Dolly Parton shares an important message about protecting the planet, especially her Tennessee home!
The country music icon, who hails from the corner of Eastern Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains, recently opened up about her beautiful hometown.
While speaking to National Geographic, the 76-year-old entertainer got candid about her love for the biodiverse region and why she protected the environment.
Dolly Parton Wants People To “Pay More Attention”
The Great Smoky Mountains, popularly referred to as the ‘Smokies,’ has been a major impact on Parton’s life and career.
With over “1,400 varieties of flowering plants and about a hundred species of trees,” the Tennessee tourist spot is the United States’ most biodiverse national park.
The essence of this nature-loving region was captured in the Billboard chart-topper’s song, “My Tennessee Mountain Home,” which recently became an official state song.
This accolade captured the “9 to 5” actress’s influence on the territory and her love for the wildlife habitat, making the Smokies a home and fuel for the songwriter’s creativity.
“The Smokies have a heart of their own,” the “Jolene” songstress said, “It’s the way the water flows, the way it sounds, and the way it feels when you get in it.”
The 11-time Grammy Award winner explained that her admiration for the region did not spawn from the fact that she lives there. Instead, the Tennessee icon believed God created the Smokies for people to enjoy.
“When I come here it’s a feeling like nothing else,” she told the news outlet, “It has grown, as all things must. But the Smokies will never lose their charm and their magic.”
The “Coat of Many Colors” artist ensured the biodiverse area did not lose its appeal by supporting the habitat through her Dollywood Foundation.
The organization helped in various ways including sponsoring a bald eagle sanctuary at Dollywood — the multi-instrumentalist’s amusement park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
Parton’s passion for the Smokies also came from the region’s rich musical heritage as one of the gospel singer’s earliest childhood memories involved listening to her mother sing “old mountain ballads.”
“We always had our own mountain music in the Smokies,” the Country Music Hall of Fame alum gushed, “We still have that. And I think we’ll always have that.”
Given the “Joyful Noise” star’s love for her homeland, it was no surprise that the 76-year-old hoped the world would stop destroying mother nature. The 3-time AMA winner said:
“We should pay more attention. We’re just mistreating Mother Nature—that’s like being ugly to your mama. We need to take better care of the things that God gave us freely.”
The “Steel Magnolias” actress previously confessed to USA Today that she disliked discussing topics related to politics because she did not wish to offend anyone with her views.
However, when it came to environmental protection, especially climate change, the Tennessee native was not afraid to put her foot down.
According to Jessica Hall, the executive director of the American Eagle Foundation and Dollywood bald eagle sanctuary, Parton has always been in causes that touched her heart.
The “Christmas on the Square” star has helped the foundation release “over 180 bald eagles” to find refuge in the Smoky Mountains by supporting the rescue and rehabilitation of injured and orphaned bald eagles.
The BMI Icon Penned A Touching Message To Tennessee’s Wildfires Victims
As reported by The Blast, the Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee shared a heartfelt message to those affected by the Tennessee wildfires.
Taking to Instagram, the “Here I Am” singer revealed she had been keeping up with news about the devastating fires happening near her home and Dollywood.
Although the situation looked terrifying on TV, the country music icon stated that things could have gotten worse without the community coming together to fight the natural event.
On that note, the RIAA multi-platinum awards winner praised the “brave men and women,” who worked on containing the fires and offered a prayer to those who suffered losses.
As for the musician’s Dollywood park, the 76-year-old entertainer assured fans that there were no significant damages in the area.
The wildfire began burning near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and it “consumed more than 3,700 acres” before the situation was contained.