Park It Forward Adoption

Great Smoky Mountains National Park


Hi, my name is Cassius Cash. I’m the Superintendent of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Today is a historic and exciting day as we announce the adoption of the Park it Forward program. I asked for your feedback. And wow, you responded! Nearly 3,700 people, from all 50 states, sent their concerns, support, and ideas. My team and I, we read them all. This was not an easy, overnight decision. But the overwhelming support from park visitors across the country, and especially those in East Tennessee and Western North Carolina, made it easier. People clearly understood the business case for the needed revenue. In fact, over 85 percent of the comments we received were either supportive or provided constructive ideas to make the program as effective and practical as possible. The overriding message from the public was clear: we value the Park, and we’re willing to invest in protecting it for future generations. Still, some felt hurt by this plan. For some, this fee program conflicts with personal beliefs, as well as beliefs that have been handed down from past generations who sold their lands to create the park. We heard you. Those moments weighed heavily on me. But let me share with you what weighed even heavier on my soul: my duty to ensure this park is protected; to ensure our employees have the tools to do their jobs; and to ensure the visitors of tomorrow have this sacred place to explore. With Park it Forward, we will accomplish these important goals. So now we’re finalizing the implementation plan. And later this fall we’ll share all the ‘how tos’ for how you can secure your parking tag for 2023. Let me end by saying that I’m very proud to be part of this milestone here at the park, and I thank you for your support.


Superintendent Cassius Cash announces the adoption of the Park It Forward program - effective March 1, 2023.


2 minutes, 9 seconds


Jim Matheny

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