News

August 24, 2019

Karina Felt so Bad for Taking a Rock from Great Smoky Mountains National Park That She Sent It Back with a Donation

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Nature is truly beautiful and humans should seek to protect it at all costs. Fortunately, there are thousands and thousands of gorgeous parks around the world.

The Great Smoky Mountain National Park, located in North Carolina, is one of America's greatest natural wonders and is visited by millions of people each year.

A little girl named Karina was one of those visitors and loved the park so much that she couldn't help but take a little souvenir with her — a heart-shaped rock.

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RETURNING THE ROCK TO ITS RIGHTFUL PLACE

Karina grabbed the rock from Tom Branch Falls so she would always have a piece of the beautiful park with her. However, guilt got the best of her.

Realizing that she shouldn't have taken the small rock, Karina wrote a heartfelt letter to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Rangers, apologizing for what she had done.

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In the handwritten note she said:

"Deep Creek was awesome! I especially liked Tom Branch Falls. I loved it so much I wanted to have a souvenir to come home with me, so I took a rock. I’m sorry, and I want to return it."

Along with the letter, the little girl sent a drawing of the waterfall and a financial donation to the park. Both were greatly appreciated by the Rangers.

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APOLOGY ACCEPTED

Karina's gesture was so sweet that the park staff took to its official Facebook page to share the story, showing pictures of the letter, the rock and the drawing.

As a response, the Rangers guaranteed that the rock made its way back to Tom Branch Falls and that, through her gesture, Karina proved she was already becoming an amazing steward for the park.

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IT IS OF UTMOST IMPORTANCE TO PROTECT NATIONAL PARKS

They also left an important reminder for those who visit the park every year:

"Thank you for recognizing that what is in the park should stay in the park. If every visitor took a rock home, that would mean 11 million rocks would be gone from the park every year! The park would definitely not be as beautiful as it was before."

Not only that, but they also said that the rocks are very important for the animals living within the park, such as salamanders. "By leaving rocks where they are, we’re helping protect these special homes as well as the beauty of the park," they added.

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