Smokies association honored for interpretive work

The Great Smoky Mountains Association took home top honors from the Public Lands Alliance’s annual awards this year.

“We take very seriously our commitment to produce the finest, most accurate and innovative interpretive materials about Great Smoky Mountains National Park,” said Laurel Rematore, GSMA’s executive director. “We are honored to receive recognition from our peers as we proceed with the important work of engaging visitors in the stewardship of the Smokies and of all our public lands.”

The organization received the prestigious Publication of the Year award for its large-format book Pictures for a Park highlighting early photographers who helped persuade Congress to create the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Its CD “On Top of Old Smoky: New Old-time Smoky Mountain Music,” which includes recordings of traditional songs of the Smokies from two dozen top-tier musicians, won top honors in the Innovative Product of the Year category. And the Southern Appalachian Public Lands Outdoor Recreation Map — which came into existence thanks to a collaboration between GSMA, Partners of Cherokee National Forest and other regional agencies and nonprofits — earned PLA’s first-place award in the Outstanding Public Engagement category. 

The PLA is a network of more than 120 member organizations that serve more than 500 public lands and contribute some $150 million annually to preservation and visitor enhancement.

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