Press Release: South Mountain Partnership Mini-Grant Program Funding Round Is Now Open!

The South Mountain Partnership’s Mini-Grant Program is intended to assist local governments, non-profits, 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. The Program provides funding, on a competitive basis, to projects that sustain the South Mountain landscape’s agricultural, historical, natural, and recreational resources that sustain our quality of life and the health of the environment.

The funding priority for 2021 is for projects that address water resources, particularly projects that will show significant, measurable outcomes and bring multiple partners together. Examples of such projects include those that help municipalities and counties to meet water pollution reduction goals, implement a watershed management plan, or other collaborative projects for water quality and quantity protection. Projects that do not address water resources are still eligible and should focus on bringing many partners together to implement conservation and preservation elements of municipal plans or county comprehensive plans.

“We are looking to fund projects that engage partners that are new to the Partnership, bringing them on board to implement projects throughout the landscape to protect, promote, and build upon the South Mountain region’s unique landscape resources,” said Katie Hess, Director of the Partnership. “The projects that are selected for funding will strategically benefit the region through lessons learned and creative ways of addressing an issue.”

The South Mountain Partnership Mini-Grant Program was developed in 2009 and is administered by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. Financial support is provided by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources through the Environmental Stewardship Fund. To date, more than $500,000 in grants have been awarded to more than 60 grantees, with more than $1 million in matching funds leveraged by the grantees – a return of more than double.

Mini-grant are for single-year projects and/or work taking place during 2022. The grant amount ranges from $2,500 to $15,000 and an in-kind or cash match is required. Projects exceeding $15,000 and up to $25,000 may be considered if it demonstrates regional impact and integration across multiple priority areas. Non-profit organizations with 501(c) 3 status, municipalities, counties, and academic institutions are all eligible within the Mini-Grant Program. Projects must occur within Cumberland, Adams, Franklin, or York counties.

Pre-applications are due on Friday, May 28, 2021. If invited to submit a final application, it is due on Friday, July 30, 2021. For more information about the Mini-Grant Program, past grantees, and how to apply, please visit