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Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont Newsletter Summer 2017

Walker Valley

Reflections IN THIS EDITION The Joy of Discovery New Opportunity for Teachers 2016 Annual Report Upcoming Fall Programs & more!

Photo by Steve Zigler

2017 Photo Workshop Presenter

The Joy of Discovery "When you teach a child something, you take away forever her chance of discovering it for herself." –Jean Piaget It has been a very busy year at Tremont Institute! • Tremont was recently selected by the National Park Foundation as one of only three sites in the country to innovate a series of workshops to inspire, train, and support teachers to conduct citizen science at their schools. • We designed a new learning model to reflect our approach to experiential education.

• To better understand the needs of teachers and administrators to engage national parks as places of learning, we conducted listening sessions with nearly 50 folks in Knoxville and Chattanooga.

• We launched Smokies to Schoolyards, our program to impact more urban and underserved schools through our new AmeriCorps VISTA partnership.

experience. You are needed. Education that is personal helps people see how they fit in. It goes beyond taking in facts. Here is the other powerful aspect to discovery-based learning: each of us is an educator-in-waiting. You do not need a mastery of ecological concepts, local history, or high-tech science to be an impactful educator. What you need is a willingness to go outside and embrace that desire to turn over a rock and see what lies underneath. What you need is the courage to take a kid for a walk and learn with and from them. When they ask a tough question about that tree or rock and you cannot answer, awesome! Go figure it out together and uncover the joy of becoming a co-discoverer. Lastly, you need a bit of trust. Trust that people love to learn, trust we are imbued with a spirit of discovery, that we are born questioners and rock investigators. Trust that we can and do want to grow our minds and that experience is a master teacher. With a bit of time, courage, and trust, you will never be disappointed in the power of nature as your classroom. Article by Jen Jones, PhD President & CEO

• We reached more students, teachers, adults, and families through our residential programs in Walker Valley than we have in many years.

Wow, what a year! These ongoing innovations are simultaneously inspiring and daunting, and there is still much we have to figure out as we chart new paths forward. Yet, in the middle of these varied endeavors, the above quote keeps popping up at Tremont: “When you teach a child something, you take away forever her chance of discovering it for herself.” I believe this quote has found traction at Tremont because it reminds us that the process of discovery is powerful, it is rousing, it is joyful. People are explorers, investigators, and discoverers. Curiosity is innate and a fundamental part of our personal growth and development. The growing body of neuroscience research demonstrates that each of us is fundamental to our own learning. Knowledge cannot be thrust upon us; knowledge is created internally based on our personal experiences. Or to put it more directly: Experiential learning works! If you want me to grow as a person, do not simply give me information, provide me an experience to create meaning. I am most engaged when I am outdoors and directing my own learning. That is why our approach at Tremont is centered on programs that are local, personal, and relevant. You, the learner, are included in the

Hank Dye

CREATE A LEGACY by giving so others may benefit from life-changing experiences at Tremont Institute. Donate to our scholarship fund or include Tremont as a beneficiary of your estate. Your gift makes experiential education possible. Email to donate today.

Walker Valley Reflections - Summer 2017- Page 2

Welcoming New Faces at Tremont Board of Directors

Tremont Staff

Shannon Harper Shannon Harper, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Harper Auto Square, operates a nine-franchise dealership group in Knoxville, Tennessee. Starting in high school washing cars, Shannon worked in every position in the dealership and worked for Audi of America in motorsports marketing. As Vice President of Harper Auto Square, Shannon has overseen dramatic growth in the company since 2008. Harper Auto Square has grown from 100 to 250 employees while more than doubling revenue over the last six years. Shannon has managed $13 million in development of new and existing dealerships since 2012. Shannon graduated cum laude from University of Tennessee with a degree in Business Administration and is currently earning his MBA at University of Tennessee. In his spare time, he loves to spend time with family and enjoys racing road and mountain bikes.

Tremont's Board of Directors is a dedicated group of professional leaders who graciously volunteer their time and provide support to Tremont.

Daniel Green Daniel Green is a proud Knoxville native and graduate from University of Tennessee, where he earned his BA in finance. Daniel is currently the Finance Advisor at The Green Odom Group in Knoxville, Tennessee. Daniel previously resided in New York City, where he worked with Lord Abbett, Private Wealth Group. In 2015, Daniel was asked to serve as Treasurer of Wesley Neighbors HOA Board. Daniel and his wife Sissy currently reside in West Hills with their two children Henry and Archie.

In the Store

In the Office

Lisa Conner

Iris Hammond

In the Field

Laura Beth Tuttle

Sales Assistant

Development Manager

Tyler Gonzales

Teacher Naturalist

Kelly Lecko Teacher Naturalist

Marketing & Technology Coordinator

In the Kitchen Renee Bartilemeo

Jacqueline E. Hill Jacqueline E. Hill, executive with Eastman Kodak Company, Rochester, NY, retired after 30 years of service. Jacqueline received her BS in Chemistry at Tennessee State University, MS in Chemistry at University of Michigan and her MBA from the Executive Development Program at University of Rochester. Her career at Kodak included domestic and international assignments in Research and Development, Marketing and Analysis, Worldwide Business Units, and Worldwide Manufacturing. Throughout her career, she served on several non-profit boards and was a founding member of Sisters for a Better Black Community.

2017 Board of Directors Cathy Ackermann, Jack Burgin, Billy Carroll, Bill Cobble, Hank Dye, Joe Emert, Elizabeth Estill, Daniel Green, Shannon Harper, Jim Haslam, Jacqueline E. Hill, Chuck James, Morton Massey, Edward Pershing, Dick Ray, Bill Varner, Chad Youngblood.

Walker Valley Reflections - Summer 2017- Page 3

NEW Opportunity for Tremont Teachers! Tremont envisions a world where… • Outdoor experiential education is integrated into all classroom learning; and standards are met through interdisciplinary, student-centered teaching. • Teachers foster excitement for learning and actively use citizen science as a tool to improve scientific literacy. • Students and teachers co-design high quality research to benefit their community and the national park.

Tremont has the opportunity to make this vision a reality! We are excited to announce that Tremont Institute has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the National Park Foundation to implement a new teacher education program, Citizen Science 2.0: Equipping Educators to Inspire Future Environmental Stewards. The goals are to connect teachers and students to the national park and to equip classroom teachers with the tools, training, and opportunity to conduct high quality, experiential education. Through a series of residential workshops at Tremont and consults at their schoolyards, teachers will learn and practice experiential teaching methodology and link it to standards-based subject matter. Teachers will develop interdisciplinary curriculum units and co-design with their students a citizen science research program that addresses a need in their community. Teachers change the world The benefits of outdoor experiential education are too great for it not to be a reccurring and natural part of all classroom experiences. So where do we start? Tremont continues to grow as a national leader in teacher professional development, and we realize that the benefits of how we teach at Tremont are useful models for classroom teachers. Embedded in our program design is the understanding that for teachers to foster inspiration in their students, they need to be inspired themselves. Teachers are our heroes and they need our support. Research funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation found that “large majorities of teachers do not believe that professional development is helping them prepare for the changing nature of their jobs" (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, 2014). Regarding professional development, teachers wanted fewer passive presentations and lectures and noted the “best [teacher developments] usually involve hands-on strategies for the teacher to actually participate in” (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, 2014). Teachers called for “opportunities to apply learning through demonstrations of modeling and

practice” and the ability to work on professional development for longer periods of time such as a semester or year (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, 2014). Much of this echoes what Tremont Institute learned through our local focus group research, which is profiled in this newsletter (page 16). This research and outreach informs our efforts to meet the true needs of classroom teachers by providing meaningful educational experiences that connect in personal, local, and relevant ways to their students’ lives and communities. We believe East Tennessee is full of wonderful teachers excited to grow their skills in experiential learning and Tremont is uniquely positioned to support them. How to get involved with Citizen Science 2.0 at Tremont Institute Tremont will collaborate with Great Smoky Mountains National Park and local schools over a three-year period to create innovative partnerships, provide citizen science engagement for students, and deliver transformative professional development for teachers. Teachers will use the Understanding by Design (UbD) framework to create units around water and watershed education. Furthermore, teachers will experience the value of citizen science projects and connect with valuable community resources to create stewardship opportunities. But wait, there’s more… • The program is fully funded—workshops, materials and schoolyard project needs are provided by Tremont Institute

• Targets 5th-8th grade teachers from Knox, Blount, Sevier, and Loudon counties in East Tennessee • Teachers apply in two-person teacher teams from the same school

• Teachers will receive a Toolkit to guide them through the process • There will be three residential workshops at Tremont (three-day, two-night) • Teachers receive 40+ contact hours of PD training

Stay tuned for more exciting news about Citizen Science 2.0. Application will be available online at in late July 2017.

Article by Jennie McGuigan School Program Coordinator

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Smokies Scavenger Hunt Thank you to the 26 teams of adventurous, smart, competitive, enthusiastic people that joined us on March 25th for our 9th annual Smokies Scavenger Hunt. Congratulations to all who played and enjoyed Great Smoky Mountains National Park on a beautiful day! The top three teams won certificates to come back and spend time at Tremont Institute, and everyone was included in the drawing for door prizes from our generous sponsors.

2017 Team Winners 1st - Shamoonies 2nd - The Goonies 3rd - Team Shaka Bra THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS!

Naturalist Certification Graduates Please join us in congratulating 2016 graduates of Tremont’s Southern Appalachian Naturalist Certification Program. Jeremiah Folk Randy Hammer Alice Kellogg Patricia Mayhugh

Lorie Morris Kathy Poese Pam Rodgers Tara Winterbotham

“There is a real emotional, spiritual, and personal connection that builds here --- not just with the huge body of environmental studies but with the natural world itself. There’s a growth of mind, of course, but also, a deeper sense of place and belonging in the world as one grows in self. They identify with their personal niche in the greater scheme of life.” - SANCP graduate

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What starts with curiousity and ends with fun? Article by John DiDiego Education Director

A big part of our mission is to have a positive impact on teachers and empower them to conduct more and better experiential education during their school year. We now have a new tool to help us get there.

We spent some time considering literature on experiential education and analyzing what makes a Tremont experience powerful. We realized that if we had a way of describing the components, it would help our ability to train staff, train classroom teachers, and model during our school programs and teacher professional development. So we devised the Tremont Institute Education Cycle. This cycle describes components we feel are critical to the type of experience that changes our lives, that really makes us think differently. It has close parallels to other cycles developed for classrooms, but ours puts more emphasis on observation, a sense of wonder, and the art of reflection. It is rooted in experience and engages curiosity and critical thinking. As schools across Tennessee take up the new TN Science Standards, they will need to get their students DOING this type of learning, and we want to help them to do it better! Take a walk through our cycle and imagine this were the ‘norm’ in your local classrooms and schoolyards… then we hope you will get as excited as we are about spreading the news and training an army of experiential educators!

Invite This is the entry point for engaging in the learning process. It may be a provocative question, an unusual experience, an anomaly in the data, or just something that catches your eye and grabs your attention. Like an ant walking across a mossy rock, an otter ambling over a log, or a crescent shape chewed in a leaf. Explore ‘Exploring’ means to engage all our faculties to take in the whole scene, from as many perspectives and lenses as possible. This may be entirely open-ended or guided, but the focus is on developing and applying the skills of observing, noticing details, and discerning patterns. Like any good investigator, we avoid jumping to conclusions or giving easy answers, instead taking time to experience fully. We have noticed too often educators start with a question but neglect the power of exploration and observation that should precede it. Wonder Before long, exploration gives way to gasps, exclamations, and a flood of questions based on the experience. Here we take advantage of a double entendret—‘wonder’ can be an exclamation point, as in WOW! ‘Wonder’ can also be a question mark, as in “I wonder why…?" This is time to ask questions and to appreciate the beauty, mystery, and complexity of the world around us. From here, the sense of wonder could lead to scientific investigation, creative output, personal insight, or a richer more nuanced worldview. This stage is driven by excitement, discovery, and glimpses of the mysteries of the natural world. This is time to elicit prior knowledge or experience. Did what we think before match up to what we observed? When learners ask good questions, we consider it to be an excellent indicator of thinking and active learning with both !’s and ?’s. Create This is what you DO with your observations, wonder, and questions. Depending on your path, this stage may lead to: • experimental design • data collection & analysis • drafting a sketch • outlining a story • generally following your inspiration Learning to learn means constructing new concepts and understandings based on experience and new information. Here we may consult resources and experts to decide what information or tools might help us on our journey of discovcontinued on page 7

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ery. We feel this should involve struggle as we grapple with the experience in light of our prior knowledge. What do we make of this experience? Reflect Experiences alone may be memorable, but deliberately engaging in the process of reflection can amplify their meaning in our lives. We reflect on our struggle, discern meaning, draw conclusions, and decide what personal implications emanate from the experience. This is another often-neglected step in the learning process, but we feel it is paramount for learners of any age. Whether the process was scientific discovery or artistic endeavor (or a combination of the two), has our worldview changed; and, if so, do we behave differently as a result to realign our actions to our new understanding?

Share When you really engage in this process, and struggle to attain a new understanding of the world, the natural inclination is to want to share it. This may be research results, a magazine article, a work of art, or simply a quick conversation with friends and family. We feel called to also share the sheer joy of discovery learning itself, seeking to spread our deeply held conviction that our world is full of mystery and wonder, and learning more about it is both rewarding and FUN. This new Tremont Education Cycle and all of our programs start with curiosity and end with fun—now we want to help teachers everywhere engage their students in the same process back at their schools. Shouldn’t this be what education is about?!

Why I Give to Tremont Institute - Ron Ellis Debbie Ellis Woods & Waters Fund

Ron Ellis

On the professional level, she was a nurse at St. Elizabeth Healthcare in Edgewood, Kentucky, for forty-two years, beginning her career there in 1971 as an intensive care nurse and retiring in 2013, after serving as an infection preventionist for the last thirty-five years of her distinguished career, with repeated national certifications by the Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology. A lifelong student always eager for knowledge, she earned her licensed practical nursing degree in 1970, a registered nursing degree in 1974, and a bachelor’s degree, with honors, in liberal studies in 2008.

I fell in love with Debbie in high school in 1967, and we married in West Berlin, Germany, in 1970. After 45 years of marriage and 48 years of loving her, I know much about what she valued in her all-too-brief life. In addition to being a lovely woman in every lovely way, she had a deeply caring heart and loved her family and friends beyond description. Among her life achievements, she carried a great pride in being a Girl Scout—she asked that her badge-filled sash be displayed at her funeral. And she always knew she wanted to be a nurse, never wavering on that career goal from the day I met her. But among her most cherished childhood memories were those days she spent at summer camp in northern Kentucky. Knowing how she felt about camp and its direct connection to enriching her love of nature and friendships, I decided she would be honored to know that, in her name, each year two campers will be able to attend summer camp at Tremont, inside the glorious Smokies, close to the soothing murmurings of mountain streams and the mysteries and delights one discovers in exploring the natural world.

Charity Rutter

Deborah Ann Ellis truly loved Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP). She often said she was “never happier” than when on the trail in the Smokies. With the 2005 purchase of our cabin in Townsend, we discovered Tremont and quickly became involved with the Institute. While we hiked in many areas of the park, it was always Tremont that remained her favorite. In addition to hiking and learning to fly fish, Debbie found simple joy and solace sitting atop a great rock beside the Middle Prong of the Little River, or seated on the rustic bench just above the cascade on the Middle Prong, which was her favorite place in the Smokies. In addition to her love of GSMNP, she was a passionate gardener, an accomplished porcelain painter—everything from miniature birdhouses to umbrella stands—and a writer, publishing “Elkmont Settlement: A Microcosm of Appalachian Challenges,” in Perspectives in History (Northern Kentucky University, Vol. XXIII, 2007-2008).

My son and I are most pleased to provide these opportunities in Debbie's memory for children to engage with nature in the Smokies, in what Debbie considered a veritable garden of wonder and delight. Join me and send a child to Tremont by donating to the Debbie Ellis Woods & Waters Fund. Email to donate today.

Walker Valley Reflections - Summer 2017- Page 7

A Quick Look at 2016 Hosted

adults and youth from 37 states and Canada


1,471 + 3,855

   YOUTH




students who came to 70% ofTremont received financial aid


ENDOWMENT $2,330,366


In addition to school group experiences, Tremont led 38 adult & family programs New graduates from the Southern Appalachian Naturalist Certification Program

20,603 Collective days that Tremont participants

spent living and learning in the national park

Volunteers worked


1800000 1800000 1600000 1600000

hours for Tremont

1400000 1400000 1200000 1200000


1000000 1000000

3,821 Milk buddies made


Series2 Serie

800000 800000

Series1 Serie

to reduce food waste at Tremont 600000 600000 400000 400000

Tremont engaged in



200000 200000 0

community outreach events

Tremont participants hiked more than



2015 1 $1,734,607



Walker Valley Reflections - Summer 2017- Page 8

2016 2 2 $2,073,402

Annual Income

2016 School Groups Moody High School (AL) Jones Valley Elementary (AL) Randolph School (AL) St. Luke's Episcopal School (AL) Collins Intermediate, Scottsboro City Gifted Program (AL) Cherokee Bend Elementary School (AL) Weatherly Heights Elementary (AL) Cornerstone School (FL) Holy Comforter Episcopal School (FL) Holy Spirit Preparatory School (GA) Walton High School (GA) Berry College Elementary and Middle (GA) McLean County Diversity Project (IL) North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA) (IL) Sycamore School (IN) Shelbyville Middle School (IN) Edgewood Junior High School (IN) Central Middle International School (IN) Moore Traditional High School (KY) J. Graham Brown School (KY) Portland Christian School (KY) Sayre School (KY) St. Mary of the Lake School (MI) Berrien County Math & Science Center (MI) Wydown Middle School (MO)

Rockwood School District (MO) Chesterfield Day School (MO) Visitation Academy (MO) Rainbow Community School (NC) Shining Rock Classical Academy (NC) McDowell Early Collegem (NC) Woodlawn School (NC) Studio 345 (NC) Cherokee Central Schools (NC) Woods Charter School (NC) Valley Springs Middle School (NC) Old Trail School (OH) Norwood High School (OH) Immaculate Conception Cathedral High School (TN) Montgomery Village Boys & Girls Club (TN) Frazier Elementary School (TN) Lenoir City Middle School (TN) Grace Christian Academy (TN) Nashville School of the Arts (TN) Clayton-Bradley Academy (TN) Seymour Community Christian School (TN) Lebanon Special School District (TN) Fairview Elementary (TN) Oliver Springs Middle School (TN) Rockwood Middle School (TN) Tennessee Aquarium (TN)

Volunteer Your Voice (TN) Maryville College (TN) Episcopal School of Knoxville (TN) Calvin Donaldson Environmental Science Academy (TN) Concord Christian School (TN) Harpeth Hall School (TN) Hickory Valley Christian School (TN) Mead Montessori School (TN) Merrol Hyde Magnet School Senior Trip (TN) Pope John Paul II High School (TN) Station Camp Middle School (TN) Tate's School (TN) Pi Beta Phi Elementary School (TN) Walland Elementary School (TN) Rockford Elementary School (TN) Merrol Hyde Magnet School (TN) Hume-Fogg Academic High School (TN) Ellis Middle School (TN) West End Middle School (TN) Lonsdale Elementary (TN) Ocean Lakes High School (VA)

2016 Colleges & Universities University of Montevallo (AL) Natural Resources College Consortium (GA) Spring Outdoor Recreational Consortium (IL) Natural Resources College Consortium (IN) Spring Outdoor Recreational Consortium (MO) Spring Outdoor Recreational Consortium (NC) NCSU Wildlife Camp (NC)

UTK GeoPath (NC) Spring Outdoor Recreational Consortium (PA) UTK GeoPath (TN) Volunteer Your Voice (TN) STEM Spark (TN) Spring Outdoor Recreational Consortium (TX) Natural Resources College Consortium (VA)

NCSU Wildlife Camp

GSMIT Archives

tremont by the numbers REVENUE 2016 2015

Gar Secrist

Program Fees $1,490,169 $1,354,393 Annual Fund Donations $140,279 $98,678 Special Event Net Income $142,055 $132,576 Other Revenue (Expense) $129,556 ($28,559) Gift Shop Net Sales $78,804 $67,765 Grant Income $78,727 $61,062 Other Contributions $13,812 $48,692 Total Revenue $2,073,402 $1,734,607

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Growing an AmeriCorps Legacy On a hot and humid October evening in south Florida, while my students from Haiti, Guatemala, and Honduras were conversing in languages I didn’t understand, I asked myself one question: “How did I get here?” Two months previously, I was sipping iced tea on my parents’ porch in North Carolina, and yet there I stood, a Biology graduate teaching English to adults twice my age. People enter AmeriCorps—the United States domestic version of the PeaceCorps—for a variety of reasons. Gap years, career experience, personal journeys and beliefs, many paths converge in one place and time to support non-profit and government efforts. The programs cover a range of societal needs. Last year I increased English literacy in Florida, and this year I helped expand access to experiential education in Tennessee. Other opportunities involve disaster relief, trail maintenance, social work, and food systems. All help American communities prosper. Although my two AmeriCorps terms varied in location and focus, both challenged me to grow in unexpected ways. I witnessed urban and rural poverty, increased my confidence and public speaking skills, developed outreach strategies, acquired knowledge of systematic oppression, gained endurance during stressful situations, and most importantly, fostered a greater sense of compassion. It is a rare and wonderful thing to truly engage with individuals from backgrounds different from your own. To say my life changed course due to the phenomenal people I have met would not do these friends justice. I will forever be grateful for the expanded perspective I now hold because of them.

Smokies to Schoolyards Connection is an initiative of Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont, focused on developing and sustaining Tremont’s opportunities for inquiry-based learning within Great Smoky Mountains National Park and communities in East Tennessee. We are achieving this by: • Creating resources for educators to make student learning more personal, local, and relevant throughout the school year • Providing professional development, resource training, and mentorship in inquiry-based learning for local schools • Partnering with community organizations, businesses, and broader support systems to generate sustainable financial and in-kind support • Cultivating a network of advocates and volunteers to assist with education-based community enrichment Hands-on, immersive education experiences are proven to boost test scores, improve behavior, increase interest and engagement in the learning process, and support active and healthy lifestyles. We believe this methodology can be used daily in the classrooms of East Tennessee. Smokies to Schoolyards Connection is an initiative rooted in Tremont’s mission of “connecting people and nature."

2016-2017 AmeriCorps VISTA Team Allison Kutcher

On a hot and humid May afternoon in East Tennessee, while coworkers ascend a waterfall behind my house in the woods, I ask myself one question: “How did I get here?” A year ago I was teaching English to my incredible students, and yet here I am, a soon to be AmeriCorps graduate, crawling through rhododendron and climbing mountains. When I return to North Carolina this August after two years of exponential growth, the stories, friendships, and compassion I gained will travel back with me to my home state.

Tremont Institute & AmeriCorps VISTA Partnership

My greatest hope, as the next members arrive in Walker Valley to continue our legacy, is that they too grow in unexpected directions. For no matter what brings you to AmeriCorps, there is no doubt you will leave a different person. V

Article by Caitlin Cantrell AmeriCorps VISTA

Allison Kutcher, Kat Tregaskis, Sarah Osmulski & Caitlin Cantrell Walker Valley Reflections - Summer 2017- Page 10

2016 Volunteers Without our loyal volunteers, we would not be able to operate at Tremont. From monitoring a salamander plot to working in our wildflower garden, our volunteers make a profound difference, and we thank them for their dedication and many hours of service. Cathy Ackerman Atheega Aijaz Air Force NCO Academy ALCOA employees Gail Amatangelo Joseph Amatangelo Paul Ambrose Shirley Andrews Shirley Andrews Brian Aylward Stephen Lyn Bales Nancy Biddle Janet Bigelow Tommy Bird Teresa Blackard Maggie Blake Aaron Bobo Grace Bobo Michael Bobo Christy Bowling Ethan Bowling Luke Bowling Moses Bowling

Alyssa Champagne Debbie Claypool Glenn Claypool Priscilla Clayton Nikota Cline Bill Cobble Jack Conatser Inger Conner Justin Conner Addison Cook Karlee Cook Gabby Corbin Jose Cortes Robin Cothran Shane Crisp Dawn Crouse Michael Crouse Jim Cunningham Leana Cunningham Malissa Scruggs Cunningham Henry Daniels Annabel Dattilo Clare Dattilo Fern Dattilo Oliver Dattilo

volunteers worked


hours for Tremont

Tiffany Beachy

Stephanie Bowling Daniel Boyer Allen Bradburn Caleb Bradburn Emily Brawley Anna Brichett H Brown Hank Brown Jody Brown R Brown David Bryant Lee Bryant Hayley Burchfield Elizabeth Burnett Randy Campbell Lucia Capozzoli Nina Capozzoli Zachary Carr Angel Chaffin

Adam Dattilo Aimee Davis Mallory Davis Will Davis Sarah Dugal Kristin Dutton Lily Dutton Nathanial Dutton Hank Dye Joe Emert Bergen Erickson Marie Erickson Whitney Erickson Elizabeth Estill Danielle Everett Brian Eversole David Eversole Julia Eversole Heather Floan Michael Floan Auzlo Ford Carpenter Ford Marie Ford Phil Francis Tracy Fritchman

Cheryl Garretson Brianna Gibson Robin Goddard Daniel Green Nelda Griffith Maria Guenter Rochelle Guenter Carla Gunderson Chloe Gunter Georgia Gunter Melissa Gunter Dorothy Haislip Candace Haley Lanie Haley Mattie Haley Rivers Haley Tim Haley Jennifer Hancock Lincoln Hancock Olivia Hancock Shannon Harper Abby Harriman Janet Hathaway Adair Henry Isaiah Heroux Jennifer Heroux Luke Heroux Rosalen Heroux Owain Heyden Angelique Hickman David Hickman Garrett Hickman Steven Hicks Donna Higdon Steve Higdon Darnisha Hudson Luke Hussing Chuck James Terry James Johnsen Jennifer David Johnsen Lily Johnsen Linnea Johnsen Chloe Johnson Doc Johnson Tracey Jurkovac Jessica Keeble John Keeble Lance Keeble David Keith Kyle Keith Jenny Keller Kimmie Kerr Bruce Koopika Julie Labhart Jinean Latham Blake Lawson Leath Patria

Dudley Leath Richard Ledyard David Lee Caitlin Leneve Jeff Lindsey Nancy Locklin-Sofer Anna Long Lorna Luketin Kat Martin Gabrielle McAllister Carol McGaha Daniel Metcalf David Metcalf Hannah Metcalf Joshua Metcalf Karen Metcalf Sarah Metcalf Ruby Miller Riley Mills Jennifer Moore Maddie Moore Gus Morrill Kathy Nash Jackson Neilson Phia Neilson Tish Neilson Tracy Neilson Nancy Noble Deborah Noe Matt Noe Paul Noe Sarah Noe Annie Novak Michele Nuchols Tracy Nuchols Jennie Ottinger Kristi Parsons Lori Peyla Duane Phipps Jada Phipps Paul Pickett Elaine Polisastro Mac Post Garrett Prager Jeffrey Prager Kendall Prager Riley Prager Jayden Presley Frances Presnell Julie Raburn Kelly Rafferty Molly Randall Rich Reading Kim Regan Ryan Regan Amy Roberts Herb Roberts Nancy Robinson

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Jennifer Roder Sarah Kate Roder Natalie Rothenberg Richard Ryburn Anna Sams Nate Sams Cindie Sanchez Dana Saywell Gar Secrist Keane Secrist Richard Secrist Nancy Sentell Alice Sheffield John Sheffield Whitney Sheffield Kylie Sliger Anna Smith Steve Smith Douglas Sofer Edison Sofer Dennis Spjut Ken Stephenson Jacquie Stiver Jared Swenson Polly Taylor Anita Thomas Daniel Tipton Debbie Troutman Baden Tull Charlotte Tull Dawn Tull Elisabeth Tull Logan Tull Cindy Turberville Marsha Uselton Terry Uselton Henry Vargas Martha Vargas Amy Wardana Tia Wardana Abigail Welchel Jacob Wessels Brad Whelchel Stephanie Whelchel Frank Whetstone Stacy Whetstone Lisa Williams Nancy Williams April Williamson Amber Wilson Amber Wilson DiAnne Wilson Riley Wilson Joan Worley Kae Wrinkle


to the many generous individuals, organizations, and companies who supported Tremont in 2016. Without you, we would not be able to serve thousands of students and adults each year in this special place.


Arconic Foundation Jim & Natalie Haslam National Park Foundation


Dan & Rosemary Cap First Tennessee Foundation Bill & Susan Varner


Randy & Jenny Boyd Jim Clayton Clayton Family Foundation Bill & Donna Cobble Cornerstone Foundation Covenant Health Joe & Cindy Emert Friends of the Smokies Great Schools Partnership Daniel & Sissy Green Shannon & Emily Harper James & Janice Heinrich Chuck & Terry James Massey Electric Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority Dale & Barbara Keasling Edward & Karen Pershing Pilot Flying J Mike & Pauline Putney SmartBank Stowers Machinery Sugarlands Distilling Company The Trust Company University of Tennessee University of Tennessee Medical Center Yelp Chad & Ginette Youngblood


Ackermann Public Relations & Marketing AT & T Charley & Patricia Bible Bob Booker Jeff & Vicki Chapman Randy & Robin Gibson Carol Greco Hobson-Wood Foundation KaTom Jon & Toni Lawler Wilfred "Mac" Post Kim Wood


Jim & Kati Blalock Martin & Loretta Brown Betsey Bush Howard Capito Susan Cooper Ken & Jane Creed Autrey DeBusk Hank & Margaret Dye Elizabeth Estill Foothills Kiwanis Phil & Becky Francis Chuck Garten Woody Greg Jim & Janet Hart Hugh & Debby Hyatt John T. Johnson Fred Lawson Little River Trading Company Robert & Linda Lloyd K R Maples Richard & Joni Maples Morton & Becky Massey Charles & Clara McNutt Conley & Carolyn Murrell William Muse Christy Newman Robert & Renee O'Conner Mark & Sharon Oldham Gene Overholt Bob & Margaret Page PYA Waltman Capital Dick & Ann Ray Brenda Sellars Barbara Slover Martha Stephens Joe & Becky Swann United Community Banks Ken & Jennifer Voorhis Gary & Sandra Wade Charlie & Nancy Wagner Wilderness Wildlife Dale & Wendy Wortham


Anonymous Anonymous James & Elizabeth Abel Jerry & Robyn Askew Janet Bigelow David & Judy Birdwell Agnes Bouton Jack & Catherine Burgin Jimmy Cheek William Christenson

Ronald Ellis Whitney Erickson Foothill Striders Carolyn Forster Donna Foster Kevin Hill Joe Hollingsworth Joe & Pat Johnson Dr. Jen Jones Keep the Change Fund Joyce Kuzmick Robert Lederer Frank March David & Sandy Martin Cheryl Massingale Daniel & Diane Matthews Fred McMurray Scott Meyer Ellen (Sis) Mitchell Kim Mitchell J. Paul Moore Lorie Morris John & Sherri Murphy Bill Oliphant William & Susan Packard Joe & Sharon Miller Pryse Stephanie Ramsey William & Carole Reeves Ken & Jean Smither William Stokely Sarah Stowers Mary Stuart-Neely Julie Tallman Barbara Vanderjagt Eden Young


Anonymous Anonymous Kevin & Irene Anton Alex Bragg Robert Bryant Hulet Chaney Kathleen Davis Daniel & Stephanie DeVries Larry & Beth Dicus Bergen & Whitney Erickson Fletcher Realty David Foote Roger & Maria Goetz George & Cindy Harper Eric Hoeppner Bill & Patricia Irby James Kucharski Lloyd Luketin Larry McKay Bob & Sandy Merriman Patricia Mills Dave Ostermeier Bill Powney Robert Reily Dr. Robert Rider Esther Bell Roberts Victoria Soderberg Joe & Becky Swann Joan Swenson

Walker Valley Reflections - Summer 2017- Page 12

Carl Van Hoozier VLH Trust Ronnie & Camille Wheeler John & Kathy Wilbanks John Woodell & Michelle Prysby


Anonymous Anonymous Carol Abbott Megan Abercrombie Marie Alcorn Duane & Cindy Allen Dan & Shirley Awald Dave Ballentine W. Alan & Debra Ballew Charles Barber Rick & Kat Barrow Jennifer Bausman Elizabeth Beaudoin Dennis Beck The Benevity Community Impact Fund Astrid Bennett John & Sara Berry Ernie Blankenship Tom Bogart Jim Booth Gordon Bordewyle Stephanie Brinson Bruce & Susan Brower Cotton Bryan Patrick & Fae Burkhart Mark Burns David Butts Marty Callaway Jim Casey Caylor Brothers Construction Jerry & Jill Christian Carolyn Christopher Glenn & Debbie Claypool Clayton Bradley STEM Academy Liz Coburn Ray Colclough Dawn Coleman Townsend & Conni Collins Brian Condie Tom & Nancy Condon Joyce Coombs Joy Coursey Betsey Creekmore Robert Croley Bryan Daniels Bill & Jo Ann Davis Larry & Beth Dicus John DiDiego Nancy Dorman Donald & Carolyn Dougall Joe Dreimiller Mary Dresser Don Dunning Karen Eberle Chuck & Patti Edwards Leslie El-Sayad Karen Ellingson Darrel Ellis

Cecilia Emery Douglas Engel Nannette Enloe Margaret Epperly David, Caroline & Erin Erickson Bonnie Ervin Paul Erwin Mary Ann Everett Kent & Susan Farris Tom Faulkner Jake Ferguson Jim Ferguson Jeff & Alice Fisher Tom & Marian Fitzgerald Michael & Heather Floan Barbara Foglesong Sandra Fortson Marilyn Frank William Froschauer, Jr. Douglas Fry Jim & June Gerding Beth Giddens Mark Gilreath Millie Gimmel Jim & Robin Goddard Keith Goff Paul & Pat Green Susan Greer-Tisdale Bill Griffin Brian Groenhout Edna Grosskopf Joshua Guerra Henry & Debbie Guigou Randy Hammer Tom Hardesty Jeff Harshbarger Walter Hedge Beka Hedly Sloane Heermance Roy & Patricia Heifner Mark & Mary Henegar Gary & Sherry Hensley Ray & Carol Hils Parks Hitch, Jr. John Holloway Pat Holobaugh Robert Huffman Margie Hunter Renee Hyatt Adam Jackson John Johnson Malcolm & Barbara Johnson Mark & Robin Johnson Robert & Sally Johnson Barry & Colleen Jones Holly Jones Clayton Jordan Clinton Kelly Janice Kemp-Phillippy Adolf & Carol King Sandra Kurtz Julie Labhart Bob Lash Judson & Laura Laughter Henry & Shirley Law Jim & Barbara Leach Richard Ledyard

Suzanne Lenhart David & Susan Lennox Norm Levy Marion Lewis Doug & Lindsey Lieb Kris & Kenny Light John Lipscomb Jeremy Lloyd Steve & Jane Logan Carole Lopez B. & Carol Manshady Susan & Bruce Marshall Joseph & Debbie Matteo Patricia Mayhugh Jerry McClanahan Ann McDermott Mac Carter McElroy Steve McGaffin Jessica McGee Jane Qualls McGuire Larry & Anna McKay Paul & Mary Jane McKown Sarah McNiell Susan McNutt Carl Meincke Sue Milinkovich Irene Miller Robort Moore Todd Moore Lorie Morris Steve & Kirsten Mosher Diane Mosley Jeff & Cheryl Mullen Ann Munson Geoffrey & Marcia Murphy Kathy Nash Mary Netto Kathy Newman Nordson Corporation Kenneth Novak Denny O'Neal Danielle Palmer Bob & Janis Patterson Glen & Colleen Penquite Niels & Pat Petersen Linda Petrosky Bill & Gina Phelps Todd Plambeck Kathy Poese Mary Porter Teresa Pruitt Pure Water Farm Nyssa Pymer Dr. Robert Ramger Hiram Rash Alice Reed Gary Reeves Robin Reeves Laurel Rematore Cheri Reynold Carolyn Richardson Kevin & Deborah Riley David Roark Ricki Robbins Jasmine Roberts Amy Rochelle Gary & Karyn Rolfe

Susan Ross Ricky Ryan Richard Ryburn Kim Sadler Paul & Jeanne Sanders William Schneider Bill Schult Jim & Liz Schumacher Richard & Spain Secrist John Sheffield David & Judy Shuck Jeff Rosalsky & Gail Shuttleworth Jim & Jane Sidwell Mark & Debby Singleton George & Dotty Smith Penny Smith Smoky Mountain Outdoor Center LLC Mark & Janet Snyder Julie Spalding Shawn & Kristin Spindel Dennis Spjut St. Andrew's Episcopal Church Rebecca Stenner Jerry & Sharon Stiner Tom Strother David & Sadie Stroud Elliott Stroupe Maryann Stupka Kelly Sturner Janice Sullivan Malissa Sullivan Carl Swafford Don Taylor Claudia Thomas Michele Thornton Bob & Lil Tiebout Tootsie Foods Curtis Travis Jane Trentin William Truex Michael Turley Bob Turner John Urbaitis Terry & Marsha Uselton Haber & Dana Vickers Georgiana Vines Judy Voght Betty Voorhis Nick Walker Alice Watts Phil & Ann Weinrich Jim & Georgie Whitley Julie Whitteed Lisa Williams Nancy Williams DiAnne Wilsom Priscilla Wilson Eileen Wilson Robert Wilson Geoff & Pat Wolpert Woodpickers CD Kae Wrinkle Ralph & Karen Wynn Yellowstone Forever Nicholas Young

Walker Valley Reflections - Summer 2017- Page 13

In-Kind Donations Airport Authority Andrea Rzad Campbell Party Rentals Clarence Carvell Debra Ahmed Donald Myers Elvira's CafĂŠ Foothill Striders Foothills Milling Company Friends of the Smokies Glenn & Debbie Claypool Great Smoky Mountains Association GSM Outfitters Home Depot Innovative Hydroponic Supply Jen's Dad Karen Eberle Little River Outfitters Little River Trading Company Mac Post Mark Burns Mast General Store Master Gardeners Michael & Heather Shepperd Morton Massey Paul Pickett REI Russell & Sheri Liles Shirley Andrews Tom Sudman Uncle Lem's Outfitters YeeHaw Beer YPM, Incorporated

support tremont

Donate today and help send students to Tremont. There is an application process for school groups and summer youth to receive funds that are allocated for aid and raised during the year. With your help, hundreds of students are able to experience Tremont. Help us get more youth outside! Email or call 865-448-9732 Ext. 24 to donate today.

Gifts given in memory of

Gifts given in honor of

Martha Beck Dennis Beck

Kathi Lee Wilson Eileen Wilson

Mac Post Dr. Kim Sadler

Dr. Donald Linzey Carolyn Christopher

Meredith Beck Kaufman Dennis Beck

Sonia Brown Mary Dresser

James Fitzgerald Tom & Marian Fitzgerald

Libby Gilley Alice Reed

Megan Martha Beck Dennis Beck

Thomas Rinehart Kathy Poese

Dean & Nellie Harshbarger Jeff Harshbarger

Morton Massey Marie Alcorn

Charles Phillip Benziger Janet Bigelow

Anita Bergeson Stephanie Brinson

Sean & Laura's Wedding Jake Ferguson

George W. Fry Douglas Fry

Abby Gibson Donna Foster

Will Clay J. Paul Moore Margaret Epperly

Karen Ballentine Friends of the Smokies Geoff & Pat Wolpert Susan Ross

Brian Davis Colleen & Glen Penquite Nyssa Palmer Robin & Mark Johnson Cecilia Emery Kathleen Davis Deborah & Kevin Riley Jeff Spitzer Adam Jackson Alex Bragg

Betty C. Voorhis Jeremy Lloyd Ken & Jennifer Voorhis Irene Miller Rebecca Stenner Arthur & Margaret Stupka Conley & Carolyn Murrell Maryann Stupka

Ron Hedley Beka Hedley

Charles & Joyce Benziger Elliott Stroupe

Gregory Kucharski James Kucharski

Wright Tisdale Jr. Susan Greer-Tisdale

Debbie Ellis Ron Ellis

Ron Adams Paul & Jeanne Sanders Bill Cobble James & Natalie Haslam II

Angela Sperry Teresa Pruitt Beth Hoezee Teresa Pruitt

Nannette Enloe Jane Trentin

Lee Bryant & Jared Swenson Joan Swenson Robert Bryant

John Rakes & Gina Lappe Mary Dresser

The Houston Furgeson Family Mac Carter McElroy

Ken Voorhis Irene Miller

Betty C. Voorhis Yellowstone Forever

Tremont Staff Nannette Enloe Mark Gilreath Alice Gilreath

2016 partners

Walker Valley Reflections - Summer 2017- Page 14

Upcoming Events & Programs






Citizen science is year-round at Tremont. Participants and volunteers have the opportunity to contribute to scientific research conducted within the national park. Resulting data are shared with collaborating scientists and park resource managers and the general public. Check to see what’s happening in Walker Valley this season. Popular volunteer projects include bird banding in June-August and monarch tagging in late summer/early fall.

17-22 17-22 17-27 23-30

Discovery Camp III Smokies Science Investigations Teen High Adventure Maryville College Great Smokies Experience

7-9 Reptiles and Amphibians 10-15 Smoky Mountains Family Camp


3-8 Fall Hiking Road Scholar 22-24 Southern Appalachian Ecology



8-13 Fall Hiking Road Scholar 20-23 Autumn Brilliance Photography Workshop 27-29 Women’s Fall Backpack

Subaru Pint Night West Hills Flats & Tops Knoxville, TN


Sugarlands Mountain Fest Gatlinburg, TN


2017 Bird Banding: July 6-7, 13, 26, 31 & August 2

HOMECOMING CELEBRATION Looking for a great way to enjoy the Park this fall? Join us for our annual Homecoming Celebration. The event combines food, friends, and fun to raise money for our scholarship fund. Email for more information.


teacher escape weekend You are invited to join us for a weekend in the Smokies to share ideas and plan your upcoming Tremont experience. This short retreat is perfect for returning teachers and those interested in bringing students to Tremont for the first time. Escape to the mountains and return home energized and excited for next semester!

2017 Sessions:

WHAT’S INCLUDED: • • • • • •

Food, lodging, and instruction Incredible SAVINGS to you and your students Preparation for cooperative teaching with our staff Activities to enhance learner outcomes PD hours & networking with other professionals NEW! - Sessions designed for veteran & new teachers

Choose a date that best fits your schedule!

August 26-27, September 16-17, September 30 - October 1 Need more info? Call Jennie McGuigan at (865) 448-9732 Ext. 21 or visit

Walker Valley Reflections - Summer 2017- Page 15

Listening for the Future of Education and National Parks How can national parks be engaged as exceptional places of learning? How can they support the goals and needs of classroom teachers? As a recognized leader in cooperative teaching with visiting educators, Tremont Institute was asked to help find out! Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont recently conducted a series of focus groups with classroom teachers and school administrators from around the region. Throughout a series of evenings, small groups of educators engaged in lively discussions about the future of education, as it relates to experiential learning and national parks. A team from the University of Tennessee and Tremont facilitated the discussions as part of a national project to better understand how national parks can be places of learning to support classroom teachers. More than 50 educators shared 3-4 hours of their valuable time to consider how best to connect classrooms to iconic experiential learning resources such as Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Tremont Institute was asked by the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation to participate as one of four sites for a nationwide effort, including Teton Science Schools, the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. Tremont helped make the voices, ideas, and needs of educators across East Tennessee heard at the national level.

The future of education in our region looks bright. Two immediate takeaways from this project for us: 1. The East Tennessee community deeply values teachers and education. We were able to raise nearly $7,000 of in-kind resources from local businesses to feed teachers, secure focus group meeting spaces, and create appreciation goody-bags for our educators to take home! 2. There are several inspired and passionate educators who are ready to make learning even more local, personal, and relevant for their students. They just need more resources and a stronger regional network that supports experiential learning. Challenge accepted! Article by Caleb Carlton Media & Outreach Specialist

The results of the focus groups from across the country will now be used to inform the future of education in national parks. By taking the time and resources to listen, carefully, to inspired educators across the country, the community of national parks-based education groups now have the data and insight to create national parks learning opportunities and resources that are most relevant to the needs and desires of our classroom teachers and school administrators.

Kristi Parsons

For implementation, our team partnered with the University of Tennessee for an in-depth analysis of the sessions that we facilitated. We heard from educators in Chattanooga, Knoxville, Roane County, Blount County, Anderson County, Sevier County, and more, giving us a rare chance for a comprehensive needs analysis of our school partners. The common themes and ideas we discussed from the focus groups will provide a clear pathway to guide and inform our efforts to connect our communities to the Smokies and the outdoors with relevant, needed experiential learning opportunities and resources.

Allison Kutcher

Walker Valley Reflections - Summer 2017- Page 16

Program Spotlight: Springtime in the Smokies Photography Workshop

Register for our Autumn Brilliance Photo Workshop! October 20-23, 2017 Visit to register today.

Steve Zigler

"The Tremont workshop is my reunion with my photography family. It was such a comfort to see familiar faces and share our love of Tremont." - Val Weston

Chris Rohwer

"It truly was inspirational. You all gave me many new ideas and helped me gain back my passion for photography." - Julie Tallman

Val Weston

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experience Tremont offers a variety of programs for all ages and abilities. We are known for our school programs, but our calendar is full of programs for adults, youth, and families. Programs include naturalist classes, photography workshops, family camp, professional development, and summer camps. Tiffany Beachy

For more information, call (865) 448-6709 or email to request a program catalog.

Citizen Science - Bird Banding

volunteer Can you give one day a month to help Tremont Institute? Consider supporting Tremont by donating your time as a regular volunteer. Contact us today to share your skills and know that every moment you put into Tremont gives someone the opportunity to live and learn in this beautiful place. Volunteer opportunities include planning special events, representing Tremont at community events, assisting in the office or the kitchen, moving gravel, making fire starters, collecting donations, and more.

To find your place among the dedicated Tremont volunteers, email

GSMIT Archives

school programs Are you a teacher or educator? Are you interested in bringing a school group to Tremont Institute? Schools from across the country spend 3-5 days during the schoolyear living on Tremont’s campus inside Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Through our unique co-teaching exchange, skills and teaching techniques used here are easily transferred back to the home classroom. The lessons and memories live on well past the time spent here.

For more information about how your school can experience Tremont, email

South Knoxville Elementary

Walker Valley Reflections - Summer 2017- Page 18

GSMIT Archives


thank you

Sometimes you can’t be here with us. That’s okay! You can still connect with Tremont Institute.

Thank you Arconic Foundation for giving $50,000 for scholarships to bring underserved Knox County students to Tremont Institute. Students and teachers experienced transformative learning through education programs that promote self-discovery, critical thinking, and effective teaching.

Have you signed up for our bi-weekly enewsletter? We’ll keep you up to date on what’s happening here at Tremont and send reminders about how you can get involved. Email to start receiving enews. Have you watched our videos? The feeling you get from dipping your toes in the Middle Prong can never be duplicated by simply watching the river flow from your computer screen, but on an every day work week, it’s the next best thing. Take a break and enjoy the scenery from wherever you may be. GSMIT Archives

Lonsdale Elementary - "Thank you Arconic!"

Find us on Facebook! We love to share pictures, stories, videos and announcements. Don’t forget to share with us. Tremont is now on Instagram! Follow us for current photos from campus, programs, and more. @tremontinstitute

"I learned that if you put down electronics a whole other world opens to you." -Lucy, 5th grader

Follow us on Twitter! Check @gsmitremont for quick updates and photos. We also share articles and news from Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

"Tremont not only introduced me to the wonders of the mountains and the elegance of wildlife, but also showed me how to work together. Through cooperation and hard work, we were able to overcome what seemed impossible obstacles." -Emily

Walker Valley Reflections - Summer 2017- Page 19

Great Smoky Mountains National Park 9275 Tremont Road Townsend, TN 37882

e l p o pe g n i t ure c e n con and nat

Walker Valley


Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont Newsletter

Visit or call (865) 448-6709 for more information.

Summer 2017

Walker Valley Reflections - Summer 2017  
Walker Valley Reflections - Summer 2017