The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy Appoints Greg Socha to Lead New Land Conservation and Stewardship Team
Wed, Dec 19th 2007, 13:57. Filed under News Releases.
(Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) — The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) today announced the creation of a new senior management position to support its emphasis on protecting the region’s most important natural places through land conservation and stewardship. Greg Socha, previously WPC’s Senior Director of Land Conservation, has been named to this position and will assume the title of Associate Vice President for Land Conservation and Stewardship.
Socha will lead a reorganized Land Conservation and Stewardship team as it builds on WPC’s heritage of substantial conservation achievements and works to increase WPC’s capacity in this critical area. This group will continue to use proven, effective land-protection mechanisms such as purchase, lease agreements and conservation agreements with private landowners to advance WPC’s land conservation goals.
“Since our founding 75 years ago, the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy has made a tremendous impact on our region by protecting more than 216,000 acres of natural lands,” said Tom Saunders, President and CEO of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. “We view land conservation as central to our mission, and we look forward to the significant results we will achieve with a skilled, dedicated and newly focused team led by Greg Socha.”
Socha, who joined WPC in 2002, holds a Master’s degree in Forestry from the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. In his previous role with WPC, Socha led the organization’s efforts to prioritize forested areas for protection efforts and acquire lands to support WPC’s land conservation objectives.
The Land Conservation and Stewardship team will focus on protecting lands that are identified as priorities for the Western Pennsylvania region. This work will be guided by research conducted by Western Pennsylvania Conservancy staff, and by partnerships and close collaboration with community members, volunteer groups, local governments, businesses and other organizations. The Conservancy believes that land conservation at an ambitious scale is important to preserving and enhancing the region, since this region is noteworthy for its dramatic open spaces, natural resources, habitat and scenic beauty.
About the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
Founded 75 years ago in 1932 as Pennsylvania’s first nonprofit conservancy, the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy has protected nearly half of all land protected by land trusts in Pennsylvania, restored watersheds, and saved natural habitats for a diversity of life and uses. WPC has been responsible for the founding of six state parks, including Ohiopyle, Laurel Ridge, McConnells Mill, Moraine, Oil Creek and Erie Bluffs. WPC also created the 300-acre Wildflower Reserve at Raccoon Creek State Park, and has added land to numerous natural areas, game lands and state forests.
Since 1963, WPC has maintained and operated Fallingwater, the world-famous house designed in 1935 by Frank Lloyd Wright for Edgar J. Kaufmann in Mill Run, Pa. Fallingwater today offers a wide variety of educational programs to its more than 135,000 annual visitors. Fallingwater is a symbol of living in harmony with nature.
Each year, WPC partners with more than 5,000 volunteers and dozens of community organizations and businesses to plant, maintain and support 140 gardens in 19 western Pennsylvania counties.