Climate change is having an impact across the globe. Here, in our urban environment, these shifts are felt in our neighborhoods, parks and backyards. This is why we work to combat the effects of it, from managing excessive stormwater flows, to pollutants in our water, soil and air, and to connect each other with the environment to create positive change. From large green infrastructure projects that divert and infiltrate thousands of gallons of stormwater to residential projects that keep basements dry while providing beautiful native landscaping, UpstreamPgh has become the region’s leading resource for water management. Our heritage in Nine Mile Run, coupled with hundreds of projects via StormWorks, provides our community with hands-on, brains-on solutions.
In 2021, to recognize our proactive approach to stormwater problem-solving and its impact across the region, we became UpstreamPgh. Together, we are working to address the environmental problems that are happening in our communities by thinking, speaking and acting upstream. We invite you to join us.
We work to connect people with nature for a positive impact on the environment. From schoolchildren to municipal leaders, scientists to citizens, volunteers to homeowners, a healthy community starts with education, outreach and engagement.
Our watershed, our stream, our urban tree canopy, our ecosystem. They all deserve a voice. We work to advance new ideas that create change by advocating for policies and practices that further the health of our environment.
As a regional leader in stormwater management, we work with municipalities, homeowners, private organizations and public entities on services and infrastructure projects that are effective, environmentally responsible and yes, beautiful.
We envision a region with clean water accessible to all, healthy and resilient communities, and ecosystems restored to their natural functions.
We restore and protect our watershed ecosystem, while working regionally to support and implement resilient solutions for a healthier urban environment.
We build capacity for community members to become the stewards of, and advocates for, our watershed.
We advocate regionally for policies and funding for sustainable water management strategies that prioritize clean water for all in Southwestern Pennsylvania.
We implement green infrastructure projects throughout our watershed, while working to educate public officials, community members and young people.
Mr. Hiller has helped lead the organization for seven years, first as Director of
Policy and Outreach, and for the last two and a half years as Assistant Director. He will begin serving as Executive Director on January 1, 2022.
Mike Hiller rejoined UpstreamPgh in 2019 as the Assistant Director after previously serving as the Director of Policy and Outreach. He has 15 years of experience working in the private, public and nonprofit sectors. Mike is a passionate climate justice advocate and Regenerative Practitioner and brings the frameworks and principles of regenerative development to UpstreamPgh. This approach calls for co-developing living systems that integrate people, nature and the built environment in our watershed communities. Mike moved to Pittsburgh from upstate NY, where he received his Master of Arts in Geography with a Graduate Certificate in GIS + Spatial Analytics from the University at Albany. When not at work, he can be found with his wife, Haley, his son, Myles, and their rescue Pitbull, Layla. He stays busy renovating his 120-year-old house, studying and practicing permaculture and hunting for the perfect slice of pizza.
Kelsey Small is the shared Chief Financial Officer for the Environmental Finance Collaborative with financial responsibilities for four additional organizations: Allegheny County Conservation District, Construction Junction, Grounded Strategies and Tree Pittsburgh. Kelsey is responsible for providing strategic financial management and oversight for financial operations, accounting, financial analysis, reporting and planning. Prior to joining UpstreamPgh in 2019, Kelsey worked at the Carnegie Museum of Art, where she oversaw financial, fundraising and organizational planning initiatives. Kelsey holds a Master of Arts Management degree from Carnegie Mellon University and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Florida. When not at work, Kelsey can be found hiking, gardening and enjoying sweet treats from her kitchen or other local bakeries.
As Watershed Programs Manager, Jan is responsible for working with watershed communities on issues of stormwater, urban forestry, monitoring data and the restoration area. Jan grew up in Pittsburgh’s east end neighborhoods and regards Frick Park and the Nine Mile Run restoration area as inspiration for his career in the environmental field. Passionate about environmental justice, equity and sustainable natural resource management, Jan finds purpose and fulfillment throughout the community and with each individual he interacts with.
Jan spent a few years away from “home” while studying at the University of Oregon, responding to natural disasters with Americorps, and restoring salmon habitat in Northern California. Back in Pittsburgh since 2018, Jan spends his free time watching birds, taking pictures, fostering dogs and tending to their urban “homestead” with his partner and their dog, Forest.
Rose joined the team in October of 2015. She attended Oberlin College, completing a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies with a minor in Geology. During her time at Oberlin, she served on the staff of an ecological wastewater treatment facility, the “Living Machine.” She went on to earn a Master of Science in Sustainability at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. While at ASU, she served as a Fellow in the National Science Foundation’s GK-12 Program as part of the Sustainability Science for Sustainable Schools initiative. Lindsey-Rose coordinates our community outreach efforts, environmental education programs, stewardship events in the restoration area and regular monthly water quality monitoring. In her free time, Rose can be found throwing stoneware pottery, cooking and baking, tackling needlepoint projects, spending quality time with her family and taking every opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors.
Aaron joined UpstreamPgh as an intern in January of 2020 after receiving his Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science with a certificate in GIS and Remote Sensing from the University of Pittsburgh. With a focus in GIS and a passion for sustainable infrastructure, Aaron found a perfect fit at our organization working on a GIS study that highlights locations for green stormwater infrastructure projects within our watershed through an environmental justice lens. Aaron joined the team full time in October of 2020 as our Programs Assistant helping with Communications, GIS, Monitoring and Residential GSI programs. Outside of work, Aaron likes cooking vegetarian meals, tasting local craft beers, biking and helping out on his father’s hemp farm with his partner, Lauren.
Taylor joined UpstreamPgh in April 2021. A California native, Taylor originally studied Theatre Design and Production for her Bachelors at UCLA, but quickly moved into human services nonprofit administration while trying to make her technical theatre dreams come true. Eventually, after a cross-country move and stage managing quite a few shows both in Los Angeles and New York City, she decided that she was going to merge her two work loves. Taylor then moved to Pittsburgh in 2016 to study for her Masters of Arts Management at Carnegie Mellon. Since graduating, she has been working in the nonprofit education sphere, and is very excited to find the next leg of her journey at UpstreamPgh. In her spare time, Taylor likes playing way too many video games, watching Star Trek with her husband, Matt, talking to dogs in dumb voices, and taking care of her plant babies both at home and in the office. She’s also a big fan of a well-crafted Excel spreadsheet.
Kelly Ogrodnik is the consulting landscape consultant for UpstreamPgh. She holds a Master of Landscape Architecture degree from Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA. Kelly specializes in designing and educating about sustainable landscapes and their role in restoring ecological function in communities. Her experience includes designing landscapes for residences across the country and gardens for notable organizations including Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens and Magee-Womens Hospital. Kelly was formerly an Assistant Professor of Landscape Design and Sustainable Horticulture at Vermont Technical College, and the Sustainable Design and Programs Manager for Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. She continues to give educational presentations on the topic of sustainability in the landscape including her recent talk “Designing with Native Plants” on behalf of the Mt. Lebanon Nature Conservancy. Outside of work, Kelly enjoys hiking, gardening and being active in her community as a board member on the Mt. Lebanon Parks Advisory Board.
Leslie joined UpstreamPgh in the fall of 2020 as an intern from the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Social Work’s Community Organizing & Social Action (COSA) program. After obtaining her MSW, she joined our team as UpstreamPgh’s first Community Organizer and continues to develop the Climate Justice Collaborative (CJC), advocating for climate resilient communities. Leslie grew up on the coast of North Carolina but spent most of her adult life in Asheville, North Carolina. She brings over 15 years of experience in the human services sector working with youth, adults, and families providing case management, Intensive In-Home therapy, and hospice services. In her free time, she enjoys being in nature, music, knitting, gardening, and traveling.
Amy joined the team in March 2022 to help ensure all of UpstreamPgh’s activities are adequately funded by writing and managing grants and growing our individual giving and sponsorship programs. A transplant from Virginia, she has over ten years of field and research experience in forest ecology and most recently worked for three years as a database and grants manager in animal welfare. Amy is excited to help UpstreamPgh tackle problems related to climate change and environmental injustice, working to make Pittsburgh a greener, more liveable city for all its residents. Outside of work, Amy spends her time running, quilting, spoiling her cat and growing her own personal indoor jungle.
We are deeply grateful for the many community members who have generously given their time and talents over the last 20 years as member of our Board of Directors. Board members can serve two consecutive three-year terms, during which they oversee and support UpstreamPgh operations, determine the future strategic direction of the organization and bring a variety of resources to support our work.
We are always looking for candidates with experience and skills in financial management, fundraising, law, small business, environmental science, engineering and landscape architecture. We are striving to achieve greater racial diversity to better reflect the population of our communities.
Claudia Saladin, President
Senior Project Manager
Yvonne James, Vice President
Ana Flores, EIT, Secretary
Associate Project Manager
Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority
Robin Ryan, CPA, Treasurer
Grossman Yanak and Ford
Laboratory and Compliance Manager
Wilkinsburg Penn Joint Water Authority
Tom Batroney P.E., C.F.M.
Senior Water Resources Engineer
Director of Leadership and Legacy Giving
Humane Animal Rescue of Pittsburgh
Planner, Department of City Planning
City of Pittsburgh
Principal and Co-Owner
Board Member, Operation Better Block
Senior Vice President,
The PNC Financial Services Group
GIS Asset Management Specialist
Marion T. Divers, PhD, PG (PA)
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Director, Finance and Controller
Robert Morris University
Michael Hiller, ex officio
Kelsey Small, ex officio
Chief Financial Officer
Environmental Finance Collaborative