SOUTH MIDDLETON TWP, Pennsylvania – The South Mountain region, consisting of parts of Adams, Cumberland, Franklin, and York Counties and the location of the South Mountain Partnership, has just released its first-ever “State of the Region Report Card” that assesses our environment’s health and suggests ways to improve it.
The report card, developed by the South Mountain Partnership and local partners, shows how measurements that impact public and environmental health are impacting the unique surroundings we call home.
Director Katie Hess said, “To collect and analyze this level of information across four counties is unprecedented, but important for the residents of the South Mountain landscape to feel connected with one another and take action. Together, we can work to keep up good work but also make any needed course corrections that will protect our region with tools for smart growth and sustainable economic development. The South Mountain Partnership and the four-county planning agencies worked tirelessly to develop the data, and because of this Report Card, we now have the information needed to make more informed decisions. The South Mountain Partnership aims to keep our resources safe and support our communities.”
The Report Card uses the most recent data available for the South Mountain region to measure the state of nature, recreation, history and culture, agriculture and food, and public health. Each measurement is rated in one of three categories: thumbs up, meaning good work, thumb sideways, indicates the need to do more, and thumbs down to indicate a need for improvement. The Report Card includes information on how residents can help. Hess commented, “The Report Card is intended to engage residents about the resources in this area and actions they can take to get involved and make a difference. We want to start conversations about improving and protecting our resources”. The quality of life here matters to the more than 400,000 people who live on the one million acres in the South Mountain region, and countless others who vacation here or consider moving here.
The Report Card is part of a broader State of the Region project that will provide information and recommendations to local and county government about policy and planning like land use or the preservation of historic places. Civic groups and environmental organizations are encouraged to integrate the findings into their plans for maximum impact, and students of all ages play an essential role in making a difference both at home and in schools. Please join South Mountain Partnership in improving and protecting our environment.
The South Mountain Partnership (SMP) is a collaborative network of people and organizations protecting and promoting the agricultural, natural, cultural, and recreational resources of the region in Adams, Cumberland, Franklin, and York counties of southcentral Pennsylvania. To stay abreast of SMP, subscribe to the newsletter at www.southmountainpartnership.org
The South Mountain Partnership is financed in part by a grant from the Community Conservation Partnerships Program, the Environmental Stewardship Fund, under the administration of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Recreation and Conservation.