Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC), headquartered in Pittsburgh (), has been around for more than 80 years (Established in 1932) and exists to protect the water, land and life of Western Pennsylvania. Half of all the land that has been protected by land trusts in Pennsylvania has been conserved by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and the organization is responsible for community gardens in 20 counties. This nonprofit organization has been entrusted with preserving Fallingwater, Frank Lloyd Wright's masterwork in Mill Run, Pa. The house was called the most important building of the 20th Century by the American Institute of Architects recently voted the most important building of the 20th century.
Charity Navigator listed WPC in the Top 10 Charities in 2012.
Since 1932, WPC has protected more than 233,000 acres (94,000 ha). Most of that land is now publicly owned and makes up some of Pennsylvania's premier parks, forests, gamelands, and natural areas - visited by millions of residents and tourists. WPC's work enables protection of important natural resources and creates economic benefits - from tourism in the Laurel Highlands, recreation in the Clarion River and Loyalhanna Gorge, to forestry in the Allegheny National Forest and Forbes State Forest in Westmoreland County.
WPC plants more than 135 community gardens each spring in 20 western Pennsylvania counties.
Bear Run flows within the Bear Run Nature Reserve, protected and administrated by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. Hiking trails in the nature reserve give access to enjoy Bear Run and the pristine Laurel Highlands in this region of the Allegheny Mountains.
WPC acquired land for the creation of ten state parks, including:
- Ohiopyle State Park including Ferncliff Peninsula National Natural Landmark
- Laurel Ridge State Park
- Oil Creek State Park
- McConnell's Mill State Park
- Moraine State Park
- Erie Bluffs State Park
WPC's Community Gardens and Greenspaces Program and its more than 13,000 volunteers plant a quarter of a million flowers every spring and have created greespaces at 66 Pittsburgh schools. It is the managing partner of TreeVitalize Pittsburgh, which will plant 20,000 trees in the Pittsburgh region by the fall of 2013.
- Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission
- Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program
- List of Pennsylvania state parks
- Architectural conservation
- official Western Pennsylvania Conservancy website
- official Fallingwater website
- Finding aid to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy Records at the Archives Service Center, University of Pittsburgh