Cumberland County has a lot worth protecting. Residents and visitors alike are attracted to Cumberland County because of its wooded hills, scenic stream corridors, agricultural landscapes, and recreational opportunities. Cumberland County has approximately 55,000 acres (15%) of protected parks and natural areas, and approximately 30% of the county is covered by woodlands primarily located along its northern and southern ridgelines. Both the Kittatinny Ridge (northern boundary) and South Mountain (southern boundary) are internationally recognized Important Bird Areas, essential to bird populations and their migration between North and South America. According to a Cumberland County Land Partnerships Public Opinion Survey, 90% of local residents say that natural resource protection is important to them.
Cumberland County’s natural assets are essential to everyday life. Its open spaces provide natural system services and recreational and property-value benefits that exceed an estimated $1 billion annually. Cumberland County tourism spending in 2014 totaled $774.1 million, third in the state behind Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. The market value of Cumberland County agricultural products is $195 million, and 39% of Cumberland County contains “prime soils,” the most productive soils for crops. Approximately 16,850 acres of prime farmland are permanently preserved through the County Farmland Preservation Program.
Click the links below to see how Cumberland County’s natural assets are essential to our everyday life: