Prickly Pear Land Trust is the new owner of 322 acres of former ASARCO East Helena land that will be conserved, eventually made accessible, and later be conveyed to the East Helena Public Schools.
The East Helena Greenway Project, ten years in the making with a partnership that includes Montana Environmental Trust Group, the Montana Natural Resource Damage Program, EPA, and others, also involves an eight mile community trail.
Project partners PPLT, East Helena government officials, and East Helena school officials, and others celebrated the land transfer to PPLT during an East Helena ceremony on Dec. 31.
“This is just a phenomenal opportunity for us to create a long-term legacy,” Scott Walter, chair of the East Helena Public Schools board, said. He added later it was a great education opportunity for students.
In a Helena Independent Record article, PPLT’s Mary Hollow said six of the eight miles are now dedicated for the trail. She said PPLT is still working with private landowners on the remaining two miles, and added the 322 acres was a “real crowning point of the project.”
Photo: Prickly Pear Land Trust Executive Director Mary Hollow discusses the latest developments for the East Helena Greenway Project. With her is John Beaver, the land trust board chair. Gary Marshall, BMGphotos