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

- Recap: "Power of the Partnership"

- Grants Awarded

Spirit of South Mountain Award

- Research grants open

- Walk & Talks

-State of the Region Underway

- Photo Contest

-Volunteer with SMP

Partner News & Social Media Roundup

- Social Media Roundup

- Tending Change on the Michaux Meet Suzanne

-Michaux in the News

-SMP National Publication

- Jobs and Funding Opportunities

Trainings, Workshops & Learning Opportunities

-Instagram Lunch and Learn 

-Dickinson Climate Event

-Cumberland County Farm Workshop 

Calendar of Events

Dear Julia,

Happy Fall!  This may be my favorite season in South Mountain! Everywhere you look we’re busy harvesting, celebrating, and spending time outdoors! The fruits of our network’s labor have also been on full display… For example, I had such a wonderful time with our partners at this year’s Power of the Partnership! I want to take this opportunity to give a special shout-out to our Program Committee Members for creating such a unique event centering our true strength- our people.

I also want to congratulate our newest grant recipients. You can learn more about these projects farther down, but these projects represent a real cornucopia (😊) of landscape resource protection efforts from education and planning, to hands-on conservation! We are so excited to support them and invest in these efforts. I especially want to alert you to our newest grant program- the Flex Grants. 100% supported by donors, this is an exciting program I hope will continue to grow. 

The South Mountain Partnership (with our office colleagues at the Mid-Atlantic Office of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy) has a new office and home at the Craighead House! We are thrilled to work from a historic building with outdoor meeting areas and access to the Yellow Breeches creek.


Julia Chain, Program Manager 


Recap: 12th "Power of the Partnership" Celebration

View and Add to our Photo Album from the Event 

Over 115 individuals gathered together from throughout Adams, Cumberland, Franklin, and York counties for the only regional event celebrating the efforts to protect and promote this wonderful place that we all call home. This year the refreshed event took place during harvest, outdoors, and offered a local lunch menu, inspirational speakers, and ways to connect and celebrate with friends and colleagues new and old - including hard cider samples and activities with a view! Keynote speaker, Secretary Cindy Adams-Dunn, PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, helped to award over $50,000 of grants and the Spirit of South Mountain award. If you were not able to join us this year, we hope to see you next fall!

Thank you to our generous sponsors (above) and meal sponsors (below) for making this refreshed event possible!

Jeff Geeseman accepts the "Spirit of South Mountain" award on behalf of Washington Township, Franklin County, and the Monterey Battlefield Park & Museum.

Introducing SMP 2022 Grant Awardees 

On Sept 30, 2022 the South Mountain Partnership announced its 2022 Grant Recipients at its Annual “Power of the Partnership” Celebration Event. The South Mountain Partnership’s Mini-Grant Program is intended to catalyze on-the-ground projects that further the goals of the Partnership, and to advance the capacity of partners to complete projects throughout the region.

New this year, SMP announced a small-scale funding opportunity supported directly by donors to the Friends of the South Mountain Partnership called the "Flex Grants". In addition to supporting the SMP mission and goals, this program prioritizes projects that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in our region.

Read the full press release on these exciting projects here.

The Institute received a grant of $16,000 for the Conserving Wild Wonders: The Institute's Pond Restoration Design Study project.

Healthy Adams Bicycle/Pedestrian, Inc. (HABPI) received a grant of $2,500 for a the Master Plan for Trail to New Adams County Historical Society Facilities project.

Cumberland Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited received a grant of $12,000 for the Barnitz Church Creek Stabilization and Habitat project.

Adams County Trout Unlimited received a grant of $13,200 for the Zeigler Mill Road Access Site Recreational and Restoration Development project.

FRIENDS OF TOMS CREEK received a grant of $6,300 for the Toms Creek Greenway Committee Community Outreach project.

Franklintown Borough received a grant of $600 for the Establishment of Friends of Archie Hess Memorial Park Organization project.

The ButterBee Foundation received a grant of $600 for the Interactive Pollinator Experiences project.

York County Conservation District received a grant of $600 for their project York County Envirothon Expansion Effort.

Spirit of South Mountain

Each year at the "Power of the Partnership" Celebration we present the Spirit of South Mountain to an individual, a project or an organization that advances the mission of the South Mountain Partnership and has made a significant contribution to the landscape. This year we awarded the Spirit of the South Mountain to the Monterey Pass Battlefield Park Trail System Improvements Project, accepted by Jeff Geeseman of Washington Township, Franklin County.

The Monterey Pass Park Trail Project is located just outside of Waynesboro and is a 125-acre natural, cultural, and historical park.

Read more about the project here!

Research Grants Available

The South Mountain Research Corps (SMRC) is seeking opportunities to support academic and student-focused research in environmental sciences, forestry, agriculture, cultural and historic resources, geology, geography, and land use planning.

Who: Eligible applicants are higher-ed institutions with faculty and student teams.

What: Research grants of up to $3,000.00 for projects that help address South Mountain Regional research priorities.

When: Applications are due November 18, 2022

How: Online application can be found here. 

Attend a Fall "Walk and Talk"

We held our first “Walk and Talk” Sept 9 at Monroe Township Park! We have two more exciting walks planned for this fall. Enjoy learning something new while recreating!

These walks are free to attend but registration is required. Did you know our Friends of the South Mountain Partnership receive first access to register? Become a friend here to make sure you don't miss out!


Dates and times soon to be announced for “Tending Change on Michaux Walk and Talk with a Ranger” and “Exploring Partnership at Conewago Creek” stay tuned!

State of the Region Report Card is underway

How are we doing?

We wondered the same thing! So naturally, we are excited to share with you that the South Mountain Partnership has begun the inaugural State of the Region Card. 

We know the region has an abundance of resources – natural, cultural and historic, agricultural and recreational, and all contribute to making the South Mountain region a special place, but we asked ourselves, “what are we doing to continue to improve the quality of life and place in the South Mountain region?” 

The Report Card is an opportunity to assess the quality of the South Mountain landscape in these areas and others . Working closely with our partner counties – Adams, Cumberland, Franklin and York – the report will help provide observations and identify trends, and challenges across the region to help focus the process. It will tell us about our region’s current public and environmental health across a variety of topics and establish actions that residents, municipal officials, nonprofit organizations, and businesses can take to improve our region for a healthier future. Read more 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  

Mini-Grant Update at the Appalachian Trail Museum! 

$3.3 million in Funding for region

Partners planning retreat

Visit our Website

Tending Change on the Michaux:

Meet Suzanne Hartley

Join us in Welcoming Suzanne! 

Suzanne Hartley started as Michaux State Forest’s first Environmental Education Specialist in the beginning of August. As an Environmental Education Specialist, Suzanne hopes to highlight the challenges and work that is being done to conserve the cultural, geological, and ecological resources within Michaux State Forest. 

Suzanne’s interest in conservation stems from wading streams, catching strange insects, and growing flowers and vegetables on her family’s farm in Lancaster County. To pursue her passion for all living things, she earned her undergraduate in biology and geography from Millersville University. Interested in bridging the gap between people and science, she completed a master’s degree in Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology from North Carolina State University. More recently, Suzanne worked at American Public Gardens Association. Suzanne lives in Carlisle with her spouse, Nate Hartley, and their dog Bella. When not at work, her interests include gardening, hiking, pottery, and kayaking. She is excited to bring her interests in Citizen and Community Science to Michaux where she hopes to engage in caring for and knowing about the forest more deeply every time they visit. 

Michaux in the News 

Camp Michaux, a Civilian Conservation Corps Camp (CCC) and abandoned World War II Prisoner of War Interrogation Camp in Michaux State Forest, has been heavily invaded by non-native plant species over many decades, harming the natural landscape and obscuring historical features.

“Our natural spaces are full of important history and we must preserve sites like Camp Michaux to ensure the knowledge and lessons of the past are not lost,” Dunn said. “I am grateful to the Michaux State Forest staff for prioritizing the restoration efforts at the camp to ensure future visitation and education, particularly because of the connection to conservation linked to the camp.” Read on here.

SMP Highlighted in National Publication

Our work is featured in the Fall edition of the Land Trust Alliance’s Saving Land Magazine, a national publication! The Appalachian Trail Conservancy's Landscape Conservation Program and partnership in both the South Mountain Partnership and the Kittatinny Ridge Conservation Landscape, and the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resource's ongoing commitment to landscape-scale conservation is highlighted as part of the growing popularity of Return on Environment Reports.

Cumberland County ROE

Franklin County ROE

The full magazine can be viewed and downloaded here. The article starts on page 24. Thanks for the role that you play in this great work!

Employment and Funding Opportunities
South Mountain Job Board and Scholarships

Executive Director, Capital RC&D

The Capital Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) Area Council is a locally led nonprofit that creates partnerships of citizens, businesses, agencies, and organizations in its seven-county area to enhance the quality of life for those who live and work here. The Executive Director is a full-time employee of Capital RC&D and is responsible for the overall mission, planning, administration and management of the organization as well as the management of all Capital RC&D staff. Apply by Nov 3, 2022. 

Pennsylvania Trails Advisory Committee: Looking for volunteer members.

The deadline to submit resumes/letters of interest is Monday, October 31st. The Trails Advisory Committee webpage has instructions for applying as well as information about the committee expectations and meetings.

Trainings, Workshops & Learning Opportunities

POWR Lunch and Learn Webinar: How to Make Instagram Work for You | October 18, 2022 at 12 noon

Join POWR and your watershed colleagues for this webinar which will answer your questions about Instagram and help you get started or get more comfortable using it. Register for free here. 

Science-Based Choices for Climate Action, Insights from the IPCC 6th Assessment Report, October 24-26 at Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA, USA.

40+ climate experts; 16 sessions; 3 full days! Join us in-person or virtually for one session, a half-day, a full day, two days, or all 3 days of this international climate symposium. The free symposium will feature an outstanding group of climate science and policy experts, including leaders and authors of the newest reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), who will engage each other and the audience in conversations about the latest science, why it matters, and how science is being used to mobilize more ambitious and equitable actions on climate change.  REGISTER here.

Cumberland County Farmland Preservation Workshop | Nov 1 6:30PM 

Interested in Farmland Preservation? Join in for a workshop and discover land preservation options in Cumberland County. Find more information on the attached flyer.

Calendar of Events

Fall Furnace Fest

October 15 - October 16

A fun family weekend at Pine Grove State Park with food and craft vendors, entertainment, and historical demonstrations. Saturday night will feature the annual pumpkin parade followed by the Legend of the Hairy Hand.

Trailgating at Strawberry Hill

October 22 @ 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Bring the family for this fall fun festival at Strawberry Hill. Music, face painting and more!  

Antietam Watershed Planting Day

October 22 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Join the AWA in planting a large riparian buffer in association with the Keystone 10 Million Trees Project, October 22, at 9am. The site location along the West Branch Antietam Creek will help to filter agricultural run off and prevent stream erosion. Enter from Wayne Highway / 316 onto the driveway. Shovels, gloves, and tools will be provided, just bring some sturdy shoes and plan for cooler weather.