Many of you have asked and PPLT has answered! Here are some responses to frequently asked questions regarding the Prickly Pear Creek Greenway project.
What’s the news on the Greenway?
The Greenway Project is a “Go!” In December 2020, Prickly Pear Land Trust acquired 322 acres of former Asarco land for redevelopment from the Montana Environmental Trust Group. The property transfer officially launched the ambitious project that culminates more than a decade of cooperation between the City of East Helena, Lewis & Clark County, U.S. EPA, Montana Environmental Trust Group, Prickly Pear Land Trust, The State of Montana Natural Resource Damage Program and Department of Environmental Quality, as well as individual citizens and the business community.
What’s a Greenway Look Like?
The project includes over 8 miles of trail, connecting East Helena to Montana City.The trail system will provide land and water access for all, connecting East Helena to Montana City along Prickly Pear Creek. Where possible, the trail will be ADA accessible, for people of all ages and abilities.
Can I go out there right now?
Not yet. The land remains closed to the public until public access has been established. Prickly Pear Land Trust Education will be holding some classes for East Helena Public Schools as early as this spring, but will be coordinating with contractors so as to avoid hazardous areas while trails and public amenities are being developed.
Our next steps will be outlined in early 2021. Contracts for construction will be led by the Natural Resource Damage Program and will be in place by mid-February. Construction on the project will be phased, beginning near Kennedy Park next summer, and coordinated with existing and future activity on the larger slag site to the south of Highway 12. The Greenway project will transform the area into a walkable community, offer safe routes to school, ADA accessibility and endless opportunities to get outside and learn about our valley’s history and ecology. Once completed, the Greenway project will open this land along Prickly Pear Creek to the public for the first time in over 100 years.
How Can I Learn More?
Subscribe to PPLT’s newsletter via www.pricklypearlt.org to stay apprised of the latest developments. For a quick look back on where things began, read our 2019 Greenway FAQ, or get an in-depth look at the Greenway Project Page.