Funds offered by TVA will cover transport costs for elementary aged pupils in Knoxville to visit GSMNP summer time. These summer vacations and actions will expose young people to the natural wonders of the Great Smoky Mountains such as science and social studies instruction initiatives which reinforce Tennessee school curricula. Park Rangers will go onsite into the Boys & Girls Clubs to provide fun, hands-on actions that help the children become comfortable with the rangers and begin learning about the park’s natural ecosystems. The program also gives a summer camp experience with one-day in-park field trips to learn about the cultural heritage of the region and the park’s natural biodiversity.

The majority of the pupils participating in the program are out of Title I schools, which include students near or under the poverty level, qualifying for the reduced or free lunch program, also therefore are at the higher risk of collapse. Their involvement in the application will be to their families free of expense. Friends of the Smokies expects reaching more than 1,500 students throughout the summer program for urban youth at 2019.

“We are eager to finance this summer education software in the Smokies again this season,” explained Tim Chandler, Friends of the Smokies Executive Director & CEO. “These kids are the next generation of park users and stewards, therefore we’ll jump at any chance we must achieve them and present them into the wonders of the natural world in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.”

Friends of the Smokies will offer an extra $5,000 towards the app through proceeds from its specialty license plate program at Tennessee. For an additional $35 annual fee, motorists all over Tennessee can encourage programs such as this using a specialty license plate featuring a black bear and sunset across the Great Smoky Mountains. Learn more at or visit the neighborhood county clerk’s office.

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