Our Volunteers Matter

Volunteer Profiles

Photo of WPC Volunteer Dave Wynkoop

Dave Wynkoop

Volunteering since 2015

As an avid fly fisherman, Dave Wynkoop recognizes the importance of clean water and healthy aquatic ecosystems. That’s why he volunteers with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy’s watershed conservation program throughout northwestern Pennsylvania. Dave gets his feet wet in the field, building structures for stream bank stabilization, relocating freshwater mussels and assisting in electroshock techniques. His volunteer efforts contribute to improving our region’s water quality and help to maintain a lasting natural environment for his sons and granddaughter to enjoy for years to come.

This organization provides some very rewarding opportunities to sustain our outdoor environment.

What are your volunteer activities at WPC?

I usually volunteer with stream improvement projects involving bank stabilization. I have assisted with placement of wood structures in streams to channel water away from banks that were eroding. Preliminary to the replacement of the bridge at Hunter Station in Forest County, I helped recover and relocate freshwater mussels to other watersheds. Working with WPC, I assisted with electroshocking headwater streams in the Allegheny National Forest to assess the quantity of wild brook trout and the stream quality.

How did you become involved with WPC?

Many years ago, my father was an employee of the PA Game Commission. Starting at a very young age, my brother and I were privileged to share his enthusiasm and appreciation for wildlife and the outdoors. We were always around water, camping and fishing in northwestern Pennsylvania. I recognized that WPC was an organization which strives to maintain a lasting natural environment for my sons and granddaughter.

How long have you been a volunteer with us and what motivates you to stay involved at WPC?

I volunteered with the Trumbull County Conservation District in Ohio for sixteen years prior to returning to my Pennsylvania roots. Wanting to continue with my conservation interests, I became involved with WPC three years ago. It is important that a legacy of clean streams and wild places be protected for future generations to appreciate and enjoy. As an avid fly fisherman, I am very aware and concerned about the condition of our streams and their aquatic life.

Tell us about your favorite volunteer experience at WPC?

Relocating the freshwater mussels from the Allegheny River into the Clarion River was one of my favorite experiences, but I also enjoyed what Luke Bobnar called “the big wood” projects. Most people would not believe what WPC gets accomplished with those improvements.

What has surprised you most about working with WPC?

I was impressed with the leadership provided by WPC personnel in the Ridgway, Pa. office and the diversity of its volunteers. It was surprising to discover how many women were involved in WPC, how hard they worked on the streams and how willing they were to tackle challenging projects.

What would you tell someone who is interested in volunteering at WPC?

This organization provides some very rewarding opportunities to sustain our outdoor environment.

What might we be surprised to know about you?

I didn’t get involved in volunteering very much until I retired; now I’m making up for lost time!