Natural Lands Trust and the Chester County Association of Township Officials are calling for nominations for the Growing Greener Communities Award, which honors conservation-minded accomplishments by townships in Chester County.
Nominations must be received by January 15.
The Natural Lands Trust Growing Greener Communities 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 CCATO conference on March 10.
“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. “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.”
“CCATO is pleased to be able to highlight the efforts and true dedication of our local government members, the County of Chester, and Natural Lands Trust in the area of open space preservation and maintenance,” said Ernie Holling, president of CCATO. “Efforts to preserve open space will help to maintain the character of Chester County for years to come.”
Last year, West Pikeland Township received the Growing Greener Communities Award in recognition of the municipality’s most recent conservation achievements.
West Pikeland’s qualifying projects included the purchase of a trail easement on 27 private acres of along Street Road, which the Township had identified as a Priority Scenic Roadway in its Conservation and Open Space plans.
The easement will enable the Township to connect Natural Lands Trust’s Binky Lee Preserve to the north and the Township’s Pine Creek Park to the south by trail.
Also in 2014, the Township hired a landscape architecture firm to consult on a 67-acre property that the Township bought in 2013 for $5.2 million. The future park is the largest parcel the Township has ever purchased with its Open Space funds.
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 cleanup, 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 elementsDetails on the award program and nomination forms can be found on the Chester county Growing Greener Communities Award webpage, or by calling 610-353-5587 ext. 267.