State of the Region

The Who, What, Why, When, and Where.

This region is our home. Working farms and woods, creeks and groundwater, fish and wildlife, natural areas, historic downtowns, and an impressive amount of beautiful parks and forests are the backdrop to our lives.

Our home is facing change. The loss of working farms, woods and wildlife, runaway development, water pollution, air pollution, less active lifestyles, flooding, and new pest problems are picking up speed.

You can make a difference by doing your part. We created this project so that everyone can do things that create balance, safety, and health for all of us and future generations.

The first-ever project that measures public health and environmental health, maps trends and priority conservation areas, and provides recommended actions to address regional challenges. By working with people and organizations to understand the health of our region, we are identifying projects and actions that can make a difference. The information and recommendations can also be used to make more informed decisions about policy and planning like land use or the preservation of historic places. For residents, it provides suggestions for how to help protect and improve the region’s great communities.

The project is led by the South Mountain Partnership Conservation Network and required extensive collaboration among county planning agencies and SMP staff, as well as tourism, economic development, health, historical, outdoor recreation, agriculture, private business, and faith-based groups.

The project launched in August 2022. The Report Card was released in September 2023, and the mapping and final report are expected in late 2023. Presenting the project and findings will take place throughout 2024 and actions are to be taken throughout 2024-2028, and maybe beyond.

The South Mountain Region consists of one million acres of private and public land across portions of four counties- Adams, Cumberland, Franklin and York counties.

State of the Region, Updates

Spring State of the Region Update:


A graphic of a line graph above a bar graph showing growth behind a solid green background

Indicator Determination and Metric Selection

August 2022-January 2023
In this phase our consultants will meet with key partners and
subject matter advisors to determine metrics and key
priorities in these categories; nature, agriculture/food, historic/cultural, recreation, and public health.

Charts an graphs on paper graphic surrounded by a light blue background

State of the Region Report Card Development

January 2023- May 2023
Next, these metrics will be measured in the region and evaluated within a report card format. Opportunities will be identified.

Map marker on map graphic surrounded by orange background

Interactive Map and Story Map

May 2023-August 2023
Metrics will be mapped within the region for both internal and public use.

Bullhorn Graphic surrounded by green background

Recommendations created and released

February 2023-September 2023
Our consultant team will use public feedback and metric results to identify key regional landscape issues and recommendations to address them.

Conference graphic surrounded by orange background

Communicating the State of the Region

September 2023-September 2025
We plan to strategically use the study’s recommendations and results to direct the partnership’s work through 2025 and prepare to communicate actionable steps for our partners to take advantage of opportunities to better protect and preserve our region for generations to come.

Report Card

Evaluates data and trends in environmental categories such as Air, Energy, Land, Waste, and Water to assess the current conditions of our landscape. We worked closely with planning department staff in Adams, Cumberland, Franklin, and York counties. We plan to create a Report Card every five years to see how the environment is doing.

2023 State of the Region
South Mountain Partnership Map boundaries for 2023


Mapping allows everyone to see the measurement data visually and to learn more about the trends happening across the landscape.

Coming early 2024

Action Plan & Final Report

South Mountain Partnership and Partners are thrilled to share this State of the Region Final Report with the community. This document will be a living document that will be updated as we learn more and make progress. Please check back for updated versions. We are excited about the opportunity to engage new partners and existing partners.

This Report summarizes the project, including how measurements were identified and evaluated, a discussion of the regional challenges that have been identified, and a presentation of recommendations for how to address those challenges for decision-makers across the region.