All it took to expand Great Smoky Mountains National Park by 20 acres was a little more than three-quarters of a million dollars.
Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park spent $775,000 to buy the acreage Saturday at an auction. The land, in the form of two 10-acre parcels, is surrounded on three sides by the national park.
Major funding for the land purchase was made possible from proceeds from Friends' annual Ogle-Fulmer "Picnic in Pittman for the Park" fundraiser over the last ten years, the non-profit group said in a release. The Foothills Land Conservancy also partnered with Friends of the Smokies in the purchase.
"In addition to providing this rare opportunity for the park to add 20 acres of prime property to its holdings, we also fulfilled our annual Needs List commitment of about $1.5 million to the park this week," said Friends of the Smokies President Jim Hart.