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



USC Citizens for Land Stewardship (USC CLS) is a community conservation organization serving Upper St.Clair, PA.
Here you will find information about local conservation happenings and issues. 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!

Annual Meeting

Tuesday, November 13 7:30 PM

Open to Everyone

Upper St. Clair Library Multi-Purpose Room
1830 McLaughlin Run Road
Upper St. Clair PA 15241  

Come learn about the big things happening at Winglfield Pines in Upper St. Clair.  This is really a wonderful asset to our community.   The abandoned mine drainage facility is world class and attracts scientists and engineers from around the world. A while back, the changes to our rain patterns which is resulting in more flooding than in the past created a bad situation for Wingfield Pines.  The underground system which brings the mine drainage to the site became so full that it blew out the pipe lines that feed the water into the treatment system.  This meant that the facility had to be redesigned.  And while they were at this task, which has to alter the current landscape at Winglfield Pines, ALT decided to make other changes.  At our annual meeting, members and everyone else who is interested are invited to hear and learn all about the changes and improvements at Wingfield Pines.

Our guests are:
  • Bob Hedin of Hedin Environmental who will explain the design changes and improved engineering of the iron oxide settling ponds.  
  • Bill Moldvovan of Civic and Environmental Consultants will provide the details of the master plan to address the rest of the site
  • Emily  Rzotkiewicz,  representing the Allegheny Land Trust, will tie it all together with details about how future environmental programs will use the site after these improvements are completed.
Those of us who visit Wingfield Pines, to experience the wildlife, to walk with our dogs, to gain access to the creek and to hike the trails will get a heads up about things to look forward to and to enjoy!

Because of the increased amount of rainfall we are experiencing and the resulting floods becoming more and more serious, our program for next year will focus on several aspects of dealing with this problem.  We hope to work more closely with Upper St. Clair Township on  flood remediation strategies for the Township and our neighboring communities and we also hope to increase our outreadh to indivdual households who need to develop strategies for dealing with this increased rainfall.

USC CLS will have a brief formal meeting to elect the board of directors and wonderful seasonal refreshments will follow.  For some, the best part is the discussions that follow our meetings.

 Please come and enjoy!

Christmas Bird Count 2018

We participated in the City Challenge Bio-Blitz.  For a complete report, click 2018 City Nature Challenge

USC CLS strives to serve our community   

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

Current Issues: 

Strip Mining - The Risk is Past

Mayview State Hospital property is being 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 zoning change which would have enabled 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

Light Polution

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.

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 for more information.


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Visit this page often for the latest CLS news and events!