2023 Members’ Day and Annual Meeting

Bear Run Nature Reserve
Saturday, May 6, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Our members mean so much to us!

You’re our inner circle of support, year after year. You keep our region vital, protecting forests, streams, plants and wildlife. You strengthen and beautify our communities and steward and share Fallingwater with the world.

Bring family and friends for a day devoted to you in the beauty of the Laurel Highlands.

Start with a free continental breakfast and choose activities such as guided hikes, staff-led information sessions and free tours of Fallingwater. Purchase a delicious buffet lunch in advance, or bring your own.

Get outdoors, be inspired and learn something new!

Activity Schedule

Educational Exhibits

  • Bring your photos and any questions about plants and wildlife to our Ask A Naturalist table in the Barn. Show off your own discoveries from your nature walks!
  • Visit a display about Pennsylvania pollinators and learn about the field research our scientists are undertaking to protect them.
  • See the opportunities to hike, fish, birdwatch and enjoy other recreational activities at WPC’s 41 Places exhibit, and find out how to document species that you encounter for iNaturalist and iMapInvasives.

Morning Hikes and Activities

8:00 a.m.

Registration opens
Schedule your Fallingwater tour reservations in The Barn – available throughout the day. Tour availability is limited.

8:00 to 10:30 a.m.

Continental Breakfast in the Barn at Fallingwater

8:30 to 10:00 a.m.

Birding Hike
Search out the early birds during a 1.5 mile hike along Tissue Lane and the Peninsula Trail in Bear Run Nature Reserve. (Easy – Moderate)

8:45 to 10:45 a.m.

Fallingwater Landscape Hike (offered in the morning and afternoon)
Explore the beautiful landscape that inspired the Kaufmann family and Frank Lloyd Wright. This hike departs from the Barn (Moderate).

9:30 to 10:45 a.m.

Family Hike and Nature Bioblitz
Loop through the forest with WPC naturalists and discover interesting facts about plants, insects, birds and amphibians.  Designed for families with children but all are invited. (Easy)

Information Sessions

(Fireplace Room, lower level of the Barn)

8:45 to 9:05 a.m.

Go Outside and Play
Over the past 20 years, the Conservancy has implemented greening projects at 78 schools in Western PA.  Art Demeo, senior director of community greenspace projects, will share a brief history of the different types of projects and what the future holds for WPC’s school greening program.

9:15 to 9:35 a.m.

Why Should I Care? Understanding the Need to Be Vigilant for Invasive Insects

Learn about some of the invasive insects currently impacting Pennsylvania and/or the surrounding Mid-Atlantic region including Spotted lanternfly, Hemlock woolly adelgid, and Asian longhorned beetle. Invasive Species Coordinator Amy Jewitt will describe ways you can help to look for and report these species if you find them.

9:45 to 10:05 a.m.

41 Places: Improvements to WPC Preserves
Join Director of Stewardship Andy Zadnik for a look at updates and future plans for our preserves, including improved access, trails and parking lots, and a new and easy way to find a preserve customized for your outdoor excursion.

10:15 to 10:35 a.m.

Ten Plus Years of Unassessed Waters; What Have We Accomplished and What is Left To Do
The Unassessed Waters Initiative has entered its second decade. Hosted by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and directly supported by WPC, this program is a cornerstone of protection for headwaters streams in Pennsylvania. Fisheries Biologist John Berger will discuss the past, present, and future of the program.

11:00 to 11:45 a.m.

Children’s Nature Activity (Upstairs in the Barn)

Members’ Meeting

(Fireplace Room, lower level of the Barn)

11:00 a.m. to 11:50 a.m.

Members’ Meeting

  • Annual Budget Report and Election of Board of Directors
  • Overview of Recent Conservancy projects by President and CEO Tom Saunders  
  • World Heritage Preserved
  • Bees of the Barrens
  • Lower Elk Creek Restoration
  • Reactivation of Oakford Park

Noon to 2:00 p.m.

Lunch Buffet
Create your own wrap, salad or grain bowl from a hearty selection of ingredients including vegetables and proteins, or go for the classic grilled hot dogs and nachos. $21 for adults, free for children 10 and under.
Please make lunch reservations by April 28.

Afternoon Hikes and Activities

Noon to 2:00 p.m.

Fallingwater crafts for children, Upper Barn

1:15 to 4:00 p.m.

Backpack Electrofishing to the Restored Dam Area along Bear Run  

WPC completed a dam removal on Bear Run in 2008 to allow fish to swim unimpeded in the stream. It was the first dam in the state to be removed using only hand tools because of the remote location. Help net native fish, including the Eastern Brook trout, during an electrofishing demonstration at the site. (Moderate – Rugged)

1:15 to 4:00 p.m.

Wildflower Walk at Ohiopyle State Park  

Enjoy the scenery of Ohiopyle State Park while learning about native plants and identification tips from a botanist (drive or carpool to the park).

1:15 to 3:00 p.m.

Fallingwater Landscape Hike

Explore the beautiful landscape that inspired the Kaufmann family and Frank Lloyd Wright. This hike departs from The Barn and continues along Tissue Lane to Fallingwater. (Moderate)

1:30 to 3:00 p.m.

Botany for Beginners Walk

Learn some basics of botany, including plant and tree identification, on a slow-paced educational walk.

1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Stewarding a 5000-acre Wilderness

Join WPC’s land stewardship staff on a moderate hike to see how the reserve’s native ecosystems are being restored and enhanced. Stops will include forest restoration plots and a hemlock insectary.

2:00 to 4:00 p.m.

Open House for Hickman Chapel

Take a self-guided tour of an historical chapel on Route 381/National Scenic Byway that the Conservancy is restoring. Volunteers will be available to share the history and answer questions.

Hickman Chapel is approximately one mile south of the entrance to Fallingwater along Route 381

Outdoor activities are subject to change based on weather and trail conditions. Hike return times in the afternoon may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

I’m a WPC member. May I bring a guest?

Yes!  We encourage you to bring guests and appreciate your help in introducing new friends to WPC. We simply ask that you RSVP by May 3 (reserve lunch by April 28th).

Can I can attend part of the day, rather than the entire day?

Yes! The day’s activities are flexible and free for members (except for the buffet lunch), so enjoy as much of the event as your schedule allows.

You can attend any of our information sessions held in the Fireplace Room at The Barn, sign up for a morning or afternoon guided hike, and attend the 11:00 AM Annual Meeting.

How do I schedule a tour of Fallingwater?

Fallingwater tours are free but you must make reservations in The Barn the day of the event. You can drive across the road to Fallingwater, or take a shuttle that runs every 15-20 minutes between The Barn and the Visitor Center.

Please note that only children age 6 and older can tour Fallingwater.

Will you have any activities for children?

Members’ Day is a wonderful outing for families and we love seeing kids enjoying nature! We’ve designed hands-on activities and offer nature walks geared to families with young children.

Is the event handicapped-accessible?

Yes. We have both handicapped-accessible parking and facilities. If you have additional questions about accommodations, please contact Warren Mitchell, Fallingwater Membership Coordinator, at 724-329-7824 or wmitchell@paconserve.org.

What’s on the menu for the day? Does lunch include vegetarian options?

A free continental breakfast is available from 8 AM to 10 AM.

If you’d like to join us for a plentiful lunch buffet, the cost is $21 per adult and free for children 10 and under. Lunch reservations are required by April 28th. You’re also welcome to bring your own lunch.

Lunch includes a selection of fresh ingredients to create your own salad, sandwich wrap or grain bowl from a variety of protein, vegetable and gluten-free options. There will also be grilled hot dogs and nachos.

Can I purchase the buffet lunch the day of the event?

Lunch reservations are required by April 28th.  If you’re not sure you want to pack your own lunch, please pre-register for the lunch buffet.

How difficult are the hikes?

We will have guided walks and hikes suited for all fitness levels, from meandering nature walks for the casual stroller to more rugged trails for the experienced hiker. A description of each hike is available when you register.

What is the Annual Meeting?

This is a great way to learn a little more about the valuable work that your membership supports! Members participate in electing the officers of the board. WPC’s President and CEO Tom Saunders presents a brief overview of highlights from the previous year and staff share the financial report and two-minute presentations featuring projects from WPC’s programs. The meeting starts at 11:00 AM in the Fireplace Room of the Barn and ends in time for lunch.

I’m traveling from out of town. Where can I stay? How do you get to Fallingwater?

Please visit our Fallingwater website for travel information: https://fallingwater.org/visit/

What should I wear to the event?

This is a casual, fun day! Comfortable clothing and walking shoes are best. Dress in layers for the weather.

What happens if it rains?

Members’ Day is held rain or shine. If you plan to take a walk or hike, please bring rain gear. There are indoor information sessions, exhibits and Fallingwater tours to enjoy if you would rather not hike in the rain.

Can I bring my dog?

Unfortunately, dogs are not permitted to Members’ Day.

Do I need to bring anything special with me, such as my membership card or a confirmation email?

There is no need to bring anything extra.  If you’ve pre-registered, you’re all set! We look forward to seeing you!

If you have additional questions, please contact Kathy Patrignani, Development Operations Administrator, at kpatrignani@paconserve.org or 412-586-2340.