NORRISTOWN, PA – Five outstanding projects and their creators and a dedicated lifelong advocate of open space preservation were honored at a Montgomery Awards celebration in the Schultz Community Center of Meadowood Senior Living. This annual program, sponsored by the Montgomery County Planning Commission, recognizes the best in planning and design, advocacy, and environmental stewardship in Montgomery County and acknowledges the high-quality work and commitment of communities, organizations, and professionals.
The five projects receiving 2023 awards were the Park to Perkiomen Trail Connector in Upper Salford Township, PV Woods – Lenape Arboretum & Muhlenberg Woods in Perkiomen Township and Lower Frederick Township, SORA West in Conshohocken Borough, The Reserve at Maybrook in Lower Merion Township, and the Jacob Reiff Park Stream & Floodplain Restoration in Lower Salford Township, which received the 2023 Environmental Stewardship Award. In addition to these outstanding projects, Philip A. Smith, a lifelong advocate of open space, trails, and historic preservation, received a 2023 Planning Advocate Award.
This year marks the 56th anniversary of the Montgomery Awards program. Since its beginning in 1967, 239 awards have been presented throughout Montgomery County. Over the years, many types of projects have been awarded, including residential, office, and commercial developments; redevelopment projects; community revitalization efforts; transportation improvements; historic preservation projects; and open space and park planning. All of these winning projects are best practice examples of planning and design in the county.
“Throughout my time as a Montgomery County Commissioner, I have always looked forward to the Montgomery Awards celebration every year. The program recognizes those who go above and beyond to enhance our county. This year’s winners demonstrate how vision and collaboration result in creating exceptional places in Montgomery County. All of our winners touch on the goals and themes of Connected Communities, Sustainable Places, and Vibrant Economy contained in Montco 2040: A Shared Vision, Montgomery County’s comprehensive plan,” said Kenneth E. Lawrence Jr., Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners.
The Park to Perkiomen Trail Connector, an essential part of the township’s multiuse pathway network, received a 2023 Montgomery Award for the execution of a sustained vision for open space and natural resource preservation, site-sensitive trail design and construction, and community and agency partnerships collaboration. This project connected a popular township park with a recreational destination and the Perkiomen Trail while preserving 42 acres of high
conservation value woodlands.
PV Woods, comprised of the Lenape Arboretum and Muhlenberg Woods, receives a 2023 Montgomery Award for outstanding initiatives in environmental outdoor education, conservation and stewardship of open space, and cultural heritage and community connections. The project, implemented largely by student volunteers, creates a greater awareness and knowledge of environmental stewardship and of the cultural heritage of the Lenape native peoples.
SORA West, an ambitious mixed-use development, receives a 2023 Montgomery Award for context-sensitive site design, adaptive reuse, and community impact. Anchored by a state-of-the-art LEED Silver certified global headquarters office building, the project, which created a new hotel, public square with community gathering space, and streetscape improvements and restored and creatively reused a historic firehouse, will serve as a borough destination for years to come.
The Reserve at Maybrook, an exemplary preservation project, receives a 2023 Montgomery Award for zoning innovation and planning process, historic preservation, and site-sensitive design. This successful infill transit-oriented mixed-use development, which involved a lengthy community planning process, resulted in the preservation of an historic mansion
and other valuable historic resources set within over 20 acres of protected open space.
The Jacob Reiff Park Stream & Floodplain Restoration project receives a 2023 Environmental Stewardship Award for its extensive stream and floodplain restoration efforts along the west branch of Skippack Creek. This project, involving strong interagency partnerships, volunteer efforts, and forward-thinking design elements, has resulted in a healthier ecosystem,
improved flood attenuation and stormwater management in the floodplain corridor, and a unique natural destination for the community to enjoy.
Philip A. Smith, an open space, trails, and historic preservation advocate, receives a 2023 Planning Advocate Award for his lifelong dedication to open space preservation through civil leadership and personal generosity. Through his holistic approach to project planning, commitment to his community, exceptional collaboration skills, and extreme perseverance,
he has advanced open space, historic preservation, and trail development in western Montgomery County.
Visit www.montgomerycountypa.gov/MontgomeryAwards for more on the 2023 winners, the awards program, and previous award recipients. For photos from the event, visit our Flickr Montgomery Awards page.
Media Contact: megan.alt@montgomerycountyPA.gov