The Moon-based Hollow Oak Land Trust is readying to acquire a 16-acre parcel of land off Hassam Road, marking another step towards creating a township-wide system of public-access trailways.
Director Sean Brady said the nonprofit will use the land as a wildlife habitat that is open to the public for low-impact, non-motorized recreation.
The property, which is currently owned by Moon Township, is located near the Forest Grove Sportsmans Club, off the Montour Trail.
Brady described the land as some of the greenest off the Montour Trail.
"It's this triangle-shaped parcel that is between two of our conservation areas," he said. "So it was a missing gap in our conservation area."
Moon supervisors approved a measure earlier this month to prepare the property for sale to the land trust.
The organization will incorporate the land into a new 10-mile trail system that will be open to the public for hiking, biking and nature study, Brady said.
Next, the organization hopes to create a network of greenways in Moon, beginning with two greenways connecting Moon Park to the Montour Trail through a structure of trails spanning through the Meeks Run and Trout Run valleys.
This spring, volunteers will work to expand the land trust's existing five-mile trail system to 10 miles. A trail has already been rooted through the Hassam Road property.
"And we would love to get volunteers to help us with that," Brady said.
Brady said the land trust will then begin to request permission from private land owners to connect additional properties to the trail system.
The trail system will not yet connect directly to the Montour Trail, but it will run in proximity to the trail, where hikers and bikers can easily access the route.
"My goal is to have a greenway that comes out down through Meeks Run and Trout Run," Brady said. "These types of trails bring so much value to the community.
The Hollow Oak Land Trust specializes in conservation of land in the Montour Run Watershed, including property in Robinson, Moon and North Fayette.
The greenways project is one of several efforts underway to expand outdoor recreational offerings in the Moon area. The Ohio River Trail Council has begun work on expanding the Montour Trail to the Sewickley Bridge. Other projects in the works include efforts to extend the trail to Pittsburgh and the Great Allegheny Passage.
"(Trails) increase property values," Brady said. "It's for people who live here, people who work here, people who want to build here. And with this, you can enjoy all of the benefits of interaction with nature."