On June 21, WeConservePA sent the following letter to the Senate Community, Economic, and Recreational Development Committee to advocate on behalf of the thousands and thousands of generous volunteers who support land trusts and conservation work all over Pennsylvania. The bill provides liability protections for those volunteers, a common-sense protection that these unpaid supporters deserve for the good work they are doing.

June 21, 2023

Honorable Member of the Pennsylvania Senate Community, Economic & Recreational Development Committee

Re. Limited Liability Protections for Volunteers and Volunteer Organizations


Dear Senator:

On behalf of the 70 member organizations of WeConservePA and their more than 100,000 Pennsylvania members, I ask for your affirmative vote on SB507. Last session, the Senate Community, Economic & Recreational Development Committee unanimously reported the bill out of committee.

This bipartisan bill will provide commonsense limited liability protections for volunteers and volunteer groups who give freely of their time to maintain and improve parks, trails, and other recreational areas open to the public. At no cost to taxpayers, their voluntary service makes these community assets safer and more accessible; their service creates more enjoyable outdoor experiences for everyone.

This legislation will protect volunteers and volunteer groups from being drawn into litigation merely because they have helped with parks, trails, and other lands open to the public rather than because of real negligence on their part. Fishing expedition litigation saps the energy of volunteers and jacks up insurance premiums, diverting charitable dollars from community projects and making volunteerism unaffordable.

The bill addresses a real-life problem. For example, the Friends of Pennypack were sued twice for accidents that had nothing to do with their trail work. As a result, their insurer withdrew its insurance coverage, and the volunteer group was forced to disband. It is terrible for communities to lose the vitality and energy brought by volunteers. Fortunately, this legislation can prevent such loss.

Thank you for your consideration.



Andrew M. Loza
Executive Director