Invest in Salamanders, Elk, Cades Cove and Education in the Smokies

By Holly Scott, Marketing Director

Every year, Friends of the Smokies commits to supporting a list of Park needs. This year the list adds up to nearly $1.6 million. The projects and programs fall into several broad categories with federal governmenty-sounding names like Natural Resource Management & Science, Resource EducationFacilities Management, and Resource & Visitor Protection. We want you to know just how good it is to be a Friend of the Smokies. We want you to know some of the things that your giving makes possible. Orange Eft by Appalachian Trail Ridgerunner Billy Jones

Support of Salamanders

Did you know that Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the salamander capital of the world with over 30 species including the largest and most elusive hellbender? Friends of the Smokies funded air & water quality research last year totaling $150,000 to ensure that they have a healthy habitat to live and grow in.

Jordan's Salamander by Appallachian Trail Ridgerunner Billy Jones

Jordan’s Salamander or red-cheeked salamander

Cataloochee’s Elk

Did you know that Friends of the Smokies partnered with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation to reintroduce the majestic elk to Cataloochee Valley after a 150-year absence? Today the herd numbers over 200 animals, and tens of thousands of visitors every year flock to Cataloochee to see and hear them bugle during their annual courtship rituals. Cataloochee Bull Elk by Sam Hobbs

Smokies Brook Trout

Did you know that the brook trout is a native of Great Smoky Mountains National Park and that Friends of the Smokies has funded projects to reintroduce them to their native habitat, enabling you to tell even bigger and better fish stories (or lies) to your friends and grandkids for generations to come?

Underwater Brookie by RandRFlyFishing.com

A native brook trout underwater, courtesy of RandRFlyFishing.com

The Success of Parks as Classrooms

Neyland Stadium by Jack Williams

Neyland Stadium by Jack Williams

Did you know that Friends of the Smokies has contributed more than $2.3 million over the last 21 years to educate more than 18,000 schoolchildren in Tennessee and North Carolina every year? That totals more than 378,000 students. That would fill Neyland Stadium at the University of Tennessee almost 4 times!!!

 

Log Cabins of the Smokies

Did You Know? Did you know that Great Smoky Mountains National Park has the largest collection of historic log cabins and churches of any national park? The Park asks Friends of the Smokies every year to fund restoration work from Cades Cove to Cataloochee Valley, with projects costing anywhere from $12,000 to more than $30,000 each.

John Oliver Cabin in Cades Cove by Sam Hobbs

John Oliver Cabin in Cades Cove by Sam Hobbs

Volunteering in the Smokies is a Big Deal

Did You Know? Each year almost 3,000 individuals donate over 150,000 hours of volunteer service to Great Smoky Mountains National Park? Friends of the Smokies thanks each and every member of the Park’s Volunteers-in-Parks (VIP) program for making our national park a welcoming place for families who visit.

Elk Bugle Corps Volunteer Members in Cataloochee Valley

Members of the all-volunteer Elk Bugle Corps educate visitors on ways to safely and responsibly view wildlife, including the elk, in Cataloochee Valley

Great Smoky Mountains National Park as Job Creator

Did You Know? Did you know that Great Smoky Mountains National Park is an economic engine for its surrounding communities? The latest study shows the Smokies annually bring in $741 million to the towns around our national park and create nearly 11,000 jobs. Fall Color Over Gatlinburg by Sam Hobbs Taking care of Great Smoky Mountains National Park makes our communities stronger. Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit organization has been helping to preserve and protect Great Smoky Mountains National Park by raising funds and awareness and recruiting volunteers for needed projects. Over the last 21 years, support from Friends of the Smokies members, sponsors, donors, and Tennessee and North Carolina specialty license plate owners has totaled more than $44 million. To see this year’s list of Park Support Projects visit our website at FriendsOfTheSmokies.org

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