South mountain spring partnership meeting Catch up on what you missed at this year's South Mountain Spring Partnership Meeting

More than 60 attendees from across the South Mountain region gathered at the Penn State Fruit Research and Extension Center in Biglerville on May 3, 2019 for the Spring Partnership Meeting.

county Watershed implementation plans (wips)

Kristen Wolf, a Department of Environmental Protection Coordinator, explains the "Phase 3 Watershed Implementation Plan" to the crowd.

Pennsylvania is working with neighboring states to clean up its shared local waterways that run into the Chesapeake Bay. This effort is the "Phase 3 Watershed Implementation Plan," and is described as "an opportunity to reduce water pollution, improve our quality of life, address flooding problems, and get credit for the work underway." The plan centers around two main goals, reducing the amount of nitrogen and phosphate entering Pennsylvania's local waterways and reducing the amount of nitrogen and phosphate that ends up in the Chesapeake Bay. With more than 1,100 people already involved in the project from various workgroups, county governments (there are 43 counties located inside the goal area of the plan) committees and other stakeholders, the Phase 3 Watershed Implementation Plan seeks to implement its plan through five main themes: Communications, Funding and Resources, Enhanced Technical Capacity, Tracking and Reporting, and Compliance.

The area highlighted orange encompasses the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

To learn more about the "Phase 3 Watershed Implementation Plan," and how it may affect your county, visit the Department of Environmental Protection's website.

Keystone 10 Million trees partnership

Brenda Sieglitz, Director of the Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership shows the crowd the organization's current planning progress.

Core Strategies

  • Plant six million trees through Chesapeake Bay Foundation restoration and direct Keystone Partnership Investments.
  • Stimulate the planting of four million trees through new financing programs and Phase III WIP and Blueprint accountability.
  • Launch an interface e-commerce program to connect landowners and industry.
  • Deploy an advocacy campaign to grow volunteers, landowners, and public officials to take action for trees, clean water, and Blueprint goals.

To learn more about the "10 Million Trees Partnership" and how you can get involved, visit the partnership's website.

The Appalachian trail conservancy's "Wild East" initiative

Anne Baker, a landscape partnership manager with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, explains to concept of Geo-tourism to the audience.

Earlier this year, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy launched "Wild East," an initiative aiming to bring greater attention to the Appalachian Trail and the lands surrounding it. A large focus of this initiative is geotourism, defined as "Tourism that sustains or enhances the distinctive geographical character of a place — its environment, heritage, aesthetics, culture and the well-being of its residents."

The ATC has ran two pilot programs — one in Dover and Pawling, Harlem Valley, NY and the other in Greater Blairstown, NJ and Delaware Water Gap and Wind Gap, PA with goals of:

  • Identifying outdoor recreation visitor markets
  • Determining opportunities for new, enhanced or connected services geared toward these markets
  • Considering lessons and action ideas from similar regions or initiatives
  • Associating economic values with outdoor recreation and natural assets

Ultimately, the ATC's strategic objectives with geotourism are to:

  • Expand working relationships with the A.T. Communities to incorporate resource conservation and outdoor recreation economic development more fully
  • Broaden constituencies for landscape conservation
  • Make the A.T. accessible (conceptually and actually) to a range of visitors
  • Broaden the ATC's appeal to more casual hikers and outdoor recreation enthusiasts

To learn more about the "Wild East" initiative and experience inspiring tales of adventure and conservation, visit the initiative's website.

Announcements and updates

2019 South Mountain Mini-Grant Program

Pre-applications for the 2019 South Mountain Mini-Grant Program are due May 31, 2019. The partnership will be reviewing these applications and giving priority to projects centered around water.

2019 South Mountain Speaker Series Events

The 2019 South Mountain Speaker Series is in full swing, with just two events left in the 2019 season.

About the Meeting

The South Mountain Partnership meets twice annually in the Spring and Fall. these meetings are Partnership-wide gatherings 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 sectoral 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.

“This project was financed in part by a grant from the Community Conservation Partnerships Program, Environmental Stewardship Fund, under the administration of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Recreation and Conservation. The South Mountain Partnership is an alliance of organizations working to preserve and enhance the cultural and natural assets of the South Mountain Landscape in Central Pennsylvania. To learn more about the Partnership, please visit www.southmountainpartnership.org.”

Created By
Noah Shatzer


Noah Shatzer and Katie Hess

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