Smokies Life wins national public engagement award

Smokies Life, formerly Great Smoky Mountains Association, received national recognition at the 2024 Public Lands Alliance Partnership Awards for its “Junior Ranger Activity Guide,” which won in a category for Outstanding Public Engagement.

Smokies Life CEO to retire

Following CEO Laurel Rematore’s announcement that she intends to retire at the end of 2024, Smokies Life, formerly known as the Great Smoky Mountains Association, has launched a national search for her successor. 

Tremont Writers Conference accepting applications

Applications are open to the second annual Tremont Writers Conference, slated for Oct. 23-27 at Tremont’s campus in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, through April 30. 

GSMA announces name change

After completing its 70th year supporting preservation in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Great Smoky Mountains Association has adopted a new name. The nonprofit will now be known as Smokies Life. 

GSMA opens new Townsend visitor center

A new visitor center and retail space is now open just outside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Townsend, Tennessee, offering information, education materials, souvenirs, parking tags and other park-related goods to Smokies visitors. 

GSMA plans Members Weekend

Registration is open through July 31 to take part in the guided hikes, science classes, birding and live music that will mark the Great Smoky Mountains Association’s annual Members Weekend in Gatlinburg Sept. 15-16.

New book teaches kids how to be BearWise

As days lengthen and temperatures rise, black bears begin to move around in the woods searching for insects, nuts and berries. They also look for food in the gateway communities outside Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Word from the Smokies: Smokies Life celebrates trees and their stories

Have you ever tried to count the number of branches on a tree? One limb leads to many appendages from which grow several more, each with its own shape, size and direction. The prospect of keeping them sorted long enough to perform an accurate count presents a nigh-impossible task. 

Smokies ranger earns national award

A National Park Service ranger who has focused on the scientific and educational significance of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park for more than 20 years earned national praise in this year’s Public Lands Alliance awards ceremony, held Feb. 27 in Denver, Colorado.

Susan Sachs, education branch chief for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, received the 2019 PLA Agency Leadership Award for cultivating and leading partnerships, the result of a nomination from the Great Smoky Mountains Association.

Donation will open Smokies visitor centers for holiday weekend

Despite the ongoing government shutdown, two visitor centers in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park will be open over Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend thanks to a donation from Friends of the Smokies. Appropriations from federal recreation fees are also keeping a third visitor center, as well as a variety of restroom facilities, open during the shutdown.

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