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Park Announces TEEA Conference in the Smokies

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Date: March 20, 2014
Contact: Heather Davis, (865) 448-9732 ext. 14

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced open registration for educators to attend the Tennessee Environmental Education Association (TEEA) annual conference to be held September 26-28, 2014 at Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont. Park officials are partnering with Tremont staff to host the conference which brings together environmental educators from across the state to share ideas, experiences, and provide opportunities for professional development.

“We are truly excited to host this conference,” said Tremont Education Director John DiDiego. "As leaders in facilitating quality environmental education, this provides the perfect opportunity to show off this treasure of a national park to hundreds of teachers, as well as highlight some of our local educators and outdoor classrooms.”

The theme for the conference isThe Outdoor Classroom: Where Education Comes Naturally. TEEA is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting environmental education across the state. TEEA assists in the development and coordination of environmental education programs and activities and lends support to teachers, schools, organizations, and agencies.

We are excited to have Tremont host our 2014 conference,” said TEEA President Ramona Nelson. “We all look forward to getting back to the Smokies, a crown jewel of the National Park system. Environmental Education crosses all disciplines and provides an opportunity for students to gain an understanding of and appreciation for our natural world."Conference sessions and field trips will demonstrate how environmental education meets standards, spans disciplines and grade levels, and helps get students and teachers engaged in learning out of the classroom.

“This conference is not only professional development, but it’s also bringing fun back into education and meeting common core standards,” said Heritage High School Assistant Principal Colleen Mattison. "We’d like to see more local educators involved because they have been using environmental and outdoor education in their curriculum and have much to contribute, but will also benefit from networking with others.”
For information on how to register for the conference, please contact Heather Davis at 865-448-9732, x14 or visit www.gsmit.org.

Did You Know?

An experimental program to reintroduce elk to the park was begun in 2001.

An experimental program to reintroduce elk to the park was begun in 2001. Elk once roamed the Smokies, but were eliminated from the region in the mid 1800s by over-hunting and loss of habitat. Other animals successfully reintroduced to the park include river otters and barn owls. More...