Author: Frances Figart

  1. New Issue of "Smokies Life" Celebrates Trees and Their Stories

    New Issue of 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. It might seem easier to count the number of trees on an acre Read more...
  2. Parks as Classrooms Offers Kids Unforgettable Experiences

    Parks as Classrooms Offers Kids Unforgettable Experiences Courtney Lix grew up entwined in the natural and cultural history of Great Smoky Mountains National Park like a vine climbing up an ancient tree. Her grandfather, Henry Lix, was a park service employee who came to the Smokies to work as a naturalist in 1951. By 1953, he had founded the Great Smoky Mountains Natural History Association (today Read more...
  3. Anderson Design Group interviews GSMA’s CEO Laurel Rematore

    Anderson Design Group interviews GSMA’s CEO Laurel Rematore Anderson Design Group, a family-owned business based in Nashville, TN, creates poster art to document the wonder of America's 63 national parks. The following is an excerpt from an interview ADG conducted with Great Smoky Mountains Association CEO Laurel Rematore to raise awareness for the important educational work, Read more...
  4. Put safety first as elk herd enjoys 21st rut season

    Put safety first as elk herd enjoys 21st rut season While humans are focused on world events and weather updates, elk have only one thing on their minds. From now to early November, hormones kick in and these large ungulates go into overdrive. During the fall breeding season, bulls’ antlers reach maturity, and their ethereal bugling calls resonate through fields and forests within the park Read more...
  5. Now accepting applications for 2023 Steve Kemp Writer's Residency

    Now accepting applications for 2023 Steve Kemp Writer's Residency Residency namesake Steve Kemp and 2022 writer-in-residence Sue Wasserman. Photo courtesy of Sue Wasserman. Great Smoky Mountains Association is now accepting applications for its third annual Steve Kemp Writer's Residency. Funded by GSMA, the residency is designed to connect writers with the Smokies in meaningful ways and to Read more...
  6. Scientists discover new salamander species hiding in plain sight

    Scientists discover new salamander species hiding in plain sight Until recently, it was thought that 30 species of salamander live in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. But a recent article in Bionomia, the international journal devoted to biological naming, announced that what was believed to be one species of salamander has been found to actually consist of at least four distinct species, two of which Read more...
  7. Safe Passage facilitator Jeff Hunter named Wildlife Conservationist of the Year

    Safe Passage facilitator Jeff Hunter named Wildlife Conservationist of the Year Work hard; play harder. This catchy philosophy of work-life balance can be aptly ascribed to Jeffrey Hunter of Burnsville, an avid long-distance hiker and fan of the Grateful Dead who was recently named Wildlife Conservationist of the Year in the North Carolina Wildlife Federation’s Governor’s Conservation Awards. Read more...
  8. Remote cabin memorializes important Southern artist

    Remote cabin memorializes important Southern artist Pam Yarnell, an avid hiker and a member of Great Smoky Mountains Association, sent me an email in February of this year asking for my help. She wanted to make sure others were able to learn about a significant artist who had a special connection to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. “A few years ago, a handful of us were hiking in the Read more...
  9. Partners Cooperate to Meet the Needs of Great Smoky Mountains National Park

    Partners Cooperate to Meet the Needs of Great Smoky Mountains National Park By Valerie Polk Great Smoky Mountains National Park preserves more than 500,000 acres of treasured mountain landscape and roughly 2,900 miles of rivers and streams, all habitat for thousands of species of plants, animals, fungi, and more. In the midst of this impressive biodiversity are nearly 850 miles of trails and numerous iconic landmarks Read more...
  10. North Shore Decoration Days Continue Thanks to Park Staff

    North Shore Decoration Days Continue Thanks to Park Staff Bone Valley. Bradshaw. Higdon. Proctor. Hall. These are just a few of the names that grace more than 20 cemeteries in Great Smoky Mountains National Park that are only accessible by boat. Today, pilgrims from this region and from all over the country are transported to these special burial sites — some extremely remote — Read more...

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