Input sought on open space plan
UPPER POTTSGROVE » The township has won recognition and even several awards for its efforts to preserve open space and connect those spaces with trails.
In fact, the award it won most recently from Montgomery County is for accomplishing most of the goals set up in its open space plan, 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.
So it’s time to write a new open space plan and township officials want to hear from the public before they start.
There are two ways residents can help.
The township is strongly urging residents to participate in public workshop on the future of parks and open space in the township.
It will be held Thursday, Sept. 27, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Upper Pottsgrove Township Municipal Building beneath the firehouse at 1409 Farmington Ave.
Also, or in addition to, residents can participate in an online survey posted by the township to get more input from residents on future parks, trails and open space.
It is available at surveymonkey.com/r/UpperPottsgroveParksSurvey or through the township website, http://uptownship.org/
Helping to get that new open space plan written, and the grants to help pay for it, will be Michael Lane, the regional recreation director employed through the Pottstown Metropolitan Regional Planning Commission.
State funding for that position has expired but the Pottstown Area Health and Wellness Foundation has stepped into the breach, offering half the funding necessary and Lane has been making the rounds to the eight municipalities that are part of the commission to get them to re-authorize funding for another five years.
On Sept. 17, township commissioners unanimously approved a five-year agreement to once again support the regional recreation director program.
In other open space news, Dennis Elliott, chairman of the open space committee, said he is seeking funding for a $30,000 veterans memorial.
The 17-acre Althouse open space completed the Sprogel’s Run Trail by connecting two other larger portions of township open space, as well as hosting numerous smaller trails.
Amidst lots of leaves, community volunteers help plant trees and shrubs along an Upper Pottsgrove trail and open space area.
People participate in a previous 5K trail run in Upper Pottsgrove as part of a celebration and grand opening for Althouse Arboretum, the centerpiece of the township’s open space efforts.