Environmental Quality Protection, Beautification

Western Pennsylvania Conservancy

  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • www.WaterLandLife.org

Mission Statement

The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy protects and restores exceptional places to provide our region with clean waters and healthy forests, wildlife and natural areas for the benefit of present and future generations. The Conservancy creates green spaces and gardens, contributing to the vitality of our cities and towns, and preserves Fallingwater, a symbol of people living in harmony with nature. Charity Navigator, an independent evaluator of charities, has recognized the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy as one of the top ten charities in the nation! Over the last decade, we have consistently received exceptional Charity Navigator ratings for financial health, accountability and transparency.

Main Programs

  1. Watershed Conservation Program
  2. Community Gardens and Greenspace
  3. Fallingwater
  4. Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program
  5. Land Conservation and Stewardship
Service Areas

Self-reported

Pennsylvania

Western Pennsylvania

ruling year

1951

President/Chief Executive Officer

Self-reported

Mr. Thomas D. Saunders

Keywords

Self-reported

conservation; Fallingwater; community greening; gardens; WPC; rivers; land; environment

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EIN

25-1053485

 Number

3817721114

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

Community, Neighborhood Development, Improvement (S20)

Museum & Museum Activities (A50)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

In 2013: WPC conserved 18 new properties totaling 2,613 acres. Conservancy-protected properties are open to the public for recreation such as fishing, canoeing, hiking and hunting. WPC partnered with local watershed groups and private landowners to improve or protect 222 stream miles. WPC planted more than 15,000 riparian trees in priority watersheds throughout the region.WPC scientists conducted 300 field surveys, documenting the plant and animal speciesthat populate our landscapes. WPC initiated a comprehensive, multi-year project to evaluate the condition of Pennsylvania's rare plant and animal habitats in areas with high likelihood for shale gas exploration. WPC field researchers collected baseline data at 80 sites. With the help of more than 12,500 volunteers, WPC planted and maintained 130 community gardens across Western Pennsylvania and displayed 1,000 hanging baskets and 640 seasonal planters across downtown Pittsburgh.TreeVitalize Pittsburgh accomplished its multi-year goal to plant 20,000 trees throughout Pittsburgh's neighborhoods and parks.Ongoing preservation at Fallingwater, where 160,000 visitors toured the site, continues. Year-long monitoring for recently-opened cracks in the master terrace and foundation bolsters began in October 2013. Our educational programs hosted more than 14,000 grade school students. The Conservancy is guided by a three-year strategic plan (2012-2014). In 2014, we will continue toward significant long-range goals for this decade, which include: Protected natural areas, including 50,000 acres of newly conserved land; Reduce sedimentation and pollution in rivers and stream, with an additional 1,500 miles of streams protected or restored; Long-term preservation of Fallingwater and enhanced educational opportunities; and Increased opportunities to connect to nature and each other through community gardens, tree plantings and other green spaces.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Watershed Conservation Program

WPC's Watershed Conservation Program is dedicated to watershed conservation issues and to providing a full range of services to the community. WPC participates in a wide range of grass roots efforts including watershed conservation plans, watershed restoration projects, water quality monitoring, bathymetry initiatives, water trail mapping, algae studies and many other activities.

Category

Environment, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Budget

Program 2

Community Gardens and Greenspace

WPC's Community Gardens project encompasses 130 sites in 20 counties. Working with more than 300 groups and more than 12,000 volunteers, WPC sustains sites through funding, design, site preparation, technical assistance and volunteer coordination. In addition to gardens, WPC implements several other approaches to community greening. WPC's Community Gardens and Greenspace Program completed an assessment of greening opportunities in downtown Pittsburgh seven years ago. Since then, we have project-by-project implemented improvements through beautiful planters and hanging baskets, a green wall, tree plantings, and other projects to transform the "hardscape" with plants and flowers. WPC plants trees throughout the Greater Pittsburgh region and has initiated a tree planting project in Downtown Erie as well.

Category

Environment, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Budget

Program 3

Fallingwater

Voted the most important building of the 20th century in a poll conducted by the American Institute of Architects, Fallingwater is Frank Lloyd Wright's masterwork. The "house over the waterfall" was entrusted to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy by Edgar Kaufmann jr. in October, 1963. Included with this generous gift were 500 acres surrounding the beautiful Bear Run Valley. In 2013, more than 160,000 people visited the house and grounds of Fallingwater. As a symbol of living in harmony with nature, Fallingwater offers a wide variety of educational programs for students of all ages and adults. The Bear Run Nature Reserve surrounding Fallingwater, expanded over the years by WPC, now encompasses more than 5,000 acres.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Adults

Budget

Program 4

Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program

The Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program (PNHP) inventories important plants, animals, and natural communities across Pennsylvania. It is a partnership of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC), the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC), and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC). Data on rare plant and animal species and habitats are collected by PNHP staff and is used by state and federal natural resource agencies for environmental review and also by planning agencies for land-use planning and protection.

Category

Environment, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Budget

Program 5

Land Conservation and Stewardship

The beautiful and varied landscapes of Western Pennsylvania range from high plateaus and mountain ridges to vast forests and rich river valleys. These lands and waterways provide bountiful recreational opportunities and support local economies. They also sustain native plants, animals and ecosystems that, in some cases, are found nowhere else on earth. Using science and information as our guide, the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy has prioritized the landscapes that we seek to conserve in order to maximize the impact of our work. To date, WPC has conserved more than 233, 000 acres in Western Pennsylvania.

Category

Environment, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Budget

Service Areas

Self-reported

Pennsylvania

Western Pennsylvania

Funding Needs

The areas of greatest need to support the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy's mission include: * Due diligence costs associated with protecting key properties across Western and Central Pennsylvania.* Community gardens sponsorships, which enable WPC to plant and maintain more than 135 community gardens in 20 counties - with the help of 13,000 volunteers. * Funds to support the monitoring of water quality in areas where Marcellus Shale drilling is occurring. Support for scientific study of the impacts of Marcellus Shale drilling and threats from development on sensitive plant and animal species and habitats. * Support to steward WPC-owned properties and those on which WPC holds conservation easements. * Funding for urban street tree plantings across the Greater Pittsburgh and Erie areas. * Continue site improvements at Fallingwater that will enhance the visitor experience, regardless of age or ability.

Accreditations

Land Trust Alliance

photos


External Reviews

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA CONSERVANCY
Fiscal year: Jan 01-Dec 31
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Western Pennsylvania Conservancy

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2014, 2013 and 2012
  • Board Chair, Board Co-Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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President/Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Thomas D. Saunders

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Ms. Susan Fitzsimmons

Snavely Forest Products, Inc.

Term: May 2012 - Apr 2015

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization

Yes

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Yes

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Yes

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Yes

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?