President Trump: National parks will reopen soon


SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – President Trump announced that national parks will be back open soon.

The president made the statement at an Earth Day event on the south lawn of the White House Wednesday afternoon.

So, what does that mean for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park?

A spokesperson from the park says they don’t have a specific reopening date set just yet, but are actively developing reopening plans.

The park service is:

  • Installing plexiglass shields in visitor centers
  • Requiring PPE for maintenance workers
  • And developing safety protocols for emergency staff

“We want to do our best to be prepared in a manner that helps our employees, volunteers, and visitors feel safe before reopening.”


Previously, GSMNP had closed in March to help prevent the spread of the virus as visitors had flooded some of its roads and trails, unable to practice social distancing protocols. The park then extended the closure through April.

This week, the park announced the cancellation of the synchronous fireflies event due to COVID-19 concerns.

RELATED: Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Synchronous firefly viewings canceled amid coronavirus outbreak

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