Photo by Amy Nelson

Work was completed this month on the addition of an 8-foot wide limestone surface to the first 720 feet of the Harmony Trail easement owned by the Rachel Carson Trails Conservancy.  Located in Allegheny County, the Harmony Trail follows some of the original corridor used by the old Harmony Interurban Trolley Line that once connected Pittsburgh to Butler and New Castle from 1908-1931.  The only surfaced trail owned by the Conservancy, work is currently underway to extend the surfacing of the trail to the south through a local property in which the Conservancy holds a trail easement. Extension efforts have been difficult however, as the landowner of this property has long fought the use of the Conservancy’s easement, even though legal analysis has confirmed the Conservancy’s right to use the land.

While the efforts to extend the Harmony Trail to the south have been ongoing, the Conservancy has been holding meetings with local municipalities to the north of the trail in order to create a connection between the Harmony Trail and the Commodore Perry Regional Trail. However, Route 910 (located at the northern most point of the Harmony Trail) poses a safety issue for a proposed crossing point. The Conservancy has been in the process of working with Pine Township to consider a slight reroute of the trail and an engineering study by the township is expected to be completed soon in order to further this planning process.

As the Rachel Carson Conservancy is an all volunteer organization, volunteers are needed to not only maintain the trails, but to also speak with property owners and municipal leaders in order to not only garner support for the Conservancy’s trails, but also develop fundraising plans, write grant requests, and take on other work required to accumulate the funding needed to do safe street crossings and other projects necessary to create a safe trail that people can cherish.

If you interested in helping the Conservancy with these needs, please contact the Conservancy at [email protected]. The Conservancy is also interested in hearing from landowners along any of the Conservancy’s trails, or if you have connections with municipalities or landowners that may be able to facilitate discussions or meetings that could move the Conservancy’s projects forward.