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.

A writer’s retreat: GSMA offers writing residency in the Smokies

Steve Kemp moved to the Great Smoky Mountains in 1987 for what would become a 30-year career with the Great Smoky Mountains Association, and following his 2017 retirement GSMA is looking to honor his contributions to the organization through a new writer’s residency. 

“There is a specific skill in writing in a way that engages the reader and inspires curiosity and passion in the reader, and that’s what we want to be able to cultivate,” said Laurel Rematore, executive director of GSMA, “because we’re in the business of helping people to connect with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, connect on an emotional level so they will take care of it.”

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