Hillsborough Township received the Municipal Innovation Award for the “Going Green: From Infrastructure to Culture” submission at the first annual Municipal Innovation Summit held at Fairleigh Dickinson University on Saturday, May 11, 2019. The Summit featured municipal leaders and industry experts from across the state sharing strategies and the effective use of resources and technology in our 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.” It 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. The project addressed areas of concern along Royce Brook, a tributary to the Raritan River. The project was focused on engaging municipal staff and residents to adopt green infrastructure practices and techniques such as municipal and residential rain gardens, retrofitting detention basins, and meadow restoration to help reduce flooding and improve water quality in the Royce Brook, and ultimately the Raritan River.
Additionally, Hillsborough 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 placemaking along a new trail. It has led to ongoing collaboration with community organizations to implement additional phases and sites.
“Enough cannot be said about the importance of Hillsborough Township’s collaboration and partnership with Rutgers Cooperative Extension. Thank you to the leadership and talents of Patricia Rector, Environmental Agent, Dr. Christopher Obropta, Ph.D, P.E., Extension Specialist, Tobia Horton, Extension Specialist and the rest of the incredible staff.” said Committeeman and Liaison Shawn Lipani.
“Thank you to the efforts of our Business Advocate / Sustainability Director, David Kois, who spearheaded the submission on behalf of the Township. We are extremely proud to receive this award and of our ever expanding sustainable initiatives throughout the community,” stated Mayor Frank DelCore.
Hillsborough is Sustainable Jersey certified at the silver-level. This Municipal Innovation Award for “Going Green” is a testament to the township’s ongoing commitment to Sustainable practices.
“The results of this project go beyond all of the physical improvements. 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,” concluded Mayor Frank DelCore.