Hillsborough Township was recently honored for its sustainable environmental efforts.
The township received the Municipal Innovation Award for the “Going Green: From Infrastructure to Culture” submission on May 11 at the first annual Municipal Innovation Summit held at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison.
The event featured municipal leaders and industry experts throughout the state as they shared strategies, and the effective use of resources and technology in New Jersey communities. Municipal officials from more than 100 municipalities within Essex, Morris, Somerset and Union counties were invited to participate in the summit.
Hillsborough Township’s submission for the award consideration was titled “Going Green: From Infrastructure to Culture.”
“Thank you to the efforts of our Business Advocate and Sustainability Director, David Kois, who spearheaded the submission on behalf of the township,” Hillsborough Township Mayor Frank DelCore said. “We are extremely proud to receive this award and of our ever-expanding sustainable initiatives throughout the community.”
Township officials said the submission outlined Hillsborough’s efforts and results of a 319(h) Clean Water Grant from the NJ Department of Environmental Protection recently completed with Rutgers Cooperative Extension.
Officials said that the project addressed areas of concern along Royce Brook, a tributary to the Raritan River. The project focused on the engagement of municipal staff and residents to adopt green infrastructure practices and techniques such as municipal and residential rain gardens, retrofitting detention basins as well as meadow restoration to help reduce flooding and improve water quality in the Royce Brook, and the Raritan River.
Additionally, officials said that the municipality took an innovative approach with the creation of a green infrastructure master plan for the Hillsborough Township Municipal Complex.
The master plan goes beyond green infrastructure and incorporates a wide range of amenities such as pollinator gardens and creative place-making along a new trail, which has led to ongoing collaboration with community organizations to implement additional phases and sites, according to officials.
“Enough cannot be said about the importance of Hillsborough Township’s collaboration and partnership with Rutgers Cooperative Extension,” township committeeman Shawn Linapi said in a statement.
Hillsborough is Sustainable Jersey certified at the silver-level. Officials said they felt the Municipal Innovation Award for “Going Green” is a representation of the township’s ongoing commitment to sustainable practices.
“The results of this project go beyond all of the physical improvements,” DelCore said. “The innovation was the culture change that occurred within our staff as they have embraced a new approach, such as green infrastructure to problem solving. We are very proud of this achievement and look to the future for continued improvements and success of our sustainability efforts.”