Daily Local/Mercury: Growing Greener Communities Award open for nominations
By Michael P. Rellahan, firstname.lastname@example.org
October 14, 2014
It’s not easy being green, to quote a wise frog. Or is it?
The Natural Lands Trust, the Chester County Association of Township Officials (CCATO) and the Montgomery County Association of Township Officials (MCATO) want to know what is being done in local communities to improve environmental conditions. The organizations have asked for nominations for the Growing Greener Communities Award, which honors conservation-minded accomplishments by townships in Chester and Montgomery counties.
“Montgomery and Chester counties’ communities have been true leaders in open space preservation, smart growth and sustainable environmental policy,” said Molly Morrison, president of Natural Lands Trust, a land conservancy organization based in Delaware County. “We believe it’s important to recognize the excellent work happening at the township level and celebrate the dedicated officials, staff and volunteers who make it possible.”
According to a press release issued Monday, the trust’s Growing Greener award was developed in 2013 to recognize municipalities that have engaged in dynamic initiatives to save land, steward natural resources and/or connect people to nature. The awards will be presented at the spring MCATO and CCATO conferences on Feb. 27 and March 12, respectively.
Last year, East Bradford received the inaugural award in recognition of the municipality’s most recent conservation achievements, which included securing conservation easements on more than 80 acres of township land, galvanizing a volunteer effort to plant 750 trees and constructing more than two miles of trails.
This year, the award program expands to Montgomery County.
“We are pleased to partner with Natural Lands Trust on this award program, and hope that it serves to encourage and promote continued forward-thinking projects and planning within the County,” said Daniel Littley, president of MCATO.
According to the release, examples of qualifying projects include: dynamic utilization of open space, such as a community garden or multi-use trail; efforts to care for land and water, such as a stream clean up, riparian buffer planting, meadow naturalization, or environmentally sensitive stormwater management; progressive, conservation-minded planning, such as ordinances that preserve community green space or improve commercial corridors with shade trees and other greening elements.
Details on the award program and nomination forms can be found on Natural Lands Trust’s website at www.natlands.org/GGCaward , or by calling 610-353-5587 ext. 267. Nominations must be received by Jan. 2, 2015 for Montgomery County municipalities, and Jan. 15, 2015 for Chester County municipalities.
To contact staff writer Michael P. Rellahan call 610-696-1544.