Thursday, October 29, 2020

South Maintain Partnership Celebrates 15th Year Of Conservation, Recreation, Preservation Work Thanks To Environmental Stewardship, Keystone Fund

Thanks to an
Environmental Stewardship Fund grant from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the South Mountain Partnership will continue into its fifteenth year the conservation, recreation, and preservation work that helps to keep the region beautiful, property values and quality of life high, and cost of living low. 

The grant is ground breaking in that it enables the Appalachian Trail Conservancy to pilot a program to convene and coordinate with the additional four Pennsylvania conservation landscapes adjacent to the Appalachian Trail corridor, including the Kittatinny Ridge, Schuylkill Highlands, Lehigh Valley Greenways, and Pocono Forests and Waters.

The grant makes it possible for the South Mountain Conservation Landscape to continue serving local communities and organizations by convening regular region-wide meetings, facilitating working committees with members from throughout the region, awarding and managing the thirteenth annual South Mountain Mini-Grant Program.

The grants also provide support for the Dillsburg Heart & Soul project and South Mountain Trolley Greenway Rail-Trail, coordinating the South Mountain Speakers Series, and facilitating the South Mountain Research Corps & Science Summit.

“We can all agree that 2020 has been a challenging year to get things done,” said Katie Hess, Director of the South Mountain Partnership. “However, through our dedicated partners and committee members, we have been able to accomplish our goals. DCNR recognizes the continued successes of the Partnership, as evidenced by the grant support.

“But the real story here,” adds Hess, “is the role of the Environmental Stewardship Fund and Keystone Fund in this region. All of our partners depend on these special funds and without them, our region would be disproportionately affected. This would affect our partners in municipalities, counties, water authorities, County Conservation Districts, farmland preservation programs, land trusts, recycling programs, non-profits, and academic institutions. We are grateful to DCNR and we look forward to continuing to serve our partners in our important work in the coming years!”

Through the Environmental Stewardship Fund and the Keystone Fund, DCNR is the primary source of state support for Pennsylvania recreation, parks, and conservation initiatives. Grant funding from DCNR assists hundreds of communities and organizations across Pennsylvania to plan, acquire, and develop recreation and park facilities, create trails, and conserve open space.

“Pennsylvania’s local parks, trails, and natural areas create many opportunities to be active outdoors. They define our communities and make them places where people want to live, work, and play,” said Tom Ford, director of DCNR’s Bureau of Recreation and Conservation.

“Our grants help our local partners meet the vision they have for their communities and regions.”

The South Mountain Conservation Landscape regions includes connecting portions of Adams, Cumberland, Franklin, and York counties.

For more information on programs, initiatives, upcoming events and how you can get involved, visit the South Mountain Partnership website.

Visit DCNR’s Conservation Landscapes webpage to learn more about this approach to conservation, recreation and economic development.

[Regional Grant Workshops

[Need funding for a park, trail, buffer or conservation project? The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Bureau of Recreation and Conservation is hosting virtual regional grant workshops in November.

[Click Here for all the details.

[Visit the Explore PA Trails and Get Outdoors PA website for information on recreational resources near you.]

Related Article - South Mountain:

New Friends Of South Mountain Partnership Launched To Support South Mountain Landscape Initiative

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[Posted: October 29, 2020]  PA Environment Digest

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