Photo by Loy Elliott

Regional Capacity Building Initiative

UPDATE – September 2018:

South Mountain Partnership will present the new 2018-2021 Strategic Action Plan for South Mountain Partnership at the 2018 Fall Partnership Meeting. Work has already begun and changes are coming soon! Review the plans below to become more familiar with what our partners identified as work needs and priorities and the actions that we will be working to catalyze with existing and new partners over the next few years!


2018 – 2021 Strategic Action Plan for South Mountain Partnership


Three-Year Chesapeake Bay Trust Capacity Building Initiative Plan



UPDATE – August 2017:

Our Collaborative has been hard at work over the past year. A brief update on what has been achieved:

  • 2016 Capacity Building Initiative Plan;
  • Approximately $100,000 is being invested right now in the region –
    • Individual Organization Capacity Building Grants awarded to:
    • Regional Capacity Building Grant:
      • South Mountain Partnership for Strategic Planning, to include Operational Plan


UPDATE – July 2016:

The Core Partners will come together for a Kick-Off meeting on July 22nd. Here is what we are planning to accomplish during this first meeting:

  • Discuss and get clarity about what the capacity building initiative is, available funding, timelines, etc;
  • Get to know one another (better);
  • Collectively decide on the group’s goals and priorities;
  • Create a process and simple governance structure to work together towards our goals and priorities over next 6 months, including producing a work plan for years 2 and 3 of the capacity building initiative and identifying capacity needs (both of which are needed to apply for funding).



With much support from the 12 Partners below, South Mountain Partnership led the charge on an application to the Chesapeake Bay Trust Regional Capacity Building Initiative.


Our South Mountain Region WON!

  • Adams County Planning Department
  • Audubon Pennsylvania
  • Cumberland Area Economic Development/Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau
  • Capital Resource Conservation & Development
  • Cumberland County Planning Department
  • Dickinson College
  • Franklin County Planning Department
  • Franklin County Visitors Bureau
  • Partnership For Better Health
  • Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania
  • Wilson College
  • York County Planning Commission


This means that our South Mountain region was selected to participate in a capacity building program that will be facilitated by the Chesapeake Bay Trust. The purposes of this initiative are to a) increase the collective and individual grassroots capacity to accomplish regional goals at the intersection of community and environment and b) establish durable, powerful, and coordinated efforts to advance programs and policies to improve regions and communities beyond the term of the initiative. The program is made possible by the following funding partners: the Chesapeake Bay Funders Network (CBFN), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), and the Chesapeake bay Trust.


This initiative will provide facilitation services, technical assistance, training and grants to strengthen and diversify regional collaborations working together to advance a shared regional and community driven agenda that improves the quality of life in the region and protects and restores natural resources. This request for proposals invites proposals from regions, prepared collaboratively by organizations working at the community, watershed and/or regional level to improve human health, create economic opportunity, advance clean water plans, increase access of local, sustainable food, conserve lands, protect and enhance community open space, etc, to seek assistance to develop and support cross sector collaborative strategies and also build individual organizational capacity.