Special license plates sporting a black bear have proliferated across WNC, raising $356,000 in 2010 for Friends of the Smokies, which funds projects in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Some of the projects made possible by the license plate revenues last year include:
• Exhibits for the new Oconaluftee Visitor Center being built at the N.C. entrance to the park.
• Fieldtrips and classroom visits from parks rangers for North Carolinian schoolchildren.
• Elk reintroduction in Cataloochee.
• Black bear conservation.
• Appalachian Highlands Science Learning Center at Purchase Knob outside Maggie Valley.
“We have another ambitious list of significant projects that will help the park in 2011, and we hope North Carolinians will continue to help us preserve and protect the park through their support of the plate program,” said John Dickson, founding member of Friends of the Smokies and retired Asheville Savings Bank President.
To get a specialty license plate, stop in at your local tag office. The specialty tag costs an extra $30. Of that, $20 goes to Friends of the Smokies to support projects and programs on the North Carolina side of the park.
www.friendsofthesmokies.org or 828.452.0720.