On March 11, 2021, the Westmoreland Land Trust acquired the 96-acre Schwarz farm, previously owned by Carl and Roberta Schwarz, thanks in significant part to the financial support of Cordelia Scaife May’s Colcom Foundation.

The Foundation has been a driving force behind numerous conservation efforts, and its support for this project was a continuation of its long-standing mission.

Cordelia Scaife May was a passionate advocate for environmental protection and sustainable living. The granddaughter of the industrialist and philanthropist Richard B. Mellon, she dedicated a major portion of her considerable resources to safeguarding the natural beauty of Western Pennsylvania and beyond.

Through her Colcom Foundation, Cordelia Scaife May provided crucial funding for various conservation initiatives, ensuring that future generations would have access to pristine natural spaces.

The Schwarz Farm has a rich history deeply rooted in Westmoreland County’s agricultural heritage. Originally owned by the Baur family as a dairy farm, it gained fame in 1931 by hosting an “Electric Field Day” showcasing modern farming technology. Carl and Roberta Schwarz later acquired the property and established the Carl A. Schwarz Memorial Park in memory of Carl. After Roberta’s passing in 2004, the 96-acre farm was transferred to the Roberta N. Schwarz Charitable Foundation with her wish for the land to be preserved for others to enjoy, as she did during her daily walks around the scenic property. The Westmoreland Land Trust acquired the farm with support from Colcom Foundation in 2021, ensuring its future as a nature and art park that honors the Schwarz legacy while providing a unique destination for outdoor recreation, education, and artistic expression.

Although she passed away in 2005, The Westmoreland Land Trust’s proposal to establish a nature and art park on the Schwarz farm fits perfectly with Cordelia Scaife May’s vision. By combining the preservation of natural habitats with the appreciation of outdoor art, the park serves as a unique destination that fosters a deeper connection between humans and the natural world.

In the rolling hills of Hempfield Township, this jewel of conservation is now taking shape.

In January 2023, a significant milestone was reached with the completion of the Schwarz Property Phased Development Plan by LaQuatra Bonci Associates. The comprehensive blueprint outlines the future of the park, ensuring a balance between conservation efforts and the integration of outdoor art installations.

Now, the public can experience the beauty of this remarkable place firsthand. Walking trails through the fields have been opened, inviting visitors to embark on a journey of discovery.

As they explore the winding paths, they are encouraged to stop at the back porch of the farmhouse, where informative booklets and trail maps provide insights into the natural and cultural heritage of the park.

The WLT’s vision for the Carl A. Schwarz Memorial Park extends beyond mere preservation; it aims to create a space where art and nature converge, inspiring a deeper appreciation for the natural world. Echoing Scaife May’s belief in the symbiotic relationship between artistic expression and environmental stewardship, the park will feature outdoor sculptures and installations, serving as a canvas for local and regional artists to showcase their talents.

While the park’s formal name pays tribute to its previous owners, the WLT is inviting suggestions for a shorter, more evocative banner name that captures the essence of this remarkable place. This inclusive approach reflects the organization’s commitment to fostering a sense of community ownership and pride in the park’s development.

As the Carl A. Schwarz Memorial Park continues to evolve, it does so, thanks to visionary organizations like Colcom Foundation. Colcom Foundation’s support of this project, along with contributions to numerous other projects, has enabled Westmoreland Land Trust to ensure that future generations will have access to a sanctuary where nature’s beauty and human creativity intertwine.

Westmoreland Land Trust praised the support of Colcom Foundation in a statement that reads, “Westmoreland Land Trust (WLT) is honored to have received support from Colcom Foundation over the years. Colcom’s assistance has been key to WLT’s establishment of nature preserves, buffering of natural treasures like the Cedar Creek Gorge, and enlargement of County parks. Colcom support has been invaluable, including that for a pilot meadow of native wildflowers and grasses to add to habitat value of the land while serving as a source of information useful for the development of other ecologically valuable meadows. Colcom’s commitment to the environment is evidenced by the Foundation’s sensitivity to today’s environmental challenges and steady support for land conservation.”

Just as Cordelia Scaife May dedicated herself to environmental protection and sustainable living, the Schwartz family made the conscious decision to establish the Carl A. Schwartz Memorial Park, ensuring their beloved farm would be safeguarded as a natural haven. By supporting the transformation of the Schwartz Farm into a nature and art park, Colcom Foundation honors not only Cordelia Scaife May’s legacy but also the Schwartz family’s commitment to conservation.

This convergence of shared values – a deep reverence for nature and a fervent desire to protect it – makes the Schwartz Farm project an extraordinarily fitting endeavor for the Foundation to champion. By transforming the property into a nature and art park, Colcom Foundation ensures that its guiding principles of conservation and sustainability, along with the passions of Cordelia Scaife May and the Schwartz family, will continue to inspire and enrich the community for years to come.

Solverwp- WordPress Theme and Plugin