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Gov. Bill Lee and Commissioner David Salyers of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) announced the creation of Savage Gulf State Park in Grundy and Sequatchie counties, a boost for recreation in the region, bringing the total of Tennessee’s state parks to 57.

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CHEROKEE — Great Smoky Mountains National Park invites the public to join Superintendent Cassius Cash for a National Public Lands Day (NPLD) kickoff event on Saturday, September 24 at 9 a.m. at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center. Park staff and volunteers will lead half-day and full-day service …

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NATIONAL PARK — Great Smoky Mountains National Park welcomed Medal of Honor recipients and their families to Cades Cove on Thursday, Sept. 8. Park staff and volunteers provided a guided tour for the delegation of approximately 60 participants to enjoy the scenic beauty of Cades Cove along wi…

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Big South Park staff has completed the repair and rehabilitation of Yahoo Falls Picnic Area. Fifteen picnic sites received fresh gravel pads, new picnic tables and cooking grills. Trails leading to each site were also resurfaced. Parking areas at each picnic site were repaired and the large …

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The Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) announces the application dates for this year’s Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program (TAEP) cost share program are Oct. 1-7, 2022. Producers fulfill requirements to defray the costs of strategic investments in their operations. The goal is …

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The Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Division of Forestry provides communities, groups, and organizations with technical and financial assistance. This year, the division is offering two direct grant programs through the state and is promoting a new federal program. State programs inclu…

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NATIONAL PARK — Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced two morning closures of Clingmans Dome Road on Wednesday, Sept. 7 until 1 p.m. The seven-mile roadway will be closed to facilitate a special curriculum-based education program. On Thursday, Sept. 8, Cades Cove Loop Road …

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NATIONAL PARK — For the first time in its history, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park will start charging people to park at its trails and facilities beginning next March.

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OAK RIDGE — The City of Oak Ridge learned this afternoon the company organizing the weekly Oak Ridge Food Truck Rally has decided to cancel all future events.

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September is a great time to bring the family down to Blue Heron for traditional storytelling at the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area. Join in on Saturday, Sept. 10 at 8 p.m. EST for the twelfth annual Big South Fork Ghost Train at the Blue Heron Outdoor Museum. During this …

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Join Night Sky Rangers on Saturday, Aug. 13 at 7 p.m. EST at Historic Rugby to enjoy the first images released from the highly advanced WEBB Space Telescope, along with a short video on its deploying sequence. The telescope was launched last December after scientists had dedicated decades of…

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The Green Industry Field Day is a virtual event hosted by the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture and the Tennessee Nursery and Landscape Association. This year, the event takes place on June 28, 2022, and participants will enjoy the various sessions via Zoom.

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The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) is announcing a series of animated, educational videos about pollination and pollinator species featuring narrator Polli the Tennessee Bee. These episodes educate children about the process of pollination, its importance, and the pollinator s…

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Jason Maxedon has been named executive director of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. The appointment was made Wednesday by a unanimous vote of the participating members of the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission following an interview session at the TWRA’s headquarters.

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CLEVELAND — Due to reports of aggressive bear activity and evidence of bears entering the campgrounds and taking food and garbage, including food that had been stored in an unoccupied tent, Carden Bluffs Campground, on the Watauga District of the Cherokee National Forest, will be closed to t…

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How many times do you use the phrase “stop and smell the roses”? This sentiment also applies to many plants and especially to lavender.

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The popular Manhattan Project National Historical Park program Secrecy, Security and Spies returns on Saturday, June 25, at the Oak Ridge Turnpike Gatehouse. This hour-long program begins at 10 a.m. and will give visitors some highlights into what life was like in Oak Ridge during the Manhat…

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Ticks season is officially here, though to be honest I was pulling them off me in January. With ticks come the concern of getting some serious illnesses they can carry. So be on guard to protect yourself and your family.

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NATIONAL PARK — Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials celebrated the reopening of Parson Branch Road with a ribbon-cutting event honoring the crew who performed the needed work and the Friends of the Smokies who provided critical funding to support the efforts.

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park is recruiting volunteers to assist the Trails Forever trail crew for the Ramsey Cascades Trail rehabilitation project. Volunteers are needed every Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., starting Wednesday, May 25, 2022, and continuing through Wednesday, Septembe…

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The Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center (GSMHC) announces Tastes of the Smokies (TastesoftheSmokies.com), a new annual event focusing on Appalachian culture, food, and music. The event is Saturday, June 18 from 4:30-7 p.m. on the grounds of the Heritage Center at 123 Cromwell Drive, Townsend.

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Tennessee State Parks will have Mother’s Day meals May 8 at restaurants at Cumberland Mountain State Park in Crossville, Montgomery Bell State Park in Burns, David Crockett State Park in Lawrenceburg, and Natchez Trace State Park in Lexington

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It’s time to be on the lookout for Pink Ladyslippers, which normally bloom in late April to mid-May. They are one of the more striking flowers of the woods, but for all their beauty have a bit of a sinister side, especially if you’re a bumblebee.

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Violets are very abundant this time of year, and are probably the most common and the easiest to identify family of spring wildflowers in our area. You can find them about anywhere, especially even in your yard right now unless you’re a grass purist that use herbicides.

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NATIONAL PARK — Great Smoky Mountains National Park is looking at implementing parking fees and increasing frontcountry and backcountry camping fees in the park boundaries.

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Four Tennessee State Parks will offer family-style meals Easter Sunday, April 17, including Montgomery Bell State Park, Cumberland Mountain State Park, David Crockett State Park and Pickwick Landing State Park.

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I’m going to sound like an old cranky dude for beginning a sentence with the time worn phrase “when I was young, I would…” fill in the blank. Well so be it. When I was young, we played outside, not necessarily because we wanted to but because that was all there was to do and our mom often sh…

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park firefighters and multiple agencies continued firefighting efforts to extinguish the Thomas Divide Complex Fire east of Bryson City, North Carolina on Monday. The complex is comprised of two wildfires including the Stone Pile Fire and the Cooper Creek Fire.…

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The Roane County Commission’s Sports Recreation Committee is recommending that the county return operating responsibilities for Riley Creek Campground back to TVA. The county has been running the campground for years, but TVA owns the property.

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Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area will be hosting the 22nd annual Spring Planting and Music Festival on Saturday, April 30. Starting at 10 a.m. (EST) a diverse range of the region’s most talented live music acts are currently scheduled to perform. Musical genres represented a…

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