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

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:

·         State Farmland Preservation Program – The Cumberland County Board of Commissioners and Agricultural Land Preservation Board increased investments in the Farmland Preservation Program to acquire voluntary agricultural easements on prime soils.  With the 2011 round of selections, the County will reach a milestone of 15,000 acres preserved countywide!
·         Farmland Preservation Donation ProgramCumberland County established a Farmland Preservation Donation Program in 2008 to encourage donation of agricultural easements.  The County accepted its first donated easement under the new program in 2009.
·         Farmland Preservation Signage ProgramCumberland County established a voluntary signage program in 2007 to promote farms enrolled in the farmland preservation program.  The Program has been received positively by farmers and helps promote the farmland preservation to citizens and visitors around the County.
·         Local Food, Farm and Outdoor Attractions Guide (seen to the right) – In 2010, a Local Food guide was developed to promote local agricultural operations and educate the public on the importance of agriculture. Cumberland County and CVVB where lead partners on the project and have distributed nearly 15,000 copies to date.
·         Cumberland County Farm Tour – On an annual basis, the Penn State Cooperative Extension and Cumberland County organize a free, one day tour of farms and agricultural related businesses.  The event draws hundreds of visitors each year and helps educate the public on the importance of agriculture.
·         Cumberland County Partners for Excellence in Agriculture - In 2010, the Cumberland County Partners for Excellence in Agriculture was formed.  Cumberland County and the Conservation District are leaders in this unique collaborative.  Their mission is to assure that the agricultural industry continues to be a major contributor to the economic development of the County and maintains a competitive position in the global economy while conserving and respecting the natural resources in the area.