The South Mountain Partnership is seeking applications for up to $25,000 in grants for local projects that protect and promote the natural or cultural resources of the South Mountain region, working to sustain its sense of place.
The deadline for applications is July 30. Particularly encouraged to apply are municipalities surrounding South Mountain in Franklin, Adams, Cumberland and York counties.
The partnership, led by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, is an alliance of nonprofit organizations, academic institutions, private businesses, and local and regional agencies.
It seeks to encourage economic growth and revitalize local communities based on the abundance of their natural and cultural assets, including agriculture, natural resources, cultural heritage, and recreational attractions.
The grant program, in its second year, requires a one-to-one match by the recipient, with priority given to projects with multiple partners that overlap partnership goals and provide the greatest regional benefit. Projects derived from the action plans of teams who attended an earlier "Balancing Nature and Commerce" workshop also will be given additional priority. DCNR originated the funding for the grants.
Stephanie Williams of the Cumberland County Planning Department, which received a 2009 grant for the Cumberland Valley Local Food, Farm and Outdoor Attractions Guide, says, "This grant brought together diverse stakeholders who had a common interest." Her office collaborated with both the Cumberland Valley Visitor Bureau and the Capital Resource and Conservation and Development Areas Council on the guide.
ATC highly encourages potential applicants to discuss project ideas in advance with Kimberly Williams, grant administrator and South Mountain Partnership co-leader. She can be reached by calling the organization's mid-Atlantic regional office in Boiling Springs at 717-258-5771.