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



tumblingly
812-786-7416



  

Welcome!

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!

Results are in.  How did we do in the 2018 City Nature Challenge?


USC Citizens for Land Stewardship participated in the 2018 City Nature Challenge by providing training for members and guests in the iNaturalist nature identification application available for free on Smart Phones.  During the City Nature Challenge, we provided escorted hikes each day to different locations in Boyce Mayview Park and Wingfield Pines, both located in Upper St. Clair, PA.  Our observations were included in the overall observations for the Pittsburgh Region.  For a first-time participant, our region did well, placing 26th out of 70 participating cities around the world.  The top three cities were San Francisco Bay Area with 41,737 observations, 3,211 species and 1,532 participants; Dallas/Fort Worth Area with 34,218 observations,  2,560 species and 815 participants; and San Diego County with 33,448 observations,  2,946 species and 1,211 participants.  The Pittsburgh region recorded 4,386 observations, 929 species and 164  participants.  By comparison, Cleveland ranked 21st, Seattle 22nd and Baltimore 24th.  

For a complete report, click 2018 City Nature Challenge


                            Here are some of the things we identified.


Yellow Trout LilyDevil's Walking StickAmerican Sycamore

          Yellow Trout Lily Devil's Walking Stick American Sycamore

Bald CypressBlue CohashSquirrel Corn & Red Trillium

             Bald Cypress                                            Blue Cohash       Squirrel Corn and Red Trillium

While the City Nature Challenge is over until next year, we encourage you to use the iNaturalist ap on your Smart Phone and record what
you see.  iNaturalist will automatically associate your photo with the geographical location, date and time of the photo.  The application will
attempt to identify your specimin and you can accept its suggestion or not.  the application also has a series of reference sources that you
can use to identify your specimin as well.  Get out into the woods, your back yard and your neighborhood.  Use iNaturalist to learn more
about our world.




  

 Spring Migratory Bird Count was held on Saturday May 12, 2018Orchard Oriole



We had a very productive count this year.  When the results are fully compiled,  we will post them in the Bird's Nest section of the website.

Contact Nancy Page for more information about future bird identification activitiest. Phone: 412-221-4795.  Email: nanpaul@verizon.net

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 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 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.

/www.darksky.org/

/www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/plandev/Downloads/Athletic_Field_Lighting_draft0710.pdf
800-532-6892

(850) 797-3273

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 8609017087 for more information.

Search                     

Search the USC Citizens for Land Stewardship web site using Google  

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