Natural Lands Trust and the Montgomery County Association of Township Officials (MCATO) honored Upper Salford Township, Montgomery County, today with the County’s second annual “Growing Greener Communities Award.” With an impressive guidebook for adopting an interconnected greenway throughout the township, Upper Salford won the Growing Greener Community’s Award by a unanimous vote from the review committee.
Regional land conservation organization Natural Lands Trust and MCATO developed this award, granted annually, to recognize a Montgomery County municipality that has engaged in dynamic initiatives to save land, steward natural resources, and connect people to nature. In 2015, Montgomery Township won the first award for its protection of open space.
Upper Salford Township is located on the suburban fringe of Philadelphia and is home to large properties and farms. Unchecked development could harm the townships rural character, natural resources, and historical sites. Upper Salford Township has taken the lead in planning their growth in a way that protects their cultural and natural resources by creating a comprehensive Greenway Guidebook. The Guidebook describes 67 parcels totaling 2,051 acres that are eligible for conservation subdivision. Preserving 60 percent of these properties will yield 1,231 acres of greenway land, putting 21 percent of the township into privately owned conservation. Upper Salford’s plan is an excellent example of how deliberate and thoughtful development is key to protecting clean water, air, and a beautiful countryside rich in local character for the Township’s residents, businesses, and tourists.
Dulcie Flaharty, vice president of community partnerships at Natural Lands Trust, said “Upper Salford has been working for years to embrace the emblematic goals of a Growing Greener Community with ordinance adoption and open space investment. This Guidebook’s adoption is further acknowledgement that they want to follow conservation principles moving forward with protection, greenway and trail building, and thoughtful development.”
Daniel Littley, MCATO president, said, “The Growing Greener Communities Award recognizes the innovative efforts of Montgomery County municipalities to provide residents with community open space, greener commercial corridors, multi-use trails, and more. MCATO congratulates Upper Salford Township and we look forward to next year’s nominations.”
Natural Lands Trust is the region’s largest land conservation organization and is dedicated to protecting the forests, fields, streams, and wetlands that are essential to the sustainability of life in eastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey. Since its founding in 1953, Natural Lands Trust has preserved more than 100,000 acres, including 42 nature preserves totaling nearly 22,000 acres. Today, millions of people enjoy the healthy habitats, clean air and water, bountiful recreational opportunities, and scenic beauty provided by the lands the organization has preserved. For more information, visit www.natlands.org.