News

  1. Wait, Don’t Kill It! Spiders Protect Us from Disease

    Wait, Don’t Kill It! Spiders Protect Us from Disease By Frances Figart, Creative Services Director  This time of year, some varieties of spiders may seek shelter from the cooler temperatures by coming into your house. If you find one, consider this before you take action: Most spiders are harmless, they provide essential services for humans, and they are actually critical for the balance of Read more...
  2. Permanent Camp: Asters

    Permanent Camp: Asters by George Ellison with illustration by Elizabeth Ellison The seasons spin around: spring into summer into autumn into winter. As I write this, summer is sliding into autumn. For some, it's a time of decline and decay, of frenzied wood gathering and other preparations for the often-dark days of winter. For others, autumn is the most Read more...
  3. Great Smokies wildlife technician one of few Hispanics working in WNC outdoors careers

    Great Smokies wildlife technician one of few Hispanics working in WNC outdoors careers September 15 to October 15 is celebrated nationwide as National Hispanic Heritage Month. Great Smoky Mountains Association shares this article by Karen Chávez of Asheville Citizen Times to honor the cultures and contributions of both Hispanic and Latino Americans as they pertain to Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  by Read more...
  4. Smoky Mountain Air Podcast: Vesna Plakanis talks about the wild foods of summer

    Smoky Mountain Air Podcast: Vesna Plakanis talks about the wild foods of summer Please remember that picking plants is prohibited in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, but some fruits, berries, nuts, and certain mushrooms may be gathered for personal use within limits. No wild mushroom should be eaten unless its identification is absolutely certain, which usually requires an expert to determine. ­Many mushrooms are Read more...
  5. Teachers need support too!

    Teachers need support too! By John Didiego, Tremont Education Director In a typical year, the social and emotional wellbeing of students might top my list of concerns heading into the school year. Kids can’t even begin to learn when their basic needs aren’t met.  This year, however, that concern is edged out by the needs of another critical Read more...
  6. Why euthanize bears that have fed on human remains? Biologist: Bears may repeat behavior

    Why euthanize bears that have fed on human remains? Biologist: Bears may repeat behavior This article is being shared with the permission of Karen Chávez and Asheville Citizen Times. It can be read in its entirety by clicking the link below. By Karen Chávez, Asheville Citizen Times What's in a black bear's belly? It could range from bees to household trash to blueberries. And even the remains of humans, according Read more...
  7. Ancient Grassy Balds: A Great Place to be During a Pandemic

    Ancient Grassy Balds: A Great Place to be During a Pandemic By Frances Figart, Creative Services Director  Mysterious and haunting, Southern Appalachian grassy balds have long fascinated scientists and hikers alike. How many balds are there in the Smokies? How did they evolve? How do they support rare plants? Can balds be found in other parts of the world?  Great Smoky Mountains National Park Read more...
  8. Image for the Asking: Waking Up the Cove

    Image for the Asking: Waking Up the Cove Story and image by Don McGowan The great open valleys of the Smokies—Cataloochee in North Carolina; Big Cove in Qualla Boundary; and Cosby, Tuckaleechee, and Cades Cove in Tennessee—are self-contained microcosms of the diverse human history of this wonderful land. Ongoing research and discovery is continuously adding to our Read more...
  9. 2020: A Great Year for Waterfalls and Mushrooms

    2020: A Great Year for Waterfalls and Mushrooms By Steve Kemp Based on the heavy flow of waterfalls and the plethora of mushrooms on trails, you might guess this has been a rainy year in the Great Smoky Mountains. You are correct! According to Jim Renfro, the park’s air quality specialist and de facto meteorologist, 2020 has been the wettest year on record thus far at Newfound Gap and Read more...
  10. Permanent Camp: Grass-of-Parnassus

    Permanent Camp: Grass-of-Parnassus by George Ellison with illustration by Elizabeth Ellison  “From a distance the white flowers are attractive but not extraordinary; when observed closely, though, the delicate tracery of the green veins on the waxy white petals is astonishing.” ~Alan S. Weakley, “Flora of the Southern and Mid-Atlantic States& Read more...

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