According to Jane Menchyk of the conservancy, purchasing 57 acres contiguous to the Bear Run Nature Conservancy included a 1,600 square-foot home that the group does not want.
“When we looked at the project, we felt it served most of the reserve but when it came to the house, we thought it best to divide that off and offer it back to the community,” she said.
“It would be a nice home for a family or individual or as a vacation retreat,” she added.
“We are a land trust and we are good when it comes to the reserve. But we felt it was best to provide the home to someone who can actually use it,” she added.
The property, which includes two acres from the 57-acre purchase, is completely surrounded by the Conservancy land “and protected so there is no chance of anything being developed around it,” Menchyk said.
The property, she said, is not part of the larger portion of the reserve behind Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater farm property but will be managed as part of the larger preserve, Menchyk said.
“This is at the southern end of the reserve where there are no improved trails. There are improved trails less than a mile from there near the Fallingwater entrance. This property is a mile south of the Fallingwater,” she said.
The home started life as a farmhouse but was later remodeled and updated. Menchyk said the quality of the craftsmanship in the renovations “is superb.
“For example, all the woodwork inside is perfect. Also, as an example of the work done, the back deck, instead of just one screw holding the planks in place, there are three in each plank.”
Menchyk added that, “This is one of the projects where the conservancy sees it as an opportunity to provide an asset to the community. We are excited that the next owner will enjoy this house and being our neighbor.”
Bear Run Nature Reserve is the flagship property of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. The Reserve offers hiking trails, backcountry campsites, and hunting and fishing opportunities. Bear Run Nature Reserve provides the setting for Fallingwater, the famous house designed for the Kaufmann family of Pittsburgh by architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Bear Run Nature Reserve is managed to protect, conserve, and restore land and water for the diversity of the region's native plants, animals and their ecosystems. For more information on Bear Run Nature Reserve, Fallingwater, and Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, contact: Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, P. O. Box R, Mill Run, PA 15464, 724-329-8501, or visit its website at www.waterlandlife.org.