Prickly Pear Land Trust

Mary Hallow and Lanie White of the Prickly Pear Land Trust (PPLT) were our speakers this week. They told us about the many projects that PPLT has played an instrumental role in completion and their planned future projects. PPLT’s Mission is to “Protect the natural diversity and rural character of the Prickly Pear Valley and surrounding lands in Lewis and Clark, Jefferson, Broadwater and Powell counties through voluntary and cooperative means. The land trust is dedicated to perpetuating the recreational, wildlife, scenic, agricultural and historic values of the land.”
                One of their signature projects has been the “Mt. Ascension Natural Park Expansion Project:  The Backdrop Initiative.” Mt. Ascension and Mt. Helena provide a stunning natural backdrop to the State capital. To preserve this backdrop in its natural state, PPLT has been working since 2006 to acquire the private land inholdings on Mt. Ascension to place them in public ownership to prevent future development. They recently acquired that last four parcels necessary to preserve the backdrop.
                PPLT has also been involved in the development and maintenance of numerous trails in the Helena area. They recently worked with other partners on the Centennial Trail Extension. This extension of the trail will connect the Montana Wild Center on Broadwater Avenue to the existing trail.  This extension will soon become a reality. They have recently initiated a study for the possible greenway linking Montana City with East Helena. This trail would follow Prickly Pear Creek, and take advantage of the existing trail along the creek at Ash Grove’s Sunderlin Park.
                PPLT is preparing to celebrate its 20th Anniversary! They will be celebrating this milestone during the coming year. Information about upcoming events, trail maintenance schedules and their projects can be found at


Prickly Pear Land Trust Director Mary Hallow showing the proposed route of the Greenway between Montana City and East Helena.

Mary and Rotarian Gary visit after the meeting.

Prickly Pear Creek Greenway Map