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

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Tree Farm #1, a wild, 2500-acre tract in Adams County which could have been replaced by 500 houses, will be protected for the public.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.