Friends' Day in Knoxville Benefits the Friends of the Smokies
- September 05, 2017 |
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited unit in the National Park Service. On September 9, the Mast Store in Knoxville is hosting volunteers from the Friends of the Smokies (FOTS) and will donate 10% of the day’s sales to help this group’s continuing efforts to preserve and protect this important, beautiful, and biologically diverse park.
"We are happy to work with the Friends of the Smokies to ensure that we are able to share this special place with generations to come."- Lisa Cooper
Chartered in 1993, the Friends of the Smokies assists the National Park Service with its awesome responsibilities of preserving and protecting the Park. It also helps raise awareness and funds and provides volunteers for needed projects.
In 2008, the Friends established the Trails Forever endowment with the help of a matching gift from the Aslan Foundation in Knoxville. This endowment underwrites a full-time trail crew that rehabilitates and reconstructs some of the Park’s most impacted trails.
This spring, the Trails Forever crew began work on Phase 1 of the Rainbow Falls Trails rehabilitation project. The crew is making sustainable improvements that keep hikers safe and protect sensitive environmental resources. Past Trails Forever projects include Forney Ridge Trail, Chimney Tops Trail, and most recently Alum Cave Bluffs Trail. Trails Forever is among more than $1 million in projects Friends of the Smokies supports every year in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Keeping up with the wear and tear on the trails, providing funds for research to combat the hemlock woolly adelgid, and returning elk to the Park after a 150-year absence are just a few of the activities undertaken by the Friends each year.
“The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a gem in Tennessee and North Carolina,” said Lisa Cooper, president of Mast General Store. “The scenery and its diversity of animals and plants are amazing. We are happy to work with the Friends of the Smokies to ensure that we are able to share this special place with generations to come.”
The Mast Store in Knoxville will host volunteers from the Friends of the Smokies on September 9. At the end of the day, a donation of 10% of the day’s sales will be made to the FOTS. To find out how you can become more involved, visit the FOTS website at www.FriendsoftheSmokies.org.
Photos courtesy of Sam Hobbs