Wyona Coleman PA conservation figure

Wyona (“Winnie”) Coleman

March 23, 1932 - November 29, 2005

Wyona attended the Southern Illinois University, graduating with a degree in journalism in 1954. She wrote for several publications before moving to Pennsylvania when her husband took a teaching job at California State College.

Wyona became an activist for the coal fields. She served as the executive committee chair for the Pennsylvania Chapter of the Sierra Club from 1981-1983 and then again from 1985-1986. During her time in the Sierra Club she established a strong lobbying presence in Harrisburg.

Wyona served on multiple committees in the Club, including the Mining Legislative Task Force, the Mining and Reclamation Advisory Board, the Coal Work Group, and the Bonding Advisory Board. Her activism concerning the coal fields was instrumental in developing legislation and regulations in response to the Surface Mining and Reclamation Act of 1977. Wyona later co-founded to Tri-State Coalfield Citizens Mining Network in 1995, where she served as the first board chair.

In 1980, the Department of Environmental Resources created the Solid Waste Advisory Committee. Wyona participated and helped create “Getting Involved,” a publication on public participation in siting waste facilities. Some other committees she serves on were the Hazardous Waste Facilities Planning Advisory Committee, the Hazardous Waste Siting Committee, and the Recycling Fund Advisory Committee.