Kaufmann Conservation on Bear Run
In October 1963, Edgar Kaufmann jr entrusted Fallingwater to the care of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. The donation was received under a deed of trust that requires the Conservancy to preserve and maintain Fallingwater and its surroundings.
Included with the generous donation of Fallingwater in 1963 were approximately 1,500 beautiful acres of land surrounding Fallingwater and the stream, Bear Run. Today, this land is known as the popular Conservancy-owned Bear Run Nature Reserve, a 5,115 acre natural area that supports hiking, camping, fishing and other recreation opportunities.
Bear Run Nature Reserve is also an area of great natural diversity with stunning outcroppings of Pottsville sandstone. It has significant aquatic and animal life, such as native trout, numerous birds, black bears and bobcats. Over the years through our land protection work, we've expanded the reserve which encompasses almost 70 percent of the Bear Run watershed in the reserve’s 5,115 acres.
The Kaufmann family became acquainted with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy in 1951 when the Edgar J. Kaufmann Charitable Trust and the Conservancy were involved with the early acquisition of Ferncliff Peninsula, later to become the cornerstone of Ohiopyle State Park. This peninsula and land share their geographic location with Fallingwater in Fayette County, Pa.
Thanks to Mr. Kaufmann’s gift more than 50 years ago, Bear Run Nature Reserve continues to be a place where habitat is protected for native plants and animals, people can explore and connect with nature, and important ecological connections are sustained.