Photo by Loy Elliott

-Past Workshops

The South Mountain Summit

February 19th, 2010

The South Mountain Summit formally introduced the South Mountain Partnership as part of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Conservation Landscape Initiative. Held at the Mount Asbury Conference Center in Newville, the Summit brought together more than 130 individuals, representing partner organizations, local officials, community leaders and business owners to highlight:

  • Why the South Mountain region is critically important to the communities within and around it – and in particular, how the region’s unique natural and cultural assets undergird our economic vitality and quality of life.
  • How the South Mountain Partnership is emerging as an effort of a wide variety of organizations working together to preserve and promote the region’s assets and sense of place.
  • What opportunities exist for collaboration amongst organizations in defining the actions that will continue to support that conservation of the region’s natural and cultural resources and enhance the region’s economic vitality.
DCNR Acting Secretary John Quigley opened the session by describing DCNR’s Conservation Landscape Initiative: “With its fertile farmlands, clean waterways, renowned trout streams and vast woodlands, the more than 400,000-acre South Mountain region is truly blessed. This summit help[ed] leaders discover the natural and cultural assets of the region and learn why they are important to the local economy; learn about the partnership working to promote the region’s assets; and share their thoughts on what future actions will be crucial to the economic vitality of the region and its sense of place.” Click here to download the summit brochure.

Balancing Nature and Commerce

April 13-14th, 2010

The South Mountain Partnership partnered with The Conservation Fund to conduct a “Balancing Nature and Commerce” workshops for the South Mountain region. The Conservation Fund’s Balancing Nature and Commerce program has been refined over the last 15 years to help communities find solutions for both conservation and economic development goals. In addition to general national workshops on the topic, TCF offers place-based workshops to focus on creating economic, community character, natural resources and partnership-building solutions and action plans for tackling specific sustainable community challenges and opportunities. The two-day place-based South Mountain Balancing Nature and Commerce workshop was held at the Allenberry Resort Inn & Playhouse and brought together community leaders to explore significant issues facing communities and/or projects that are working to balance community and economic development with preserving the natural beauty and heritage in the South Mountain landscape. Session themes focused on how to advantage of natural, recreational and scenic assets to enhance local economies and maintain the heritage and character of communities. The South Mountain workshop was project-oriented and the Partnership asked required teams to submit applications to participate. Teams consisted of 4 to 8 individuals that were collaborating on a project related to a specific community, important agricultural resources, recreational areas, threatened natural or heritage resources, a travel corridor or some other unifying element. Through case studies, presentations, exercises and work sessions, each team developed a work plan to help guide implementation of the project or community revitalization effort. Eight teams were invited to participate in the South Mountain Balancing Nature and Commerce workshop:

  • The Battle of Monterey PassGoal: Preserving and interpreting an important but little-known Civil War site in Washington Township, Franklin County.
  • Enhancing Trail Opportunities in South MountainGoal: Partnering with Michaux State Forest, volunteers, and others to improve the region’s trail network.
  • The Village of Boiling Springs Goal: Enhancing the village as a destination and as a wonderful community to live by enhancing and promoting the community’s natural and cultural assets.
  • Adams County Fruit BeltGoal: Maintaining economic viability of local orchards and farms in Adams County through promotion of the South Mountain Fruit Belt and collaboration with the business and environmental community.
  • Cumberland County Partners for Excellence in AgricultureGoal: Continue to highlight agriculture as a major driver of economic development within the county and to maintain a competitive position for the county’s agricultural products in the global economy.
  • The Annual South Mountain Hike-Bike FestivalGoal: Develop an annual festival that will serve to enhance and link import economic, recreational, cultural, and natural assets throughout the South Mountain landscape.
  • Camp MichauxGoal: To convene stakeholders in collaboration around promoting, preserving, and interpreting an important historic site with the Michaux State Forest that served as both a CCC camp and as a secret World War II P.O.W. interrogation camp.
  • Cumberland Valley Rail Trail Goal: Develop a formalized action plan to extend the rail tail north into Carlisle from its current Newville terminus.
Click here to download the Balancing Nature and Commerce brochure.

South Mountain Regional Trail Summit

November 3, 2010

The South Mountain Trail Summit convened a focused conversation on greenways and trails in the South Mountain landscape. Held in Carlisle, PA and drawing more than 120 participants, the summit was designed to engage, educate, and solicit support on efforts to advance the quality and connectivity of current and proposed trails. Following a “state of trails” overview of trails within the South Mountain region, the Summit highlighted the demonstrable benefit of trails to communities, explained the nuts and bolts of trail development for communities, helped communities better understand trail needs, and showcased successful case studies from the region. The afternoon session was dedicated to a Trail Mapping Session facilitated by Bob Thomas of Campbell Thomas & Co. This exercise enabled an inventory of existing trails, as well as trails proposed or in development. The exercise also identified the key regional links (existing and/or proposed) within the South Mountain landscape. Finally, the exercise promoted discussion about major challenges facing the proposed trail projects, and concluded by prioritizing key projects throughout the region. The South Mountain Trail Summit was made possible by the support of the following entities: Platinum Sponsor: Rettew Gold Sponsor: C.S. Davidson, Inc. Silver Sponsor: Carlisle Area Health & Wellness Foundation Additional Sponsors: PA DCNR, Appalachian Trail Conservnacy, Cumberland County Planning Department, Penn Trails, Inc., Campbell Thomas & Co., Healthy Adams Bicycle and Pedestrian, Inc. Franklin County Planning Commission, Adams County Office of Planning & Department The following presentations from the South Mountain Trail Summit are available Cindy Dunn –The State of the Region’s Trails (keynote address) Robert Thomas – Planning: Trail Feasibility Studies and Issues to Think About Jim Caldwell – Municipal Planning Tools for Trail Development Mike Piaskowski and Alex MacDonald – Finding Funding for Your Trail Project Chris Houston – Carlisle Case Study: Urban Greenway Plan Steve Hietsch – Carlisle Case Study: The Road Diet Andrea Crouse – Cumberland Valley Trail Connections Case Study Susan Naugle – The Gettysburg Inner Loop Case Study

Reinventing the Commercial Corridor

September 22, 2011

Randall Arendt (the Natural Lands Trust) facilitated a “Reinventing the Commercial Corridor” workshop to highlight practical ways of reclaiming existing commercial highway strip centers. The workshop brought together 35 partners and featured both a general educational presentation and a participatory, hands-on exercise. Arendt’s presentation focused on highlighting progressive approaches that emphasize various redevelopment design strategies to create mixed-use centers from existing highway strips. The design exercise following the presentation allowed partners to begin to experiment with implementing the new approaches to consider how to retrofit an existing section of degraded commercial highway strip. The workshop sought to help communities envision how to implement smarter, more sustainable development patterns and introduce ideas for improving economic viability and attractiveness of communities and transportation corridors in the South Mountain landscape. Click here to download the Reinventing the Commercial Corridor informational brochure. The Reinventing the Commercial Corridor workshop was sponsored by the following organizations: PA DCNR, PA DCED, Adams County Office of Planning & Development, C.S. Davidson, Inc., Shippensburg University, Natural Lands Trust, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Franklin County Planning Commission, Cumberland County Planning Go Local for Health The South Mountain Partnership sees many of its priorities and interests – open space, outdoor recreation, thriving agriculture, and livable communities – intersecting in the concept of health and wellness. As such, the Partnership has endeavored to build non-traditional collaborations around this theme of health and wellness, and has hosted a series of regional wellness summits – Go Local for Health. Why health? It has been traditionally considered a topic of conversation between a patient and a healthcare professional, and one to start only after symptoms appear. Yet our surroundings, the environments in which we live, and the decisions and choices we make in our daily lives have a huge impact on our individual and community health. In short, the issues that the Partnership prioritizes also help to inform individual and community health. An initial Go Local for Health summit was held in 2012, and second followed in 2013.

2012: Go Local for Health: Affordable Recreation and Food Opportunities

September 18th, 2012 – Gettysburg Hotel

The first Go Local for Health was a regional summit that sought to unite community leaders, stakeholders, and the general public on the issue of affordable and accessible healthy eating and recreation opportunities in south central Pennsylvania. The summit brought together 140 diverse partners to focus on issues of walkability, recreation and access to the outdoors, and how these are components of a comprehensive look at the region’s health. Click here to view the Summit Program. Sponsors: Healthy Adams County, Inc., Gettysburg Hospital Foundation, WellSpan Health, Heathy York County Coalition, Carlisle Area Health and Wellness Foundation, MACWell, Healthy Community Partnerships.

2013: Go Local for Health: Improving Connection to make Health a Community Conversation

October 2, 2013 – Rhodes Grove Camp and Conference Center

Building on the momentum that emerged out of the 2012 Go Local for Health Summit, the South Mountain Partnership convened a second summit. Bringing together more than 80 participants, the South Mountain Partnership hosted dialogue around shifting our understanding of health to be a proactive, comprehensive approach to healthy lifestyles and wellness. The Summit sought to identify priorities and needs in communities across the region, and share innovate approaches and lessons learned, and make connections and new collaborations to elevate the work that we are all doing to ensure the future of the place we live remains healthy and happy. The morning’s plenary session featured representatives from the five local non-profit hospitals operating in the South Mountain landscape. As part of the Affordable Care Act, non-profit hospitals must now complete Community Health Needs Assessments every three years; these representatives introduced the process. The concluding session was a Funders panel discussion, in which funders engaged in a discussion on funder priorities and how to think about funding collaborative community approaches to health and wellness. Click here to view the Summit’s Program. Sponsors: Carlisle Area Health & Wellness Foundation, Summit Health, WellSpan Health, PA DCNR, Appalachian Trail Conservancy

2015 Go Local for Health: Understanding Natural, Agricultural, and Built Environments as a Front Line of Community Wellness

May 1st, 2015 - Allenberry Resort Inn & Playhouse

Download the 2015 "Go Local for Health" Program  Over the past five years, the South Mountain Partnership has explored the concept of health and wellness as a point of integration for many of its priorities, including open space and outdoor recreation, agriculture and local food, and community design and built infrastructure. In two previous region-wide Summits, the significant momentum has built around exploring the intersection and integration of these topics, and in understanding how diverse, non-traditional partners can collaborate to advance outcomes that benefit local residents and the landscape in which we live. This third "Go Local for Health" Community Wellness Summit convened more than 80 different partners and community members for a day-long discussion centered around the integration of health and wellness within three tracks: outdoor recreation, local food systems, and community design. Dr. William Sullivan (Professor of Landscape Architecture) structured the day's conversation with an inspiring and insightful presentation on the impacts that access and views of the outdoors and natural spaces have on individuals’ abilities to focus attention and handle stress. The morning plenary session highlighted two case studies from the local landscape – one from an urban setting (Eat, Play, Breathe York) and one from a rural setting (Mercersburg Area Council for Wellness) – to explore comprehensive, integrative efforts to consider how our surroundings impact health and wellness. Breakout sessions structured around the three tracks– outdoor recreation & physical activity, local food & healthy nutrition, and community design & the built environment – brought participants deeper into specific topics. The Summit was supported by lead partner Partnership for Better Health. Additional funding was provided by Summit Health and by a grant from the Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society and the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Pennsylvania Recreational Trails Program funded through the Federal Highway Administration. Download the 2015 "Go Local for Health" Program

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