The Antietam Valley Community Partnership (AVCP) was founded to improve the quality of life in the Antietam Valley, which includes the Boroughs of Mount Penn and Saint Lawrence, the Township of Lower Alsace, and the immediately surrounding area
AVCP has big plans for enriching our community. We are interested in improving access to quality community recreation for children and adults, as well as working to identify ways to ‘shine the light’ on the many positive characteristics of the Antietam Valley. We support community enrichment and economic development projects, especially those that impact the quality of life for families and residents. Finally, we are committed to maintaining close working partnerships with other organizations in the community, including the Antietam Valley Recreation & Community Center, the Mount Penn Area Business Association, local sports leagues, religious organizations and other groups.
AVCP is governed by a board of directors which includes formal representation from each of the three municipalities in the area, as well as the Antietam School District, and the offices of Representative Mark Rozzi and Senator Judy Schwank. Formal representation on the board allows each of those organizations to inform and cooperate with AVCP activities and plans. The board has seats for 21 members, each of whom pledges to make a personal financial contribution to AVCP’s work.
One of AVCP’s main objectives is to build pride in the Antietam Valley through the development of community events. In September of 2011, AVCP held their inaugural events over one weekend which included a community-wide yard sale involving over 300 local families, a New Ringgold Band Concert, a 9/11 Memorial ceremony and, in partnership with the Mount Penn Business Association, a block party which was attended by over 1,000 area residents.
Since then, AVCP has developed a series of community events, most of which are held each year, including free outdoor movies at the A-Field, a free Summer Playground Program at Carsonia Park, the annual Community Yard Sale and Flea Market, a Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration and Reception at Carsonia Park, a Street Fair, a Historic Trolley Tour, and a community dinner at Antietam High School. New for this year is the development of the Antietam Valley Farmers’ and Artisans’ Market at Carsonia Park, a 5K Fun Run and Walk in Pennside, the Carsonia Craft Beer Amusement, and free Concerts in Carsonia Park.
AVCP also supports a number of charitable causes in the area. In 2013, AVCP provided the grant match funding of $2,000 to the Lower Alsace Tree-Vitalize Program, which planted over 70 street trees along Carsonia Avenue and Prospect Streets. AVCP has also made substantial financial contributions to the Mount Penn Area Business Association, the Antietam School Musical Productions, each of the three Fire Departments in the area (Exeter, Lower Alsace and Mount Penn), Central Berks Regional Police Department, the Lower Alsace Ambulance Association, the Antietam High School Post Prom Party, and the Antietam Community Players.
AVCP’s has two major focus areas for 2015. First is identifying funds to implement the Master Plan for Carsonia Park. AVCP is working closely with a wide range of partners, including each of the municipalities in the area: the Antietam Valley Recreation and Community Center, the Mount Penn Borough Municipal Authority, the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Antietam School District, the Berks Conservancy, and the soon-to-be-formed Recreation Commission of the Antietam Valley. The goal is to identify grants and fundraising events to fund the improvements called for in the Master Plan.
The second major focus for AVCP in 2015 is the creation of a plan for improvement to the commercial corridors in our area, including especially Perkiomen Avenue, but also the commercial areas of Carsonia and Saint Lawrence Avenues. In 2014, AVCP began hosting the Community Leadership Breakfast Series, which brought municipal and business leaders from the Antietam Valley together to discuss this important issue. AVCP received a major financial commitment from the Metropolitan Edison Foundation to continue those meetings, with the goal of beginning the planning process later this year.
AVCP’s Board Meetings are open to the public, and are held every-other month at Trinity UCC in Mount Penn. We meet on the third Tuesday at 6:30pm in January, March, May, July, September and November.