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

About CLS

President’s Message

Welcome to the Upper St. Clair Citizens for Land Stewardship website!  And thank you for stopping by to visit and learn more about us!  We're grateful that you care and have interest in learning more about what we do, who we are, and what conservation means within a community.

First and foremost, as the shiny new president of this incredible group, I would like to thank everyone else on this board for accepting and bringing me on as leader!  Preston's shoes are unfillable by far, but I promise to do my absolute best to steer this ship forward!  It has been a constant dream of mine to engage with the community in such a way as this group allows.  I look forward to working with the community in as many ways as possible for this cause!  And lucky for me, the people on this board are some of the kindest, most knowledgeable, and outright wonderful humans I have been fortunate to encounter and now to work with.  I would be gravely unable to lead this cause alone!  So thank you all so much for your support.

The USC CLS was formed in 1997 with the ideas of protecting the local natural resources, the various habitats and promoting sustainable land management.  Together they discovered the issues at hand, explored solutions, sought and found helpful partners and volunteers to collaborate with, formulated a plan of action with the Township and elected officials, and ultimately shared in the combined success of a completed project.  However, we are still greatly needed in the follow-up of how this finished plan is maintained and sustained.  I look forward to working with the township on these matters & keeping the Boyce-Mayview Park in good shape for many generations to come.

Our most recent work is in the thorough cataloging of the township and surrounding area's many diverse species, as part of the greater regional BioBlitz program that operates through iNaturalist.  For me, this is an undertaking of great importance, mostly because the cataloging of local plant species in particular is exactly what brought me to discover this very group!  I grew up next door in Bridgeville, and after exploring the park with my grandfather often as a child, my interests would eventually lead me to traverse the Chartiers Park and beyond, to Wingfield Pines, which always eventually led me into Boyce-Mayview Park.  This route was ideal for solitude and peace in my late teens.  I recognized Boyce-Mayview Park's incredible natural value and importance for the wildlife to thrive in the increasingly developed area (and for others like myself who rely on its beauty for basic sanity.)  One day in my late teens, I realized that I needed to seriously begin learning what the plants that I was interacting with every day in the park were all about.  “What are their names?  Are they toxic? Edible? Medicinal?”  I sought answers and, by some stroke of luck, stumbled directly onto the CLS website-- their “Flora of Boyce-Mayview Park” page!  Here lives an entire compilation, pieced together by botanists and other professionals, of nearly 300 plant and fungi species within the park!   It has influenced a great portion of my life & continues to do so today!

Our partners will hopefully grow to include even more interested groups and individuals like yourself, but for now we have the great fortune to partner with the Western PA Conservancy, the Mount Lebanon Nature Conservancy, the Allegheny Land Trust, the South Fayette Conservation Group, and of course the Upper St. Clair Township.  Many thanks to all of these groups for their continued support!

In closing, I look forward to finding the most useful and creative outlets for our organization.  I hope you'll join us!  We can always use the extra hands and creative minds.  Please see our Membership page & surf throughout our website for more information, or e-mail me anytime with any questions or ideas!    We all look forward to hearing from you and hope you will continue to feel compelled to seek out ways to protect the environment with us!  It is our home, after all!

Jen Dalke

If you are not already a member of USC Citizens for Land Stewardship and wish to join, please print our Membership Form and return it to us.

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