The South Mountain landscape, a south-central Pennsylvania treasure, provides an abundance of natural, scenic, historic, cultural, agricultural and recreational resources. It is a patchwork greenway of public and private land starting at the Northern terminus of the Blue Ridge Mountains, spanning 7 miles wide and about 40 miles long to the southwest, connecting Adams, Cumberland, Franklin, and York counties. In the middle of the region is Michaux State Forest, where Caledonia, Kings Gap, Mont Alto, and Pine Grove Furnace state parks are located. Michaux is one of the largest intact forests between Harrisburg and Washington D.C. Its groundwater and headwater streams contribute significantly to the flow draining into the Chesapeake Bay and are critical to the overall health of the watershed.
During the Institute, participants will become immersed in field-based learning that promotes an appreciation for the rich natural heritage of the South Mountain. Leadership skill-building will be woven into daily experiences. Institute activities will include hiking/guided nature walks, stream studies and data collection, action projects, and kayaking/swimming.