Park and non-profit jointly awarded

GSMNP – Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Great Smoky Mountains Association (GSMA) were jointly awarded a prestigious national award during the recent Public Lands Alliance annual convention and trade show in Spokane, WA.

Superintendent Cash and Exec Dir Laurel Rematore

Park Superintendent Cassius Cash and GSMA Executive Director Laurel Rematore were recently awarded the Public Lands Partner Award which recognizes achievement to protect and preserve our country’s public lands. Photo submitted.

Judges placed special significance on GSMA and the park’s more recent effort in 2014 to open the Swain County Visitor Center in Bryson City, N.C., along with other partners including the Swain County Chamber of Commerce, Tennessee Valley Authority, and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

“Great Smoky Mountains Association supports us year after year in providing new products and services that help visitors better understand and enjoy the park,” said Park Superintendent Cassius Cash. “Through our partnership, we are inspired to continue developing unique opportunities to engage with our visitors as we celebrate the National Park Service Centennial and move into the second century of service.”

Formerly known as the Association of Partners for Public Lands, the Public Lands Alliance works to build and elevate effective nonprofit organizations and exceptional public-nonprofit partnerships for the benefit of public lands and their users.

Support for GSMA is derived primarily from visitors to the national park, center sales of ranger-approved educational products and membership dues.