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Save Our Smokies encourages people to pick up litter this Earth Day

The goal of the organization is to make the national park litter free.
Published: Apr. 22, 2021 at 4:51 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 22, 2021 at 5:50 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Save Our Smokies is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to removing litter in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The organization said it has collected more than three and a half tons of garbage since December at the national park. The group has been known to fill a pickup truck full of trash in just four hours. Organizers and volunteers have picked up tires, dryers and queen sized mattresses.

“There’s no way to make more nature, so we gotta protect what we got and make sure it’s here,” said Save our Smokies President Jerry Willis. “We are symbiotic with nature, that we have to depend upon the oxygen the trees produce and everything else and without that we are all doomed,” he added.

The goal of the organization is to make the national park litter free. It says if you head to the mountains or anywhere, take a grocery bag to pick up litter and it reminds people to carry out anything you bring into the park.

“Kind of a reminder that we don’t need to just do this one day a year,” said Save Our Smokies Vice President Benny Braden. “We need to this 365 days a year and just be good stewards with what we’ve been given and encourage others to do the same,” he added.

For more information about the organization or to volunteer, click here.

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