Friday, November 30, 2018

Upper Pottsgrove Wins Montco Planning Award

Submitted photo
From left, Montgomery County Planning Commission Vice chairwoman Dulcie Flaharty, Planning Commissioner Director Jody Holton, Regional Recreation Coordinator Michael Lane, Michelle Reddick and Dennis Elliott, Vice Chairwoman and Chairman, respectively, of the Upper Pottsgrove Open Space and Recreation Board, board member and former township commissioner Herb Miller and State Rep. Marcy Toepel, R-147th Dist.

The Upper Pottsgrove Township Open Space and Recreation Board was recently named the 2018 winner of the Planning Advocate Award from the Montgomery County Planning Commission.

Given out every year since 1967, the Planning Advocate Award "recognizes an engaged citizen, appointed/elected official or board, or community organization that has made significant and sustained contributions to advancing or promoting planning in Montgomery County."

The volunteer group was "recognized for community vision, sustained commitment to conservation of natural resources, and successful open space preservation and trail development achievements. Over nearly three decades, the board has created an enviable record of accomplishments, furthering the vision and goals of the township," according to the announcement from the planning commission.

The open space and trail development achievements were funded by a .25 percent earned income tax approved by voters in 2006.

At the time voters approved the tax, only about 70 acres of township land was permanently protected as open space.

Today, Upper Pottsgrove has more than 400 acres of open space that's permanently protected — that's an addition of 330 acres and an increase of more 450 percent, according to township officials.

The group held a special town-wide meeting Sept. 27 to gather input on the writing of a new plan.

This annual awards program, which is in its 51st year, recognizes the best in planning, design, and advocacy in Montgomery County. It promotes awareness of outstanding design and innovative planning in our communities and acknowledges the high quality of work and commitment of communities, organizations, and professionals in contributing to these projects, according to the county website.

The award was one of six announced recently and all the more impressive when one considers how often the recipients of these awards are from the eastern portion of Montgomery County.

In fact, in the last 10 years, only six out of 57 winners have come from any part of Montgomery County west of Limerick, representing just 10.5 percent of award winners.

Pottstown has won three of those six awards in the last 10 years, with the other three going to Pennsburg, Upper Hanover and East Greenville.

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