Partnership Welcome & Update
The South Mountain Partnership works best as a network of people and organizations working toward common goals.

Our common goal? Making the future of our region better.
Report out from the Fall Meeting
This Fall, we responded to the region’s need for more knowledge about changing climate. This video highlights comments made by Cumberland County Commissioners, Jean Foschi and
Vincent T. DiFilippo.
Thank you to our sponsors Mylet & Musselman Insurance Group and Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau/Cumberland Area Economic Development Corporation  for making this event possible. Special thanks to the SMP Program Committee for assisting in planning the event.

SMP's Program Committee Chair, Elizabeth Grant shared "Gathering in person again in order to talk about ways we are moving to address climate change and protect what we value about this place was so powerful. Listening to individual actions that people are taking and asking others to join them was inspiring!"
Save the Date!
Walk and Talk Speaker Series
Friday October 8th, 2021 4-6PM

Save the date for our “Walk with a Doc in Letort Spring Garden Preserve ”
Friday, Oct 22nd, 2021 4:30-5:30PM
Dr. Navitha Ramesh will lead this hike and discuss lung health with the group…. We know getting outside is important for our physical and mental health but come along to learn even more about the intersection of benefit from outdoor recreation and personal health. Members of the Central Pennsylvania Conservancy, stewards of this trail, will be along to tell us more about the area and restoration projects at work. SMP Staff and committee members will also be on hand to catch up. Approximately 1.5 miles of easy walking. Dress for the weather, we will plan to walk rain or shine! 

Registration is free but required!

Registration Link Coming Soon, Save the Date!
Our first Walk and Talk Speaker Series, occurred September 24th at Pine Grove State Park. Lead by Andre Weltman of the Friends of Pine Grove, this tour featured interesting history of the rail line and gorgeous views.
Now Recruiting Volunteers, Committee Members
We are recruiting new committee members and volunteers! This opportunity is especially great for young professionals, those wishing to build their resumes and professional networks, and retired individuals. If you strive to be a good communicator and a “doer” who takes action and gets things done, you may be a great fit!

Each committee member contributes based on their own interests and strengths. Fill out our quick quiz to learn more!

South Mountain Research Corps (SMRC) and Science Summit Update

“Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose.”
Zora Neale Hurston

In the last two months, I reached out to roughly 45 South Mountain Partnership landowners, land managers, and land use planners to ask them for their priority topics for academic research and assistance. This was, apparently, the right question to ask and the right time to ask it! My in-box quickly filled up, and a series of phone calls, Zoom conferences, in-person meetings and email exchanges soon followed. As September ends, we now have a list of 55 individual research priorities from all corners of South Mountain country!

Share your Accomplishments!
DCNR and the Partnership are collecting information (metrics) from our Partners to understand your 2021 accomplishments within our South Mountain landscape/region. Please share information about projects that the Partnership was involved with or helped to facilitate or get started. Acccomplishments will be collected under six main resource areas: Natural, Cultural, Social, Rural/Agricultural, Recreational, and Economic.

Details about the type of information needed is available here. As projects or phases are completed, please enter them into our public data input form. Questions? Contact Tyler Semder at 717-772-4762 or [email protected].
Most Popular Social Media Posts
The following are some of the most popular social media news posts,
followed by partner-submitted news that you should know about.

Follow us for the latest news, upcoming events, and more!
American Rescue Plan Funds: Act NOW!
Conservation qualifies for American Rescue Plan Funds and we must act now to secure these funds for conservation.
We Conserve PA, York County Economic Alliance and others have put together some great resources to help understand how you can leverage these funds.
2021 Grant Funding & Opportunities from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation

Buffer Bonus Voucher Program
  • Buffer Bonus Program vouchers – vouchers awarded on a per acre of new streamside planting.
  • Maximum vouchers per project = $24,000
  • Minimum width of buffer must be 35’.
  •  Planting must be trees & shrubs.
  • Must have current conservation / Ag E & S and manure management plans.
  • Planning voucher in the amount of $2,000 is available if new plans need developed.
  • Vouchers would be applied to out of pocket costs for on farm best management practices being implemented (ie – concrete barnyards, manure storage, spouting, etc) which are identified in plans. Can also include stream protection / restoration structures.
  • Requires landowner agreement.
Stream Buffer Site Prep & Maintenance
  • Funding available for site prep for new stream buffers (trees only).
  • Funding available for maintenance for existing stream buffers.
  •  Funding allotted on a per acre basis.
  • Requires landowner agreement.
Free Tree Seedlings
  • Free native tree seedlings to existing stream forest buffers (CREP/EQIP/Voluntary) or for the development of new stream forest buffers.
  • Can be used to increase survival or diversity on active CREP / EQIP contract acres.
  • Shelters and stakes also available.
  • Landowners are responsible for planting and maintaining the trees.
  • Order in winter for spring delivery; order in summer for fall delivery.
For more information: Kristen Hoke
                                    Restoration Specialist
                                    Chesapeake Bay Foundation
                                    [email protected]
Learn About the Center for Water Quality Excellence

The new Center for Water Quality Excellence serves as a support center for anyone who is looking for implementation and/or finding funding resources for urban or agricultural stormwater management. It’s currently a pilot program for Lancaster and York counties, but all counties are encouraged to participate! Download their informational flyer and learn more here.
Cumberland County released its County Climate Action Plan (CAP) and needs your feedback TODAY!
Cumberland County released its County Climate Action Plan (CAP) and is inviting public comment. You can access the plan and comment form online by clicking here. The comment period closes on September 30.

"Cumberland County is one of 21 municipalities currently enrolled in the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Local Climate Action Program 2020-2021 cohort. The planning process links academic institutions with local governments to prepare greenhouse gas inventories showing the major sources of emissions into the atmosphere, and also to develop strategies towards reducing emissions and mitigating the impacts of climate change."
Go on a Walk in Penn's Woods
Since 2017, the first Sunday in October has been designated as opportunity for Pennsylvanians to join hosted walks to learn more about Penn’s Woods and gain easy access to expert forest and wildlife professionals.

For a complete list of individual walk locations, times, descriptions, ways and places to discover Penn’s Woods all year round, and more, go to
Penn's Parks for All – A Plan for Pennsylvania's State Parks of Tomorrow (PDF) was developed with extensive public input and includes a set of strategies to move state parks forward over the decades ahead, including:
  • Ensuring they are accessible and welcoming to all;
  • That the aging system is well cared-for; and
  • Adapting to climate change and for the changing recreation needs of visitors.
This blueprint will help guide Pennsylvania’s state park professionals in carrying out the important work of caring for the 121 state parks in our system for the next 25 years.
Partner Job Postings

Dickinson College’s Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring (ALLARM), located in the fantastic small town of Carlisle, Pennsylvania is hiring a new Assistant Director. The ALLARM Assistant Director is responsible for a number of things:
  1. Co-lead the organization;
  2. Run ALLARM’s quality assurance laboratory (we certify volunteers doing chemical stream monitoring in Pennsylvania);
  3. Provide technical assistance and follow up support to Pennsylvania and New York communities and volunteers interested in conducting stream health assessments and use data on the local level; and
  4. Mentor Dickinson College students to work in ALLARM’s lab and collaborate with community partners.
Salary: $40K-$41K, with amazing benefits.
Closing date: October 29 (will begin reviewing applications October 15)

Are you a preservation professional who is skilled at collaboration, outreach, and technical assistance? The Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office (PA SHPO) is seeking a historic preservation specialist to work as the Central Pennsylvania Community Preservation Coordinator. Responsibilities include working with PA SHPO staff and partners to provide technical assistance with preservation programs across a defined region, assisting with preservation incentives programs, and managing work under the Certified Local Government program.
Closing: 10/18/2021 11:59 PM Eastern
Share with the region through the Around South Mountain e-newsletter and the SMP website.
Send us your free events, trainings, work days, celebrations, challenges, and other updates. Type "For Newsletter" in the subject line of your email. Include your event date, time, location, title, and short description. We will include on our website calendar.
Trainings, Workshops & Learning Opportunities
Due to the COVID-19 and recommendations from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), please visit individual partner organization's websites to confirm event details prior to the event. Stay healthy!
WeConservePA is now accepting workshop proposals!
WeConservePA is now accepting workshop proposals for its 2022 conference, which will be held March 16-18, 2022 at the Wyndham Hotel in Gettysburg. Submissions are due Wednesday, October 20. Click here to learn more.
Central PA Counties - Fall 2021 Virtual Grant Workshops for Recreation and Conservation Projects- Wednesday, November 10 at 9:00am to 12:00pm
This virtual workshop is designed to help applicants develop project ideas in preparation of submitting a grant application to the Community Conservation Grant Program, which opens January 18, and closes April 6, 2022 at 4:00 p.m. DCNR, Bureau of Recreation and Conservation staff will be online to deliver a presentation on grant program selection criteria, review current program priorities, and discuss eligible project categories. Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to attend at least one of the three statewide virtual grant workshops held this fall. The workshops are especially suited for municipal officials, consultants, board members, trail managers, land trust staff, and park and recreation professionals.

Calendar of Events
October 3
Join Friends of Toms Creek and the Sierra Club for a hike in Michaux State Forest in the vicinity of Tom's Creek @Mt. Hope Road. Meet and greet picnic will follow the event.

October 16 - October 17
A family weekend at Pine Grove Furnace State Park with food and craft vendors, entertainment, and historical demonstrations. Saturday night will feature the annual pumpkin parade and the legend of the Hairy Hand

Oct 11-16, 2021
We will kick off the 2021 Fair with the the opening ceremony by the Fair President and other invited guests at 6:30 PM on Monday, October 11, 2021 at Northern High School. The traditional Queen Pageant to follow at 7:00 PM. Tuesday evening the fair continues with the crowning of the Senior King and Queen at the Community hall at 5:30 PM.

The fair continues through the week with a full schedule of events, contests, and Games. And don’t forget some of the best food you’ll have all year!