Pittsburgh, Pa. – Aug. 23, 2017 – The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy received its renewed land trust accreditation from the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, the Conservancy announced today.

“Achieving renewed land trust accreditation confirms that the Conservancy continues to protect Western Pennsylvania’s important natural areas, scenic landscapes, rivers and streams with the highest standards of care required by the Land Trust Alliance,” said Tom Saunders, president and CEO of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.

First accredited in 2012, the Conservancy is one of 389 accredited land trusts nationwide. Accredited land trusts must renew every five years, confirming their compliance with national quality standards and providing continued assurance to donors and landowners of their commitment to forever steward their land. To achieve renewed accreditation, WPC had to provide extensive documentation and undergo a comprehensive review.

“It is exciting to recognize the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy with this distinction,” said Tammara Van Ryn, executive director of the Commission. “Accredited land trusts are united behind strong ethical standards ensuring the places people love will be conserved forever. Accreditation recognizes the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy has demonstrated sound finances, ethical conduct, responsible governance and lasting stewardship.”

Established in 1932, WPC helped to establish ten state parks—including Ohiopyle, McConnells Mill and Moraine—and conserved more than 254,000 acres of natural lands. The Conservancy also owns and manages more than 13,000 acres of nature reserves across the region, including the 5,000-acre Bear Run Nature Reserve in Fayette County.

In addition to its land conservation and stewardship work, the Conservancy has also protected or restored more than 3,000 miles of rivers and streams. WPC operates and preserves the Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece, Fallingwater, and enriches the region’s cities and towns through 132 community gardens, tree plantings and other green spaces.

Based in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., the Land Trust Accreditation Commission awards the accreditation seal to organizations that meet rigorous quality standards and strive for continuous improvement. The Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance established in 2006, is governed by a volunteer board of diverse land conservation and nonprofit management experts.

The Alliance, of which WPC is a member, is a national land conservation organization based in Washington, D.C. that works to save the places people need and love by strengthening land conservation across America. More information on the accreditation program is available on the Commission’s website, www.landtrustaccreditation.org.


Photos are available for media use courtesy of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.

Addition to Elk State Forest in McKean County
Web: http://bit.ly/2iqXhCg
High-res: http://bit.ly/2iqDi6P

Scenic View at Laurel Hill in Somerset County. Photo by Sam Menchyk.
Web: http://bit.ly/2iqagEm
High-res: http://bit.ly/2g5QL2U

About the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy:

The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) enhances the region by protecting and restoring exceptional places. A private nonprofit conservation organization founded in 1932, WPC has helped to establish 10 state parks, conserved more than a quarter million acres of natural lands and protected or restored more than 3,000 miles of rivers and streams. The Conservancy owns and operates Fallingwater, which symbolizes people living in harmony with nature. In addition, WPC enriches our region’s cities and towns through 132 community gardens and other green spaces that are planted with the help of about 12,000 volunteers. The work of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy is accomplished through the support of more than 10,000 members. For more information, visit WaterLandLife.org or Fallingwater.org.

Media Contact:

Kristen Blevins
Communications Specialist
412-586-2328 (office)