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
Register Now for Trails Workshop

Learn how you can effectively work with landowners, municipalities, and others to build better bike and pedestrian trails that connect communities, enhance economic development, and improve quality of life. This day-long workshop is intended for anyone who wants to fund, design, construct and/or maintain trails.

Workshop topics to include:
  • Building Municipal and Community Support for Trails
  • Designing Trails for Local Needs
  • Bike Friendly Communities Panel
  • How to Work with PennDOT
  • And many more!
The cost of the workshop is $10. Register early as there are less than 100 tickets available. 

Submit Your Event
for 2019 South Mountain Speakers Series 

Should your event be a part of the 10th annual South Mountain Speakers Series?

We are planning the 2019 season of the South Mountain Partnership Speakers Series and would love to discuss adding your event. If your proposed event is chosen, South Mountain Partnership will  support it with a marketing and communications support including listing on the website, social media, newsletter, press release, and distribution to our network throughout Adams, Cumberland, Franklin, and York counties. Eligible events include: workshops; educational hikes; lectures; tours; and other similar events that take place within the region and highlight the promotion and/or preservation of South Mountain Landscape Resources (Agricultural, Cultural/Historical, Natural, Recreational)

The South Mountain Speakers Series is an annual lecture series hosted by the South Mountain Partnership that is free and open to the public. Four t0 six events held throughout 2019 will highlight distinct topics or challenges, such that over the course of the year, the Series speaks to a diversity of topics central to the Partnership's mission and goals, and provides a vehicle for educating the general public on relevant local issues. 

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 19thcentury 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.

If you are interested in potentially adding your existing event to the 2019 Speakers Series, please send the following information before October 30: 
  • Event name
  • Event description (a few sentences about what will happen at the event)
  • Date 
  • Location
Email the above information to Jessica Aiello (, who is helping plan the 2019 South Mountain Speaker Series. 

Learn more about the South Mountain Speakers Series here.

Several Speakers Series Events Are Coming Soon

The final 2 Speakers Series events of 2018 will take place in late September and early October. We hope you can join us for one or more of the following:
  • The Cradle of Conservation: Hike at 
    Historic Pennsylvania State Forest Academy - Saturday, September 29 at 10 AM at Penn State Mont Alto Campus.

Take a hike through the 2nd Forestry Academy in the United States and learn more about where American forestry began. 





  • The Economic Value of Protected
    Open Space: Cumberland County's Return on Environment Report - Tuesday, October 2 at 6:30 PM at the Allen Road Service Building (310 Allen Road, Carlisle). Free registration is required here.

Learn how Cumberland County has quantified the value of services provided by the natural environment. 

Public Input Sought for Michaux State Forest Resource Management Plan

Michaux State Forest encompasses more than 85,500 acres in the South Mountain area of Cumberland, Franklin, and Adams counties. Michaux is considered the "cradle of forestry" because it is home to the first forestry school, Mont Alto.

The PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Bureau of Forestry, which oversees all 20 state forest districts across the commonwealth, is in the process of revising the Michaux State Forest Resource Management Plan (SFRMP). A district-level state forest management plan is written for each forest district. 

Some of the plan's goals include:
  • Diversifying the forest through annual timber harvesting, prescribed burning, and restoration work
  • Managing threatened and ecologically significant wild plant populations
  • Engaging trail users to design, build, and sustain a world-class shared-use trail system
  • And much more
Citizens may view the full version of the draft plan hereDCNR welcomes public input on the plan. They do this through public meetings - the most recent of which took place August 2 - and an online survey that you can take here. Questions and comments may also be directed to forest district staff at or 717-352-2211.

Scholarships and Awards Available This Fall
Photo courtesy of NEEF

The following funding, scholarship, and award opportunities are available for National Trails System partners:
    • The National Environmental Education Foundation, with funding support from Toyota, is offering $100,000 in mini-grants to support restoration and/or resilience-focused volunteer events on public lands. More info here.
    • Scholarships for the 2019 International Trails Symposium and Training Institute will bring 16 young adults, ages 21-28, to Syracuse, NY from April 28-May 1, 2019. More info here.
    • Presented by American Trails for the 2019 International Trails Symposium. Except for Hulet Hornbeck Lifetime Service Awards, all efforts eligible for recognition must have occurred between August 1, 2016-August 31, 2018. More info here.

The Chesapeake Bay Program has released a "Quick Reference Guide for Best Management Practices," which distills information about the Bay Program's hundreds of approved best management practices (BMPs) into fact sheets for farmers, landowners, planners, resource managers and conservation districts.
This BMP guide not only gives basic information about each of the Chesapeake Bay Program-approved BMPs, but also explains how the six Bay states can receive credit for them in the Bay Program's Watershed Model.  To download a copy of the guide, click here.

New National Trails Teaching Guide Available
The U.S. Department of Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) published a middle school teaching guide about the national trails titled "America's Scenic and Historic Trails on Public Lands: The Intersection of Cultures, Heritage, and Outdoor Recreation." 

This product provides teachers with three activities to trace historic trails and explore conflict and collaboration between emigrants and American Indians. To view the guide, click here.
Guide to Maintaining Community Streams Now Available
The PA Department of Environmental Protection released a new resource for understanding the permit and notification requirements affecting those wishing to work in or adjacent to streams impacted by flooding called, "Guidelines for Maintaining Streams in Your Community."
The guide is a first step in determining what regulatory requirements may apply before beginning a project. It contains a "green, yellow, and red light" list of potential stream activities to indicate whether permits are likely to be required, and additional sections titled "Good Rules of Thumb" and "Myth vs. Reality."

To download a copy of the guide, click here.
Trainings, Workshops, & Learning Opportunities
September 18 - Online
Working with Rural Landowners on Voluntary Conservation Webinar
Through survey and focus group results, the project discussed during this free webinar provides new insights to help staff at soil conservation districts, land trusts, and other agency and NGO partners build and refine their outreach skills. Findings from this research will also inform training workshops to be delivered later this fall in several watershed locations. More info here.

September 21-23 - York County (various locations)
Watershed Weekends
This is the 16th year for this set of activities across York County. Participate in a stream study, paw paw festival, fishing day, critter hike, and more. More info here.

September 22-27 - Buffalo, NY
Association for Preservation Technology (APT) Annual Conference
Preservationists, planners, crafts-people, architects, engineers, and educators will gather to discuss cutting-edge approaches to renewing and preserving our heritage places and share ideas and best practices through paper sessions and keynote presentations. More info here.

September 22 - Shippensburg
Franklin Fall Farm Fun Fest
Join the Franklin County Farm Bureau at Musser Farm for this family-friendly annual event to see modern agriculture in action. More info here.

September 26-28 - Mt Vernon, VA
Historic Property Management
Historic property management combines preservation maintenance with modern systems management. Learn how to read your building, search for solutions, and then care for the building envelope by maintaining its historic materials. Explore how to balance the environmental needs of the building with its users. More info here.

September 27 - King's Gap State Park
Fall Meeting of the South Mountain Partnership
Join the South Mountain Partnership for their Fall Meeting at the Cameron/Masland Mansion at Kings Gap Environmental & Education Center.  More info here .

September 27 - Harrisburg, PA
2018 Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Awards
Pennsylvania's Historic Preservation Awards continue a tradition started in 1979 to honor excellence in preservation. The annual awards recognize significant contributions in the field of historic preservation made by both individuals and organizations. More info here.

September 27-28, 2018 - Nashville, TN
2018 Historic Tax Credit Conference
The agenda includes topics that focus on current issues and best practices in the historic preservation community, including the  latest developments from Washington,  updates on the equity investment market after tax cuts, and  how the new opportunity zone incentive can help historic preservation. More info here.

October 14-16 - Erie
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 18 - York
York County Parks 50th Anniversary Celebration
2018 marks the 50th anniversary for York County parks. The celebration culminates with a  catered meal, entertaining speaker (Richard Louv, author of "Last Child in the Woods"), silent auction, and more!  The cost is $50, which will help to build a new outdoor classroom at Nixon County Park. More info here.

October 22-25 - Vancouver, WA
National Trails System Conference
Join the Partnership for the National Trails System for this multi-day conference to learn about diversity and inclusion in the trail community, how to mobilize volunteers, and much more. More info here.

October 27 - Camden, NJ
Is it Cost Effective? The Economics of Historic Preservation
This workshop will introduce participants to the economic value of historic preservation and how to critically evaluate a potential project on its economic merits. Attendees will become familiar with the concepts, measures, and tools used by real estate investors to determine a project's economic viability and gain hands-on experience critically evaluating potential projects. More info here.

November 15 -  Harrisburg
Senator Alloway's Eighth Annual "Senator for a Day"
Junior and senior high school students, including private, charter, and homeschool students, in the 33rd Senatorial District are invited to register  through their school district for this educational event. More details are available at .

November 20 - Shippensburg University
South Mountain Partnership Trails Workshop: Building Strong Community Connections
Learn how you can effectively work with landowners, municipalities, and others to build better bike and pedestrian trails that connect communities, enhance economic development, and improve quality of life. This day-long workshop is intended for anyone who wants to fund, design, construct and/or maintain trails. More info 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

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

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

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