National Volunteer Week:
WPC Thanks Our Many Volunteers

National Volunteer Week is April 15-21 -- just in time for Earth Day. Throughout its 75 year history, thousands of WPC members and friends have given countless hours of time and energy to protect our natural resources, preserve Fallingwater and improve the quality of life in our region and we thank you! The signature community flower gardens are one of WPCs largest and longest-running volunteer efforts.

Days are warming, nights are lengthening and the earth is beginning to stir. Shoots, sprouts and buds give us a hopeful reminder that spring is in the works. The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy’s Community Gardens and Greenspace Program is gearing up for another season of planting and tending the community flower gardens that are a beautiful asset for our region.

Did you know that

  • More than 4,000 volunteers pitch in each year to plant and care for the 140 garden sites in 19 counties?

  • More than half of those volunteers are children and youth?

  • Each year more than 250,000 flowers are planted enough to make a flowerbed from Pittsburgh to the West Virginia border?

  • People donate more than 20,000 hours per year to plant and tend the gardens throughout the summer?

  • No experience is needed to help make the gardens bloom?

  • More than 3 million people per day see the results of all this volunteer work?

Over the past 20 years, we estimate that more than 50,000 people have volunteered for the flower gardens. Every year we hear wonderful stories about how the gardens bring neighbors together, connect people across all sorts of boundaries, build a sense of community and belonging, brighten up a dreary corner, lift spirits and strengthen local commitment to the environment and to the communities of our region. We even hear stories of the flower gardens calming frayed nerves, curbing road rage and bringing smiles in the midst of pressure and frustration. Thanks to our thousands of volunteers, the quality of life in western Pennsylvania is improved in this small but significant way.

But, as with any garden, our work is never done. Without people like YOU, WPC could not manage such a huge and complex logistical effort. We are always seeking more volunteers, and we always need new financial sponsors: corporations, community

groups and individuals. In-kind support, whether materials or labor services, is also appreciated. The community flower gardens are a remarkable demonstration of the commitment of western Pennsylvania citizens to improve our environment and quality of life. 

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