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 2011 Winter Newsletter- The South Mountain Advocate

Check out our quarterly newsletter, The South Mountain Advocate, which highlights our accomplishments for 2011. 

Download the printer friendlly newsletter today to see the ten things we are most proud of. 

Click here to download.

Appalachian Trail Conservancy Announces South Mountain Partnership Mini-grant Awards

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) would like to announce 10 South Mountain Partnership mini-grant awards that will help support development of heritage tourism and conservation projects in the South Mountain region totaling more than $204,000.  All grants are fully matched by grantees and partnering organizations at the local level, thus leveraging other funding to develop new projects and programming consistent with the South Mountain Partnership goals of preserving and promoting natural and cultural assets.
The grant awards, administered by the ATC and funded by state and federal dollars through the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) as part of their Conservation Landscape Initiatives program.  This year’s projects focus on increased access to community and regional trails, development of new tools to promote tourism, preservation of natural and historical assets, and support for the region's agricultural legacy and local food systems. These many facets of the region's heritage earned the South Mountain region spanning Adams, Cumberland, Franklin and northern York Counties a state designation as one of DCNR’s Conservation Landscape Initiatives in 2008.
“This round of the grant program, now in its third year, saw a very competitive pool of applicants which allowed us to award many strong “nexus” projects overlapping multiple South Mountain Partnership goals that contribute to the region’s sense of place and promote our assets,” stated Kim Williams, Environmental Planner with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. “The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is very excited to see a number of diverse partners from the public and private sectors collaborating on projects that address shared goals across interests groups.  We see this type of collaboration as an indication successful long term relationships developing through participation in the South Mountain Partnership.”

The 10 awards given as part of the 2011-2012 South Mountain Mini-Grant round include:


The Partnership would like to recognize annually partners and projects that significantly and positively impacted the South Mountain region by contributing to its sense of place through promoting or conserving its natural and cultural assets. We especially looked and asked for nomination for those that leveraged partnering and made it a key to their success. We call this “The Power of the Partnership” award.

This award goes to what we like to call the “dream team of Partnerships”. This is the Pine Grove Furnace team which being recognized for their outstanding partnership activities that directly support the vision of the South Mountain Partnership. Pine Grove Furnace State Park, located at the mid-way point of the Appalachian Trail is nestled in Michaux State Forest and has been a conduit for other important projects of interest.

The Partnership have played collaborative roles in supporting Pine Grove Furnace State Park, the Cumberland County Historical Society for Camp Michaux, Central Pennsylvania Conservancy for the Iron Master’s Mansion and the AT Museum. Together, they have become a regional hub for tourism. The addition of these three incredibly rich heritage sites, and the Friends Group, is exactly what the South Mountain Partnership is all about. This partnership’s cumulative efforts promotes local agriculture through educational programs; promotes and preserves cultural heritage, conserves natural resources, promotes and develops recreational opportunities and develops business and tourism opportunities for over 500,000 visitors. 

POWER OF THE PARTNERSHIP AWARD: Cumberland County Land Partners

Awarded organizations: (below) Cumberland
County Commissioners and Cumberland
County Planning Department were
awarded as well as (above) the
Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau
The Partnership would like to recognize annually partners and projects that significantly and positively impacted the South Mountain region by contributing to its sense of place through promoting or conserving its natural and cultural assets.We especially looked and asked for nomination for those that leveraged partnering and made it a key to their success. We call this “The Power of the Partnership” award.

In April 2006, the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners adopted Land Partnerships, a countywide strategy designed to maintain and improve the quality of life in Cumberland County through preservation and smart growth planning. The plan seeks to encourage action in the community and facilitate partnerships among governments, non-profit organizations, businesses and landowners to achieve a common vision. 

The goals of Land Partnerships are organized around four key areas: Farmland Preservation, Natural Resource Protection, Parks, Trails and Greenways and Livable Communities. The Farmland Preservation component centers on preserving our working farms and supporting the agricultural community so agriculture remains viable in the County.

Since 2006 these groups have made significant strides toward implementation of the Land Partnerships farmland preservation goals including but not limited to the following initiatives:

"In The Spirit of South Mountain" Award Given to Middlesex Township

Denise Jumper, representing Middlesex Township
This award goes to Middlesex Township. We applaud your efforts and tremendous partnering spirit!

The Appalachian National Scenic Trail cuts across the Cumberland Valley, running through some of the most populated and developed portions of the extent of the 2,180 mile Trail. The Trail is the Cumberland Valley is extremely used and loved, but it is not always obvious how you can access the Trail. In 2011 the Cumberland Valley Appalachian Trail Club pondered how they might develop a better access point on Trindle Road as an all volunteer organization.

CVATC contacted Middlesex to obtain their consent and endorsement of their plan to build a parking lot at the junction of the Appalachian Trail and Trindle Road (PA Route 641), between Mechanicsburg and Carlisle. To their surprise, they have gone much further. They have provided significant in-kind services to actually construct the parking lot.

Middlesex has used their workers and equipment to perform the initial excavation and construction work at the site, including hauling stone and gravel from the quarry and installing it. CVATC estimate the value of their in-kind services at almost $6,000, with more to come.

Their cooperation has helped to promote and develop recreation and tourism opportunities in the Cumberland Valley. Trindle Road is one of the busiest highways in the Valley. It has long needed a formal parking lot at the A.T. junction. CVATC estimates that hundreds of thousands of locals and tourists use the AT in the Valley each year.

Join Us At Our "Year in Celebration" Luncheon & Meeting


Thursday, December 8th, 2011
noon to 3:30 p.m.

Allenberry Resort and Playhouse
Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania

Partners, elected officials, buisness owners, non-profits, academics, supporting stage agencies, our visitor bureaus, and citizens who live and/or work in the South Mountain region.
Cost is $10 and includes a delux lunch buffet-
and yes, always Allenberry's famous sticky buns.  Register here.  Registration options include credit card, check, drop off (at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy-Boiling Springs office), or through invoice.

  • An opportunity for you to connect with the Partnership as a whole and get a great retrospective on what we have done and where we are going.
  • A chance to network with folks in the region who are making a difference.
  • Celebrate and recognize our partner's outstanding acmmplishments.  The Partnership will be awarding several awards through a nomination process.  Nominate a Parnter now.
  • Hear about projects that are being awarded South Mountain Mini-Grants 

Join Us At Our November Speaker Series Event!

SAVE THE DATE! Closing the Food Gap in South Mountain, will both feature keynote speaker Mark Winne, who addresses these issues in his books, "Closing the Food Gap" and "Food Rebels, Guerrilla Gardeners, and Smart Cookin' Mamas". Prior to the evening keynote address symposium participants will have exclusive access to a networking reception featuring locally grown & produced refreshment and the unique opportunity to meet individuals, organizations, and businesses that are committed to working together to improve our regional food system.

Nominate Someone For A South Mountain Award!

The Partnership would like to recognize annually partners and projects shared among partners. These award will recognize partners and project that significantly and positively impacted the South Mountain region by contributing to its sense of place through promoting or conserving its natural and cultural assets.  You can nominate someone else or it can be a self nomination.

Nominations can be for either:
·         A project with multiple partners  OR
·         One specific individual or organization that has made a significant impact.

Any organization(s) or individuals can be nominated that have been involved with efforts in the South Mountain Region, including any part of Franklin, Adams, Cumberland, and York counties. 

Awards will be chosen from nominations by the South Mountain Partnership Leadership Committee and awardees will be notified by telephone.  Awards will be presented at the South Mountain Partnership Banquet on Thursday December 8th, 2011 from 1-3 p.m.

Online Nomination forms are available by clicking here. 
The deadline for submitting online nominations is November 9th, 2011 at 5 p.m.

SUGGESTIONS FOR NOMINATION (Choose to nominate for a Partner OR Project Award):

South Mountain Outdoors Door Prize Winners Announced

Meadowbrooke Gourd Birdhouses
South Mountain Outdoors 2011 participants were asked to leave their completed Passport Programs at participating locations to be entered into random door prize drawings following Labor Day Weekend.  Door prize Winners have been contacted! 

  • Larry F. won a large gift basket from Mountain Lakes Market in Carlisle. 
  • Deborah H. won a historical book from History on High shop in Carlisle courtesy of Cumberland County Historical Society.
  • Matt N. won the book In the Beginning: 1750-1865 History of South Mountain from the Preserving Our Heritage Archives & Museum in South Mountain, PA.
  • Tracy B. won a Gourd Birdhouse from Meadowbrooke Gourds in Carlisle.

Share your South Mountain Outdoors photos with us!

Did you Fish for Free at Pine Grove Furnace State Park on Monday?  Or dance a little jig at the McLain Celtic Festival on Saturday?  Did you capture these special South Mountain Outdoors moments on camera, iPhone, iPad, etc.?  If so--

--and they may be featured on the South Mountain Outdoors web site or upcoming Partnership newsletters.

You can do so via the PhotoCollect album by clicking above image or here.  This web tool allows you to upload photos to our shared gallery without registering or logging-in.  Feel free to email us any South Mountain Outdoors stories or experiences to accompany your photos at kmckee@appalachiantrail.org.

South Mountain Outdoors 2011 - Got Door Prizes?

Kings Gap General Store
In addition to the free programs offered at Michaux State Forest and Pine Grove Furnace, Kings Gap & Caledonia State Parks over Labor Day Weekend as part of South Mountain Outdoors 2011, a variety of participating sites are also offering door prizes, raffles and events!!

Join Us in Working Towards more Sustainable Development in the Region

Save the Date! 
Thursday, September 22, 2011
3:30 p.m.- 8:00 p.m.
at the Shippensburg University Conference Center.  Registration is $10
(click to download registration form)


Randall Arendt, a national
expert on sustainable

Randall Arendt, Senior Conservation Advisor at Natural Lands Trust will conduct a workshop focusing on practical ways of reclaiming existing commercial highway strip centers. 
The presentation includes a one hour lecture illustrating progressive approaches that emphasize various redevelopment design strategies to create mixed-use centers from existing highway strips. The workshop will also help communities implement smarter, more sustainable development patterns, and includes ideas for improving economic viability and attractiveness.

Click image to download flier
and registration form
A design exercise will follow providing attendees with an opportunity to retrofit an existing section of a degraded commercial highway strip center.  Using aerial enlargements of an existing commercial strip center in the South Mountain landscape, participants will mark up the base map to illustrate how the improvements described in the presentation could be implemented.

Municipal leaders, planning commission members, professional planners, landscape architects, engineers, commercial property owners, investors and developers are encouraged to attend.

Experience South Mountain Outdoors 2011 on Labor Day Weekend!

This Labor Day Weekend get outside,  visit local destinations and discover everything the South Mountain Region has to offer.  Highlights of the Weekend include:
Click  here to view an interactive map of
participating sites!

McLain Celtic Festival, Carlisle, PA
Passport Programs will be available to pick up at all of the participating locations, prior to and during South Mountain Outdoors 2011.  The Passport Program will also contain a map of the region, with a list of participating businesses and program partners that are offering events and experiences around South Mountain.  Each time participants visit one of these locations,  they should request that their Passport Program be stamped by that location.   Before completing their enjoyment of South Mountain Outdoors 2011, participants should leave their Passport at any of the participating locations, so that they will be eligible for a random drawing of prizes donated by participating South Mountain region sites.

Get the latest Partnership Updates with the Summer 2011 Edition of the South Mountain Advocate!

The Advocate is South Mountain Partnership's quarterly newsletter.  The Summer 2011 Edition includes updates regarding:
  • The South Mountain Outdoors 2011 event
  • The Friends of Monterey Pass Battlefield's outreach & fund raising efforts
  • Camp Michaux Recognition and Dedication event coming up on July 16th
  • The A.T. Museum's Sunday event schedule
  • Cumberland Valley Rail Trail extension into Downtown Shippensburg  
  • And More!!
Also check out a Partner Spotlight on Susan Parry, a Natural Resource Specialist with USDA/Natural Resource Conservation Service, that brings great leadership to the Partnership's agricultural support initiatives.  To view or download the newsletter, click here.

July 12th - Save the Date for our Next Quarterly Partnership-Wide Meeting

Tuesday, July 12, 2011 from 1:30-5pm
will be the next South Mountain Partnership-wide Meeting held at:
Pine Grove Furnace State Park in Gardners, PA.  Click here for Map.

CLICK HERE FOR A FULL AGENDA of the Partnership-wide Meeting.  We look forward to seeing you there!

The meeting will begin at the newly renovated Ironmaster's Mansion and break out into three concurrent sessions covering: 
  • Reinventing the Commercial Corridor, Planning Session
    (RSVP here)
  • Statewide Preservation Plan Public Forum: Heritage Planning Around South Mountain
    (RSVP here)
  • South Mountain as a Bio-Reserve
    (RSVP here)
Attendees will then walk to the Pine Grove Furnace Chapel (across from the Park Office) for Partner Updates and a South Mountain Partnership/DCNR Roundtable.  No RSVP required.

At the end of the day, join us for a Partnership Social including a tour of the Appalachian Trail Museum and heavy hors d'oeuvres & drinks at the Mansion (BYOB - adult beverages allowed).

Register for South Mountain Partnership-wide Meeting
April 20th, 2011 in Gettysburg, PA  on Eventbrite

South Mountain Partnership-wide meetings are useful for any person or organizations interested in being involved in preserving or promoting our region's precious natural and cultural assets. Some of the benefits of attending these meeting are:
- A networking opportunity.
- A chance to learn about innovative partnerships and partnering opportunities in the region.
- An opportunity to be involved with meaningful projects that celebrate our region's sense of place.

These meetings are free and open to the public, but an RSVP is required for the concurrent sessions.

South Mountain Partners To Host Back-to Back Special Events At Pine Grove Furnace State Park

GARDNERS, PA -- Pine Grove Furnace State Park and the Appalachian Trail Museum, in conjunction with many of its partners, are preparing for two straight weekends of outdoor events and family programming -- National Get Outdoors Day on Saturday, June 11 and the First Appalachian Trail Festival June 18 & 19.

Pine Grove Furnace State Park, recently named the 2010 State Park of the Year, the South Mountain Partnership, and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy are sponsoring National Get Outdoors Day to provide outdoor and education opportunities for the entire family. Events for the day begin at 8:00 a.m. with a half marathon and 5K run to support the Friends of Pine Grove Furnace, a non-profit organization that helps promote volunteerism and assist with events at the park. Other morning events include trail hikes to local scenic vistas and historical sites, a wildflower walk, a historical scavenger hunt and kayaking for beginners.

Lunch will be available at the Central Pennsylvania Conservancy’s newly renovated Ironmaster’s Mansion. Meals will include hamburgers, hotdogs, sloppy Joes, potatoes salad, watermelon, desert and drink for only $7.

Registration is required for all events and, with the exception of the half marathon and 5K run, are free. To register, visit the DCNR Calendar of Events for Pine Grove Furnace State Park at www.dcnr.state.pa.us or call the Park Office at 717-486-7174.

The Appalachian Trail Museum will hold its first festival on June 18-19 at the park. “The festival will celebrate hiker culture and feature a new traveling exhibit developed by the museum,” Zimmerman said. The kick-off for the festival will be the inaugural Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame Banquet on the evening of June 17, at Allenberry Resort in Boiling Springs. At the banquet, the first class of six honorees will be inducted into the Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame, which will be located in the museum’s building at Pine Grove Furnace State Park. The festival will feature a hiking program, music, storytelling, crafts, competitions and history programs. There also will be a variety of activities for children on both days. Additional information on the Appalachian Trail Museum and the festival weekend events can be found at www.atmuseum.org.

South Mountain Mini-Grant Workshop to Be Held May 25th, 2011 At 2 PM


Register for South Mountain Mini-Grant Workshop/ Webinar on EventbriteThe South Mountain Partnership Mini-Grant program, administered by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), has been awarded additional grant funds from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and will be accepting grant applications until the program deadline of July 31, 2011. This program provides grants that communities and organizations can use to preserve and promote their natural and cultural assets.

An online grant workshop on Wednesday, May 25, 2011 at 2-3 p.m. will be available to anyone with access to the internet and a telephone.  An RSVP is required to access the online workshop and can be done by:

  • Clicking the above "Click Here to Register" button
  • Calling the ATC office at 717.258.5771.  The workshop will lay out details of the program and application and allow participants to ask questions.

The South Mountain Partnership Mini-Grant Program has been developed and overseen by the 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 31, 2011. The ATC and DCNR encourage any municipality, non-profit, or learning institution to begin considering projects that may fit the grant criteria. Projects must be located in Cumberland, Franklin, Adams, or York counties.  An application and many other grant resources are available on the Partnership website at www.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, Environmental Planner of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

The 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. 

Next Partnership Meeting: April 20th, 2011

At the Adams County Agricultural
& Natural Resource Center
670 Old Harrisburg Rd., Gettysburg, PA


South Mountain Partnership-wide meetings are useful for any person or organizations interested in being involved in preserving or promoting our region's precious natural and cultural assets. Some of the benefits of attending these meeting are:
- A networking opportunity.
- A chance to learn about innovative partnerships and partnering opportunities in the region.
- An opportunity to be involved with meaningful projects that celebrate our region's sense of place.

These meetings are free and open to the public, but an RSVP is required.

Register for South Mountain Partnership-wide Meeting
April 20th, 2011 in Gettysburg, PA  on Eventbrite

RESTORING THE CHESTNUT: The chestnut’s story is rooted in catastrophe but survives through our hope & work

Join us at our next South Mountain Speaker Series Event!
FREE EVENT!!! At the Penn National Community, Trellis Terrace, 3720 Clubhouse Drive, Fayettville, PA 
Thursday, April 7, 2011 starting at 7 p.m.

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy Announced Today the Successful Acquisition of Nearly 1000 Acres of Critical Landscape in the Cumberland Valley

Boiling Springs, PA (February 17, 2011) – The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), working in partnership with federal, state and local partners, has recently protected 840 acres of forested land on South Mountain in Cumberland County (known as the White Rocks). The White Rocks project is one of the early catalyst to the formation of the South Mountain Partnership and is an exciting accomplishment for all partners involved.

The parcels will be acquired by the U.S. federal government, National Park Service for permanent protection of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. The purchase will protect open space and wildlife habitat, enhance the Appalachian Trail experience and provide protection to critical groundwater recharge areas that feed residential use in the valley and the cold water fishery of the Yellow Breeches Creek. Total project cost is $3.2 million.

“The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is fortunate to have built a strong partnership of committed private conservation organizations and public agencies to help with this effort. Open space protection projects of this magnitude and significance are rare in this rapidly developing region. We are grateful to the current owners who see the value of public ownership and permanent protection,” stated Karen Lutz, Mid-Atlantic Regional Director of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

Funding for this land conservation project came from the Federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund (Key 93), and local private contributions.

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.

Javier Folgar
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Tel. 304.535.6331 x117
Fax. 304.535.2667
Email: jfolgar@appalachiantrail.org 
Web: www.appalachiantrail.org

Preserving Heritage In the South Mountain Region: A look into innovative partnerships around the mountain

Wednesday, February 9, 2011 
Cumberland County Historical Society
21 North Pitt Street Carlisle, PA 
12:15 p.m., brown bag lunch, bring your lunch and coffee and cookies provided

Speaker: Kimberly Williams, South Mountain Partnership Co-Lead and Landscape Protection Coordinator, Appalachian Trail Conservancy

The South Mountain Region has a complex and rich story worth telling and preserving.  South Mountain of Central Pennsylvania holds in its forested slopes layers of history. It holds stories and remnants which are key ingredients to the region’s sense of place.  Discover overlapping themes of stories and remnants and how they are RELEVANT TODAY, including:

Natural wealth. The mountain’s natural wealth has a direct connection to the surrounding valley’s agricultural abundance and early prospering industries. Today we are learning new ways to profit from our wealth while conserving for future generations.
Refuge. The mountain served as a place of refuge to those fleeing from slavery on the Underground Railroad and those fleeing poor health at the South Mountain Restoration Center. Today, the mountain serves as a refuge of recreation that serves millions with major icons like the Appalachian National Scenic Trail and one of the largest intact forests near D.C. and Baltimore.
Conflict. Human conflict in the past several hundred years has direct tie to the mountain like the Civil War’s Battle of Monterrey Pass and the housing of a WWII Prisoner of War Camp. Today conflict over the preservation of our heritage and natural resources provides chances for new innovative ways to resolve conflict and increase collaboration.

Learn how these themes are relevant today, as they tie in directly into our sense of place and economic progress. Learn what the South Mountain Partnership, a unified group of private citizens, business, not for profit organizations and governmental officials, is doing to promote and preserve our rich heritage.

For more info on the Speakers Series, visit:www.southmountainspeakers.blogspot.com
This event is in partnership with the Cumberland County Historical Society.  To learn more about their ongoing program, click here.

A Major Announcement: Become a Leader By Nominating Yourself For the Partnership Leadership Committee

As part of our developing 5-Year Strategic Plan, we have heard a lot of feedback about formalizing the South Mountain Partnership's organizational structure. 
From that feedback we have developed an organizational framework including the leadership committee. We would like to ask you to  consider being part of our leadership committee, which will become the organizational head for the Partnership.

For further information about the duties, a letter of interest, and the nomination process click here.

To fill out the letter of interest form, click here