Updates Regarding COVID-19 from Tremont Institute
April 1, 2020
Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced that all park areas, except the Foothills Parkway and Spur, will remain closed until further notice. The park is likely to remain closed at least through April 30. Read the official news release from Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
March 24, 2020
Park officials announced that all park areas, except the Foothills Parkway and the Spur, will close at noon on Tuesday, March 24, through Monday, April 6, in a continuing effort to support federal, state, and local efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. Read the official news release from Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
March 23, 2020
Dear Tremont Family,
The uncertainty of our time is stressful. The rate at which things change is daunting. And yet, from our home here in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, change is coming in all forms. The spring wildflowers are beginning to bloom and the songbirds are telling their story. Yet, our campus is quiet. Normally this time of year is filled with the bustling sounds of discovery. Students and teachers exploring the outdoors—together. Adults taking a moment from their busy lives to stop and observe the natural world. Learning on our campus looks different than in the “traditional” classroom, yet the physical, social, emotional, academic benefits are proven.
We have not escaped the impacts of COVID-19. School and field programs are currently canceled, and we are deeply saddened by the loss of our programs. We are mostly working from home and some on-site, but gratefully, we are still working.
We are educators at heart, and we are working on creative ways to bring you into experiences in nature—despite not being able to do that in person. Follow us online as we continue this critical work.
For those enrolled in April programs, we are modifying our refund policy. Please contact us for more information. You may choose to transfer your deposit to a future program or a donation—your generous support will mean a lot to our organization in these challenging times.
Across the globe, organizations that form the field of environmental education are in financial freefall, and it’s not clear that all will survive to partner with schools again as things return to normal.
During this time of stress, it’s a good reminder that immersion in nature recharges us, it helps us heal. As Rachel Carson writes, “There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature—the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”
I hope you find time today to connect to the land. To feel spring’s emergence and know you are not alone. We’re all in this together.
President and CEO
Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont