Fox Chapel lands prime 17-acre parcel to complete park and trail system
Fox Chapel officials have landed a significant piece of property that will link the two major sections of borough trails and complete a park system of nearly 345 acres.
Mayor Alex Scott said the borough is seizing the chance to purchase a 17-acre parcel known as the Hardie property. The tract connects the northern and southern parks and trails used heavily for walking and hiking by people from across the region.
“Thanks to the conservation interests of the Hardie family, the borough had a unique opportunity to obtain the property,” Scott said.
Council approved the purchase and expects to close on the property June 30. The price has not been disclosed.
The purchase protects the green space and enables the trail and park system to be complete, Scott said.
“The property is the missing link that connects our existing parks and nicely fits our long-range master plan,” councilperson Jay Troutman said.
The borough’s existing park system has a unique ambience, filled with wooded hills and miles of walking trails.
It starts at the southern border near O’Hara’s Squaw Valley Park and bisects the borough for more than four miles until it connects on the northern border with Beechwood Farms Nature Reserve along Dorseyville Road.
Along the way, walkers encounter Salamander Park, named for the animals that are abundant in the wetlands each spring, and Trillium Trail, known regionwide for its white wildflowers that peak in early May.
The newly acquired property, which is on Old Mill Road, boasts the Squaw Run stream and is dotted with a pond, waterfall and meadow.
Council is expected to float a loan for the purchase and repair of the property.
“Our goal is to repay this temporary loan by seeking funding from public and private donors that recognize the significant environmental and recreational value of the Hardie parcel,” Scott said.
Tawnya Panizzi is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tawnya at 412-782-2121 x1512, [email protected] or via Twitter .