Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Historic Barn Preservation Program A Success In Adams County Thanks To Mini-Grant; Mini-Grant Round Open

Historic Gettysburg – Adams County (HGAC) has been preserving historic barns for more than 15 years and knows that surveying these structures – and telling their stories – is important. 

The South Mountain Partnership (SMP) recognizes this too, and that is why they awarded HGAC a Mini-Grant to update and develop its barn survey program.

The grant program, funded through the SMP and the Commonwealth’s Environmental Stewardship Fund, helped to make the bold and innovative project possible. 

The project added barns to the Adams County Barn Registry, upgraded data collection and management processes, trained new volunteers, and created a Barn Survey Training Manual that includes photographs, drawings, and historic barn information so that other communities and agencies can learn and create their own barn survey and preservation programs. 

The project will lead to better promotion and preservation of these historic resources throughout the South Mountain region and across Pennsylvania. 

The State Historic Preservation Office is interested in sharing the project with local governments and communities throughout Pennsylvania.

“The Manual will be an essential educational and interpretive tool for the effective sharing of knowledge with preservation groups and barn enthusiasts throughout the South Mountain region and beyond,” said Curt Musselman, Founding Executive Director of the HGAC Barn Preservation Project & Grant Program.

“Our committee chose this project because of HGAC’s past successes and the need to preserve resources like historic barns,” said Katie Hess, Director of the SMP. “The Pennsylvania bank barn is a trademark and legacy. Only a handful of places in the country still have their family farms and historic barns – and our region is one of the last places with a collection of Pennsylvania bank barns. Without the barns, our region’s character wouldn’t be the same. Unique experiences and places drive tourism, and our region’s tourism economy is growing. Tourism offices are promoting historic barns along with agritourism and heritage tourism. That helps our economy and can be a tool that keeps agricultural land in farming. It’s a win-win.”

HGAC surpassed its goal of adding 100 barns to the Adams County Barn Registry: instead, adding 107. For each barn added, entries included photographs, maps, measurements, and other observations. 

It was a lot of work, as HGAC typically does 20 barn surveys a year, but they did it and are now encouraging other organizations across Pennsylvania to survey their historic barns and share the stories with residents and tourists alike.

Click Here to learn more about the HGAC Barn Preservation Project.

Mini-Grant Round Open

The South Mountain Partnership is now accepting applications for its Mini-Grant Program to assist local governments, nonprofits, and universities with on-the-ground projects that further the goals of the Partnership and to advance the capacity of partners to complete projects throughout the region.

Pre-applications are due on May 28. If invited to submit a final application, it is due on July 30

Click Here for more information.

For more information on programs, initiatives, upcoming events and how you can get involved, visit the South Mountain Partnership website.  Sign up for regular updates from the Partnership (bottom of the webpage).

Find out more about Friends of South Mountain Partnership.

            Visit DCNR’s Conservation Landscape Initiatives webpage for more on similar programs around Pennsylvania.

[Posted: April 27, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

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