Friends of the Smokies helps the Great Smoky Mountains National Park with raising funds, increasing awareness and helping provide volunteers. As the year ends, the nonprofit is asking for donations on the park’s behalf. Here are just five of the many things that donations would help with. To make a donation, click here.
1. Parks As Classrooms Program
These funds support the field staff to provide curriculum-based education programs to approximately 20,000 students and training workshops for an average of 400 teachers each year.
2. Artist in Residence Program
An Artist-in-Residence supports the opportunity for an artist to live in the park and produce original works of art. In exchange, the artist agrees to donate a piece of work to the park.
3. Cades Cove Fencing Support
These funds will help support 2 seasonal employees who will maintain the fences in Cades Cove along with 13 cemeteries and 9 historic structures.
4. Volunteer Roadside Assistance Support
The Smokies recruits retired law enforcement officers and their spouses to patrol Newfound Gap Road and Cades Cove, providing directions and visitor information, responding to disabled vehicles and lock-outs, and assisting with motor vehicle accidents and bear-related traffic jams.
5. Visitor Experience Stewardship
The park has experienced a 25% increase in visitation over the last decade. These funds are being used to support facilitated public engagement meetings to develop better understanding of desired park experiences and to identify potential congestion solution pilot projects at some of the most visited places on roads and trails.