Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park assists the National Park Service in its mission to preserve and protect Great Smoky Mountains National Park by raising funds and public awareness, and by providing volunteers for needed projects.
Your gift to Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park can help:
Top Ten Reasons to Invest in the Smokies
- To preserve, restore and enhance the park's natural and cultural resources
- To provide improved services and facilities for its visitors
- To increase public awareness and support of the park
- To enhance educational and interpretive activities
- To improve trails and facilities
- To repair backcountry shelters and campsites
- To preserve historic structure
There are ten great to invest more public and private funds and volunteer time in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, including everything from mountaintop vistas to valley campgrounds and trails.
“From its very beginning, this park has been all about different people joining forces to do what no single person or group could accomplish independently,” said Jim Hart, President of the Friends organization. “We hope this list will remind people why we still need to work together to invest in the future of our park.”
The Friends’ Top Ten list includes the following reasons to invest in the Smokies:
1. Education programs for more than 10,000 local schoolchildren each year
2. A haven for thousands of species of plants and animals, including black bears, elk, salamanders, birds, wildflowers, and more
3. Preservation of mountain culture and history through the park’s historic buildings
4. 2,000 miles of streams for brook trout, fishing, and high water quality
5. Scenic drives and scenic views
6. More than 800 miles of trails for exploration, perspiration, and inspiration
7. Tourism and local economic prosperity
8. Time with family and friends at picnic areas, campgrounds, campsites, and backcountry shelters
9. A personal refuge for reflection and renewal
10. The responsibility to give our children and grandchildren the opportunity to enjoy reasons #1 through #9.
“We have a wonderful resource here,” Hart added. “By combining our federal, state, and local efforts, we can make the Smokies an even better place for future generations.”
Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, an independent, non-profit organization, assists the National Park Service by raising funds and public awareness and providing volunteers for needed projects. Since 1993, Friends of the Smokies has raised more than $12 million to help support conservation, education, and other priorities in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
For more information and to make a donation, go to their Web site.