Earlier this week Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park announced that they were the successful bidder in a public auction of 20 acres of land surrounded on three sides by the national park. The not-for-profit organization bought the two 10-acre tracts on September 11 for $775,000.
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 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.
The two tracts are located off of U.S. 321 near Pittman Center (roughly half-way between Gatlinburg and Cosby).