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The Smoky Mountains Welcomes a Special Visitor to the National Park

The great smokey mountains national park, bridge with waterfall , hiking trail falls colorsEveryone loves visiting the Great Smoky Mountains, right? This week, the Smokies welcomed a special visitor to the national park. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell made her way to the Smokies to explore and check the progress of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. On Monday, March 3, Secretary Jewell met with U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander and other national park officials to visit the park.

(See Related: 8 Ways the Smoky Mountains are Different from the Rest of the World)

Chimney Tops Hiking Trail

As part of her effort to explore the Smokies, she took a two-mile hike on the Chimney Tops trail on Sunday, March 2, to see the progress of the restoration work. According to the U.S. Department of the Interior, Secretary Jewell spent time at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to report on the park’s economic impact, including the importance of partnerships in conserving and honoring the history of the park.

In an interview with The Daily Times, Secretary Jewell stated she was interested in learning more about the partnerships at our national park, including partnerships with Friends of the Smokies and more. She explained, “The Smokies are a gem. The families that gave up their land many years ago to make this park really gave a gift to all Americans. This is fun to be out here enjoying it. I see so many young people — kids on the trail, adolescents, college kids — all having a good time. It’s a popular trail, and it’s a taste of Tennessee the country doesn’t really know about, and needs to know about.”

Who was involved in the visit with the Secretary of the Interior?

  • Sally Jewell, Secretary of the Interior
  • Lamar Alexander, U.S. Senator from Tennessee
  • Pedro Ramos, Acting Superintendent of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  • Bob Patterson, President of the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center
  • Jonathan B. Jarvis, National Park Service Director

Joint Curatorial Collections Facility

Sen. Lamar Alexander and the Secretary of the Interior will meet with partners and conservation groups, of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, to discuss the future plans of the new facility. The new facility is set to hold nearly 900,000 artifacts and archival records from the Smoky Mountains, and other Tennessee national parks. For detailed information, take a look at our blog about the archive facility in the Great Smoky Mountains.

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