Your Smokies: Friends of the Smokies
One of the reasons why The Great Smoky Mountain National Park is so attractive to so many people besides the parks wonderful natural beauty, fascinating history, amazing Biodiversity and the convenient geographic location with such temperate weather is the fact that there are still no entrance fees to enter the park or enjoy any of the park run programs.
Even though it is the most visited national park, the Great Smoky Mountain National park is one of the only parks in the entire national park system that does not charge an entrance fee. Taking this into account along with federal cut backs and increasing costs for everything, you can see why it is so seriously under funded and it desperately needs your help.
The Friends of Smokies is an independent 501(c)(3)non profit organization who assists the National Park Service in its mission to protect and preserve the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. The Friends of the Smokies accomplishes this by raising public awareness and funds and providing volunteers for much needed projects.
Donated car from Friends of the Smokies
Give at Friends of the Smokies donations boxes
Some of the great functions the Friends of the Smokies perform are:
- Protecting natural resources.
- Supporting public educational programs.
- Improve public trails, campsites, and even backcountry shelters.
- Preserve historic structures.
- Reintroduction of animals such as the North American Elk into the Smokies
- Provide visitor facilities and orientation programs.
- Guided hikes and demonstrations at special events
Where ever you decide to go in the Great Smoky Mountain national park and no matter what your interests are, Friends of the Smokies has left their mark and without them, the park would not be what it is, nor would it be as protected for future generations to enjoy it.
While the park services mission is to protect natural and cultural resources, time and again funding cuts occur and important projects get pushed back contributing to permanent damage and loss of plant and animal species.
When vandals destroyed a log cabin in Little Cataloochee there was no money to reconstruct this historic landmark. Thanks to the help of Friends of the Smokies funding was obtained and this is now one of the most beautiful cabins in the Great Smoky Mountains national parks collection of historic buildings.
Where one more than 10 million elk roamed North America, by the 1800's there were no more left in North Carolina or Tennessee. Thanks to hard work and lots of money from Friends of the Smokies and other nonprofit organizations, 52 elk were reintroduced in the Great Smoky Mountains, in 2001 and 2002 where they now thrive.
Beside the initial monies required to start such a program, significant monies are needed to maintain a program which had at its peak almost 10 volunteers. A vehicle, additional uniforms, radios and other support equipment needed by volunteers to keep the visitors and the elk safe were provided by Friends of the Smokies.
It is not a lot to ask for you to give just a little to support this park. The price of membership is cheaper than a night out at the movies and it really makes such a difference. Please do the right thing and support the Great SMoky Mountains national park by supporting Friends of the Smokies today.
Friends of the Smokies Members get a 10% discount on cabins (excluding holidays)
Use Discount Code YFOTS10 when renting from this participating rental company.
Friends of the Smokies: Tennessee - Main Office
Phone: (865) 932-4794
Friends of the Smokies: North Carolina Office
Phone: (828) 452-0720
Fax: (828) 452-0767