Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Friends of the Smokies donates 20 acres to Park

December 20, 2011, 6:51 am

Great Smoky Mountains National Park got an early Holiday gift on Wednesday, Dec. 14, when the Friends of the Smokies officially transferred 20 acres of new land to be added to the Park. The land lies along Soak Ash Creek in the Pittman Center, Tenn. community just east of Gatlinburg. Friends purchased the tract at auction in the summer of 2010 at a cost of $775,500.

According to Smokies Superintendent, Dale A. Ditmanson, “We had been interested in acquiring that property for many years if it ever came on the market, because it is surrounded by Park land on three sides, and is ripe for development. We are very happy to be able to prevent potentially intensive development right on the Park’s boundary and it also protects an intact wetland. Along with the property we inherited a sprawling 5-bedroom home which we plan to make available for occupancy by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC). The house also includes a large conference space which may occasionally host Park field trips by the Eugene W. Huskey Environmental Center when foul weather forces them indoors.”