Sustainable Pittsburgh and the Pennsylvania Municipal League is proud to announce Butler Township has achieved Gold in the Sustainable Pennsylvania Community Certification for their commitment to sustainable policies and practices! Butler Township is a prospering community located near the center of Butler County and surrounds the city of Butler, PA. A commitment to public engagement and land conservation, and the installation of transportation retrofits demonstrate some of Butler Township’s many sustainability initiatives.
Among the highlights of the Township’s sustainability efforts are its parks. The Township’s system includes regionally and historically significant parks that provide numerous activities for cultural engagement, education, recreation, and health and wellness. Butler Township Park has over 95 acres of woodlands, including miles of walking trails and a well utilized dek hockey arena. Preston Park, a nationally registered historic place, was once home to Frank and Jane Preston and Preston Laboratory. Preston Park is visited by residents throughout Butler County for its beautiful walking trails that promote public health and connect residents to the region’s innovative history and includes other amenities like fishing ponds and nature watching. Every Monday a group of local volunteers assists the Township’s Buildings and Grounds Department in maintaining the park. Woodlands throughout the Township are conserved and over the last fifteen years the Township has managed a balance of agricultural and commercial development.
Environmental stewardship, including managing stormwater, water conservation and water quality, are also an important part of Butler Township’s sustainability policies. The municipality encourages low impact land development that limits the effect on the local water cycle and includes encouraging green infrastructure with onsite stormwater infiltration where bio swales, rain gardens and high-capacity storage units temporarily hold stormwater following heavy rains. These measures help protect the health, safety, and property of those in the community. The Township’s use of Best Management Practices (BMPs) allow sensitive ecological areas to be repaired, maintained, and sustained while reducing potentially damaging erosion in the region.
The Allegheny League of Municipalities of Allegheny County named Butler Township a Banner Community, rewarding the municipality’s efforts for adhering to the principles of excellence in local government. Other sustainability initiatives include Butler Township’s participation in the Greenlight Go program, which better manages vehicular traffic to help ease passage on the Township’s main arteries, thereby reducing emissions and environmental impact. The township also actively engages residents in improving recycling practices, connecting to local employers on Career Day, and encouraging positive and proactive public engagement with the police force. It is because of these initiatives and others that Butler Township is held as an example of a municipality embracing sustainability best practices.