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.

What's in this Newsletter

SMP News

- Walk & Talk Recap

-Winter Meeting: Jan 20th

-Join us at Cidernalia

-Call for Success Stories

-State of the Region Update

- Photo Contest

-Volunteer with SMP

Partner News & Social Media Roundup

- Social Media Roundup

- Tending Change on the Michaux

-A Record-Breaking Year for Outdoor Recreation

-Capital RC&D Carbon Monitoring Project Funded

-Holiday Events

Trainings, Workshops & Learning Opportunities

-DCNR Grant Videos now available

Calendar of Events

Dear Julia,

Temperatures may be cooling across the South Mountain but I am excited to share some of our seasonal activities...

  • Our partner's at Franklin County 11/30 Visitors Center have launched their Festival of Trees, and we have entered the “Explore South Mountain” tree. Choosing decorations to represent our region was a fun challenge. The ornaments pay tribute to our unique cultural, natural, agricultural and recreational resources in this area we call home! The tree features, salamanders, kayaks, farm stands, and much more.

  • We invite you to join us Dec 10th at Cidernalia at the National Apple Museum (details below)

Please also join me in sending our best wishes to SMP Director Katie Hess as she embarks on parental leave this winter and adds to the South Mountain Family. Please direct any emails/calls to Julia Chain at until mid-March.

From all of us at the South Mountain Partnership, we wish you a peaceful and happy holiday season! This year we are especially thankful for our partners across the region. Thank you for all you do to preserve and promote the trails and parks, habitat and wildlife, farms and farmland, clean water, and historic places of our region.

Together, we protect our home and ensure our families have vibrant communities and a healthy environment for many years to come.

Julia, Katie, and Tyler


Fall Walk and Talk Recap

Our Fall Walk and Talk Series covered three counties, and had us exploring trails, streams, and more! These walks were great opportunities to learn about the work of partner's while also having fun outdoors. Special thanks to our attendees and our three hosts; Adams County Trout Unlimited, South Mountain Trolley Greenway, and Michaux State Forest.

Save the Date: Winter Meeting

We will hold our Winter Partnership Meeting January 20, 2023 at Penn Twp Firehall in Newville, PA. Don't miss this exciting event to kick off to the new year.

Agenda will include the unveiling of a new South Mountain Partnership Logo and Website, important funding opportunity presentation, and update on our State of the Region Project.

Save the date, registration opens soon!

Join us at Cidernalia

Ploughman Cider has generously selected the South Mountain Partnership as the beneficiary for this incredible party! Be sure to join us December 10th as we jam to great music, eat, drink, and be merry all while celebrating the bounty of the South Mountain!

Purchase Tickets

Call for Success Stories!

DCNR and the Partnership are collecting information (metrics) from our Partners to understand your 2022 accomplishments within our South Mountain landscape/region. Please share information about projects that the SMP was involved with or helped to facilitate or get started. Accomplishments will be collected under six main resource areas: Natural, Cultural, Social, Rural/Agricultural, Recreational, and Economic.

Please enter them into our public data input form. We will randomly draw 2 metrics submissions for a special South Mountain surprise prize.

Questions? Contact Tyler Semder at 717-772-4762 or

State of the Region Report Card: Advisors Activated!

For some, winter may be a time to slow down and hibernate, but at South Mountain Partnership we are busy building for the future! In keeping with our mission ofConserving Landscape Resources to enrich the quality of life and sense of place of the South Mountain region’s citizens and communities”, The past few weeks have been packed with activities to help inform us about how to improve South Mountain’s public health and environment by engaging with key stakeholders from a variety of backgrounds! Read the full update here.

Snap Pictures, Win Prizes

South Mountain Partnership is seeking photos of the South Mountain landscape, events, agriculture, recreation, and people enjoying where they live. We are passionate about our home on the South Mountain. It is a special place with special views, plentiful water, orchards, families at play, abundant wildlife, hiking trails, history, fruits stands, and more. Help us bring our core messages to life through photography. We will be holding two rounds and both offer cash prizes!

Learn more
Now Recruiting Volunteers, Committee Members
Interested? Take our quick quiz to find out how you can help and tell us what you are interested in!
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!

Social Media Catchup

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!

Facebook  Instagram  Youtube  Linkedin  

Pennsylvania state forest campsites now online!

Test Adam's County Water

Trail Cams in the Michaux

Visit our Website

Tending Change on the Michaux:

A Winter’s Rest

Of the four distinctly unique season we experience in Pennsylvania, winter is a season often associated with rest. Many insects spend the winter as nymphs or pupae waiting for the warm weather to emerge as adults. Perennial plants draw sugars and nutrients underground to form of roots, bulbs, and corms where these resources are stored until spring. This feeling of rest is most notable when snow covers the ground and even dampens sound. I always want that moment of quiet and stillness to last as long as possible. Living in a town, it’s an ephemeral feeling. No sooner does snow fall than scraping snow shovels can be heard down the street.

Snowfall always reminds me how much of the forest is still active even in the winter. Out in the forest, the tracks of rabbits, coyotes, deer, and other wildlife are imprinted in the snow. Beneath the snow some insects and rodents remain active throughout the winter, creating a maze of tunnels that last just as long as the snow. Out in Michaux State Forest, the tracks of wildlife are quickly followed by the alternating prints of boots, the parallel lines of skis, the thin treaded line of a bike, or the tracks of snowmobiles.

Heavy snow might be the only time of year that Michaux State Forest gets a brief moment of rest... read more here.

A Record-Breaking Year for Outdoor Recreation

The Outdoor Recreation Roundtable shared "The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released updated national statistics and state-level data that recognizes the critical role the industry plays in supporting economic growth in the United States." Pennsylvania's statistics show the outdoor economy valued at almost $14 billion. Read more here.

Carbon Monitoring Project Funded

Capital RC&D was recently awarded a $73,943 grant from the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Conservation Innovation Grant program to demonstrate new soil carbon monitoring and management tools and technology on multiple farms in South Central Pennsylvania. An associated goal is to measure the amount of carbon that can be sequestered by farmers for possible participation in carbon markets.

To learn more about the project, partners, or Capital RC&D, visit Photos courtesy of Teralytic, manufacturer of the wireless soil probes utilized in this project. 

Holiday Markets and Craft Fairs

The Region is bursting with Craft Shows, Markets, and Holiday Events. Check these listings to plan an outing with your family!

  1. Craft Shows, Markets & Holiday Open Houses in Cumberland Valley
  2. Events in Franklin County
  3. Holidays in Gettysburg 2022 – A Special Schedule of Events
  4. Holiday events in central Pa.: From York County trees to Adams County gingerbreads
Employment and Funding Opportunities

DCNR Grant Workshop Videos Posted

Videos from DCNR’s recent annual grant workshop are now available on DCNR’s YouTube page. If you missed the annual grant workshop on Nov. 3, or if you want a refresher on what was covered, these videos are a good place to learn more about applying for grants in 2023.

Interested applicants should watch the general overview video first, then watch the breakout session video about their specific project type for more detailed information. The posted videos include:

• General Overview

• Acquisitions

• Development

• Partnerships

• Planning

• Rivers (includes Community and Watershed Forestry)

• Trails

DCNR Community Conservation Partnerships Program applications open Tuesday, Jan. 17 , 2023!

Calendar of Events

4th Annual Festival of Trees, 11/30 Visitors Center Chambersburg

December 2 @ 8:00 am - 7:00 pm

Franklin County Visitors Bureau (FCVB) is excited to bring holiday cheer at the 4th annual 2022 Festival of Trees, held in the Franklin County 11/30 Visitors Center–the former 1865 National Bank of Chambersburg on the square.

Star Party with the Institute

December 5 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Area residents are invited to a “star party,” a telescope viewing of the night sky at Pine Hill Recreation Area near Waynesboro. The event, a partnership between The Institute and Tri-State Astronomers (TSA), is free and open to the public.

First Day Hike, Michaux State Forest

January 1, 2023 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Kick off the New Year with a first day hike at Michaux State Forest. We will catch views of Long Pine Run Reservoir as we walk along the Beaver Trail.