsidiary of BNY Mellon, she is now a Fallingwater volunteer from May through October, and also volunteers with WPC’s Land Conservation program on a weekly basis. She also serves as chair of the campaign committee for land and water conservation.

“I’ve learned a lot about the complexities of conserving land, and it is extremely interesting. But you also get to hear and see people working on the gardens, and the people involved with the scientific studies. It is an area in my professional life that I was not associated with. So, to me, it is sort of a broadening of my life experiences.”

Trish also financially supports the Conservancy in order to help ensure that the organization has the resources to respond to situations in an effective manner, adapt to new challenges, and remain relevant. “The environment is always changing,” she explains. “Now we have Marcellus shale, and development reaching into agricultural lands…you just have to constantly be aware and be able to adapt to dealing with these new situations.”

Trish taps into her direct experience as a volunteer to explain her favorite aspect of the Conservancy.

"What I like is not only the mission, but I like the people. These are good people doing a good job in a very well-run organization, so I feel that the money I’m donating is actually going towards the mission of the organization…I wouldn’t want to be giving my money to an organization whose mission is good, but they aren’t handling it right or achieving results.”

Her nonprofit work has given her a refreshed outlook on some things often taken for granted. She once participated in a WPC wildflower walk in Wolf Creek Narrows, and although it was near where Trish grew up in Grove City, she had never been there. While on the walk, she felt thankful to be outside just appreciating that moment, seeing what WPC had preserved for everyone to experience.

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

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