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.

Matt Wagle’s Story

Although his first interest was land and water conservation, Matt Wagle’s personal commitment to improving his own city neighborhood took him down a different path with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.

Matt was searching for an interesting way to foster community pride in his South Side Pittsburgh neighborhood. Already deeply involved with a number of causes promoting community revitalization, he had wanted to take an active leadership role and show what people are capable of accomplishing when working together. Through discussions with Judy Wagner, senior director of WPC’s Gardens and Greenspace Program, he was struck by the multitude of ways that greenspace improves communities.

“It got me thinking about the gardens. I’m fascinated with the economic impact and the civic pride of having gardens and greenspaces within the community.” As a financial advisor for Wells Fargo, discovering the overall economic benefit of city trees and sidewalk gardens was especially inspiring, from attracting businesses and visitors to increasing property values and saving on energy costs.

Matt went to work. He began volunteering at the community garden near his home, and was amazed at how many people showed up to help plant and care for it. Deepening his involvement even further, Matt and his wife, Kimberly, endowed the garden at 11th and East Carson, ensuring that its vibrancy and the community spirit it inspires will extend well into the future. It is an investment with immediate returns. He also serves on the Community Gardens and Greenspace campaign committee.

“As donors, my wife and I are really looking to make an impact on the community, and hoping to see that change in our lifetime. We are less interested in the legacy aspect, leaving a sum of money to philanthropic efforts when we pass…we want to do these things now, so that we can see the change and the impact we can make on the community.”

Matt has confidence in his choice to donate to the Conservancy. As a finance professional, he is impressed with Charity Navigator’s five consecutive four-star ratings of WPC, signifying that his support is being used as efficiently and responsibly as possible. There’s another aspect of WPC that he knows from personal experience that gives him assurance.

“I can’t say this enough – the professionalism of the staff,” Matt adds. “To find a combination of people with the talent, the desire and the professionalism is, I hesitate to say out of the ordinary, or extraordinary, but it really is. From a donor standpoint, it really you gives you some degree of confidence that your money and your efforts are not going to be wasted, that they’re going to be employed how you want them to, and as effectively as possible.”

The garden along East Carson Street is a calm, colorful oasis amid the hustle and bustle of a very vibrant city street. It is something that Matt can experience every day as a demonstration of his investment - a gift to his neighborhood renewed each spring.

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

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