Strawberry Hill Nature Preserve

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Strawberry Hill Collaborates with South Mountain Partnership Speaker Series

SMtn Speaker Series

In the fall 2017, Strawberry Hill Nature Preserve is joining the South Mountain Speaker Series with a special talk about the commitment to conservation and education driven by the founders of the preserve.

“The Hans and Frances Froelicher Legacy: Preserving a Watershed Landscape for Environmental Education in Adams County” will be presented on September 28, 2017, 7:00 PM, at Harrisburg Area Community College.

Launched in 2006, the South Mountain Partnership operates as a public-private partnership between the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.  In the last ten years, the partnership has grown into an alliance of citizens, businesses, non-profits, academic institutions, and local, state, and federal government agencies and officials collaborating to envision and secure a sustainable future for the South Mountain landscape.

The South Mountain landscape covers a half a million acres of prominent forested uplands and fertile agricultural valleys of Adams, Cumberland, Franklin, and York counties.  This landscape is one of seven designated “Conservation Landscapes” identified throughout the state by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR).

The PA DCNR identified that the “South Mountain and the area that surrounds it was created millions of years ago when the land that was derived from volcanoes and covered by oceans buckled and rose.  Communities surrounding South Mountain have thrived off the fertile limestone agricultural lands, the timber that fed the iron furnaces, the plentiful game and wildlife, and off the abundance of pure spring water that is captured by the mountains permeable soils and released into the valleys.”

By designating the region a “Conservation Landscape” community efforts grew to engage with land planning, promoting local agriculture, encouraging business growth and tourism, growing recreational opportunities, conserving natural resources, and guarding cultural heritage, all in the effort to maintain and create a region with a “sense of place.”

To help continue this “sense of place” the South Mountain Partnership for the last ten years has been hosting a local community speaker series intended to encourage a new generation to find in the past a positive vision for the future of the South Mountain landscape.

The Speakers Series is comprised of four to six lecture events scheduled throughout year.  Each individual event highlights a specific topic or challenge facing the region.  The series speaks to a diversity of topics central to the Partnership’s mission and goals, and are designed to be educational opportunities to engage the general public in on-going, informed dialogue about contemporary conservation challenges facing the South Mountain landscape.

On September 28, “The Hans and Frances Froelicher Legacy” will be presented as a reflection on the first 50 years of a two-part mission, which has created an exceptional value watershed and created an environmental education center that annually provides programing for one third of the Adams County’s area schoolchildren.

From the start, Strawberry Hill Nature Preserve’s mission has been to protect the Swamp Creek Watershed and connect the community with the natural world through environmental education and land stewardship in the South Mountain Region. Hans and Frances’ vision for this exceptional watershed is a prime example of the work of small groups of activists that has contributed to creating our area’s “sense of place,” and laid the groundwork for partnerships that protect this unique region.

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