A Montana conservation trust has raised $1 million toward buying a rugged 4,200-acre triangle on Missoula's south side, sparking excitement among runners, mountain bikers and others who see potential for using the area that is 1,000 acres bigger than the rest of the city's open space lands combined.

NBC Montana reports the Five Valleys Land Trust announced Saturday that it had raised the money for a three-year option to buy Mount Dean Stone from The Nature Conservancy. The eventual price tag is about $4.5 million. The two organizations intend to leverage their networks of donors and affiliated groups to raise the money.

Five Valleys Land Trust Executive Director Grant Kier said he hopes to see community organizations working together to build the property's amenities and steward its natural qualities.