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

2017 Round of South Mountain Mini-Grant Program Opens April 1
The South Mountain Partnership's Mini-Grant Program catalyzes on-the-ground projects that help our region to complete projects that:
  • Protect and promote Landscape Resources, 
  • Integrate thinking and approaches across disciplines and geographic locations,
  • Build and strengthen collaboration amongst partners across the South Mountain landscape.  

Our Program provides funding, on a competitive basis, to projects that sustain the South Mountain landscape's sense of place by protecting and promoting the region's Landscape Resources.

Projects funded in 2016 include the following. Visit our Mini-Grants page to learn more!
  1. Predictive Model for historic and prehistoric cultural resources;
  2. Visualizing regional investments: A GIS story map;
  3.  South Mountain Landowner Outreach Initiative;
  4.  Corker Hill Adaptive Reuse Feasibility Study;
  5.  Baltimore Street Economic Revitalization Project Master Plan;
  6.  South Central PA Harvest Hub;
  7.  Reforesting Adams County Streams

Have an idea? Please call South Mountain Partnership to discuss your project. 


Y ou can download the application after April 1- 
make your project idea a reality!

"Spirit of South Mountain" Award goes to 
Local Graffiti & Trash Removal project
What it is: The annual Spirit of South Mountain award recognizes exemplary projects and organizations that significantly and positively impact the South Mountain region by contributing to its sense of place through promoting or conserving its natural and cultural resources. This annual award celebrates the collaborative spirit that is so central to the Partnership's work. 

Who won & why:  PA Parks and Forest Foundation established the Stewards of Penns Woods volunteer initiative in 2016 and used it to launch an Anti-Graffiti Campaign. PPFF sprang into action to help clean-up trash and graffiti covering approximately 6,500 square feet of the Hammonds Rocks, one of the best vista sites in the forest, and other boulder outcroppings and vistas in Michaux State Forest. Thanks to PPFF and Partners, this land that should be contributing to us all - through clean water, scenic views, wildlife habitat, recreational opportunity, and a thriving recreation tourism economy - is on the mend.

PPFF worked with over 38 volunteers to remove the graffiti, collect 80 bags of trash, 18 tires, 2 televisions, 3 fire rings, one swing set, and a crock pot! Broken glass was removed with the help of an industrial vacuum. Volunteers came from Friends of Pine Grove Furnace State Park, Michaux Forestry Association, Shippensburg University, Mt. Holly Township, Yellow Breeches Educational Center, plus many other individuals. Thank you all for your hard work!

In addition, PPFF held a Plein Air Day for artists to capture the beauty of Hammonds Rocks and Michaux State Forest and has also launched a student poster and video making contest to educate and inspire people to be stewards of our public lands and raise awareness of the negative impact that graffit has on our natural world.
This ability to work collaboratively with stakeholders throughout the South Mountain landscape region to achieve these measurable outcomes that advance the stewardship of our public parks and forest is why we are thrilled to present the Pennsylvania Parks and Forest Foundation with the 2016 "Spirit of South Mountain" award.

2017 Goddard Leadership Legacy Institute
for Youth Ages 13 to 15 -  Apply Now

Central Pennsylvania Conservancy has announced The Goddard Leadership Legacy Institute (GLLI), an innovative residential leadership and conservation program being offered this summer from  July 10-15, 2017 for ages 13-15. This program provides children with opportunities to become immersed in the natural, scenic, historic, agricultural, and recreational resources of the South Mountain Landscape while learning key lessons in leadership and citizenship.

Help them to recruit! Do you know a student who possesses a strong interest in nature, community problem solving, environmental careers, or outdoor recreation? Encourage them to apply at:    GLLI Online Student Application

Do you know a teacher who educates students in the science, environmental, or ecology fields?  Ask them to nominate deserving students at:  GLLI Teacher Nomination Form

More program information:


From South Mountain to Your Glass
Preserving and Improving Our Water Supply
Make plans to attend the first Speakers Series of the year at Penn State Mont Alto. Learn valuable updates on the South Mountain watershed from those researching and doing work on South Mountain and within Michaux State Forest.

When: April 20,  Program starts at 7:00pm
*Please feel free to join us from 5:30 to 6:45pm for a Pre-Lecture Reception with light hors d'oeuvres and drinks (compliments of our event sponsors!) at the Heritage Room in the Mill Cafe (just a five minute walk from the General Studies Auditorium). Those wishing to eat a more substantial dinner beforehand can also purchase dinners/drinks at the Mill Cafe (good food) and carry it to the Heritage Room just ten steps from the Cafe check out line.

South Mountain Woodland Owners Workshop
Photo_ Central Pennsylvania Conservancy
Photo: Central Pennsylvania Conservancy

Are  you a landowner concerned about how the next generation will care for your woodlands? Are you unclear about how to plan for future protection and forest stewardship? If so, please join us to hear speakers from Penn State University's Center for Private Forests, American Society of Foresters, and Central PA Conservancy address these questions for you. 

This workshop will present some of the challenges of forest succession planning and opportunities to help you achieve that goal -- from starting the family discussion about the future of your forest, to reducing unintended consequences through estate conservation and financial planning, and ensuring the desired future of your forest.

Coordinated by the Central Pennsylvania Conservancy

Traditional Trades Youth Initiative - Paid Internships
Photo_ HPTC
Photo: HPTC

The National Park Service and Historic Preservation Training Center (HPTC) are seeking eight [paid] interns (Stewards) to participate in the new Traditional Trades Youth Initiative, learning trades such as Architecture, Carpentry, Masonry, and/or Woodcrafting. Stewards will receive introductory skills training in a variety of traditional trades. The preservation, construction, and maintenance skills that Stewards develop throughout this Initiative will provide excellent exposure to the National Park Service, the preservation career field, as well as historic resource stewardship in general. Individuals of Hispanic/Latino descent are strongly encouraged to apply.
Following a 2-4 week training period, Stewards will join crews of HPTC craftspeople working on preservation projects throughout the country. Members will be assigned to an HPTC trade (Architecture, Carpentry, Masonry, or Woodcrafting) at rotating intervals in order to engage in a well-rounded experience throughout participation. Throughout the duration of their rotations, Stewards will work closely alongside experienced craftspeople, serving as assistants and/or apprentice level trade workers. Projects locations may include: the home of Franklin D Roosevelt, Gettysburg National Military Park, Antietam National Battlefield, Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, and the White House in Washington DC.

Additional News 
Pennsylvania's southcentral counties continue population growth into the second half of the decade 

Bike Lanes May Be the Most Cost-Effective Way to Improve Public Health

Trainings, Workshops, & Learning Opportunities

April 7 - Dauphin County
Safe Climate PA event 
Register Now to join college and university students, faculty and staff from across Pennsylvania at the Safe Climate PA event to learn about climate change, carbon pricing policies and engaging with elected officials to make your voice heard. The event will feature speakers, workshops, a screening of "Priceless" from Years of Living Dangerously, training on public advocacy and breakout sessions to meet with and strategize with others from your voting district. Pennsylvania Green Schools is co-sponsoring a statewide event to engage campuses and communities in advocating for responsible climate policies. The event is targeted to college students, but the public is welcome to attend as well. Learn more and Register here.   

April 13 - Franklin County
Woods in Your Backyard
Dr. James Finley, Penn State University. Finley will discuss how small differences in practices of landowners can make a big difference in overall forest health. Where: Franklin County Ag Heritage Building, 185 Franklin Farm Lane, Chambersburg, PA 17202. When: Saturday, April 1, 2017 from 9:00am to 4:00pm.

April 15 - Michaux State Forest
Hammonds Rocks Plein Air & Geology Day
Geology Day: 10:00am - 12:30pm - 
Join for a geology walk and historical interpretation. Stations for hands on learning will be set up, including a water table, samples of rocks and minerals, and a microscope. 
At the conclusion of "Geology Day," please feel free to stay at the Rocks for a  Plein Air Art in the Outdoors event.

Plein Air: 1:00pm - 3:00pm -  All are invited to bring easels, paints, and canvas to capture the beauty at Hammonds Rocks. Feel free to come by and observe the artists or bring a camera and take photographs. PPFF staff will be on hand to talk about the stewardship of Hammonds Rocks. To register or for more information and directions to the site, contact Amanda Trimmer at atrimmer@paparksandforests .org

April 28 - Franklin County
Spring Partnership Meeting
Mark you calendars: the South Mountain Partnership's Spring Partnership Meeting will take place in April. This meeting brings together the entire partner base and other interested parties to keep all informed of upcoming Partnership activities and to provide partners a chance to help inform the future activities of the Partnership. Franklin County projects will be highlighted - see the agenda and register here.

May 1-3 - Pittsburgh
Main Street Now! Conference
The Main Street Now Conference is a one-of-a-kind event, providing attendees with an opportunity to convene and learn about the innovative methods and practices that make the Main Street Approach® one of the most powerful economic development tools in the nation. Whether you hail from an urban business district, small rural downtown, or some place in between, you will find real solutions to common problems and techniques to help position your Main Street Program and your community to thrive. More info and Register.

M ay 4 - Caledonia State Park, Franklin County
Project WET Educator Workshop 
The issue of water is expected to define the 21st century. Every day, the quality and quantity of water resources affect the health and well-being of the planet's nearly seven billion people.  Participants who attend this Workshop will receive the new Project WET Curriculum and Activity Guide, Generation 2.0 (revised in 2014) which is filled with hands-on, interdisciplinary lessons that make all facets of water education accessible to all. The workshop is open to formal and non-formal educators. Designed to complement existing curricula rather than displace or add more concepts, Project WET (Water  Education for Teachers) activities address Pennsylvania state and national education standards. 
For more information and to register, call 717-485-3948.

May 11 - Cumberland County
The Future of Rural Cumberland County
This public education forum will provide information and discussion about how communities can assist in achieving preservation of farmland and the rural character of rural Cumberland County. Hosted by the Cumberland Conservation Collaborative. Save the date - more information to come! To be held at Penn Township Fire Company on Thursday, May 11th, 5:30pm - 8:00pm.

May 12 - Cumberland County
Headwaters Tour: Walking Tour of Historic Watercress Farm Property 
Join South Mountain Partnership, Central PA Conservancy, and Cumberland County Historical Society for the second South Mountain Speakers Series of the year! 6:00pm at 985 South Spring Garden Street, Carlisle.

May 18 - Cumberland County
South Mountain Woodland Owner Workshop
Wondering how you might get on the right track in stewarding your woodlands and leaving a legacy of conservation through good estate planning practices? There are concrete steps that landowners should consider. Please join us to find out more from experts at Penn State Center for Private Forests, Society of American Foresters, and Central PA Conservancy. More information and Registration.

June 14 - 16 - Cumberland County
Statewide Conference on Heritage
Save the date for this year's Pennsylvania State Conference on Heritage, June 14,15,16 in Carlisle. Amazing local tours and sessions are planned for this year's Community Connections theme. Standby for the launch of the conference website and early bird registration.

June 30
PASA Request for Proposals Due
The Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) invites innovative, instructive, and enthusiastic presenters to share their knowledge of and expertise in the best practices and strategies to promote profitable farms in producing healthy food for all people while respecting the natural environment at the 27th Annual Farming for the Future Conference. Learn More. 

Please contact us anytime to add additional training opportunities to this list!  
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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? Consider contacting the following organizations:

Appalachian Trail Museum

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

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

LeTort Stream Studies Field Program
contact: Holly Smith at , or call  (717) 514-4607
This program promotes hands-on, stream-side (yes, outside!) investigative education.   Nearly 1,100 students participated in the field studies during the 2015-2016 academic year.
We are seeking interested organizations and/or individuals to support the program in several ways:
  • Riparian Partner: The stream studies program is dynamic and ever-expanding to incorporate richer field activities, using real-life situations, skills and technology.  Our general wish list includes:
    • Occasional funding for equipment, technology, Pa native plants, water chemistry kits/reagents, academic materials and other resources
    • Printing and/or laminating of field materials
    • Other logistical and financial support as needed

South Mountain Partnership
contact: Katie Hess at 717-258-5771

*Special need for individuals with event planning and management experience to help plan and coordinate the Annual "Power of the Partnership" Celebration that will be held in January 2018.  

PA Parks & Forest Foundation
South Mountain Partnership | Appalachian Trail Conservancy | 717-258-5771 |  |