We are excited to be offering this list of resources in the region, but we need your help to populate the list! Know of a resource in the South Mountain? Email Julia Chain at jchain@appalachiantrail.org

Solar Resources

Cumberland County Model OrdinanceCumberland County Planning DepartmentThis model ordinance was developed by the Cumberland County Planning Department as a product of the SMP Solar Work Group with support from partners from Franklin and Cumberland Counties. The intent of this model is to permit medium to large scale solar energy systems (solar farms) in the Municipality while protecting the health, safety and welfare of the residents.
Municipalities within the South Mountain Region with Utility Scale SolarSouth Mountain PartnershipCheck this map of the South Mountain Region to see where utility scale solar ordinances exist
Solar Energy ResourcesOffice of Energy Efficiency and Renewable EnergyThe U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) has developed online resources to help those who want to go solar or who work with solar energy.
Solar Energy Resource HubDepartment of Environmental ProtectionThis resource hub was developed to provide the residents of Pennsylvania, as well as entities who wish to do business in Pennsylvania, the information needed to develop solar energy installations across the Commonwealth.
Solar EnergyDepartment of Conservation and Natural ResourcesSolar Energy conservation from the DCNR perspective, including park solar energy use and solar energy at home.
Siting, Planning, & Maintaining Grid-ScaleDepartment of Conservation and Natural ResourcesThis resource is intended for landowners, investors, developers, planners, and government officials and serves to support informed decision-making and promote conservation and sustainable best practices in the planning, siting and construction of grid-scale solar systems.
Farmland Considerations for Siting Grid-Scale Solar PanelsDepartment of AgricultureThis resource aims to guide informed decisions by landowners, investors, planners, and government officials in considering the planning and siting of grid-scale solar systems.
Smart Solar Guiding PrinciplesAmerican Farmland TrustAFT has developed Smart Solar principles to help shape solar development across America.
Preserve PennsylvaniaLocal, State and Federal Funding for Parks and Open SpaceNational Agricultural Law CenterThis guide aims to help farmland owners understand solar energy development and the solar energy leasing process. The guide includes specific information for Ohio, but other information about solar leasing in the guide is relevant for farmland owners in any state.
Renewable EnergyPublic Utilities CommissionAvailable sources of renewable energy in Pennsylvania include solar, geothermal, wind, hydropower and biomass.
Solar Land Lease AgreementsPublic Utilities CommissionFAQs about solar land lease agreements for landowners.
Planning for Utility-Scale Solar Energy FacilitiesAmerican Planning AssociationThis PAS Memo examines utility-scale solar facility uses and related land-use issues. It defines and classifies these facilities, analyzes their land-use impacts, and makes recommendations for how to evaluate and mitigate those impacts.
Solar Planning Toolkit Fact SheetTri-County Regional Planning CommissionProvides a quick overview of solar planning, benefits and drawbacks, and solar resources.
Solar EnergyPA Historical & Museum CommissionExplanation of solar energy, as well as other types of energy.
State Renewable Energy ResourcesUnited States Environmental Protection AgencyOverview of state renewable energy including benefits, barriers, policies, and EPA programs supporting renewable energy.
PA State Policy ResourcesSolar Energy Industries AssociationOverview of solar energy in Pennsylvania including policy priorities, notable solar installations, solar companies, and more.
Municipal Officials’ Guide to Grid-Scale Solar Development in PennsylvaniaPenn State Marcellus CenterProvides municipal officials with information about the various aspects of this new development and provide sources for pursuing additional information.
Solar Conservation ToolsWeConservePAProvides a variety of resources related to solar energy.
Solar ResourcesPA State Association of Township SupervisorsProvides a variety of resources related to solar energy.
Solar ResourcesPA Solar CenterSolar 101: Everything you need to know about how solar technology works.

Online Resources

Conserved Land DatabaseWeConservePAWeConservePA compiles and maintains Pennsylvania’s official spatial database of conserved land, including privately conserved land and properties and those conserved by federal, state, county, and local governments.
Conservation Tools LibraryWeConservePAComprehensive library of conservation information, model documents, and samples. Topics range from land use and planning to easements, recreation, advocacy, and education.
Resource LibraryCenter for Land Use and SustainabilityThe CLUS builds partnerships with organizations, businesses, and individuals to support science-based solutions to interdisciplinary sustainability challenges.
Nature-Based Placemaking Program HandbookPennsylvania Downtown CenterNBP is about the connection and collaboration among the focus areas of civic, tourism and business in the following ways: civic, where the focus is on education and emotion; tourism, where the focus is on hospitality and guest services; and business, where the focus is on shopping and entertainment.
Chesapeake Data ExplorerCMC (Cheseapeake Monitoring Cooperative)The Chesapeake Data Explorer was developed as a centralized data repository to facilitate the Chesapeake Monitoring Cooperative’s (CMC) data integration efforts. It is a web database where member organizations can upload and manage data, monitoring locations, and their monitoring volunteers. The data base is available to the public via the query function on the CDE homepage:
The Chesapeake Monitoring Cooperative commits to supporting all partners, communities, and individuals who want to collect, share, interpret, and use water quality data to increase understanding of Chesapeake Bay watershed health.
PA-SHAREPA State Historic Preservation OfficeUse PA-SHARE to search for and locate historic properties and archaeological sites, view and download information, submit and track projects for PA SHPO’s programs, and manage all of your project communications conveniently from your home or office.
Preserve PennsylvaniaLocal, State and Federal Funding for Parks and Open SpaceTrust for Public LandTrust for Public Land recently developed a Report on various funding sources for land protection.
How to Protect PA Communities and Environment from Distribution Center DevelopmentPennFuturePennFuture Releases Living With Logistics: A Model Logistics Use Zoning Ordinance for Pennsylvania Municipalities to help local officials manage the influx of massive logistics facilities.

Technical Assistance Resources

Cumberland County Conservation District717) 240-7812
Adams County Conservation District(717) 334-0636
York County Conservation District(717) 840-7430
Franklin County Conservation District(717) 264-5499
Capital RC&D- Grazing Support(717) 241-4361Capital RC&D’s grazing support program promotes resources for new and experienced graziers in our region and throughout Pennsylvania, such as the farmer-to-farmer grazing advisement program; support for the Franklin and Lebanon County Grazing Networks and the PA Grazing Lands Coalition (PA-GLC).
Natural Resources Conservation Services Local Service Centers (USDA)Adams-(717) 549-4674
Cumberland-(717) 601-3712
Franklin-(717) 446-8502
York-(717) 894-3001
NRCS helps producers, soil and water conservation districts, and other partners protect and conserve natural resources on private lands throughout the United States.
WeConserve PA717-230-8560WeConservePA provides direct technical assistance via phone, email, and in-person meetings to:land trusts, local governments, trail groups, other conservation nonprofits
Master Watershed Steward ProgramHolly Smith, hps5293@psu.eduPenn State Extension Master Watershed Stewards (MWSs) are trained, energized citizens in your communities who are available to help your municipality meet its regulatory obligations under the MS4 program.
DCNR: Managing Your WoodsMore than 70 percent of the woodlands in Pennsylvania are owned privately. This resource provides instruction, tools, and technical assistance to help landowners manage their land in ways that enhance wood production and recreation, protect water, and benefit wildlife.
TreeVitalize: Community Tree ManagementTreeVitalize is a public-private partnership established by DCNR to help build capacity within communities to plan for, plant, and care for trees, and to offer educational trainings to help citizens understand the diverse benefits of trees and the importance of properly planting and maintaining them.

Training and Certification Programs

Master Watershed Steward ProgramThis program provides extensive training in watershed management to volunteers who, in return, educate the community about watershed stewardship based on university research and recommendations.
Find EE Near MeAre you looking for an environmental education organization to partner with, lead a field trip, deliver an education program, or facilitate professional development? PA has over 475 environmental education providers! These organizations provide environmental education programs for families, schools, youth groups, adult groups, and professional development training workshops. You can use this online inventory to search for EE providers in your region or across the state.
PA Master NaturalistPennsylvania Master Naturalist is a statewide partnership initiative that aims to connect people with their local ecosystems through intensive natural science training and local conservation service work. It is a venture directed toward developing a local corps of “master volunteers and service providers”.
PA Master GardenerMaster Gardener volunteers support Penn State Extension’s educational programs in consumer horticulture. They develop their horticultural expertise through participation in educational training classes conducted by Penn State University faculty and Extension staff.

Comprehensive Plans

Comprehensive PlanAdams
Comprehensive PlanCumberland2017
Franklin County Forward- Comprehensive PlanFranklin2012 (2035 in progress)
Comprehensive PlanYork