Spirit of South Mountain Awarded to Monterey Pass Park Trail Project
Each year at our Power of the Partnership event we announce our Spirit of South Mountain award to an individual, a project or an organization that advances the mission of the South Mountain Partnership and has made a significant contribution to the landscape.
This year we recognize a project that has made a significant contribution to the landscape by elevating a unique place, conserving a piece of history, and connecting folks to the natural and recreational resources at this site.
This year we award the Spirit of the South Mountain to the Monterey Pass Battlefield Park Trail System Improvements Project.
The Monterey Pass Park Trail Project is located just outside of Waynesboro in Washington Township, Franklin County, and is a 125-acre natural, cultural, and historical park. Monterey Pass preserves a segment of Pennsylvania’s second largest Civil War battle and is located approximately 20 miles from historic Gettysburg.
Over the past few years, Washington Township has partnered with the Friends of Monterey Pass Battlefield and local stakeholders to expand the trail system to increase connectivity and accessibility.
Washington Township acquired Monterey Pass after Preservation PA named Maria Furnace Road and Monterey Pass as an “At Risk Site” on the annual listing of endangered historical sites in 2014. This allowed the Township to preserve the historical integrity of the site and promote it for recreational use by residents and tourists. Monterey Pass Battlefield Park along with both Rolando Woods Park and Happel’s Meadow Wetlands share an abundance of natural resources, including forest lands, wetlands, and diverse ecosystems, preserving more than 225 acres of land.
The park is open to the public from dawn to dusk, year round and the museum is open each weekend for most of the year. Throughout the year, there are also community events held at Monterey Pass to educate and celebrate the rich history of the site, such as living history weekends, walking tours, garden talks, and more.
This collaboration of various entities to make this project a reality shows how collaboration can lead to success. This project is truly deserving of the “Spirit of South Mountain Award” because it has conserved a very unique piece of the South Mountain landscape and elevated awareness of the natural, historical and recreational resources in the area.