Local land conservation non-profit Allegheny Land Trust (ALT) has acquired 38.5 acres of woodlands along the Montour Trail and Montour Run in Moon Township.
ALT finalized the purchase of this green space today after a year-long fundraising campaign ensuring that the natural landscape along this portion of the popular trail and stream will remain forever wild.
“This section of the Montour Valley is among the most scenic and natural parts of the entire trail, and it is also one of the most heavily used sections,” said Roy Kraynyk, ALT’s VP of land protection. “We and our partners in the project felt that it was critical that it be preserved in its natural state for current users and future generations.”
The conservation of this land significantly increases the amount of protected lands along the lower Montour Run corridor maintaining several miles of undeveloped trailside for the enjoyment of thousands of users each week while also mitigating downstream flooding, helping to maintain water and air quality, preserving contiguous wildlife habitat, and enhancing nearby property values.
ALT enlisted the support of the Montour Trail Council and the Hollow Oak Land Trust to raise awareness and funding for the project and received significant grant support from the Garden Club of Allegheny County, the Katherine Mabis McKenna Foundation, and anticipated support from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Members of the local community also rallied to raise more than $20,000 for the project.
“Conservation projects like this take real collaboration and broad-based support and we are grateful to our partners and all of our supporters who helped to make this happen,” said Kraynyk.
Garden Club of Allegheny County president Delia Egan said “Our mission at Garden Club is to promote conservation, prudent civic planning and community horticultural activities, and we felt that this conservation project aligns well with each of these goals. We are pleased to be able to provide grant support to such a beneficial community project to protect the region’s natural beauty and ensure permanent habitat for native flora and fauna.”
Linda Mckenna Boxx, chairperson of the Katherine Mabis McKenna Foundation concurs.
“Conserving land along trail corridors preserves the natural experience for trail users while also protecting the trails themselves from slides and flooding,” Boxx said. “We are pleased to support the Allegheny Land Trust in protecting this special and popular portion of the Montour Trail and nearby Montour Run.”
The new conservation area, located around milepost one on the Montour Trail, does not have any formal trails at this time, but is open for public exploration.