Ready, Set, Go Green in the Smokies This April!

When we think April, we think cool spring showers and fresh growing flowers, and the Smoky Mountains are full of both. In fact, the Smokies are home to more than 1,600 species of flowering plants, and each year, wildflower enthusiasts from all over the world flock to these mountains to enjoy the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage.

Scheduled for April 11–15 in 2017, the Wildflower Pilgrimage is a 5-day event featuring guided walks, photographic tours, art classes, evening seminars, and so much more. Plan your Smoky Mountain visit during this time to see the variety of wildlife and wildflowers that call these mountains home.

But the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage isn’t the only event to look forward to every April. Below, you’ll find 4 more events occurring this year, and each of them is in celebration of the special event occurring Saturday, April 22—Earth Day!

Earth Day began on April 22, 1970, when 22 million Americans celebrated clean air, land, and water, and it continues to be recognized as the anniversary of the “birth of the modern environmental movement,” according to Earth Day Network. To celebrate Earth Day in the Smoky Mountains, be sure to get involved in these activities while you’re in town:

Spur Clean-Up (April 18, 2017 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.)
Gatlinburg Welcome Center | 1011 Banner Road | Gatlinburg, TN 37738
Grab your gloves and get on your walking shoes for the annual Spur Clean-Up in Gatlinburg. Plan to meet at the Gatlinburg Welcome Center at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, April 18, and you’ll join guests and locals alike as they pick up trash along the Spur, a stretch of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park between Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.

This event is in partnership with Keep Sevier Beautiful, and all you need to do to participate is show up! Businesses and organizations joining the Spur Clean-Up event are encouraged to assemble teams and compete for collecting the most litter in the Smoky Mountains. For more information about this event, please contact Cheryl at cheryl@gatlinburg.com.

E-Waste Recycling Day (April 19, 2017)
Gatlinburg CVB Events Office | Cherokee Orchard Rd. | Gatlinburg, TN 37738
Plan ahead before you arrive in the Smokies for the E-Waste Recycling Day on Wednesday, April 19. The City of Gatlinburg will be collecting all unwanted computers, small electronics, ink cartridges, etc., outside the Events Office throughout the day during this event. For a full list of the items accepted for recycling, click here.

Earth Day Festival (April 20, 2017 from 3 to 6 p.m.)
Mynatt Park | 634 Asbury Lane | Gatlinburg, TN 37738
Looking for a place to spend the day with your family? Why not join the fun at Mynatt Park for the Earth Day Festival on Thursday, April 20? With music, games, crafts stations, and good food, this festival is loaded with activities for every age. But more than a day of fun, the Earth Day Festival is a unique opportunity to start introducing your children to the importance of going green.

Many green businesses and organizations from Gatlinburg and the surrounding area will be on-site, providing information about easy green practices your family can start implementing today. You’ll also find Earth Week t-shirts for sale, featuring the artwork of a local student. All sales will benefit the Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce Foundation, a nonprofit that provides local scholarships, school donations, and funding for the Gatlinburg Goes Green Program and other educational community events.

You may not be able to convince your kids to help clean up the Spur, but the Earth Day Festival is a great alternative. They’ll learn about green practices while spending time outside and having fun with the entire family on your Pigeon Forge vacation!

Earth Day 5K Run/Walk (April 21, 2017 starting at 10 p.m.)
Nantahala Outdoor Center Gatlinburg | 1138 Parkway | Gatlinburg, TN 37738
For all our runners (and walkers) out there, here’s another way to support the efforts to clean up the planet with the Earth Day 5K in Gatlinburg! This night race, scheduled for 10 p.m., opens for race night registration at 8 p.m. The Earth Day 5K celebrates its fourth year in 2017, and all participants will run down the beautiful streets of downtown Gatlinburg. Be sure to register early to guarantee your t-shirt size. All proceeds from the race will benefit the Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

5 Easy Ways to Go Green When You’re in the Smokies

  • Skip the disposable cups at the coffee house, and brew your own cup of coffee in the cabin.
  • Bring reusable water bottles, which you can easily refill, for hikes and bike rides in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
  • Before leaving the cabin each morning, unplug your laptops, tablets, and other electronic devices.
  • Park your car and walk the Parkway instead.
  • Turn your cabin’s washing machine to a cold setting as often as possible.

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