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 firstname.lastname@example.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