Our Members Matter
Members Since: 1985
French Creek and its amazing array of wildlife hold a special place in the hearts of many, including a couple that now lives six hours away from this northwestern Pennsylvania waterway. On a trip “home” years ago, Joyce and Larry DeYoung were delighted to find an abundance of softshell turtles in French Creek, once a rare sighting.
They attribute this resurgence to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy’s conservation of this amazing part of the region. And it is work like this that makes the Conservancy so important to the DeYoung's.
A native of Lawrence Park in Erie County, Joyce DeYoung spent her childhood enjoying the beaches, lagoons and hiking trails at Presque Isle. She especially looked forward to visiting her relatives in rural Warren County, where she could explore the hills and streams.
Now residents of Chester County in Eastern Pennsylvania, Joyce and her husband, Larry, still enjoy hiking and being outdoors. As Conservancy members since 1985, the DeYoungs were excited to learn that WPC was conserving and protecting land and water in the region that Joyce calls home. They think Western Pennsylvania is one of the most beautiful areas in the eastern U.S. and are delighted to join the Conservancy in protecting the region’s magnificent landscape.
Their careers kept the DeYoungs busy with travel — she worked for Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, and he was a manager at the Livonia Avon & Lakeville Railroad and B&H Rail Corp. Now enjoying retirement, Joyce and Larry appreciate spending time in nature.
The DeYoungs head home at least once each year for Joyce’s family reunion. Joyce is also reminded of home as she reads about WPC’s work in French Creek in Conserve magazine.
Joyce and Larry are proud also to be members of the Conservancy’s Heritage Circle planned giving society by remembering WPC in their will. Their commitment to protecting Western Pennsylvania’s spectacular natural places in their estate will ensure that future generations of children will continue to experience nature just as Joyce did as a child.