Meetings & Events Archive

Balancing Nature and Commerce


The South Mountain Partnership partnered with The Conservation Fund to conduct a “Balancing Nature and Commerce” workshops for the South Mountain region.

The Conservation Fund’s Balancing Nature and Commerce program has been refined over the last 15 years to help communities find solutions for both conservation and economic development goals. In addition to general national workshops on the topic, TCF offers place-based workshops to focus on creating economic, community character, natural resources and partnership-building solutions and action plans for tackling specific sustainable community challenges and opportunities.

The two-day place-based South Mountain Balancing Nature and Commerce workshop was held at the Allenberry Resort Inn & Playhouse and brought together community leaders to explore significant issues facing communities and/or projects that are working to balance community and economic development with preserving the natural beauty and heritage in the South Mountain landscape. Session themes focused on how to advantage of natural, recreational and scenic assets to enhance local economies and maintain the heritage and character of communities.

The South Mountain workshop was project-oriented and the Partnership asked required teams to submit applications to participate. Teams consisted of 4 to 8 individuals that were collaborating on a project related to a specific community, important agricultural resources, recreational areas, threatened natural or heritage resources, a travel corridor or some other unifying element. Through case studies, presentations, exercises and work sessions, each team developed a work plan to help guide implementation of the project or community revitalization effort.

Eight teams were invited to participate in the South Mountain Balancing Nature and Commerce workshop:

  • The Battle of Monterey PassGoal: Preserving and interpreting an important but little-known Civil War site in Washington Township, Franklin County.
  • Enhancing Trail Opportunities in South MountainGoal: Partnering with Michaux State Forest, volunteers, and others to improve the region’s trail network.
  • The Village of Boiling Springs Goal: Enhancing the village as a destination and as a wonderful community to live by enhancing and promoting the community’s natural and cultural assets.
  • Adams County Fruit BeltGoal: Maintaining economic viability of local orchards and farms in Adams County through promotion of the South Mountain Fruit Belt and collaboration with the business and environmental community.
  • Cumberland County Partners for Excellence in AgricultureGoal: Continue to highlight agriculture as a major driver of economic development within the county and to maintain a competitive position for the county’s agricultural products in the global economy.
  • The Annual South Mountain Hike-Bike FestivalGoal: Develop an annual festival that will serve to enhance and link import economic, recreational, cultural, and natural assets throughout the South Mountain landscape.
  • Camp MichauxGoal: To convene stakeholders in collaboration around promoting, preserving, and interpreting an important historic site with the Michaux State Forest that served as both a CCC camp and as a secret World War II P.O.W. interrogation camp.
  • Cumberland Valley Rail Trail Goal: Develop a formalized action plan to extend the rail tail north into Carlisle from its current Newville terminus.

Click here to download the Balancing Nature and Commerce brochure.