USC Citizens for Land Stewardship
Conservation and stewardship of land and natural resources in Upper St. Clair, PA



2001 Governor's Award for Watershed Stewardship
2002 Enviro Star Award



  

Welcome!

The USC Citizens for Land Stewardship (USC CLS) would like to welcome you
to our website.
We are a community conservation organization serving Upper St.Clair, PA.

Here you will find information about local conservation happenings and issues.

As an organization, we are committed to promoting
  • education on environmental issues

  • prudent and ethical land use policies to protect and enhance natural resources

  • awareness of the value of our natural landscapes

  • recognition of the enjoyment and benefits of natural spaces within our community

  • activities that promote harmony between people and nature

  • watershed restoration and re-introduction of native plant species


CLS also offers a variety of outdoor activities in celebration of our area's wonderful natural spaces  throughout the year!
Be sure to check this page often for news of what is happening or coming up

in the natural world of USC!




Thanks to all who attended our annual meeting!
We all had such a great time getting to know our local ornithologist,
David Yeany!  We're excited to have him leading our 2017 Fall birding
course!  (More info. on this below!)
And the snacks were delicious, as always!

We'd also like to announce the results of our Board of Directors election!

Preston W. Shimer - President
Jeffrey D. Wagner - Vice-President
Mary Lee Maloy - Secretary 
Sammy E. Bertenthal - Treasurer
Terry Abbott
Laurence M. Burke
Pamela A. Burrett
Nancy J. Page
Annette R. Shimer
Timothy M. Stouden

Jen Dalke - Webmaster

We all look forward to making the most of 2017 and doing what
we can for our local communities and environment!

Coming Up Soon!

AUDUBON CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT
 Sat, Dec. 17th, 2016


wintercardinal

 Birding experience not required – we will help you learn!

For further information, contact Nancy Page at 412-221-4795
or e-mail nanpaul@verizon.net.




Fall 2017 Birding Course:
Birding & Beyond
Join USC CLS and Upper St. Clair C&RC next Fall for our 6-week birding course!
We are grateful to offer this course through instructor/ornithologist David Yeany of the Western PA Conservancy
This will be an intro. course to help with identification skills & more!
Much of the course will be held right in our own Boyce-Mayview Park as well as
Wingfield Pines!
Each participant will receive a copy of the newly-revised
Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America
All Ages!!!
Please bring your own binoculars!

More info. coming soon!

binoculars

 bluebird


Current Issues: 

Strip Mining - The Risk is Past

Mayview State Hospital property will be developed without mining

South Fayette Township is working with Charter Homes & Neighborhoods of Lancaster to create a new development to be called Hastings.  The first phase will consist of 44 single-family homes, 49 townhouses and 260 apartments along with a restaurant, pool, clubhouse and day-care center.  Upper St. Clair Township is working with the developer to provide a connecting trail across or around this property so that the Boyce Mayview Park Perimeter Trail can connect to a proposed connection to the Montour Trail which is south of the site.

The developer does not plan to either strip mine or conduct fracking on the site.  USC CLS actively encouraged the South Fayette Planning Commission not to approve a zoing change which would have enable the site to be strip mined before developed for longer term uses.  We are pleased that this is not going to happen.  We will be following the project as it develops and encourage responsible land use practices when appropriate..

Light Pollution

Boyce Mayview Park has become one of the most successful stories of conservation in Upper St. Clair, as well as a fantastic resource for our community with the Community and Recreation Center, many hiking trails, and The Outdoor Classroom. USC CLS is proud to have been a voice in the process that has allowed the Master Plan to come to life on the 450 acre site. However, while the development of the site into an accessible and popular park has been inspiring, it is important to consider the effects that any development have on the natural spaces nearby. One of the main issues that comes into play with any developed space is light pollution. As of July 1, 2013, Upper St. Clair Township has approved temporary lighting for the ball fields at Boyce Mayview Park, including the Miracle Field.

USC CLS understands the appeal of lighting the fields for evening ball games with bright, stadium-style lighting in the park. However, USC CLS is hoping to eliminate any unnecessary use of these lights in order to minimize the effects that light pollution will have on not only the habitats in Boyce Mayview Park, but also the wildlife and people living in surrounding areas.

What is light pollution and why is it a concern? Light pollution can be described as the often disruptive impact of artificial light on both the darkness of the night sky and the light-related biological rhythms of life in the lighted area. As stated in a 2008 National Geographic report on light pollution, “Ill-designed lighting washes out the darkness of night and radically alters the light levels—and light rhythms—to which many forms of life, including ourselves, have adapted. Wherever human light spills into the natural world, some aspect of life—migration, reproduction, feeding—is affected.” You are likely already familiar with the effects of light pollution if you have ever compared the view of the night sky in a city to a rural area. However, the effects of light pollution are not limited to cities; the type of lighting proposed for the athletic fields at Boyce Mayview Park would bring the same negative outcomes of light pollution to the surrounding areas in USC. We are calling for a sensible plan for the management of these lights, including exploring options such as timers and pay per use similar to the successful setup of the township tennis bubbles.

Below are some useful links to learn more about light pollution, including the website of the International Dark Sky Association.

http://www.darksky.org/

http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/plandev/Downloads/Athletic_Field_Lighting_draft0710.pdf
http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2008/11/light-pollution/klinkenborg-text

http://www.treehugger.com/culture/darkness-natural-resource-and-were-losing-it.html

light pollution

Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory / NOAA NGDC.

Looking to get involved? Volunteer with us!

There are many volunteer opportunities with USC CLS.  Are you a student  in need of service hours? Are you retired and looking for a way to stay active and involved in the community? Do you have special skills that you could use to assist a small community group? Do you simply love the great outdoors? No matter what your interests, USC CLS can use your help! We are a friendly, passionate community and would love to have you on board. Please contact us at usccls@usccls.org for more information.

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