Left to right: South Mountain Partnership Program Manager Julia Chain, DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn and Institute Executive Director Tracy Holliday.
A one-acre pond on The Institute’s new property near Waynesboro is slated for restoration.

Institute receives grant from South Mountain Partnership

WAYNESBORO— The Institute was awarded $16,000 from the South Mountain Partnership’s Mini-Grant Program for Conserving Wild Wonders. The funds will be used toward the restoration of a one-acre pond at the site of The Institute’s future nature center near Waynesboro, Pa.

The Institute purchased a 40-acre property in Washington Township with plans to create a nature education center and living classroom for both students and the greater Waynesboro community. The organization has raised $2.5 million toward their goal of $3 million in a capital campaign to create the nature center. Work on the property will be done in phases.

“Thanks to this funding from South Mountain Partnership, work is about to get underway on a comprehensive design study to lead the restoration of the large pond at our nature center site,” said Tracy Holliday, Institute executive director.

Triad Engineering will contribute an in-kind component as The Institute’s project partner in creating the Pond Restoration Design Study.

“The pond will support an array of future educational, conservation, and recreational programs,” Holliday said.

The grant includes student and academic involvement throughout the project. Institute intern Emily Baker, a student at Greencastle Antrim Senior High School, is currently sampling and documenting base-line water quality and observational assessments of flora, fauna and critter habitats in and around the pond.

Additional student involvement in the pond project will come from Waynesboro Area High School’s AP Environmental Science class, Water Striders—a middle and high school watershed science study group—and university interns.

Since 1990, The Institute has provided programming in environmental education and cultural history for area school children, plus a variety of workshops, lectures and programs for all ages. In addition, the organization hosts several free community events annually.

This pond project was financed in part by a grant from the Community Conservation Partnerships Program, Environmental Stewardship Fund, under the administration of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Recreation and Conservation. The grant was awarded through the South Mountain Partnership, with management oversight of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

The Institute is a partner of the South Mountain Partnership, an alliance of organizations working to preserve and enhance the cultural and natural assets of the South Mountain Landscape in Central Pennsylvania. To learn more about the Partnership, please visit www.southmountainpartnership.org.

For more information about The Institute and how you may support the campaign, contact The Institute at 717-762-0373 or via email: [email protected].