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Evergreen Conservancy: Nurturing Nature with Colcom Foundation’s Support

The history of Evergreen Conservancy is the story of dedicated individuals coming together to protect and restore the environment, one project at a time.

Established in 2003, this non-profit organization has been at the forefront of conservation efforts in Indiana County, Pennsylvania. Its journey, filled with remarkable accomplishments, underscores the importance of local initiatives in safeguarding the natural world. 

At the heart of its success lies the crucial support from organizations like Colcom Foundation.

Colcom Foundation is a prominent philanthropic organization with a steadfast commitment to environmental conservation and stewardship. Its work is instrumental not only to Evergreen Conservancy but also to numerous similar organizations dedicated to preserving and protecting our natural world.

The Foundation, established by the late Cordelia Scaife May in 1996, is rooted in a deep commitment to environmental conservation and sustainability. 

Its mission revolves around safeguarding the environment and its habitats, conserving biodiversity, and advocating for responsible land and water management.

The Foundation provides substantial financial support to environmental organizations, enabling them to undertake critical projects that may not be feasible otherwise. This funding often includes grants for research, conservation initiatives, and community engagement efforts.

Colcom Foundation actively collaborates with environmental organizations, forging partnerships that amplify the impact of their work. These partnerships can lead to shared resources, knowledge, and expertise. The Foundation works to raise awareness about critical issues, mobilizing support at local, regional, and national levels. Its advocacy efforts have helped shape public opinion and influence policy changes.

Colcom Foundation’s commitment to the environment goes beyond short-term gains. It supports initiatives that have a lasting impact and contribute to a more sustainable and resilient planet, such as its support of Evergreen Conservancy. 

History Of Evergreen Conservancy

Evergreen Conservancy’s story began with a pressing environmental issue: abandoned mine drainage (AMD) discharges threatening Crooked Creek. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) had constructed a wetland passive treatment system at the Tanoma Discharge site, but ownership needed to be transferred to a responsible entity. When local organizations couldn’t take on this responsibility, the Southern Allegheny Conservancy stepped in. 

Similar situations occurred with the Waterworks Conservation Area Project, sparking the need for a local conservancy.

In response, Evergreen Conservancy was born and incorporated in 2004. 

From there, their journey of achievements and contributions to the environment began to take shape. The early years were marked by hard work, committee formations, project development, and the establishment of an informative web presence. 

They collaborated with the Indiana County Conservation District, cleaned up the Hoodlebug Trail, and received grants for wetland treatment projects, notably the Johnstown Coal and Coke property (Bear Run). 

In 2008, Evergreen Conservancy began its Tanoma Abandoned Mine Drainage Wetlands Educational Trail.

Between 2010 and the present, the Conservancy has accomplished significant milestones in its environmental efforts. These achievements included the development of renewable energy projects, expansion of water quality monitoring, collaborative initiatives with local organizations, and recognition through awards. 

Evergreen Conservancy has also made significant strides in environmental education, installing the Trompe system in Tanoma to manage increased water volume and improve water quality, and securing grants from the Pittsburgh Foundation and Dominion Foundation for renewable energy and water monitoring projects. 

The organization has worked on a conservation easement to protect the Indiana bat habitat, developed a popular geocache trail and completed a stream restoration project. It has also continued research and education initiatives, addressed technical issues in Telemetry monitoring, and taken on a stewardship role for the Robindale Bat Habitat Conservation Easement, highlighting its dedication to conservation, education, and community involvement.

Why Colcom Foundation’s Work Is Key To The Work of Evergreen Conservancy

The answer lies in the shared commitment to environmental stewardship. Colcom Foundation’s grants have played a pivotal role in Evergreen Conservancy’s journey. 

For example, in 2011, Evergreen Conservancy received a substantial Colcom Foundation Grant which significantly contributed to the purchase of dataloggers for stream monitoring in Indiana County. 

This support has empowered Evergreen Conservancy to monitor water quality effectively, enhancing their efforts to protect local waterways.

Colcom Foundation also provided operational support to Evergreen Conservancy throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring that the vital work of the organization continued unhindered during that difficult period in history. 

Colcom Foundation’s commitment to conservation aligns seamlessly with Evergreen Conservancy’s mission. 

Its support has enabled the organization to expand its initiatives, engage in environmental education, and make lasting impacts on the natural world.

Together, these two entities have forged a formidable alliance and an indomitable force for the betterment of Indiana County’s precious environment. This alliance is a beacon of hope, a testament to what is achievable when organizations with shared values come together, and a catalyst for a brighter, more sustainable future.

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