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
All are Invited to Fall Meeting
Fall 2016 Partnership Meeting
Cameron/Masland Mansion  at Kings Gap Environmental Education Center
9:30 AM to 12:30 PM on  Friday, October 14 , 2016
Lunch following the meeting

Photo by Loy Eliot

Twice annually (Spring and Fall), the Partnership holds a Partnership-wide meeting in which all partners and interested parties are invited to come together and build relationships and collaborations. These meetings are a chance to:
  • Connect or reconnect with the Partnership, learning more about the initiative and on-going projects;
  • Build and strengthen a network amongst organizations working throughout the region;
  • Spark conversation and collaboration across political and sectorial boundaries;
  • Help partners understand opportunities to engage in the on-going work of the Partnership;
  • and allow partners to help define the direction of the Partnership.

We are in the News!
We already know that the great work of our Partners to highlight, conserve, and preserve the region's Landscape Resources is making a difference - you probably do too! Other conservation organizations and professionals are noticing too:

Capacity Building Initiative Gaining Momentum
The South Mountain Collaborative came together again on August 26th and September 8th to finalize a Work Plan and Goals for accomplishing projects that will preserve and improve the quality of life within the South Mountain landscape.  
Mike Eschenmann of DCNR(left), enjoys the August 26th meeting, held at Partnership  for Better 
Health, with  Collaborative members Janet Pollard of Franklin County Visitors Bureau (center) and Shireen Farr of 
Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau/Cumberland Area Economic Development  Corporation (right).

Work Plan Vision:  The South Mountain region will offer residents a healthy, sustainable economy and a clean environment for them to enjoy ample career and recreational opportunities. Building on local assets and in harmony with the local environment, the region will engender pride of place among locals and visitors alike.

Work Plan Goals:

  • Goal #1: Provide strategic direction to the South Mountain Partnership;
  • Goal #2: Further sustainable economic health in the South Mountain region;
  • Goal #3: Further public health to ensure the wellbeing of individuals and the South Mountain landscape;
  • Goal #4: Further environmental health in the South Moumtain region (focus on water quality)

One region-wide collaborative project and several individual organization project proposals, each focused on furthering the Work Plan of the collaborative, will be submitted by September 23rd. The Workplan will remain a flexible and evolving document that will guide the work of the collaborative.

Below is a list of current members of the South Mountain Collaborative, part of the Chesapeake Bay Funders Network Capacity Building Initiative. As work progresses, more collaborators are likely to join. 
  • Adams County Planning Department
  • Audubon Pennsylvania
  • Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau/Cumberland Area Economic Development
  • Capital Resource Conservation & Development
  • Cumberland County Planning Department
  • Franklin County Planning Department
  • Franklin County Visitors Bureau
  • Partnership For Better Health
  • Center for Land Use & Sustainability, Shippensburg University
  • York County Planning Commission


York County Wins Statewide Award for Plan to Preserve Cultural Landscape Resources
York County won the 2016 Preservation Planning Award for the York County Heritage Preservation Plan. The addition of this historic preservation component to the county's Comprehensive Plan was approved in August 2016. 

Presented each fall by Preservation Pennsylvania, the 37th annual Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Awards recognize significant contributions in the field of cultural/historical resource  preservation made by both individuals and organizations. Recognition encompasses the categories of preservation initiatives, construction and archaeology projects. 

The Plan "sets goals for heritage preservation in the County, provides an account of the historical development of York County, assesses existing preservation planning efforts and data sources, creates an evaluation process to aid in decision-making with regard to heritage resources, offers a variety of tools and resources for those interested in preservation, and sets out strategies and action items to help attain the goals of the Plan. The Heritage Preservation Plan is an element of the County Comprehensive Plan" (York County).

York Dispatch wrote:

Senior planner Amy Evans presented an outline of the plan at the commissioners' meeting, saying the addition would work to help better preserve York County's heritage.

"York County is a unique place," she said. "We have things here you can't find anywhere else."

She told The York Dispatch this change is more generally than specifically directive, as it's not the county's job to preserve individual historical properties.

"Local municipalities really are the ones" with the ability to deal directly with historical preservation, she said.

But the county can help and coordinate without spending more money, she said, and that's what this change is supposed to move toward. This plan is meant to position the county to provide better technical assistance and support.

The plan lays out an assessment method for any projects for which people or municipalities are seeking county support. The analysis focuses on historical significance, quality of life and community considerations, feasibility, economic considerations and planning principles.

The county would also draw up model language municipalities could adopt, should they wish to implement an ordinance relating to historic preservation.

A volunteer board that formed the steering committee for this plan will now become the oversight committee for its implementation, Evans said.

The three commissioners adopted the plan with little discussion, other than President Commissioner Susan Byrnes commending the county planning commission on putting it together.

"York County really does care about history," she said.

(August 18, 2016  - by Sean Cotter)

Congratulations, York County!

Next South Mountain Speakers Series  Scheduled for October 6th
Join us for the next Speakers Series event on October 6th at Shippensburg University. The birth of the modern conservation and environmental movements can trace their roots to Pennsylvania - and right to the the South Mountain Region, in many cases. From Gifford Pinchot to Rachel Carson, Pennsylvanians' passion for protecting the land, water and air arose from conflict - industrialization and destruction of natural resources. In many cases, ordinary people did extraordinary things. They were people who had fallen in love with Pennsylvania's resources and were willing to devote their lives to creating and preserving resources that we enjoy today (WITF). 

The Mira Lloyd Dock documentary, a collaboration between WITF and the Pennsylvania Conservation Heritage Project, will be screened on opening day of The Pennsylvania Historical Association Annual Meeting. This year's theme is "Technology, Business and the Environment."   

In 1901, this botanist, forester and preservationist was appointed to the state Forest Reservation Commission. She was the first woman ever in the state appointed to a governmental position at a time before women could even vote. During her 12 years of service on the commission, one million acres of forest became reserves. It was through the new school of forestry at Mont Alto that Dock had her greatest influence on forestry. From its first year in 1903 until it was subsumed by the Pennsylvania State College in 1929, she was the professor of botany (WITF).  


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.

Do you have an idea for a Speakers Series topic?  Tell us - here!

Local Sustainability Film Festival 
Join us for the Sustainability Outdoor Film Festival from September 19-22! Sponsors include the  South Mountain Partnership  and  Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation ! Sign up for the Outdoor Nation Challenge under Shippensburg University and submit this activity  to win prizes and support  Shippensburg University.

"Students and faculty in Shippensburg University's Department of Geography/Earth Science are challenging each other, their friends and colleagues, alumni and local residents to get outside - and maybe win some prizes - in the 2016 Outdoor Nation Campus Challenge beginning Sept. 4.

SU is one of 88 colleges and universities across the country that are participating in the third annual challenge, an initiative of the non-profit Outdoor Foundation. The foundation calls the six-week event "Mother Nature meets March Madness," aimed at "fighting the growing inactivity crisis in America among youth by helping connect them to the outdoors in fun and personal ways."

Mack Hawkins, a junior biology major at SU and president of the GESO (Geography & Earth Science Organization) on campus, said he is joining the challenge "because I feel it is important to encourage people to explore the outdoors, so they develop a keen understanding of the world around them and learn to appreciate and protect it through stewardship."

The challenge runs from Sept. 4 to Oct. 15. Participants register and submit their outdoor activities online, through either the challenge website or app, to accumulate points for prizes. Eligible activities are nature based, meaning that being outdoors is the focus, and last at least 30 minutes.

"Do you run? Hike? Bike? Backpack? Kayak? Garden? Camp?" asked Dr. Sean Cornell, associate professor of geography/earth science. "Your health wins every day you take time to get outside. If you participate in the challenge and share your photos, you could win some nice prizes, too." ( Read More)

Last Call - Survey Ending 
In order to create a statewide preservation plan that is helpful for you and your  community , we need to know what you value about your community , its challenges, and how you feel about historic preservation in Pennsylvania.

Let your voice - the voice of the South Mountain region - be heard by taking the quick survey!

For more information about the PA SHPO, historic preservation in Pennsylvania, and the statewide preservation plan, please visit
Trainings, Workshops, & Learning Opportunities
September 22 - Harrisburg
Dive Deeper III: Youth Water Educators Summit
Anyone from across the Mid-Atlantic region who is interested in teaching youth and adults about water should attend this biennial multi-state environmental education summit.Presentations and exhibits feature innovative teaching strategies, new technology tools, new lesson plans and  curriculum, and updated information about water issues in our communities

October 16-18 Allentown
PA Chapter Conference, American Planning Association
Join planners from across the Commonwealth for sessions, tours, and exhibits about planning issues and projects. More info here.

October 14 King's Gap State Park
Fall Meeting of the South Mountain Partnership
Join South Mountain Partnership for their Fall Meeting at the Cameron/Masland Mansion at Kings Gap Environmental & Education Center. More info here.

November 15-18  -  Houston, Texas
Past Forward, The National Preservation Conference
PastForward is the premier educational and networking event for historic preservation professionals, volunteer leaders, and advocates. Expert practitioners lead learning labs and field studies, all designed to provide tools that participants can use to improve their own communities. Preservation Studio offers attendees the chance to explore exhibits, see live demonstrations and watch films. In addition, the live streaming TrustLive engages new audiences as they explore preservation through new lenses. More info here.

November 15 - Hustontown, PA
Specialty Crop Tour for Young Growers
Hosted by the Young Grower Alliance. Tuscarora Growers Coop was founded in 1988 when three growers banded together to help manage the demands for prduce they received at the Baltimore and DC markets. Today it is a three million dollar business, owned and managed exclusively by its members. Participants will discuss daily operations of a food hub, see multi storage coolers and docking facilities, fall production in high tunnels, and review the 2016 season's Extension practices. Register here.

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

Audubon LeTort Stream Studies Program
contact: Holly Smith, 717-514-4607

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

*Special need to help make the Pine Grove Furnace Fest successful and fun for everyone! The fest is their largest fundraiser with all proceeds directly benefitting Pine Grove Furnace State Park. Volunteers get a t-shirt! When: October 15-16, 2016; Volunteers can serve 2 or 4 hour shifts, 1/2 day, or full day. between 10:00am and 7:00pm on the 15th and between 11:00am and 6:00pm on the 16th. Volunteers are needed for activities that include entrance greeters, scarecrow making, pumpkin carving, candle dipping, hayrides, pedal cars, information booth, park craft activity. Contact: Diane Velozo or Leisa Craver at 410-437-5187 or

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

South Mountain Partnership
contact: Katie 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 2017.  

Get Involved through the PA Parks & Forest Foundation
South Mountain Partnership | Appalachian Trail Conservancy | 717-609-4581 |  |