Building on our past to create a legacy for our future

Connecting our environmental and social history to today's issues.


Wednesday, December 1st, 2010 at 7:00 PM
Memorial Auditorium in Shippensburg University.

South Mountain Speakers Series to Explore Land Use and Cultural Preservation at Gettysburg National Military Park

Boiling Springs – The history of preservation at Gettysburg will be the seventh and final lecture for the 2010 South Mountain Speakers Series on Wednesday, Dec. 1 at Shippensburg University’s Memorial Auditorium.

The event, entitled, “Contesting Gettysburg: Preserving an American Battlefield Shrine,” is free and open to the public. It runs from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Environmental historian and Penn State Altoona professor Dr. Brian Black will use Gettysburg as an example to discuss the need for preservation of sacred symbols throughout the region and the nation.

 “When the Gettysburg Battlefield quieted following the fighting in July 1863, another story began,” said Dr. Allen Dieterich-Ward, an assistant professor of history at Shippensburg University and the chair of the South Mountain Partnership’s steering committee for the speaker series.  “Dr. Black will tell this story, which spans almost 150 years, of how the landscape at Gettysburg passed through many differing episodes in the culture of preservation, and national trends related to protecting our sacred symbols.”

After the lecture, a panel including Black, Greg Goodell from the National Park Service and Mark Shaffer from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission will answer audience questions and discuss the future of Gettysburg National Military Park and the relationship between environmental conservation and cultural preservation in the South Mountain region.

The South Mountain Speakers Series is organized in the spirit of the Michaux Lectures, a series of talks given by Joseph Rothrock as part of his work to restore Pennsylvania’s forests during the late 19th century.

The series is led by the South Mountain Partnership, which is a unified group of private citizens, businesses, not-for-profit organizations and government representatives in Adams, Cumberland, Franklin and York counties.

The partnership works to advance environmental conservation and economic development by encouraging best-management practices in agriculture and forestry, and supporting and promoting working farms, forests and watersheds while emphasizing the unique cultural and historic heritage of the region.

The South Mountain Partnership and Shippensburg University are sponsoring this event.

For more information about this event, contact Allen Dieterich-Ward at

To learn more about the speaker series, visit or contact Kim Williams at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy at 717-258-5771.

Media contact: Allen Dieterich-Ward, 717-477-1192

Growth In the Garden: Food and Sustainability

Dickinson College to Host Lectures on Food and Sustainability

Understanding, preserving, and reusing Pennsylvania’s historic agricultural landscapes can contribute to a sustainable farming future. These are topics that will be covered as part of collaborative effort of The Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues at Dickinson College and the South Mountain Speaker Series.

The event, entitled, “Growth In the Garden: Food and Sustainability” is free and open to the public and will be held on Thursday, November 4, 2010 at Dickinson’s Stern Center located on W. Louther St. between West and College Sts. in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The event will open with a reception from 6-7 p.m. where you can learn all about local opportunities for farm fresh foods. The speaker’s lectures and a question and answer period will go from approximately 7-9 p.m.

Hear from Penn State Professor Sally McMurry about “Pennsylvania’s Historic Farming Legacy and Sustainable Agriculture’s Future”. She will review the broad sweep of Pennsylvania farming history and then explain seven ways in which preserving our historic agricultural buildings can go hand in hand with a sustainable agricultural future.

Brian Snyder, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture, will discuss opportunities to capitalize on the fact that sustainably raised Pennsylvania products are centrally located to some of the largest population centers in the nation. While a major agricultural state any way it's analyzed, Pennsylvania has maintained the additional distinction for several decades as a national leader in developing more sustainable and/or organic farming strategies. Mr. Snyder will discuss the current situation in terms of resources available and the challenges that lay ahead as we pursue a more sustainable future for all Pennsylvanians.

The Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues at Dickinson College connects the students and faculty of Dickinson College and members of the broader community with scholars, practicing professionals and activists through the use of lectures, seminars, and conferences. By encouraging engagement with these visitors in ways that allow for dialogue and critical reflection, The Clarke Forum helps prepare students to become knowledgeable, productive, and intellectually active citizens and leaders. To learn more about the Clarke Forum and upcoming lectures visit

The South Mountain Speakers Series is an effort of the South Mountain Partnership, an alliance of non-profits, the public sector, academic institutions, and local businesses to conserve and promote the high-quality natural and cultural resources which will enhance the region’s economic viability. Promotion of local agricultural is a major focus of the Partnership. The Partnership receives major support from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources as one of its seven Conservation Landscape Initiatives. Visit www.southmountaincli.blogspot com learn more about the South Mountain Partnership.

Nourishing the Troops

Nourishing the Troops!
Thursday, August 12th, 2010 from 5-9 PM
(Tour Round Barn until 6:45 PM, Lecture starts at 7 PM)
The Historic Round Barn
298 Cashtown Road Biglerville, PA 17307

Learn about the unique role that Pennsylvania’s farms and farmers played duringthe civil war in supporting the Union troops and their allure and resources that drew Robert E. Lee across the Mason Dixon line and into the “Pennsylvania Breadbasket”. Lenwood Sloan, director of cultural and heritage tourism for the commonwealth of Pennsylvania will conduct a spirited open dialogue concerning preservation, conservation and commemoration projects for the upcoming Civil War 150 commemoration and the year long commemoration of American Patriots of the Civil War.

Sloan will also share ways information about the United States Colored Troups (USCT) Hallowed ground project through the conservation of a league of important historic sites in Adams, Franklin and Cumberland Counties. He will end by extending an invitation to participate in the identification of USCT descendants throughout the South Mountain who will be invited to march in their ancestors’ memory during the Grand Review Parade Nov 6, 2010 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Sponsored by the South Mountain Partnership, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, the Historic Round Barn and Farm Market- Knouse Fruitlands.

The Appalachian Trail

Saturday, July 10th 1-4PM

Pine Grove Furnace State Park

A day of guided, historical hikes along the Appalachian and other trails will be the next lecture of the South Mountain Speaker Series. The event is free and open to the public and will take place Saturday, July 10 between 1 and 4 PM at various locations in Pine Grove Furnace State Park.

Participants may choose between six concurrent hiking tours and opportunities to hear mini-lectures about the Trail’s and region’s natural and cultural history. Routes range from suitable to children to appropriate for avid hikers. At sites along each route, historians and interpreters will make presentations on special topics, including Native Americans, the Civil War and Underground Railroad, the era of extraction, Camp Michaux, or native plants and animals. All routes include several of these mini-lectures and a visit to the new Appalachian Trail Museum.

Routes will converge at the furnace stack pavilion near the midpoint of the Appalachian Trail. The event will conclude with a multi-media exhibit exploring the present and future of the Trail, the allure of the “thru-hike,” and a visual tour of opportunities to enjoy the Trail in South Mountain. Ice cream will be served and participants may witness hikers attempting the half-gallon ice cream challenge.

Selling Conservation

"Selling Conservation from the 1890s to the 21st Century”

Monday, May 10th starting at 6-9 PM

Penn State Mont Alto

Entitled “Selling Conservation from the 1890s to the 21st Century,” the free public event will start at 6 p.m. with forestry students providing tours of the campus arboretum. Those who wish to participate on the tour should go to the General Studies Building at 1 Campus Drive, Mont Alto.

In existence since 1903, the Mont Alto Arboretum contains a wide variety of tree species. For the event, the Penn State Mont Alto Library also will have a display of items from the early days of the school, including some old hand tied-fishing flies made by Mont Alto students and images from the Mira Lloyd Dock Glass Lantern Slide Collection of the Caledonia area taken in the late 1890s and early 1900s. Refreshments will also be available.

The lecture by Dr. Peter Linehan, associate professor of Forestry at Mont Alto, will begin at 7 p.m. at the General Studies Building. Linehan will show how the Pennsylvania Forestry Association mobilized and educated the public and influenced state lawmakers to revolutionize the management of forests in Pennsylvania.

“Nestled among the trees on the edge of the Michaux State Forest, Penn State Mont Alto has educated America’s foresters for over a century,” Linehan said. “It was one of the first forestry schools in the nation. The goal at that time was to crusade for a change from the barren hills caused by forest fires and charcoal production.”

After the lecture, a panel including Linehan; Nels Johnson, director of Conservation Programs for The Nature Conservancy in Pennsylvania; and Dr. James Grace, DCNR executive deputy secretary; will discuss contemporary forestry issues and respond to questions from the audience.

Sponsored by Penn State Mont Alto, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural resources, and the South Mountain Partnership.

The Cradle of Conservation

Thanks for attending this event!!!

With a nearly full room at the Woods Center of the Capitol Theater, 120 people heard Susan Rimby, keynote speaker tell us why this region and it's influential leader left a conservation legacy for the state and the nation. Our guest panel including Scott Weidensaul and Dan Maracucci along with Susan gave us a spirited dialogue about current conservation issues after the keynote speech.

South Mountain: the Cradle of Conservation

Susan Rimby- Ph.D., Chair, History and Philosophy at Shippensburg University.
South Mountain’s history provides a conservation model for the rest of the nation, and an example of what we might use in confronting Twenty-first Century environmental problems. During America’s Progressive Era, 1890-1917, citizens were instrumental in conserving their local forests. Much of the initial work occurred on South Mountain’s State Forest Commission’s reserve. Concerned citizens in organizations like Pennsylvania State Federation of Women’s Clubs and the Pennsylvania Forest Association lobbied for the funds for the Commission to reforest South Mountain, to create a school to train professional foresters, and to establish the Commonwealth’s state parks system.
South Mountain Conservation Today
A panel of notable conservationists from the region will tell you what the future may hold for the quality of life and resources for the South Mountain region. Hear about collaborative work being done to conserve local natural and cultural resources and what are current issues today.