Our Members Matter
Members of the Heritage Circle
A trip to Fallingwater at Bear Run Nature Reserve was all it took for Richard and Marie Ulsh to realize the importance of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.
Since their initial visit in the early 1990s, the Ulshes have enjoyed supporting the Conservancy’s efforts to positively impact land, water and wildlife in Western Pennsylvania.
Their passion for science and education led them to become volunteer land stewards of a 2,600-acre eased property in Cambria County. In the process, they also provided a special opportunity for young adults. Before retiring, Richard, a professor of Chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown and advisor to the Chemical Society, engaged more than 60 students and community members in stewarding the Sideling Hill Creek land — the first college group to actively steward a WPC property. The group monitored the property and explored its biological features. According to Richard, these trips exposed college students to the Conservancy’s important work.
For some of his students, this was their first time in the woods. “I wanted students to come away from this experience learning more about the outdoors and the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. Young people are the future of the organization,” said Richard. The Ulshes hope their activities with the Chemical Society inspired more young adults to become involved in WPC’s activities.
Richard and Marie enjoy an active lifestyle of competitive rowing, scuba diving, flying small aircraft and enjoying other activities that Western Pennsylvania’s natural areas afford. They fondly remember participating in one of WPC’s annual two-day sojourns on the Clarion River. They enjoyed observing the virgin forests from a different vantage point — along the banks of the scenic river. Because of the strides WPC has made in conserving Western Pennsylvania’s land and water and their intimate involvement as land stewards, Richard and Marie felt it was only natural to begin building their philanthropic legacy with the Conservancy.
They became Heritage Circle members when they named WPC the beneficiary of their charitable remainder trust. The Ulshes “trust the Conservancy’s leadership to achieve the greatest impact possible” with their unrestricted support. The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy is grateful for the Ulshes' inclusion of the Conservancy in their future legacy.