Whiteoak Sink group size limited for wildflower viewing

GATLINBURG, Tenn.—Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced group size limits for the popular wildflower season at Whiteoak Sink. Individuals and small groups of eight or fewer people may access the Whiteoak Sink area throughout the wildflower season Monday, April 1 through Sunday, May 5.

Whiteoak Sink is a unique, sensitive area that hosts many rare plants. Park managers limit group size to protect sensitive wildflower species from trampling. Overuse of the area causes impacts like damage to plants and soil compaction when large groups crowd around plants off-trail to take photos or closely view flowers. Parking is limited, so visitors should plan ahead and come prepared with alternative destinations in case they do not find parking available at Whiteoak Sink. Parking is not allowed on road shoulders.

Photos courtesy of the National Park Service

A team of volunteers on site will provide wildflower viewing information and collect monitoring data. Park managers have monitored sensitive wildflower species in the Whiteoak Sink area since 2016.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is world famous for its wildflower diversity and has more kinds of flowering plants than any other North American national park.

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 27, Chandler 22, and Naomi 13. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 11 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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