2024 Members’ Day and Annual Meeting

Bear Run Nature Reserve
Saturday, May 4, 8:30 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 your family 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, information sessions and free tours of Fallingwater (make your tour reservations in advance by calling Visitor Services at 724-329-8501). Purchase a delicious buffet lunch in advance, or bring your own.

Get outdoors, be inspired and learn something new!

Activity Schedule – Refer to this schedule to plan your day!

Interactive Exhibits

  • Ask a Naturalist! 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 hikes on Bear Run!
  • Learn about invasive species in our region and what you can do to protect our region’s biodiversity at the iMapInvasives table.
  • Discover volunteer opportunities at the Conservancy to engage your interests and skills, from Fallingwater to gardens.

Morning Hikes and Activities

Registration Opens

Continental Breakfast

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)

Fallingwater Landscape Hike (2 hikes in the morning and 2 in the afternoon)

Explore the beautiful landscape that inspired the Kaufmann family and Frank Lloyd Wright. This 1.6-mile looping hike departs from in front of the Barn and traverses along a wooded path to Fallingwater. You have the option to take a shuttle back to the Barn from the Visitor Center, or hike back with your guides. (Moderate)

Family Outdoor Expedition

Explore a looping trail at Bear Run at your own pace on this sensory scavenger hunt. Use your senses to observe the forest around you. Look for plants, animals and features in the landscape while recording your findings. Learn about the ecology of Bear Run at the science stations along the way.

This hike is an easy 0.8-mile loop along the White Trail with an option to extend your journey along the Yellow Loop for an additional mile. (Designed for families with young children but all are invited.)

Information Sessions

(Fireplace Room, lower level of the Barn)

Celebrating 40,000 Trees Through WPC Community Forestry

WPC is celebrating the planting of its 40,000th tree planted through our community forestry programs. Since 2008, WPC has been undertaking community forestry work in low-income communities throughout the region to increase tree canopy for the many benefits it provides.

Youghiogheny: An Appalachian River

Join our special guest, Tim Palmer, photographer and award-winning author of more than 30 books about rivers, conservation and adventure travel. He’ll share a presentation on the beauty and natural history of the Youghiogheny River based on his book Youghiogheny: Appalachian River, which the Harrisburg Patriot called “the best book ever written about a Pennsylvania River.”

Children’s Art and Nature Activity (Upstairs in the Barn)

Members’ Meeting

(Fireplace Room, lower level of the Barn)

Lunch Buffet

Enjoy a selection of grilled, vegetarian and vegan options. $23 for adults, free for children 10 and younger.
Please make lunch reservations by April 26. Menu coming soon.

Members’ Meeting

  • Annual Budget Report and Election of Board of Directors
  • Overview of Recent Conservancy Projects by President and CEO Tom Saunders  
  • Fallingwater Education for K-12 Students
  • Increasing Aquatic Organism Passage on State Game Lands
  • Partners and Priorities in Invasive Species Management
  • A Look at a Recent Land Protection Project in the PA Wilds

Afternoon Hikes and Activities

Backpack Electrofishing in Bear Run    

Join watershed scientists on a hike to a section of Bear Run for an electrofishing demonstration. Help net native fish, including the Eastern Brook trout. Learn about native species, the importance of water quality, and climate change implications of aquatic organism passage projects. (Moderate – Rugged)

Bear Run is a Class A exceptional native Brook trout fishery, the highest rating classified by Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) for the significant number of native trout that a stream can have.

Wildflower Walk at Ohiopyle State Park

Enjoy the beauty of Ohiopyle State Park on a slower-paced hike along the Great Gorge Trail, which is a mostly level grade. Learn about native plants and identification tips from a WPC botanist (drive or carpool to the park from the Barn). (Moderate)

View Documentary “Seeing The Unseen: Aquatic Invaders & What’s at Stake

With the backdrop of northwest Pennsylvania’s Presque Isle State Park, French Creek and Lake Pleasant, this documentary features the work that WPC and partners conduct in northwest Pennsylvania to address the threats of invasive species to the region’s waterways and the Great Lakes.

A Trail Less Traveled

Want to see more of the nature reserve? More walk, less talk? Join WPC’s land stewardship staff on a faster-paced hike along the more rugged trails of Bear Run. Along the way, see how the forest changes with the terrain, elevation and land-use history. (Moderate – rugged)

Fallingwater Landscape Hike (2 hike times)

Explore the beautiful landscape that inspired the Kaufmann family and Frank Lloyd Wright. This 1.6-mile looping hike departs from in front of the Barn and traverses along a wooded path to Fallingwater. You have the option to take a shuttle back from the Visitor Center to the Barn, or hike back with your guides. (Moderate)

Hickman Chapel Open House – Self-Guided Tour

Visit the historical chapel on Route 381/National Scenic Byway that the Conservancy has restored. 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.

Please note:

  • If you have scheduled a Fallingwater house tour, please arrive at the Visitor Center 15-20 minutes before your tour time, and allow 15-20 minutes to travel by shuttle from the Barn.
  • Outdoor activities are subject to change based on weather and trail conditions.
  • Hike return times in the afternoon may vary depending on the pace of your group.
  • Please wear appropriate footwear, and be prepared for uneven terrain and the possibility of encountering loose rocks, roots, branches, and muddy sections. A walking stick or trekking pole may come in handy. To minimize adverse impacts to the landscape, hikers should stay on the trails.

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 26).

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

Yes! The day’s activities are 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 a.m. Annual Meeting.

How do I schedule a tour of Fallingwater?

Fallingwater tours are free but please make reservations in advance of Members’ Day. This will help you to plan other activities ahead of time.
Call Visitor Services 724-329-8501 to reserve your tour time.
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 plan to arrive at the Fallingwater Visitor Center 15-20 minutes before your tour is scheduled.
Please note that 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 8:30 to 10:30 a.m.

If you’d like to join us for a plentiful lunch buffet, the cost is $23 per adult and free for children 10 and younger. Lunch reservations are required by April 26. You’re also welcome to bring your own lunch.

Lunch menu will be announced soon!

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

Lunch reservations are required by April 26.  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 on the Members’ Day Schedule.

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 a.m. 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 wear appropriate shoes and 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.