Hello, everyone! My name is Ginette and this month begins my first full year term as the new president of the board for SWPACC. I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve in this role, and humbled by the confidence my peers have placed in me. Thanks to our past president Joel Brady and the board for carving this path ahead of us. Welcome also to 2023’s additional board officers: Jennifer Flaggs, serving as SWPACC’s Vice President; DJ Wilmot, Treasurer; and Eliza Porterfield, Secretary.

We have a lot of big goals here at SWPACC and I am looking forward to helping us achieve them. Among them is cultivating a more inclusive space and working to ensure SWPACC’s leadership and committees are more representative of our climbing community. Access to and development of climbing areas remains a priority. We are retooling our strategy this year for regaining climbing access to State Game Lands 51 and 138. Also, having formal permission to climb on structures in the City of Pittsburgh is coming ever closer to reality. Last year’s visit from Access Fund’s Conservation Team breathed new energy into Climb Pittsburgh. The momentum continues to build and we are excited for what’s to come.

These are just a few examples. The themes remain the same for all of our work this year:  deepening our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion so that we all can truly benefit from our climbing resources; promoting responsible development of climbing areas both in the city and beyond; gaining and preserving access; and sharing information on sustaining our climbing areas through conservation and stewardship. 

Stay tuned on how we are making meaningful progress in these spaces. And please – get involved. Join our committees; come to events. And if time is tight, you can also demonstrate your support with an online donation. Please follow us on Instagram and Facebook. SWPACC also uses a Slack workspace, which is where much of our day-to-day activity and conversations take place. Send us an email with a request to be added to Slack and we’ll get on it!

SWPACC is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization. Thank you to board members and so many volunteers who have put in so much time and energy into this organization since its inception. And a special thank you to our donors for your financial support. It is all of you who give SWPACC life.

Here’s to an impactful 2023. Cheers!