Spring Road Status
During spring, park roads may close due to ice, especially at high elevation where wet roads can freeze as temperatures drop at night. For road status information call (865) 436-1200 ext. 631 or follow updates at http://twitter.com/SmokiesRoadsNPS. More »
National Park Receives 7 Hybrid Vehicles through North Carolina Department of Transportation Pollution-reduction Grant
Contact: Bob Miller, (865) 436-1207
Great Smoky Mountains National Park recently took delivery of seven Ford Escape Hybrid vehicles that were purchased using a $197,550 grant from the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Program. The CMAQ funding is U.S. Department of Transportation money which came through the State of North Carolina and was allocated by the Rural Planning Organizations (RPOs) of the Land-of-Sky Regional Council and Southwestern Commission.
“One of the most serious threats that the Smokies faces is the impact of air pollution on the Park’s plants, soils and aquatic life.” Park Deputy Superintendent Kevin FitzGerald said. “We strive, through education and through our own example, to inform the public of ways that they can work towards cleaner air. One way we do this is by gradually transitioning our vehicles and equipment towards cleaner technology.”
Did You Know?
The park’s high elevation heath balds are treeless expanses where dense thickets of shrubs such as mountain laurel, rhododendron, and sand myrtle grow. Known as “laurel slicks” and “hells” by early settlers, heath balds were most likely created by forest fires long ago. More...