Hollow Oak Land Trust Acquires Montour Run
Saving the Montour Run Watershed
PENNSYLVANIA - The vision of a peaceful, public trail surrounded by undeveloped land that stretches from the Ohio River in Pennsylvania all the way to Washington, DC, is now one step closer to becoming complete, thanks to the Hollow Oak Land Trust’s (HOLT) latest acquisition.
The Montour Trail is open to the public for bicycling, walking, running, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, and nature appreciation. A stream called the Montour Run runs alongside the trail and the watershed contains a wide variety of fish, birds, mammals, and other wildlife. After a number of years of working towards purchasing the land, HOLT recently reached an agreement with the owner and raised $160,000 to buy a 77-acre wooded lot adjacent to Montour Run and the trail, adding to its other four properties in the watershed.
Executive Director Janet Thorne explains that HOLT has been focused on preservation in the Montour Run watershed and has the goal of creating a greenway because, “All the land around Montour Run and the trail is privately owned. We want to make sure that this corridor will not become an alley surrounded by concrete.”
HOLT was able to raise half of the funds needed to buy the land through a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. They also received grants from The Pittsburgh Foundation, the Western Pennsylvania Watershed Protection Program, and the Massey Charitable Trust, and raised over $10,000 from members and the general public.
“Securing this deal, and the publicity surrounding it, has only helped HOLT and brought increased recognition to the important work of our organization,” says Thorne. The trust is virtually completely run by volunteers, with Thorne the only employee. It was created in 1991 and has acquired seven properties, with about 400 total acres. This is the second largest property HOLT has acquired.