The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy protects land to provide homes for wildlife and places in nature where everyone in our region is welcome to walk, fish, hike, hunt, observe and explore.
The Conservancy owns and manages 41 nature preserves that total more than 13,000 acres of forests, waterways, ridgelines and wild areas in 16 counties. And keeping these preserves accessible, enjoyable and natural takes strategic focus, constant vigilance and lots of care and attention.
Thanks to the Conservancy’s land stewardship staff, with the support of dedicated volunteers and Conservancy members, the Conservancy is working year round to help keep our region’s special and biodiverse places natural and open for all to enjoy. Each year at various preserves across the region, they remove invasive species, clear land of debris and past use, build trails, conduct trail maintenance, implement accessibility improvements, install signs and restore land to its natural state.
In this webinar, you’ll discover places you can enjoy for recreation and where wildlife call home, and learn how you can help natural areas thrive today so that future generations can enjoy them tomorrow. Join Conservancy staff, Director of Land Stewardship Andy Zadnik, Land Protection Manager Matt Marusiak and Land Stewardship Coordinators Amelia Marren and Tyson Johnston, for this lively discussion!
About the Presenters
Tyson Johnston, Land Stewardship Coordinator
Tyson Johnston joined the Conservancy in 2010 to manage conservation data and systems for the Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program. Since 2016 as the land stewardship coordinator, Tyson manages Conservancy-owned preserves in northwestern PA and works at the Northwest Regional Office in Franklin, Pa. Tyson holds a bachelor’s of science degree in geography and environmental studies from Slippery Rock University.
Amelia Marren, Land Stewardship Coordinator
Amelia joined the WPC land stewardship team in September 2020 after working in the WPC community gardens and greenspace program. Her current responsibilities include managing Bear Run Nature Reserve and other WPC preserves in the Laurel Highlands, the Sideling Hill Creek watershed, and monitoring properties in the Ligonier Valley that are protected through conservation easements. When Amelia isn’t on a preserve or property, you’ll find her at WPC’s Ligonier Office.
Matt Marusiak, Land Protection Manager, PA Wilds
Matt Marusiak is the WPC land protection manager for the Pennsylvania Wilds region. Since 2011, he has managed land acquisition projects, maintained contacts with the public interested in land protection options, developed partnership opportunities with local land trusts and governmental agencies, and helped steward properties and conservation easements held by WPC. Matt also manages WPC’s Bennett Branch Forest, a 1,465-acre working forest in Elk and Clearfield counties.
Andy Zadnik, Director of Land Stewardship
Andy Zadnik has directed the Conservancy’s land stewardship program for 14 years. His responsibilities include overseeing the monitoring of lands protected by conservation easement as well as managing WPC preserves throughout Western Pennsylvania. Andy has a background in fisheries and wildlife resources.