Welcome to the South Mountain Partnership

The South Mountain Partnership has a new web site!! Please visit http://www.southmountainpartnership.org. The South Mountain blog will continue to be hosted at http://southmountaincli.blogspot.com

Check Out Our 2010 Winter Newsletter- The South Mountain Advocate

As 2010 comes to a close we want to thank you personally for being involved with the Partnership. Whether you attended a Speaker Series event, were an active partner, or just supported our mission, we have had a pretty amazing year in retrospect.

To share with you all we have done together, we have put together the 2010 Winter Quarterly Newsletter with our top accomplishments.

Click on the link above to view the full newsletter

South Mountain Partnership Through The Appalachian Trail Conservancy Has Been Awarded Additional Funds To Conserve, Enhance, and Promote Local Community's Natural and Cultural Assets

Boiling Springs, PA (December 14, 2010) The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) has been awarded additional grant funds from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) for local communities to preserve and promote their natural and cultural assets which provide economic benefits. This grant will help fund the South Mountain Mini-Grant Program, administered through the South Mountain Partnership. 

The South Mountain Partnership Mini-Grant Program has been developed and overseen by ATC since 2009 to encourage economic development among local communities by funding projects to build trails, conduct outdoor festivals, and develop promotional guides for local agriculture and forest products. $100,000 in grants was awarded since 2009 with over $184,708 in grantee’s match.

In 2011 $150,000 in grants will be available with a required 1:1 match.  The next grant application will be available in January 2011 and applications will be due July 30, 2011. ATC and DCNR encourage any municipality, non-profit, or learning institution to begin considering projects that may fit the grant criteria. A sample application and frequently asked questions are available on the Partnership website at southmountaincli.blogspot.com.

“The Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s grant program emphasizes multi-partner regional collaborations and in result we have seen incredible long term relationships develop.  It is a major goal of the South Mountain Partnership to foster these strong partnerships that steward and promote our assets”, stated Kim Williams, Landscape Protection Associate of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

ATC and DCNR lead the South Mountain Partnership, an alliance of the private and public sector, non-profits, universities, and local citizens in Adams, Cumberland, Franklin, and Northern York Counties. The Partnership identifies its key role as being a regional facilitator and leader in projects that preserve and promote the natural and cultural assets of the region. ATC was chosen to be the lead of the Partnership because of its local roots and extensive conservation work across Pennsylvania and especially in Central Pennsylvania

Funds come from DCNR’s Community Conservation Partnership’s Program and come from both the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund, the Environmental Stewardship Fund (Growing Greener 1) and the Growing Greener Bond Fund (growing Greener 2), and several federal funding sources.

About the Appalachian Trail Conservancy
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy mission is to preserve and manage the Appalachian Trail – ensuring that its vast natural beauty and priceless cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow, and for centuries to come. For more information please visit www.appalachiantrail.org.

Kim Williams                                                                     
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Tel. 717.258.5771 x205

Email: kwilliams@appalachiantrail.org
Web: www.appalachiantrail.org


For more information or to schedule an interview, please call Javier Folgar at 304.535.6331 x117 or e-mail jfolgar@appalachiantrail.org

Join Us At the Last of the South Mountain Speaker Series for 2010!

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010 
7:00 PM
Memorial Auditorium, Shippensburg University.

South Mountain Speakers Series to Explore Land Use and Cultural Preservation at Gettysburg National Military Park

Boiling Springs – The history of preservation at Gettysburg will be the seventh and final lecture for the 2010 South Mountain Speakers Series on Wednesday, Dec. 1 at Shippensburg University’s Memorial Auditorium.

The event, entitled, “Contesting Gettysburg: Preserving an American Battlefield Shrine,” is free and open to the public. It runs from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Environmental historian and Penn State Altoona professor Dr. Brian Black will use Gettysburg as an example to discuss the need for preservation of sacred symbols throughout the region and the nation.

 “When the Gettysburg Battlefield quieted following the fighting in July 1863, another story began,” said Dr. Allen Dieterich-Ward, an assistant professor of history at Shippensburg University and the chair of the South Mountain Partnership’s steering committee for the speaker series.  “Dr. Black will tell this story, which spans almost 150 years, of how the landscape at Gettysburg passed through many differing episodes in the culture of preservation, and national trends related to protecting our sacred symbols.”

After the lecture, a panel including Black, Greg Goodell from the National Park Service and Mark Shaffer from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission will answer audience questions and discuss the future of Gettysburg National Military Park and the relationship between environmental conservation and cultural preservation in the South Mountain region.

The South Mountain Speakers Series is organized in the spirit of the Michaux Lectures, a series of talks given by Joseph Rothrock as part of his work to restore Pennsylvania’s forests during the late 19th century.

The series is led by the South Mountain Partnership, which is a unified group of private citizens, businesses, not-for-profit organizations and government representatives in Adams, Cumberland, Franklin and York counties.

The partnership works to advance environmental conservation and economic development by encouraging best-management practices in agriculture and forestry, and supporting and promoting working farms, forests and watersheds while emphasizing the unique cultural and historic heritage of the region.

The South Mountain Partnership and Shippensburg University are sponsoring this event.

For more information about this event, contact Allen Dieterich-Ward at ajdieterichward@ship.edu.

To learn more about the speaker series, visit southmountainspeakers.blogspot.com or contact Kim Williams at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy at 717-258-5771.

Media contact: Allen Dieterich-Ward, 717-477-1192

2010 South Mountain Region Trail Summit: SAVE THE DATE!!

The 2010 South Mountain Trail Summit
November 3rd, 2010
Comfort Suites
Downtown Carlisle, PA

The South Mountain Region Trail Summit will be held for those interested in the state of greenways and trails in Cumberland, Franklin, Adams, and York counties. 

Summit sessions will engage, educate, and solicit support on efforts to advance the quality and connectivity of current and proposed trails. Trail advocates, volunteers, and organizations are encouraged to attend along with elected municipal officials, staff, or volunteer municipal committees.

Benefits of attending the Summit:

  • Hear a "state of the trail report" for the region
  • Learn about benefits of trails to communities
  • Learn and give input about current high profile trail projects
  • Learn the nuts and bolts of trail development in your community
  • Engage as a citizen, municipal representative, or community organization to identify important connections and identify trail needs
  • Hear case studies of successful projects in the region

To learn more or to register, visit www.southmountaintrailsummit.blogspot.com

Summer 2010 South Mountain Advocate

click here for the full PDF newsletter

The Advocate is South Mountain Partnership's quarterly newsletter. This edition's articles include
  • The next Speaker Series event
  • Appalachian Trail Act
  • Tree Farm #1
  • Slope zoning
  • Changes at Pine Grove
  • GeoTrails Project
  • and a partner feature about Professor Allen Dieterich-Ward
To author an editorial or article for the next Advocate (occurring in August), or if you feel something should be included, please contact Ben Mummert at bmummert@appalachiantrail.org

Celebrate Success- Priority Tract Protected

Tree Farm #1, a wild, 2500-acre tract in Adams County which could have been replaced by 500 houses, will be protected for the public. Glatfelter Paper Company placed the largest private tract in the County for sale in late 2007. Soon after, developers began to express interest. In March 2008, The Conservation Fund purchased the property and served as a temporary owner while more than $13 million was raised to transfer it to the Commonwealth. Today, the Conservation Fund announced the property's transfer to DCNR as an addition to Michaux State Forest. This completes an intense, two year project that involved numerous organizations, citizens, and Federal, State, and local governments. The County provided a critical $3.7 million from the Water & Land Protection Bond, which overwhelmingly passed in 2008 but which other counties have not adopted.

The success defends and demonstrates commitment to wildlife habitat, water resources, sustainable forestry, recreational amenities, heritage viewsheds, public access, and local character. Preservation of Tree Farm #1 represents an important accomplishment for the South Mountain Conservation Landscape Initiative and a step in the direction of the Partnership's vision.

see the Conservation Fund's press release


BOILING SPRINGS, Pa. (May 11, 2010)-The South Mountain Partnership is seeking applications for up to $25,000 in grants for local projects that protect and promote the natural or cultural resources of the South Mountain region, working to sustain its sense of place.

The South Mountain Partnership, led by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) and the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), is an alliance of nonprofit organizations, academic institutions, private businesses, and local and regional agencies. It seeks to encourage economic growth and revitalize local communities based on the abundance of their natural and cultural assets, including agriculture, natural resources, cultural heritage, and recreational attractions.

Particularly encouraged to apply are municipalities surrounding South Mountain in Franklin, Adams, Cumberland, and York counties.

The grant program, in its second year, requires a one-to-one match by the recipient, with priority given to projects with multiple partners that overlap partnership goals and provide the greatest regional benefit. Projects derived from the action plans of teams who attended an earlier "Balancing Nature and Commerce" workshop also will be given additional priority. DCNR originated the funding for the grants.

A workshop at the Mt. Asbury Retreat, 1310 Centerville Road, Newville, on May 26 from 5 to 6:30 p.m., will provide details on specific criteria and the grant process and instructions for the completing the application. Plenty of time is being scheduled for individual questions, partnership leaders say. The application and frequently asked questions about the program can be viewed on the South Mountain Partnership Web site, www.southmountaincli.blogspot.com.

Stephanie Williams of the Cumberland County Planning Department, which received a 2009 grant for the Cumberland Valley Local Food, Farm and Outdoor Attractions Guide, says, "This grant brought together diverse stakeholders who had a common interest." Her office collaborated with both the Cumberland Valley Visitor Bureau and the Capital Resource and Conservation and Development Areas Council on the guide.

ATC says it highly encourages potential applicants to discuss project ideas in advance with Kimberly Williams, grant administrator and South Mountain Partnership coleader. She can be reached by e-mail at kwilliams@appalachiantrail.org or by calling the organization's mid-Atlantic regional office in Boiling Springs at (717) 258-5771.

The 36,000-member conservancy was founded in 1925 by volunteers and federal officials who were working to build a continuous footpath on the Appalachian Mountains from Maine to Georgia. A private nonprofit, it is focused solely on the protection, management, and promotion of the Appalachian Trail. It supports more than 6,000 volunteers in 30 affiliated local organizations who typically donate more than 200,000 hours a year on trail-related work.

The trail's national offices, with a visitors center open seven days a week, are located in Harpers Ferry, W.Va. Further information on its programs, as well as hiking information, is available at www.appalachiantrail.org.

Contact: Kimberly Williams, (717) 258-5771

South Mountain Partnership meeting: May 26th, 2010

Join us at the South Mountain Partnership Meeting. Registration is required. You can register below (you will be taken to a registration website. Click here for the full agenda or see below. A $5 donation is requested to support the cost.


1:00 PM

Opening Remarks: Our Success So Far

Review of Agenda

Kim Williams and Mike Eschenmann, South Mountain Partnership Co-Leads

1:30 PM

United States Colored Troops Grand Review/ Preservation Projects in the South Mountain Region

Lenwood Sloan, Director of Culture and Heritage, PA Department of Community and Economic Development

2:00 PM

What Compels The Citizens of the South Mountain Region? A Summary of the South Mountain Region-wide Citizen Survey

Joseph Borrell, Chair and Associate Professor Dept. of Communications/ Journalism Shippensburg University

2:20 PM Other 2009 Mini-Grant Recipient Updates South Mountain Speakers Updates

2:30 PM 15 Minute Break

2:45 PM

Outcomes of the South Mountain Summit and Balancing Nature and Commerce Workshop

Mike Eschenmann, South Mountain Partnership Co-lead

3:15 PM

South Mountain Partnership 5-Year Plan Kick-Off

Kim Williams and Steering Committe

We have achieved many of our targeted "nexus" goals and will begin to develop a 5-Year Plan that will target some key issues such as:

  • Refining an organizational structure
  • Prioiritizing support and determinging key projects and actions in the next several years
  • Refining what being a "partner means" We hope to have a spirited discussion what you think are the strenghts, weakness, and opportunities of the Partnership may be. Stay tuned for a pre-meeting survey that will help informat us on your thoughts.

4:30 PM

Next Steps (10-15 minutes) Partners/ Faciliated by Kim Williams

MINI-Grant Workshop

4:30-5:30 PM South Mountain Mini-Grant Workshop Reception

5:30-6:30 PM South Mountain Mini-Grant Workshop

Note: If you have registered for the Partnership Meeting, you will get a chance to indicate you will be going to the workshop. No need to register seperatlly.

Amphibian Mecca in Our Backyard! Check Out This Discovery Channel Video Filmed Locally:

Check out the Discovery Channel video filmed just outside King's Gap about the importance of vernal pools.

One of our very owners partners, Betsey Leppo of Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (plus others) appear in the video.

Vernal pools are located at the toe sloped of South Mountain and are a mecca for migrating amphibians in the spring time.

The South Mountain Advocate: Spring 2010 Edition

Click here to view the Spring 2010 South Mountain advocate. The Partnership has a lot going on in 2010.

The Spring Newsletter lets you in on all the exciting activities and news of the

South Mountain Partnership and its partners.

Some of the news headlines in the Spring 2010 Issue…


Opportunities to Engage with the South Mountain Partnership in 2010

The South Mountain Summit / February 19th, 2010 / Penn Township Fire Hall /


The South Mountain Speakers Series / Kick-off: February 18th, 2010 at 7 pm / Wood Center at the Capitol Theater in Chambersburg / www.southmountainspeakers.blogspot.com

• Ed McMahon, “Dollars & Sense of Protecting Community Character / April 12th, 2010 at 7 pm / Allenberry Resort and Playhouse / www.southmountainclibnc.blogspot.com

Come hear Ed McMahon, noted author, attorney, lecturer and expert on creating and sustaining livable and prosperous communities. Asset based economic development, tourism promotion, and historic preservation are among the themes of Mr. McMahon’s program.

• Balancing Nature and Commerce in the South Mountain Region Workshop / April 13-14th, 2010 / Allenberry Resort and Playhouse / www.southmountainclibnc.blogspot.com

This 2-day workshop will provide teams (made up of community leaders and stakeholders) with an opportunity to explore significant issues facing communities that are balancing community and economic development with preserving the region’s natural beauty and valued assets like agriculture, extensive outdoor recreation opportunities, and unique heritage.

Other headlines:


County Developing Agritourism & Outdoor Recreation Guide


U.S. Colored Troops Commemorated in the South Mountain Region


The South Mountain Geo-Trail Project

Developing a treasure hunt for the region’s assets


South Mountain Ecological Treasure Troves

Workshop series focuses on local conservation and promotion of vernal pools and trout streams


South Mountain Speakers Series

Series Kick-Off “South Mountain: The Cradle of Conservation,” to be held February 18th