ABINGTON —The Abington Township Board of Commissioners recognized several individuals for their community-based environmental efforts during a July 11 meeting.

Joel Johnson, Executive Director of the Montgomery County Housing Authority, and Harry Moody, Senior Developer for Pennrose Properties, LLC, each received the Montgomery Award, an annual program which recognizes a completed revitalization project within the county limits.

Johnson and Moody developed 46 Crest Manor homes, 40 of which were originally constructed in the 1960s.

“We gut-renovated or performed a full reconstruction down to the studs,” Johnson said. “Our goal was to extend to physical life of the structures and make them more eco-friendly. We were also able to remove structures from the flood plain and increase the greenspace available.”

Occupied by an income-qualified population, the homes are Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified, an internationally recognized green building certification system which uses performance metrics such as energy savings, emissions reduction, and water conservation.

For Moody, the $17 million investment was a collaborative effort.

“We emphasize that it was a team effort with local officials to get the project funded,” Moody said. “Getting buy-in from existing residents and the community was our first step. It took the help of many individuals to bring the project to fruition. We hope it’s a great improvement to the community.”

In related matters, Michele Kaczalek, a longstanding member of Abington’s Environmental Advisory Council, received an award on behalf of Friends of Briar Bush Nature Center.

Kaczalek has been active with the EAC since 2002, serving as treasurer and spearheading various programs within the community.

“I’ve enjoyed every minute of it and I’ll continue as long as they let me,” Kaczalek said.

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