-Power of the Partnership Year-End Celebration
On January 27, 2017 over one hundred locals from the following professions gathered at the 6th Annual “Power of the Partnership” Year End Celebration held at The Lodges at Gettysburg to celebrate the success of 2016, to have fun and spend time together, and to participate in the awarding of the 2016 South Mountain Mini-Grants and the 2016 Spirit of South Mountain Award.
- Local government
Join your fellow regional advocates and leaders at the next “Power of the Partnership” in January 2018. Until then, keep scrolling to see how you can get involved now in your own backyard, and help to strengthen the ‘power’ of the Partnership in the place we all call ‘home’.
Profiles of Action: Partner Success Stories
The highly successful projects highlighted this year included:
- Economic Impact Assessment of the Historic South Mountain Fruitbelt / Bicky Redman, Adams County Planning and Development
- Heart & Soul Project / Lindsay Varner, Greater Carlisle Project & Cumberland County Historical Society
- Faces of the Food System & Pop-Up Museum / Heidi Witmer, L.E.A.F. Project
2016 Spirit of the South Mountain Award
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 collaborative spirit that is so central to the Partnership’s work. We were very pleased to again be able to present the award of a cutting board made from Pennsylvania hardwoods and crafted by a local artisan within the South Mountain landscape.
Who won & why: PA Parks and Forest Foundation established the Stewards of Penn’s Woods volunteer initiative in 2016 and used it to launch an Anti-Graffiti Campaign. PPFF sprang into action to clean-up trash and graffiti covering approximately 6,500 square feet of the Hammonds Rocks boulder outcropping and vista in Michaux State Forest – one of the best vista sites in the forest. (Graffiti and tagging is illegal and releases harmful chemicals into our air, soil, and water. In addition, it often attracts other negative behavior that creates an unsafe environment for visitors and destroys the natural beauty of the site for everyone.) Thanks to PPFF, 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.
In particular, the Foundation 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.
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 measureable 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.
About PPFF: The Pennsylvania Parks and Forest Foundation’s mission is to inspire the stewardship of Pennsylvania’s state parks and forests through public engagement through volunteerism, education, and recreation. PPFF began in 1999 as a statewide nonprofit organization to provide a voice for our state parks and 2.2 million acres of forest land. Through PPFF, citizens can become active and involved in the park and forest system, find fun and educational opportunities – most notably is that PPFF coordinates with chapters of friends groups throughout the state – this allows the groups to carry out projects on our public lands for the benefit of everyone.
2016/2017 South Mountain Mini-Grant Program Awards
The South Mountain Partnership Mini-Grant Program has been in place since 2009, and is administered on behalf of the Partnership by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. Over the past eight years, 45 projects have been funded – totaling just over $250,000 and leveraging over $607,000 in local matching funds. The program is funded through the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Community Conservation Partnerships Program, with the monies derived from the Environmental Stewardship Fund. The Partnership continues to seek opportunities to catalyze and support projects that preserve and promote the natural and cultural resources of the South Mountain region.
- $13,500 to the Center for Land Use and Sustainability at Shippensburg University, for developing a predictive model to locate historic and prehistoric cultural features in the Carbaugh Run Natural Area of Michaux State Forest
- $2,000 to the Center for Land Use and Sustainability at Shippensburg University, to create a GIS story map that illustrates the projects funded throughout the South Mountain Mini-Grant Program
- $5,200 to Central Pennsylvania Conservancy, to execute a forestland owner outreach project in Cumberland and Franklin counties that will target forming relationships with landowners adjacent to streams
- $14,000 to Greene Township, Franklin County, to fund an feasibility and adaptive reuse study for the historic Corker Hill property adjacent to the Green Township municipal park
- $5,000 to Main Street Gettysburg, for the Baltimore Street Economic Revitalization Project Master Plan that will help revitalize Baltimore Street and highlight opportunities for residents and visitors to experience more of Adams county and the South Mountain landscape region
- $7,000 to the South Central PA Harvest Hub (Northern York County School District), to support their farm to school Harvest Hub development project
- $3,000 to the Watershed Alliance of Adams County, to reforest three acres of riparian buffer along Adams County streams
Past Recipients of the “Spirit of South Mountain” Award
2015 – Franklin County & Greene Township for support of the Eagle Rock Project
2014 – Land Conservancy of Adams County, and
Conococheague Creek Trout Habitat Enhancement Project
2013 – not awarded
2012 – South Mountain Speakers Series Steering Committee
2011 – Middlesex Township and the Trindle Road A.T. Trailhead project