"Our Shared Legacy"

A Message from the President

Thomas D. Saunders

It started with a different name – the Greater Pittsburgh Parks Association – during the Great Depression more than eight decades ago. Ten citizens secured a certificate of nonprofit incorporation and a charter for this organization.

Now 81 years old, the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy has helped to establish ten state parks, conserved more than 233,000 acres of natural lands, and protected or restored more than 1,500 miles of rivers and streams. The Conservancy preserves and operates Fallingwater and enriches our region through community gardens and green spaces. WPC’s work is accomplished through the support of tens of thousands of members and volunteers.

Now, the Conservancy is about to launch the public phase of the first comprehensive campaign in its history. Through the Our Shared Legacy campaign, we will increase capacity to conserve our region’s exceptional places, leaving a rich natural legacy for future generations.

We live in an extraordinary region – one of great natural resources, ecological significance and opportunities for recreation. We have the opportunity to save our most exceptional places – rivers, streams, forests, mountain ridges and farmland valleys – while we still can.

WPC has established ambitious goals that quantify our shared vision for the future care and preservation of Western Pennsylvania’s natural resources. The Our Shared Legacy campaign will contribute to and support those goals.

This issue of Conserve is a sort of State of the Organization address; it will illustrate WPC’s impact on Western Pennsylvania’s landscape and its objectives for the next decade. I hope it will give readers an understanding of how WPC has conserved and will continue to conserve our region’s exceptional places.

Thomas D. Saunders
Thomas Saunders
President and CEO

A Message from the Campaign Chairman

Thomas D. Saunders

A visit to Fallingwater nearly 30 years ago led me to take a closer look at the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. Now, I am honored not only to announce WPC’s first comprehensive campaign, but also to serve as chairman of the campaign.

My respect for the Conservancy has grown from admiring its custodianship of Fallingwater to applauding the organization’s use of solid science and proactive cooperation to conserve the region’s landscape.

For these reasons, I support WPC’s vision for the future. These goals, which will be made possible in part by funds raised through the Our Shared Legacy campaign, include: Conserving 50,000 acres of forests, farms, ridges and valleys;

Restoring and protecting 1,500 miles of creeks and streams to improve public health, enhance recreational opportunities and preserve habitat for wildlife;

Connecting people to nature by planting 20,000 trees across our region and increasing endowment funding for our 135 community gardens; and Sustaining Fallingwater by building its endowment, carrying out the preservation of this iconic example of architecture and expanding educational opportunities.

I am pleased to report we have raised more than $25 million toward the $40 million needed to accomplish the goals of the Our Shared Legacy campaign.

This summer, the Conservancy will release more details about the campaign. In the meantime, if you would like to speak with someone about campaign opportunities, contact Carey Scheide Miller, senior director of development. She can be reached at 412-586-2356 or

Stephen L. Guinn
Stephen L. Guinn
Campaign Chairman

2013 Members’ Day & Annual Meeting

This year's annual meeting will be held on May 4 at The Barn at Fallingwater.
Register online.