Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont today announced a land purchase of 152 acres near Townsend, Tennessee. The property adjoins Great Smoky Mountains National Park and is being considered for a second campus for the non-profit organization that provides nature-based, experiential education programs to youth and adults.
Since 1969, Tremont has provided residential programs in the national park that educate and inspire a connection to nature. These programs expand on the variety of educational experiences for school children offered by the National Park Service.
“For fifty years, Tremont has introduced students to Great Smoky Mountains National Park through immersive, residential experiences inside the park,” said Superintendent Cassius Cash. “As they look to the next fifty years, I applaud their creative approach in expanding their operations to provide even more opportunities to connect people to the Smokies.”
Tremont Institute has seen continued growth in its programs, outreach and impact. Each year 6,000 participants including students and adults from across the U.S. come through its doors, with approximately 70% receiving financial aid.
“As an organization, we have big goals for education”, said Catey Terry, President and CEO. “We are working toward a future where students regularly and frequently engage with the outdoors—both in their schoolyards and in their parks. For some time, we have explored ways we can reach a larger audience and strengthen our community outreach. Once we saw this incredible piece of property, the vision of a second campus began to take shape in real and exciting ways.
“When I think about this space, I envision an innovative, green design that limits our ecological impact and will itself be used as a teaching tool for students of all ages. We have an opportunity to use this space to build and strengthen partnerships and to serve more youth and adults. The expanded experiences we will provide here will inspire moments of discovery and promote an ethic of stewardship and appreciation for the places we live. To me, this is a very exciting next step for us.”
Tremont will continue to permanently operate out of its current campus located in the Walker Valley area of the Park, near the Townsend entrance, and will use the second property to increase the size and scope of its programs.
“Our continuing strong partnership with the Park will be an important aspect of the new campus,” Terry said. “Likewise, this campus will provide unique avenues to bring new learners into the Smokies.”
Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont provides in-depth experiences through educational programs that celebrate ecological and cultural diversity, foster stewardship, and nurture appreciation of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Connecting People and Nature since 1969.