A home buyer will benefit from a recent land acquisition near Mill Run by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.
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.
Located between Fallingwater and Ohiopyle, the home features an open floor plan, large kitchen, covered side porch, three bedrooms, a family room, partially finished attic, large basement, wood stove, dishwasher, dining room, bath, laundry and public water. It also offers a spectacular view of the surrounding mountains. It also has well water, septic system, oil heat and is situated in the Uniontown Area School District. “When you do conservation project, there are different aspects of a property we are focused on,” Menchyk said.
“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.
“It is a natural area that folks can use.”
“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.”
According to information from the Conservancy's website, Bear Run Nature Reserve is managed by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and includes most of the watershed of Bear Run and parts of two other watersheds: Laurel Run and Lick Run. “Being a large property of over 5,000 acres, Bear Run is classified as an exceptional value stream by the Department of Environmental Protection and as such, receives an additional level of protection. “The initial Bear Run property was acquired in 1964 from Edgar Kaufmann Jr. as part of the Fallingwater property. A large portion of the Bear Run Watershed now belongs to Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. Bear Run Nature Reserve is located in Stewart and Springfield townships, Fayette County and Lower Turkeyfoot It hosts a “mature deciduous forest, hemlock forest, high gradient streams,” according to the Conservancy. Bear Run Nature Reserve is located off Route381, approximately three miles south of Mill Run.
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