The Montana National Guard and the Prickly Pear Land Trust (PPLT) were recognized in Washington D.C. with the Army Community Partnership Award for their work in creating the Ten Mile Creek Community Park.
Major General Matthew Quinn, Adjutant General for Montana, and Mary Hollow, Executive Director for PPLT received the award at the Pentagon on December 5th during the 4th Annual Army Community Partnerships Program Awards Banquet hosted by the Army Secretariat.
Prickly Pear Land Trust began their Peaks to Creeks Initiative in 2016. That work has led to more than 600 acres of land being acquired around Fort Harrison, specifically near the Ten Mile and Sevenmile creeks.
Quinn described the partnership as a great model of how government agencies and community programs can work together to protect both military training resources and the stewardship of Montana's open space.
“I am proud to receive this award on the behalf of the state of Montana and the Montana National Guard,” said Quinn. “It is a direct reflection of the professionalism and dedication of the Guard’s Environmental Office and the PPLT. Working together we have protected valuable training lands and added additional recreational value for all Montanans.”
Hallow said the recognition exemplifies what is possible when organizations work together for the betterment of all.
"This award belongs to us all, and in the face of major land use challenges, it exemplifies what is possible when we diversify our strengths and work together,” said Hollow. “A portion of the funds for Tenmile Park and the LeGrande addition projects came from the Army and thanks to this partnership today, those lands host a cross-section of our community and they always will -- veterans visiting the VA hospital, active duty members using the trails, children on strider bicycles, and community members looking to spend time outdoors along Tenmile Creek."
Montana is one of two states to be recognized with a partnership award this year.