Volunteers needed for Great Smoky Mountain ‘Adopt-a-Plot’ Program. National park rangers are seeking volunteers to monitor designated plots throughout the park. Participants will track phenology, or nature’s calendar. No experience is required but individuals with an interest in science and nature should thrive. Volunteers will collect important research data such as plant flowering dates and tree canopy foliage changes.
Volunteers will participate in a 3-hour training workshop that covers topics like tree identification techniques, stages of tree change throughout the year, fruit and flower identification, and phenology data collection protocols. Volunteers are required to attend one of the training sessions held at either Oconaluftee Visitor Center near Cherokee, NC on Saturday, February 29 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. or at Sugarlands Visitor Center near Gatlinburg, TN on Saturday, March 7 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Bob Ross’ son hosts painting workshops at Blount County Public Library. The beloved painter Bob Ross is best known for “happy little trees,” mountain scenes, and the most laid back attitude on life that could be imagined. His PBS series the “Joy of Painting” continues to inspire young and old to take up painting almost thirty years after his passing.
Bob’s technique has been described as painting for the masses. It is quick, efficient and always personalized.
Bob was generous with his knowledge and his talent did not fall far from the tree. Bob’s son Steve Ross has followed in his footsteps and has continued the tradition of education. He will be hosting painting workshops in the “Joy of Painting” style March 4, 2020 through March 8, 2020. Fans of the show will remember Bob’s coworker Dana Jester. Dana will be on hand at the workshops to share her knowledge and provide guidance to participants.
Appalachian Bear Rescue’s Mardi Bear Event will be a fun way to celebrate Mardi Gras in the Smokies! This Smoky Mountain event is scheduled for Tuesday, February 25, 2020, 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The event will be held at the Wild Laurel Golf Course Club House found at 702 Country Club Dr., Townsend, TN 37882.
The Shrimp Dock from Maryville, Tennessee will be providing delicious, fresh seafood to satisfy the hungry bear in everyone! The menu will include a hot shrimp boil with chicken, jambalaya, king cake and a cash bar. Daiquiris and beer will be served up to quench your bear sized thirst. You don’t have to walk on four legs to enjoy this fun Mardi Gras event, just come hungry. All the fun and good eats will raise funds for Appalachian Bear Rescue’s recent bear additions from Louisiana; King B. Beignet, Boudreaux and Jessamine.
Appalachian Bear Rescue has been rehabilitating orphaned black bears and returning them to the wild for over two decades. Based in Townsend, Tennessee, the sprawling ABR facility accepts bears from the Appalachian Mountains and across the United States. HeySmokies.com is proud to be partnered with Appalachian Bear Rescue via our area donation box program. Leading area businesses proudly display our HeySmokies donation boxes benefitting ABR. To date the HeySmokies donation box program has raised over $15,000.00 for Appalachian Bear Rescue and area charities. When making a donation be sure and pick up a free, colorful HeySmokies bumper sticker for your car. Stick it on and show the world that you support our effort to rescue orphaned bear cubs! With over 100,000 free stickers distributed the HeySmokies nation continues to grow each year! We are happy to announce our newest donation box location at the Local Goat in Pigeon Forge. If you would like to display a donation box in your business please contact HeySmokies.com today!
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Hosts 12.5 Million Visitors. Great Smoky Mountains National Park broke it’s all time annual attendance record. 12,547,743 visitors explored the park in 2019, which is 1,126,540 more visitors than in 2018. These visitation numbers secure the park’s place as America’s most visited national park again. The park’s three main entrances near Gatlinburg, Townsend, and Cherokee all had increased use. These areas accounted for about two-thirds of the total park visitation. The Metcalf Bottoms entrance near Wears Valley experienced tremendous growth, due primarily to the new section of the Foothills Parkway between Walland and Wears Valley. Over one million visitors enjoyed this new scenic driving experience.
“I am very proud of our employees who work hard each day, along with our volunteers and partners, to help provide outstanding visitor experiences and to protect the resources that people come here to enjoy,” said Superintendent Cassius Cash. “With growing visitation, this has become more challenging. In 2020, we’ll be inviting people to help us thoughtfully look at how we can improve access and continue caring for this very special place.”