This landscape is home, it is where we live. Together, the Partnership strives to collaborate in sustaining all that makes our home landscape so special and all that supports the quality of life that we enjoy.

News Around South Mountain
Partnership to Focus on Water Quality in 2019 and Beyond 

Residents throughout the South Mountain region, as well habitat and ecosystems, depend on our region's valuable water resources. Because water is an integrating resource, connecting many of the important Landscape Resources (agricultural, cultural/historical, natural, and recreational) that the South Mountain Partnership network seeks to promote and protect, w e will focus on promoting awareness and engagement around water quality over the next two to three years.
 
By communicating the value of water resources and water quality, the South Mountain Partnership can promote strategies for stewardship, education, and land conservation. We can also develop strategies for climate change through the lens of water quality and appreciate the ways that water challenges us to adopt a whole cloth approach to many issues that require our attention, versus a fragmented approach defined by political boundaries and jurisdictions.

We'll be looking for exisitng and new partners to engage in this work. Ideas include, but are not limited to: 
  • Building support for MS4 and Watershed Implementation Plans (WIPs) in Adams, Cumberland, Franklin, and York counties 
  • Building the capacity of watershed organizations, with emphasis on working as partners with local muncipalities and counties
  • Learning forums 
  • Directing South Mountain Mini-Grant Program funds to water resource and water quality projects
  • Highlighting water resources and water quality through South Mountain Speakers Series events
  • Establishing a learning landscapes program with education and outreach about water resources on a landscape scale
  • Developing high resolution mappinlandcover and forest datasets that include water resources, creating a forum to discuss how these datasets can inform planning and implementation efforts around the WIPs
  • Modeling and scenario development for water resource use
  • Asset-based economic development based on water resources
Members of the South Mountain Partnership Leadership Team will be reaching out to potential committee members with an interest in water quality issues over the coming months. If you would like to participate in the Program Committee, please contact Katie Hess at khess@appalachiantrail.org


Register Now for South Mountain Watershed Workshop on March 16

Saturday, March 16, 2019
9:00 am to noon
Adams County Conservation District
Gettysburg

Watershed groups across the South Mountain region have made great strides in protecting and improving water quality, keeping riparian areas as green space, and raising awareness about the importance of our rivers and streams. When these groups work collaboratively with their local municipalities, the impact of these partnerships magnifies the results and ensures longevity of the projects.

That is why Capital RC&D is partnering with the South Mountain Partnership to organize a FREE half-day work-shop for members of watershed groups in Adams, Cumberland, Franklin, and York counties to hear from several watershed groups in the region who work effectively with municipalities on watershed protection efforts. Opportunities for networking and a hot breakfast are included! Register today!


This workshop is funded by a grant from the Chesapeake Bay Funders Network, Chesapeake Bay Trust, National Fish and Wildlife Federation,
US Environmental Protection Agency, and the Chesapeake Bay Program.


Registration is Open for Watershed Connections Statewide Conference

February 24-25, 2019
Wyndham Garden Hotel - State College

The Pennsylvania Environmental Council  (PEC) and the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers (POWR) invite you to network with colleagues, learn how to strengthen your local organizations, and discover new and emerging resources at the 2019 PA Statewide Conference for Watershed Organizations.

The conference begins on Sunday, February 24 with the "Telling Stories Through Pictures" opening session, followed by breakout concurrent sessions in four tracks: Organizational Capacity; Aquatic Monitoring and Data Use; Watershed Resources and Programs; and Watershed Policy and Planning. Sunday evening ends with a dinner reception and the return of the "Shark Tank - Funders Edition" program.  Monday begins with breakfast roundtables, followed by Keynote Speaker, Dr. Tora Johnson. Concurrent sessions will then continue until 3:45 p.m.
 
The preliminary conference schedule, sponsorship opportunities, and lodging instructions are available at: http://pecpa.org/connections2019 Registration is available for full conference as well as single-day attendance. Please note that regular registration deadline is February 14.


We Are Looking for a Communications Intern

The application deadline is tomorrow! Are you looking for ways to learn more about the environment, South Mountain, and effective communication? Do you have 10 hours a week to devote to spreading the word about the partnership and all it does? Then perhaps this paid internship is for you!

The internship begins in mid to late February 2019 and runs until December 2019. Interested students should email their resume to Katie Hess at  khess@appalachiantrail.org by February 5 with "Communications Internship Application" in the subject line. More information can be found at www.southmountainpartnership.org/intern. 


2019 Speakers Series Starts this Spring!

The South Mountain Speakers Series is an annual lecture series hosted by the South Mountain Partnership. Each event highlights a specific topic or challenge central to the Partnership's mission and goals of protecting and promoting landscape resources. The Series also provides a vehicle for engaging the public in on-going, informed dialogue about conservation challenges facing the South Mountain landscape.
 
This year's Speakers Series includes the following free public events:
  • March 16, noon, at the Pine Grove Furnace Ironmaster's House in Gardners. Creating the Appalachian Trail in the South
Tom Johnson of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club will talk about how in the 1920s, the mountains s outh of the Potomac River invited hikers to explore. Led by the dynamic Myron Avery of Washington, D.C., a small group of enthusiasts created the Appalachian Trail in just a few years. During this presentation you will "meet" this remarkable group and follow them as they lay out a new trail in the South.
  • March 23, 8:30 am, at the Apple Museum in Biglerville.                                                Barn Survey Volunteer Training
Over the past fifteen years, the Preservation Society of Historic Gettysburg-Adams County (HGAC) has added more than 300 barns to the Adams County Barn Registry as a primary component of its Barn Preservation Project. HGAC Barn Preservation Specialist David Maclay will talk about various facets of barn preservation for both novice and seasoned surveyors alike. Following the presentations, participants will venture into the field, fanning out into the countryside to document local barns in a hands-on, fun-filled exploration into the rich diversity of Adams County's agricultural and architectural legacy. Participation is free of charge and includes breakfast, but advance registration is required by March 20 by contacting David Maclay at 717-677-4000 or dmaclay@mac.com.
 
  • April 16, 7 pm, at Dickinson College in the Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, Carlisle. Charcoal Hearths, Collier Huts, and Haul Roads: Traces of the Iron Industry across South Mountain 
Andre Weltman, chairman of the Friends of Pine Grove Furnace State Park, will discuss the connection between the 19th century charcoal iron industry and today's South Mountain landscape. Modern trails and campsites often overlap with still-visible remnants of an important part of iron making: transforming the forests into charcoal fuel for the region's iron furnaces.
 
  • Plus other topics including local craft beer, honey and pollinators, and dealing with illegal dumping in Michaux State Forest- dates and locations to be determined! 
The South Mountain Speakers Series is presented as a revival of the Michaux Lectures, a series of talks given by Joseph Rothrock to build a groundswell of public support for his work to preserve and restore Pennsylvania's forested landscape. The late 19th century Michaux Lectures were an educational mission that catalyzed real change in Pennsylvania's environmental history. As we face the challenges of the 21st century, the South Mountain Speakers Series is intended to encourage a new generation to find in the past a positive vision for the future of the South Mountain landscape.
For more information about the South Mountain Speakers Series, go to http://southmountainpartnership.org/speakers-series.


Education to Support the Brewing Industry Is Coming to the South Mountain Region

 
The local craft brewing scene is about to take off even faster in the South Mountain region! Dr. Allison Feeney, professor of geography and earth sciences at Shippensburg University, received a grant from the PA Liquor Control Board (PLCB) to develop three to four short courses for next year where p rofessors will teach collaboratively with professionals in the brewing industry in an effort to meet the needs of the growing industry. The courses will focus on science, technology, engineering, fermentation and management skills related to the industry's vision to improve the resources for makers of brewed and malt beverages, who often use local water and crops to create their signature drinks.

Read the full article here.

  
South Mountain Cideries Win Statewide Awards

 
Congratulations to the South Mountain region's own Big Hill Ciderworks and Ploughman Cider, both of which took home PA Cider Guild awards at January's Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg. Big Hill taking home Best in Show (among other awards) and Ploughman had 2 first place selections. To see the full list of winners, click here

For more about the emerging cider industry in Adams County and the #SouthMountainLandscape:
 
Authentic Adams County - Cider Makers
Authentic Adams County - Cider Makers



Thanks to South Mountain Partnership's Sponsors

 
New for 2019, the South Mountain Partnership accepted sponsors not only to help cover expenses of the 8th annual "Power of the Partnership" on February 1, but also to help sustain the partnership's work throughout 2019 and beyond.

We would like to thank the first of those visionary organizations, who sponsored the South Mountain Partnership at the "Nexus" level -
And while it may be too late for your organization to be recognized for sponsoring the 8th "Power of the Partnership," general partnership sponsorship opportunities will remain throughout 2019 and beyond, with varying levels of benefits and recognition. 
  • The "Nexus" level gets you 2 tickets to an upcoming SMP event, branding on all event handouts and publicity, and social media content
  • The "Michaux" level gets you 4 tickets to an upcoming SMP event, branding on all event handouts and publicity, recognition at all Speakers Series events, social media content, and your logo and website linked to our website
  • The "Spirit of South Mountain" level gets you 6 tickets to an upcoming SMP event, branding on all event handouts and publicity, recognition at all Speakers Series events, social media content, your logo and website linked to our website, and an article about your company in an upcoming newsletter
For information about these opportunities, please contact Katie Hess at khess@appalachiantrail.org or 717-258-5771.
 

Spring Partnership Meeting is Coming Soon
Photo courtesy of PALTA


We are hard at work selecting a date and location for the annual spring South Mountain Partnership meeting, which will take place in Adams County this April. Check our website in late February to find out additional details. We hope to see you there!


South Mountain Organizations Receive Grants to Enhance the Region
Photo courtesy of PA DCNR

Several organizations doing work in the South Mountain region competed for and won grants for land conservation and recreation from the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, including:
  • Quincy Township Municipal Park in Franklin County received $25,400 to acquire six acres to add to Quincy Township Municipal Park
  • Southampton Township in Franklin County received $500,000 as payment toward the acquisition of approximately 226 acres
  • Gettysburg Area Recreation Authority in Adams County received $25,000 for the rehabilitation of Gettysburg Recreational Park
  • South Middleton Township in Cumberland County received $366,500 for further development of Spring Meadows Park
  • The Appalachian Trail Conservancy received $165,000 to continue coordinating and funding activities of the South Mountain Partnership Conservation Landscape including the planning of a new Science Summit and development of a database of South Mountain research
  • The Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor, Inc. received $140,000 to coordinate and fund heritage area initiatives including management of the Lincoln Highway Experience, providing visitor services and special events, and developing a postcard series and auto audio tour
  • The Pennsylvania Land Trust Association received $99,563 to coordinate the 2019 Statewide Greenways & Trails Summit in Shippensburg, 2019 Trail of the Year award, 2018 Trails Annual Report, and other trail educational support
To learn more about these and other grant awardees, visit  https://goo.gl/wF2Tpv.



November Trail Workshop a Huge Success!

On November 20, 2018, more than 100 people gathered at Shippensburg University to learn about hiking and biking trail design and maintenance, how to garner support for new trails, how to motivate volunteers, and so much more. Attendees and presenters came from across the South Mountain region and beyond, and represented a wide variety of organizations such as municipal and state governments, trail-related nonprofits, design and engineering firms, and retirees who love working on trails - to name but a few.

If you weren't able to join us but would like to view the presentations and some handouts from the day, click here.

This workshop was part of a capacity grant from the Chesapeake Bay Funders Network, Chesapeake Bay Trust, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, US Environmental Protection Agency and the Chesapeake Bay Program to expand and enhance the work of the South Mountain Partnership. Sponsors included the Cumberland County Visitors Bureau, Volvo Construction Equipment, the PA Land Trust Association, and the Center for Land Use and Sustainability at Shippensburg U. Exhibitors included the PA Parks and Forests Foundation, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the PA Environmental Council, the Potomac Appalachian Trail Council, and the WC Group. Reception items were donated by Big Hill Cider, Appalachian Brewing Company, and Halbrendt Winery.

The event was planned in coordination with planning departments from Adams, Cumberland, Franklin and York counties, the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the PA Environmental Council, the Center for Land Use & Sustainability at Shippensburg University, and Capital RC&D.

Because of the great success of the event, we plan to organize a new trails workshop every 3 years or so... stay tuned for more details in 2020!


Submit session proposal ideas now 
2019 PA Greenways & Trails Summit Coming this Fall

September 22-24, 2019
Shippensburg University Conference Center

This 3-day statewide summit provides exceptional training and networking opportunities for those engaged in all aspects of trail and greenway work, including planning and economic professionals; trail and conservation staff, board and volunteers; park professionals; local, county, and state government officials; consultants and builders; and trail enthusiasts. 

We encourage local individuals, organizations, and businesses to submit session proposal ideas now! The deadline is February 25th.

Summit organizers are looking for the following:
The summit will offer dozens of educational sessions, 5-7 mobile seminars, keynote presentations, discussion panels, and various networking opportunities. More details are available here.

The summit is presented by the Pennsylvania Land Trust Association with generous support from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources


I-81 Expansion Proposed
                  Photo courtesy of PennDOT

Since the fall of 2018, efforts have been relaunched in Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New York for widening all of Interstate 81. Safety upgrades are clearly neccesary to immediately improve safety "hot spots" through focused and small scale project. However, when discussing widening the entire I-81 corridor outside of these safety hot spots, there has been very little, if any, discussion about how long traffic conjestion benefits will last due to  induced demand, financial planning for a  sustained maintenance fund, or environmental and quality of life degredation  related to livability, multi-modal transportation alternatives, climate changemitigation of greehouse gas emissions, air quality, or  stormwater management, as well as additional environmental mitigation.

"At a recent meeting organized by the Carlisle Area Chamber of Commerce, public officials and business leaders met to discuss the proposed widening of Interstate 81 from Maryland to I-78 in Pennsylvania and where the nearly $3 billion price tag will come from. Ever since PennDOT completed a traffic study of congestion and accident issues on I-81 in 2005, the widening project has been discussed, but little action has taken place.

'We need to get past the studies and on to action,' said Kirk Stoner, Cumberland County's planning director. 'We need to get organized now. We can't let that apathy set in again.'

Pennsylvania could look to other states for ideas. For instance, Virginia is seeking to do $2.2 billion worth of work to its stretch of I-81 over the next 7 to 10 years.  Last month, the Virginia Commonwealth Transportation Board issued an update to its I-81 improvement plan which includes possible numbers on how to pay for the work."

To read the full article from The Sentinel, click here. Opportunities to participate in this planning process and/or provide your perspective in these discussions are available! Consider joining a work group. Find out more by contacting the Carlisle Area Chamber of Commerce at 717-243-4515, the Cumberland County Planning Office at 717-240-5362, and/or the Franklin County Planning Office at 717-261-3855.

Context:

Trainings, Workshops, & Learning Opportunities
Send us your training, educational, and volunteer events to add to the calendar!

February

February 1 - Chambersburg
8th Annual Power of the Partnership
The Power of the Partnership is the South Mountain Partnership's yearly celebration of what makes the South Mountain region so special. Anyone involved in making the South Mountain region a better place to live, work, and play is welcome to attend this morning meeting from 7:30 to 10:30 am at the Franklin County Visitors Center. Registration is now closed, but we hope to see you next year!

February 2 - Carlisle
4th Annual Seed Swap
Experienced gardeners, newbie gardeners, and wanna-be gardeners, young and old are all welcome to come swap garden supplies. This is a give and get kind of event where local gardeners bring extra seeds and supplies to share and take home seeds and supplies brought by other local gardeners. More details here.

February 2 - Chambersburg
Community Garden Workshop
If you're a new or seasoned gardener and want to learn from others who are getting their hands dirty attend this free workshop in the Wilson College Allen Auditorium from 10 am to noon. Registration by January 25 is required. More details here.

February 3 - Chambersburg
Mountain Bikers of Michaux Annual Meeting
Meet with fellow mountain biking enthusiasts at GearHouse Brewing Company from noon to 3 pm for this annual gathering. More details here.

February 15 - Statewide
Deadline Extended for Youth Conservation Ambassador Applications
The  Wildlife Leadership Academy in Union County has opened its exclusive Youth Conservation Ambassador nomination process to the public and is currently seeking referrals of motivated students ages 14 to 17 to become Certified Conservation Ambassadors Nominated students should have demonstrated interest in wildlife and/or fisheries conservation. More details here.

February 19 - Carlisle
Reconnecting the Histories of our Communities
Various local storytelling experts will explore how we remember, record and tell the story of our community and the ways stories can be used to strengthen a community and reconcile past narratives. This free event takes place at 6:30 pm in the Stern Center Great Room at Dickinson College. More details here

February 25 - Statewide
Deadline for Proposals for 2019 Statewide Greenways and Trails Summit
The Summit, which will be held September 22-24, 2019 at the Shippensburg Conference Center, will offer dozens of educational sessions, 5-7 mobile seminars, keynote presentations, discussion panels, and various networking opportunities. To be considered for one of those presenter spots, click  here .

February 24-25 - State College
Watershed Connections Conference
The  Pennsylvania Environmental Council  (PEC) and the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers (POWR) invite you to network with colleagues, learn how to strengthen your local organizations, and discover new and emerging resources at the 2019 PA Statewide Conference for Watershed Organizations. Full details for potential presenters, sponsors, and attendees can be found here.

March

March 16 - Gettysburg
How Watershed Groups Can Work with Municipalities Workshop
When watershed groups work collaboratively with their local municipalities, the impact of these partnerships magnifies the results and ensures longevity of the projects. This free workshop from 9:00 am to noon at the Adams County Conservation District Office is open to members of watershed groups in Adams, Franklin, and York counties, as well as staff from municipalities in those counties.   For more information and to register, click here.

March 16 - Gardners
Creating the Appalachian Trail in the South
Join Tom Johnson of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club at the Pine Grove Furnace Ironmasters House at noon to learn how a small group of enthusiasts created the Appalachian Trail in just a few years. During this free presentation you will "meet" this remarkable group and follow them as they lay out a new trail in the South.

March 23 - Biglerville
Barn Survey Volunteer Training
Barn Preservation Specialist David Maclay will talk about various facets of barn preservation for both novice and seasoned surveyors alike, then participants will venture into the field to document local barns in a hands-on, fun-filled exploration. Participation is free of charge and includes breakfast, but advance registration is required by March 20 by contacting David Maclay at 717-677-4000 or

April

April 16 - Carlisle
Charcoal Hearths, Collier Huts and Haul Roads
Andre Weltman, chairman of the Friends of Pine Grove Furnace State Park, will discuss the connection between the 19th century charcoal iron industry and today's South Mountain landscape. This free presentation will take place in the Anita Tuvin Schlechter (ATS) Auditorium at Dickinson College at 7 pm.

Please contact us anytime to add additional training opportunities to this list!  
E mail: khess@appalachiantrail.org


                                                           
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Do you have news to share with the South Mountain Region?  We welcome you to submit announcements and updates of projects and events that are strengthening our quality of life.  

Include an image and brief description of the event or call to action (approximately 3 sentences). 

CALL TO ACTION   Looking for ways to get involved in the South Mountain community? The following organizations and events are looking for volunteers:

Appalachian Trail Museum
contact: atmuseumfriends@gmail.com

Cumberland Valley Rail Trail 
contact: info@cvrtc.org, 717-860-0444

Friends of Pine Grove State Furnace Park
contact: 717-486-7174

Friends of Caledonia State Park
contact: 717-352-2161

Three Creek Century Bike Race
Marilyn Chastek at 717-798-4537

LeTort Stream Studies Field Program
contact: Holly Smith at  hsmith@audubon.org , or call  (717) 514-4607
Patomac Appalachian Trail Club
Trail Overseers (contact  www.patc.net/helpwanted , Heidi@patc.net,  or 703.242.0315 x107), Corridor Monitors (send email to corridor@patc.net), Tract Managers (contact LandsSupervisor@patc.net), Co-editor of Potomac Appalachian (contact pa@patc.net)

South Mountain Partnership

PA Parks & Forest Foundation



South Mountain Partnership | Appalachian Trail Conservancy | 717-258-5771 | khess@appalachiantrail.org  | http://southmountainpartnership.org/
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