GREAT FALLS – A Great Falls group is looking to keep some state land as open space.
The Missouri River State Lands Open Space Association wants to preserve about 90 acres between Fox Farm Road and the Missouri River near Grizzly Drive.
The state is now looking to sell part of the land and lease another section for potential development.
The group said the area of native prairie serves the community better as open space so they are working to purchase the land to be kept as a preserve.
Neighbors said the land is a frequent spot for many Great Falls residents to walk, bike, and enjoy nature.
“There’s so much land around Great Falls that can be developed and once you develop it you can’t get back what we have here,” said Jennifer Grena, who lives nearby.
She added people who live in the area are also concerned about the additional traffic that a development would create on Fox Farm Road.
Al Rollo of the Missouri River State Lands Open Space Association said that restrictions on the land limit how developers would be able to use it.
“On the north half, the 40 acres can’t be sold, it has to be developed and leased by a group that’s willing to lease the whole 40 acres, the south half can be sold,” explained Rollo.
Now, the group is raising money and applying for grants to help secure the nearly $1 million they would need to buy and lease the full 90 acres.
If you are interested in learning more about the Missouri River Open Space Preservation, you can go to their Facebook page.
-Reported by Joe Huisinga/MTN News