Shippensburg University has received a $12,000 grant from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy through the South Mountain Partnership. The grant will support a year-long collaboration among the Shippensburg University History Department, Shippensburg University’s Center for Land Use and Sustainability, the Cumberland County Historical Society, the Cumberland County Planning Department, the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office, and the South Mountain Partnership to promote grassroots preservation efforts throughout the region.

This project seeks to empower municipal officials and residents of the South Mountain region with the tools and strategies that they need to understand the economic and community value of the preservation of historic, cultural, and natural resources. Dr. Steven Burg, professor of History, is directing the project.

“We are very fortunate to have amazing historical buildings, sites and landscapes in our area that provide the South Mountain region with a unique sense of place,” said Dr. Steven Burg. “With this grant we will help local residents and governments to identify the places that matter to their communities and provide guidance about the various tools they can employ to protect those places for future generations.”

The partners are beginning their effort by conducting a survey of residents, municipal staff, planning commissions, historic preservation commissions, and Historic Architectural Review Boards (HARBs) in the South Mountain region (Cumberland, Franklin, Adams, and York Counties) to learn more about what places are most important them, and what types of information, technical assistance, or training they would like to support their own local historic preservation efforts. To complete the survey, follow this link:

As a follow-up to the survey, the partners will hold a series of workshops in the spring and fall to provide training and guidance. In addition to the survey and workshops, an online manual tailored to the needs of South Mountain communities will be publicly available. Those interested in learning more about the workshops can email Holly Smith at the Center for Land Use and Sustainability at