South Mountain Partnership Protects Natural Resources

What do you want Adams County to look like in five, ten, or twenty years, and what are you doing to help make that possible? The South Mountain Partnership (SMP), a public-private partnership and network collaboration, is helping answer these questions. “We are the only local conservation group operating on a regional level that brings

More car dealerships join call to ‘tap the brakes’ on EVs

By Lauren Jessop | The Center Square contributor  (The Center Square) – Nearly 4,500 dealerships representing all major auto manufacturing brands from every state recently signed a letter to President Joe Biden asking him to “tap the brakes” on his proposed electric vehicle mandate based on a lack of consumer demand. Since the letter was sent in November

Year in Review: Pennsylvania’s electric vehicle marathon

By Lauren Jessop | The Center Square contributor (The Center Square) – Over the last year, Pennsylvania set out in earnest to meet federal goals for the electric vehicle transition.  Christen Smith | The Center Square It’s been an expensive and complex process, most of which is yet to be decided. The Biden administration set a target for

Pa. introduces new rules for hunters to limit the spread of ‘zombie deer disease.’ Here’s what to know.

Pennsylvania has seen an increase in chronic wasting disease since 2012. While the state has implemented tracking and mitigation efforts, testing is still optional for hunters. by Marley Parish of Spotlight PA State College Photo By Mark Nale This story was produced by the State College regional bureau of Spotlight PA, an independent, nonpartisan newsroom dedicated

Gettysburg Borough Council talks trees

The Gettysburg Borough Council hopes to increase communication with the group that plants Gettysburg’s trees. The Shade Tree Commission is responsible for the planting, replanting, pruning, health, and removal of plants, shrubs, and trees within the borough. The commission has been inactive for several years, but Chair David Rice and his team are eager to

Air quality reaches “Code Orange” in Adams

The Air Quality Index (AQI) in Adams County has been in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s “Code Orange” over the past two days. The categorization means the air in the region is “unhealthy for sensitive groups” and that susceptible people should take preventative measures. According to guidelines, “active children and adults, and people with lung

Adams County and regional groundwater update

The beautiful fall foliage, the brown and gold corn and soybean fields, and the grass that has conveniently stopped growing … it all presents a sense of normalcy in Adams County. But while it may not be evident at first glance, Adams County remains in a water-deficit situation. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, Adams

Glass Recycling Collection Site Opens in Adams County

a pile of empty green beer bottles

After months of planning and preparation, Adams County’s new Glass Recycling Collection Site will open for business on Saturday. The site, located at 230 Greenamyer Lane, Straban Township, will be open on the first Saturday of every month from 9 a.m. to noon through the winter. Expanded hours are expected to be announced on Earth

GNMP Deer Management Program Will Run October 2023 through March 2024

a deer standing in the snow looking at the camera

Gettysburg National Military Park and Eisenhower National Historic Site will conduct the lethal removal of white-tailed deer as part of the White-tailed Deer Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement between October 2023 through March 2024. This action addresses the over-browsing of native vegetation and agricultural crops and is a management strategy that supports long-term protection, preservation, and

Is Adams County still in a drought?

The simplest answer is: No! Thanks to recent rains, the U.S. Drought Monitor has upgraded Adams County from “moderate drought” to “abnormally dry,” as you can see in the attached map. Another good indicator of how we’re doing with our water resources is stream flow. We’ve also included a chart showing the latest reading for

How to make homes cooler without cranking up the air conditioning

Jesus Lizana, University of Oxford; Nicole Miranda, University of Oxford; and Radhika Khosla, University of Oxford Temperatures around the world are soaring. Both California’s Death Valley and China’s Xinjiang region have seen temperatures climb above the 50℃ mark. A blistering heatwave is also sweeping across the Mediterranean, causing temperatures in parts of Italy, Spain, France,

14 AGs want action on ‘plastic pollution crisis’

By Tom Gantert | The Center Square (The Center Square) – Fourteen state attorneys general asked the Biden Administration to do more to “combat the plastic pollution crisis.” Jeremy DeBenedictis, President of Alterra Energy, stands in the storage area of shredded plastics his company receives from recycling facilities in their facility in Akron, Ohio, on Thursday,

Using green banks to solve America’s affordable housing crisis – and climate change at the same time

Tarun Gopalakrishnan, Tufts University; Bethany Tietjen, Tufts University, and Seth Owusu-Mante, Tufts University Green banks are starting to draw attention in the U.S., particularly since the federal government announced its first grant competitions under a national green bank program to bring clean technology and more affordable energy to low-income communities. Retrofitting apartment buildings for energy

Glass Recycling Coming to Adams County!

a pile of empty green beer bottles

Did you know that most waste haulers serving Adams County do not permit customers to place glass into recycling bins? If they do, glass placed in curbside recycling bins is transported to a sorting facility, separated, and then transported to the landfill. It is not recycled. Making matters worse, the glass is transported twice. Further,

The Edge of the Wood: Sky sponsored by Exxon

It’s early morning in Rivendell, a smoke-cloaked fantasyland outside my back door. Hobbits and dwarfs sit with their morning coffee around kitchen tables in stone huts along pathways pressed by millions of footfalls through the forest on the far side of the glen. This close to July, the morning sun should have the air warmed

Understanding outdoor air quality

With a noticeable haze in the atmosphere staying around for a second day, and arriving for the second time in two weeks, the question of outdoor air quality might well be on your mind. The current haze, associated with smoke from wildfires in Canada spreading over the country, state and county, may leave residents unsure

“Code Red” air quality alert remains in place today

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has issued a Code RED Air Quality Alert for all of Central Pennsylvania including Adams County. The alert, which continues through midnight, indicates the air in the region is affected by smoke and ozone from forest fires burning in Canada. The AQI indicator in Arendstville reported a reading of

50 acres preserved in Conewago Township

GETTYSBURG, PA – Estelle King of Hanover recently gifted a conservation easement protecting a 50-acre parcel in Conewago Township to the Land Conservancy of Adams County. King and her late husband, Richard King, purchased the original 25-acre parcel, which includes the main house, several outbuildings, and a sprawling arboretum, from the Myers family in 1987.

The Edge of the Wood: The first letter in STEM

The trial is over in the case of Held v. The State of Montana. The lawyers have performed their roles on the judicial stage. Now we wait, a few weeks probably, several months possibly, for the lone critic to review the material and render a ruling. The question? Is Montana, one of three states in

Drought and burn bans continue across the county

According to the National Integrated Drought Information System, compiled by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and despite having received a half inch or so of rain over the past week, Adams County remains in drought conditions.  The drought is affecting local farmers. “Everything from strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and peaches are all smaller than

The Edge of the Wood: Youth seek future in court

For the past several years, I have been among those predicting our youth would have to resolve the problems we oldsters have wrought upon our home. It turns out they’re already at it – and doing more than merely crying out, “OK, Boomer!” when they detect a problem. Monday, a group of young people—ages from

The Inevitable

The chipmunk that lived in the downspout behind my back porch died last week. Tommy murdered it. Does that sound hyperbolic?  Do cats commit murder? If he had any intention of eating it, I would say he killed it, but eating wasn’t part of the plan. He offed it for sport. He dropped it on

The Edge of the Wood: Profits over science mark SCOTUS decision

Wetlands— those swampy areas we sometimes encounter as we wander through our forests and other undeveloped acres—may seem like wasted land, but they are hard at work reducing flood risk during heavy rain events and filtering to provide safe drinking water for plants and other critters, including us humans. In a classic case of “he

Climate change is getting expensive

Climate change is getting expensive, and not addressing it has begun to cost us in significant ways. Climate change denialists, including many of our own local elected representatives, continue to repeat their talking points about jobs and freedom and so forth, but the bill for climate negligence is coming due, not only at some point

PA, Gettysburg Issue “Red Flag” burn ban

photo of flames on firepit

Gettysburg Borough has issued a borough-wide burn ban which includes outside fire pits. The PA State Dept. of Environmental Protection has also declared today a Code Red Air Quality Action Day throughout the entire Commonwealth for fine particulate matter.  The borough said the ban was based on the very dry conditions. The ban will remain in effect until

The Edge of the Wood: A dark and stormy night

The day started the way a spring Dad-with-13-year-old motorcycling day should start: sunny but not too much heat. It was a post-Navy-retirement run from Norfolk, Virginia, where I had spent the previous eight years, to Maine, where I was raised. Night One was Locust Lake State Park, near Mahanoy City, PA. We filled out tummies

Pressure from solar developers, a toboggan ride, and a report card featured at South Mountain Partnership spring meeting

The changing face of growth has changed the efforts in Franklin County to plan for it while attempting to preserve the county’s mix of characters. “Franklin County has been a target for solar development,” Franklin County Commissioners Chairman David Kelly told a group of South Mountain Partnership (SMP) supporters gathered Friday morning at a pavilion

The Edge of the Wood: When the GPS isn’t helping

In an online video the other day, a fellow wanderer was making his way through an area with which I am fairly familiar. As I watched him follow his camera along the path, I noticed places I recognized, places I had, in my own wanderings, passed by. I was reminded of an experience several years

Project saves money, supports rainwater conservation

More than two dozen Gettysburg Borough residents attended a water barrel assembly workshop Thursday afternoon at the Adams County Agricultural and Natural Resources Center. The 27 participants each went home with barrels capable of holding 60 gallons of rainwater. “This is free water,” Gettysburg Borough resident John Zaremba commented while installing hose fittings on a

The Edge of the Wood: Road trip through my mind

A recent car-shopping trip with a friend got me thinking about my history with motor vehicles. My first was an English Ford convertible. It was white and cost me $75, which, even in 1967, was not bad. I don’t remember the year or model, but it was old. It had character, which meant some things

Disinfectants and cleaning products harboring toxic chemicals are widely used despite lack of screening for potential health hazards

Courtney Carignan, Michigan State University Quaternary ammonium compounds can linger on surfaces and in indoor air and dust long after the disinfectant has dried. Guido Mieth/DigitalVision via Getty Image.The Research Brief is a short take about interesting academic work. The big idea Concerns about unnecessary use of a common class of antimicrobial chemicals used in disinfectants

Monarch Crusader visits Gettysburg

About 80 Adams Countians were treated to an entertaining recipe for backyard entertainment and pollination. “Why would anyone plant a tree that isn’t native?” Toronto-based butterfly expert Carol Pasternak asked her audience Saturday afternoon. Pasternak presented a recipe for inviting birds and butterflies to residential gardens and lawns — the latter which she decried as

Gettysburg Green Gathering to host a butterfly defender

The Gettysburg Green Gathering is bringing an advocate for monarch butterflies to town! Carol Pasternak of Toronto, Canada, will provide a kid-friendly introduction to the care and feeding of butterflies, especially Monarch butterflies, on Saturday, April 29, at 1:00 PM at the Charles Sterner Building at the Gettysburg Recreation Park.  A second presentation will take

ACCF funds environmental stewardship

In recognition of Earth Day 2023, the Adams County Community Foundation awarded $13,500 in grants through its Adams County Fund for the Environment to support environmental stewardship in Adams County. The Fund for the Environment selected three projects, awarding grants to the County of Adams to establish a glass recycling collection facility, Strawberry Hill for

The Green Gettysburg Book Club in 2023

As the Green Gettysburg Book Club advances into its third year online, we’ve kept on with our study of “the little things that run the world.”  Entomologist E.O. Wilson in his book Half Earth, which we read in 2021, uses that phrase to describe the work of insects in maintaining the biosphere.  For us in


I signed up in March for a class that resulted in an “Earthkeeper” certificate this month, one of many programs created for the now majority of Americans who are concerned about human damage to the Earth, which is also damaging animal and plant life on the planet.  As climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe points out in

Will the Earth last forever?

Shichun Huang, University of Tennessee ‘Earthrise,’ a photo of the Earth taken by Apollo 8 astronaut Bill Anders, Dec. 4, 1968. NASA/Bill Anders via Wikipedia Curious Kids is a series for children of all ages. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, send it to Will the Earth last forever?

Gettysburg Garden Club brings Matt Radar, President of PA Horticultural Society, to Gettysburg audiences

Matt Radar,  President of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS), will speak at the Gettysburg Garden Club’s April 27 meeting at the Gettysburg Firehouse, 35 North Stratton Street, at 1 pm. Matt will share what’s new at the PHS, including growth and innovation underway in the Society’s Public Gardens and Landscapes and Healthy Neighborhoods Program. Made

The Edge of the Wood: Landmarks

I found myself this week looking back a few years when, well … “I used to use that as a landmark. Something’s got to go back up there,” Ariste Reno of New York, formerly of Chicago, told me when I visited the World Trade Center site on the first anniversary of its destruction. I thought

Kiwanis hears from LCAC

​The Gettysburg Adams Kiwanis Club heard from the Land Conservancy of Adams County at their March 13 meeting as part of the club’s continuing monthly speaker series. Pictured, from left, are Laura McMahon, Kiwanis president; Betsy Meyer, vice president of LCAC; Sarah Kipp, LCAC conservation director; and Erica Duffy, secretary and LAOC board member. The

At Land Conservancy’s 27th annual dinner, land owners who preserved property in 2022 are honored

The Land Conservancy of Adams County (LCAC) held its 27th Annual Dinner meeting at the Gettysburg Hotel on March 9.  Landowners who preserved their properties in 2022 were honored and new board members were elected. The Land Conservancy seeks to preserve the rural character of Adams County through the negotiation of Conservation Easements. An easement is

County Commissioners conserve new properties; honor Land Conservancy and 4H

Wednesday was a day to appreciate preserving Adams County’s rural landscape as the commissioners approved the purchase of new land for preservation and honored two conservation agencies at their meeting. The commissioners approved a proposal from Ellen Dayhoff, AG Land Conservation Board Program administrator, to purchase five agricultural conservation easements in Conewago and Union Townships. The

The Edge of the Wood: The trouble with green

March wind waves the blossoming red leaves of the maple, bluebirds, and cardinals clinging to the branches as they try to overpower the blossoming red leaves with their own raiment. It’s not yet Easter, but many critters are eager to show off their colors. Grabbing seeds from the grass, diminutive Dark-eyed Juncos in their white

The Edge of the Wood: Half-full, but leaking badly

There is continuous discussion among us concerning whether the glass of our continued inhabitance upon this planet be half empty or half full. I choose to believe the latter, although plenty of us are hard at work draining what is left. Our forests will never look as they looked at the end of the last

The Edge of the Wood: Every body gotta eat

Outside my window, birds and squirrels and a presumable variety of other critters are pairing up in my backyard — bluebirds and house sparrows have commenced their annual fight over the bluebird houses that, if history is prognosticator, will soon be home to a clutch of sparrow chicks. House Sparrows are the definition of “backyard

Panel Discusses the Economic and Human Impacts of Climate Change

Climate change and its economic and human impacts were the subjects of a panel discussion on Tuesday evening in Joseph Theater at Gettysburg College. Panelists included Dr. Sarah Principato from the college’s Environmental Studies Department and Drs. Rimvydas Baltaduonis and James O’Brien from the Department of Economics. The program was hosted by students Carter Hanson,

Gettysburg College sponsors climate change panel

The Gettysburg College Democrats are sponsoring a panel on climate change featuring Professor Sarah Principato from Environmental Studies, and Professors James O’Brien and Rimyvidas Baltaduonis from Economics. The discussion will take place on Tuesday, February 21 from 6:00-7:30 PM in Joseph Theater in Breidenbaugh Hall on the Gettysburg campus.  Breidenbaugh Hall is located directly across

How dangerous was the Ohio chemical train derailment? An environmental engineer assesses the long-term risks

Andrew J. Whelton, Purdue University Headaches and lingering chemical smells from a fiery train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, have left residents worried about their air and water – and misinformation on social media hasn’t helped. State officials offered more details of the cleanup process and a timeline of the environmental disaster during a news

The Edge of the Wood

Welcome to Emanon The thing about development is it never seems to work out as well as it was planned – except for the developers. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not opposed to growth. I enjoy, for instance, trees large enough to make shade on a summer afternoon and creeks wide enough to have pools

GARA approves Story Walk; considers supporting ACHS bicycle trail

The Gettysburg Recreational Authority (GARA) Board of Directors was presented with two proposals requesting GARA’s support. Pedestrian Trail:  The Adams County Historical Society (ACHS), together with Healthy Adams Bicycle/Pedestrian, Inc. (HABPI) is planning a new pedestrian trail from the end of the sidewalk on Carlisle Street up to the facilities of the Historical Society. Dennis

Honeybee presentation by South Mountain Audobon

The South Mountain Audubon Society invites you to a program given by Galen Stauffer at their monthly meeting on January 23. The meeting, free and open to the public, will be held at the Adams County Agricultural Center, 670 Old Harrisburg Road in Gettysburg. Refreshments and social time will start at 7:00 pm with a

Green Gettysburg Book Club Begins Its Third Year

Next Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2023, the Green Gettysburg Book Club will begin its third year, meeting weekly online to discuss books on environmental issues and explore solutions to both local and global environmental problems. From the beginning, the club has focused on the specifics of climate change, plastic pollution, biodiversity loss, water quality, land

Watershed Alliance finds contaminated water in recreational streams

In August the Watershed Alliance of Adams County found that the majority of Adams County streams it tested were contaminated with E.coli at levels exceeding those recommended for recreational use by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP). Supported by a grant from the South Mountain Partnership, the Watershed Alliance tested twenty-one sites on ten

Entomologist Celebrates the Benefits of Homegrown National Park

The Gettysburg Green Gathering welcomed entomologist and native species advocate Doug Tallamy to the Charlie Sterner Building at the Gettysburg Rec Park last night for a presentation on “nature’s best hope,” the re-wilding of the spaces and places where we live and work. Dr. Tallamy is a professor of entomology at the University of Delaware

Caution: contagious colors

The Connection is pleased to share this column from the blog of Gettysburg resident John Messeder, an award-winning ecology columnist and social anthropologist. More of John’s stories as well as his photography are available at his website, He may be contacted at When I was many years younger, I cut wood in summer, pulled it

Farmers Market celebrates South Mountain Partnership

The Adams County Farmers Market held its first South Mountain Partnership (SMP) Day today, sharing the work of the partnership and its many partners, including the Adams County Planning Commission, The Adams County Planting Partnership, and The Appalachian Trail Museum. The day brought hundreds of people together to learn about the partnership while shopping for

GBSWA moves forward on Culp’s Run renovation

Although there are many projects to tackle, the Gettysburg Borough Storm Water Authority’s (GBSWA) current focus is on the rehabilitation of Culp’s Run. The project will restore the stream that runs west from Rock Creek into the borough south of Middle St. and ends near Lincoln Elementary School. “The Culp’s Run project is the most

Tree Planting Maintenance Workshop at the Ag Center

The Adams County Conservation District (ACCD) is hosting a tree planting maintenance workshop at the Ag Center on Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The program will offer hands-on training, with topics covering proper tree planting, sheltering, and maintenance techniques,along with information on the importance of planting “the right tree in the right place.”

Gettysburg Nature Alliance to Host Earth Day Open House

The Gettysburg Nature Alliance, which operates the Gettysburg Heritage Center, invites the community to an open house on Earth Day, Friday, April 22, from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. at the organization’s “learning barn” near Sachs Bridge. “We are so excited to celebrate the 52nd anniversary of Earth Day,” said Dru Anne Neil, Nature Alliance president.

County honors Pastor John Spangler and Declares Land Conservancy of Adams County Month

The Adams County Commissioners honored Gettysburg resident John Spangler this morning for his service to the county, and particularly his work at the United Lutheran Seminary where he served as executive assistant to the president. Saying Spangler is an “outstanding citizen and leader in church and this community,” former seminary president Michael Cooper-White said it

Farming in the Gettysburg National Military Park

Gettysburg has been a hub for agriculture even before it was on the map. Fertile soil and a temperate climate attracted hard-working settlers willing to live off the land. But the quiet rural life was suddenly jeopardized as soldiers marched into town in late June 1863. When it became clear that a bloody battle loomed,

Organization Spotlight: Gettysburg Nature Alliance connects habitat with heritage

The Gettysburg Nature Alliance, founded in 2017 to educate about and preserve Gettysburg’s habitat and heritage, is emerging from the pandemic stronger than before. The organization spent its pre-pandemic years sorting out the logistics that all fledgling organizations deal with. Now, with a recent $50,000 donation from New Leaf Paper Inc. and a new project underway,

Gettysburg Borough to Host Public Shredding Event

FREE to Borough Gettysburg Residents; $2 Per Box for Non-Borough Residents As a service for Borough residents and a courtesy for neighboring municipalities, Gettysburg Borough will host a document shredding event on Friday, August 20, at the Borough’s Public Works Building, 457 East Middle Street, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, 17325.  Borough residents may participate free of charge,

Clean Air Adams County Aims to Improve Local Air Quality

Carolyn Ryan didn’t want to make it political. While following the presidential campaigns last year, she wanted to fight climate change with a cause everyone could support. A lightbulb went off when both political parties discussed air quality. “I thought, OK, well maybe if we just talk about making our air clean, we can do

Mt. Joy denies solar panel application on tie vote [UPDATE]

[THIS STORY WAS UPDATED ON JUNE 4, 2021] After two tie votes by the Mt. Joy township supervisors, the application for from NextEra Energy for a large solar panel array in the township was denied. Under township regulation a decision to approve requires a majority vote. The project, which would have added over 400 acres

A Community Park

I wasn’t born or raised in Gettysburg, but moved here five years ago. I say I was lucky to have moved much of my childhood because I experienced so many different communities. After living in Gettysburg for five years, I am still impressed and in awe of how much Adams County’s community and all of

Mt. Joy Solar Hearing Wrapping Up after a Year of Meetings

Mt. Joy Township Supervisors and attorneys for NextEra Energy and local residents who opposed the project have ended the 80 or so hours of evidentiary hearings they have participated in over the past year to discuss the merits of NextEra’s proposed solar array project that would cover hundreds of acres in the township. Thousands of