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Friends Of The Smokies

Official nonprofit partner of @GreatSmokyNPS since 1993. Tag your pics with #FriendsOfTheSmokies to be featured!

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Today marks the vernal equinox, meaning spring has sprung here in the Smokies! About 5:58pm locally is the official start to spring, so tell us, what spring trips to Great Smoky Mountains National Park do you have planned? 🌷🌺🌸🌼

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Each #FundMeFriday this year, we take a closer look at park projects funded by your donations.⠀ ⠀ Reduce Fuels and Create Defensible Space on Park Boundary ($20,000)⠀ The park conducted several fuel reduction projects along boundary areas from 1997 through 2003 including prescribed burning and mechanical fuel reductions. This project will allow the park to contract with a fire crew to reduce the accumulated fuels and create defensible space adjacent to the park boundary in areas like Ski Mountain. Crews will reduce heavy accumulations of dead wood and brush on the park boundary areas adjacent to homes and rental chalets using heavy equipment like this masticator.⠀ It's not pretty work, but it's all part of being a better #FireWise community and a good neighbor!

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#NationalNappingDay you say? On it! 🐻🐻

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Each #FundMeFriday, we're sharing a project from our 2019 Park Support List funded by YOUR donations. Up next:⠀ ⠀ Reduce Backcountry Bear Problems with Food Storage Cable Systems ($8,000)⠀ Each backcountry campsite and shelter in the Smokies has a pulley and cable system which campers are required to use to hoist their food and packs out of the reach of bears for the safety of both visitors and bears. Each year a number of these systems are damaged through use or by falling trees and must be replaced or repaired.⠀ ⠀ Discover & donate at FriendsOfTheSmokies.org. Photo by Billy Jones.

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Hey Knoxville! From now through April 8, @REI members are invited to help the co-op decide how to portion out some of their grant funds. At each store, you can vote for one of three nonprofit organizations using a token received with your purchase.⠀ ⠀ FOTS has been selected at the Knoxville REI store, so we hope you'll stop in, pick up that new gear you've been wanting anyway, and vote for Friends of the Smokies! Money we receive can help support a whole host of projects and programs in your @GreatSmokyNPS, but we need your help to get it. at REI

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Next up on our #InvasiveSpeciesWeek double header for #FundMeFriday are these shiny little critters. You can help prevent the destruction of our forests with one simple action: #DontMoveFirewood!⠀ ⠀ Public Safety Treatment of Ash Trees and Education Outreach ($14,100)⠀ Emerald Ash Borer, a non-native wood boring beetle that feeds on both species of ash trees in the park, has been confirmed along the Gatlinburg Trail, Greenbrier Road, Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, Little River Road, Cades Cove and along the northeast boundary of the park. This proposal is for systemic treatment of ash trees in developed areas (campgrounds, picnic areas, parking areas) to prevent hazard tree danger and to treat high ecological value backcountry ash. Some of the trees under threat from EAB exceed 30 inches in diameter and are in good to excellent health. Without treatment trees often die within three years of first signs of infestation, creating hazard trees along roads, in campgrounds, picnic areas and along popular trails.⠀ #EAB #InvasiveSpecies

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We've got a double #FundMeFriday today because this week is #InvasiveSpeciesWeek. Each Friday, we share project in the Smokies that we fund with your donations. Discover & donate at FriendsOfTheSmokies.org⠀ ⠀ Suppress Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Infestation ($75,000)⠀ Since 2003, Friends of the Smokies has had a leadership role in supporting the most ambitious program in the Southeast aimed at protecting hemlocks from the invasive and deadly hemlock woolly adelgid. The park is now leading control efforts on this forest pest. To date, more than 280,000 individual hemlock trees have been hand-treated. On average, the park has been able to retreat about 30,000 trees each year. In addition, more than 5,000 acres of hemlock-dominated forest have been set aside as special conservation areas. Protection includes a combination of soap spraying in the front country, systemic pesticides in more remote areas and biological control. Since biological control began, the park has released over 570,000 predator beetles as part of the overall landscape control effort.⠀ #HWA #InvasiveSpecies

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“Daffodils come before the swallow dares and take the winds of March with beauty.” I think Shakespeare nailed the caption on this one. Thanks to @onelaneroadphotography for the gorgeous shot from #CadesCove, your March #PhotoOfTheMonth!

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Final #FundMeFriday of February! Each week, we're sharing a project from our 2019 Park Support List funded by YOUR donations.⠀ ⠀ Maintain Protection of Fraser Firs at Purchase Knob ($2,500)⠀ Since 1962, the balsam woolly adelgid, an exotic predatory European insect, has killed 91% of the park’s naturally-occurring stands of high-elevation Fraser firs. The park and UT planted 600 seedlings at the Appalachian Highlands Science Learning Center at Purchase Knob in 1995. While some of these trees have been attacked by the balsam woolly adelgid, they are treated annually with sprays and pesticides to preserve samples of the trees’ genetic material, which is important for species preservation. Park staff is hopeful that these will assist in future repopulation of firs.⠀ ⠀ Discover & donate at FriendsOfTheSmokies.org. Photo by Bruce McCamish featuring dead fir trees at Clingmans Dome.

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Today is #FundMeFriday, where we share a project from our 2019 Park Support List funded by YOUR donations.⠀ ⠀ Elk Management and Monitoring ($15,700)⠀ These funds will allow the park to purchase immobilization drugs, tags, GPS collars, aversive conditioning supplies, and capture equipment. These funds will also help support staffing needs to repair exclosures and other work activities associated with the elk program. Overall, this program helps the park better manage elk populations and model population survival and reproduction rates. The collars don't interfere with the elk's normal behavior and they all have detachment mechanisms to break away if they get snagged or outgrow the collar before it can be adjusted.⠀ ⠀ Discover & donate at FriendsOfTheSmokies.org. Photo by Cyndee Leatherwood.

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An AMAZING sunrise from #MtCammerer Fire Tower. Thanks for sharing with us, @adamgravett! #FriendsOfTheSmokies #GreatSmokyMountains #NationalPark #GSMNP #Smokies #NorthCarolina #Tennessee #sunrise

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Each #FundMeFriday, we're sharing a project from our 2019 Park Support List funded by YOUR donations.⠀ ⠀ Support Appalachian Bear Rescue [ABR] ($4,000)⠀ Each year a number of orphaned or injured park bears are treated and housed in the nonprofit ABR center in Townsend, TN until they can be released back into the park. Prior to the creation of ABR, most of these animals were euthanized. We are proud to support ABR and the fantastic work they do with black bears in the Smokies.⠀ ⠀ Discover & donate at FriendsOfTheSmokies.org. Photo by Jon Phillips. Remember to view and photograph wildlife from a safe distance, at least 150 ft.

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It’s a cool, gray day in @greatsmokynps. Who’s ready for summer sun and wildlife running around? 🖐

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Today is #WorldWetlandsDay -- betchya didn't know that!⠀ Wetlands comprise less than 1% of @GreatSmokyNPS, yet they are found scattered throughout the entire park at both low and high elevations (870 to above 6600 feet) and account for an important part of the park’s biodiversity.⠀ ⠀ Smokies’ wetlands provide important habitat for a variety of plants, amphibians, insects, birds, fish, and mammals. Approximately 20% of the park’s plant species are associated with wetlands and 8%—including some that are rare—grow only in wetlands. #TheMoreYouKnow

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It's #FundMeFriday and we've got a cool project to kick off #BlackHistoryMonth! Each Friday we share a project from our 2019 Park Support List made possible by YOUR donations.⠀ ⠀ Ground Penetrating Radar of OE Kerr African American Cemetery ($10,500)⠀ This project includes both research of the public records and a ground penetrating radar survey of the 19th century African American cemetery in Cataloochee with an unknown number of burials. The information will be used to supplement an African American oral history project currently being conducted in nearby Waynesville, NC, and will improve the park’s ability to accurately interpret local African American communities.⠀ ⠀ Discover & donate at FriendsOfTheSmokies.org

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How about this stunner from @bradjusticephotography for our February #PhotoOfTheMonth?! Some of our latest round of snow is still hanging around thanks to the #polarvortex. You can tag your snowy Smokies snaps with #FriendsOfTheSmokies and we just might feature you too! at Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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It's #FundMeFriday, where we share a project from our 2019 Park Support List funded by YOUR donations.⠀ ⠀ Cades Cove Historic Field Restoration ($10,000)⠀ There are smaller patches of land at Cades Cove that are not effectively treated with the prescribed fire program we featured last week. This project uses mowers and large masticators which effectively reduce the heavy woody debris that has accumulated in certain units. The ultimate goal of the project is to restore the establishment of native forbs (flowering plants) and grasses in these areas to a point where they can be maintained with prescribed fire.⠀ ⠀ Discover & donate at FriendsOfTheSmokies.org. Photo by Genia Stadler

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Thank you to those who work in @GreatSmokyNPS and give of themselves every day to provide a world-class visitor experience.⠀ Thank you to those who volunteer their time and talent to protect and preserve America's most-visited national park.⠀ And thank you to those who donate to support the projects and programs that make the Smokies a crown jewel of the @nationalparkservice.⠀ We truly appreciate what you all are doing for others. at Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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