Our Work, Mission and Core Values
The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy has been dedicated to protecting and restoring the region’s exceptional natural places since 1932. As a member-based nonprofit organization, we work in cities and towns across Western Pennsylvania and rely on the help of thousands of members, partners and volunteers. We are making a difference in our region’s water, land and life. We do this work for the wildlife and people who call Western Pennsylvania home.
But we can’t do this important work across our region without you.
We have permanently protected more than 255,000 acres of land – forests, meadows, farmlands and more – in Western Pennsylvania. You may have visited a place we’ve protected. Ohiopyle, McConnells Mill, Raccoon Creek, and Erie Bluffs are just a few of the 11 state parks we helped create. We also own 13,000 acres of land, including nature reserves and natural areas, for you to hike, walk, nature watch, hunt and enjoy. Of the total land protected by land trust organizations in Pennsylvania, nearly 50% has been conserved by WPC.
We’ve restored more than 3,000 miles of Western Pennsylvania’s local rivers and streams. Through a number of strategic projects and initiatives, such as streambank restorations, in-stream habitat work and riparian tree plantings, we’re protecting and restoring local waterways. This means clean water – for wildlife to thrive, for people to drink, and to provide places for you to fish and paddle.
Our scientists study the region’s rare, threatened and endangered plants and animals to guide our land and water conservation efforts. WPC’s conservation science program takes important data on Pennsylvania’s biodiversity and helps apply it to land protection, watershed restoration, land stewardship planning and policy development.
With our more than 10,000 volunteers, we create gardens and green places that bring nature into cities and towns across 20 counties in Western Pennsylvania. We plant trees in neighborhoods and parks and on city streets that capture storm water, provide shade and make communities more vibrant. We provide hanging baskets and planters and other green features to beautify downtown Pittsburgh. We add green infrastructure features that address storm water overflow issues. And we create green spaces where schoolchildren learn, explore and play.
We care for Fallingwater, the internationally renowned house designed in 1935 by famed American Architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Today, Fallingwater is on the UNESCO World Heritage List and inspires visitors from around the world as a symbol of people living in harmony with nature. Since 1963, the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy has owned, operated and preserved Fallingwater as a house museum to tour and experience. Fallingwater Institute offers a variety of immersive educational programming and learning experiences for schoolchildren, college students and adult learners. Please note: In response to recent COVID-19 guidelines adopted by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Fallingwater will safely reopen on June 13.
Each year, our members help safeguard, restore and beautify the region. We also partner with more than 12,000 volunteers and dozens of community organizations, partners and businesses to plant and maintain gardens and trees, pull invasive plants, improve our reserves, restore waterways and work at Fallingwater to assist visitors. Day by Day, inch by inch, yard by yard and acre by acre, our members and volunteers are key partners in helping to make Western Pennsylvania a more beautiful place to live and to visit.
The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy's
The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy protects and restores exceptional places to provide our region with clean waters and healthy forests, wildlife and natural areas for the benefit of present and future generations. The Conservancy creates green spaces and gardens, contributing to the vitality of our cities and towns, and preserves Fallingwater, a symbol of people living in harmony with nature.
Partnerships as Key to Accomplishing Our Work
Innovation and Agility
Integrity, Accountability and Openness
Employees and Volunteers Valued for Their Knowledge, Commitment and Diversity
Results-driven Work for Long-term Regional Impact and Value
Collaboration Across Areas of Expertise