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Dolly Parton shares her love for Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains in a conversation with National Geographic Travel’s Amy Alipio

TENNESSEE – Dolly Parton shares the importance of caring for the environment, and her philosophy is simple: mistreating the earth is like “being ugly for your mom.”

In a chat with National Geographic Travel’s Amy Alipio, the nature-loving singer shared her love for the Great Smoky Mountains in her hometown of Tennessee and why now is the time to open your eyes.

“I really think we all need to be more careful about taking better care of the things that God has given us for free, and that we so freely spoil,” she said. “We have to rethink this and do better. We have to actually give more to Mother Nature and this planet. We’re not going to have it long if we destroy it. We have to be smart.”

The country music icon’s 1972 song “My Tennessee Mountain Home” was named the official state song last month, proving the great outdoors have inspired her for years.

“This is my people, this is my home, and I’ve written so much about the [Smoky Mountains] … I just think it’s one of the most beautiful places,” she said. “We have the most radiant flowers and the greatest assortment of trees in all of North America, and that’s why it’s so beautiful in the fall and in the summer.”

Jessica Hall, executive director of the American Eagle Foundation, which operates a bald eagle sanctuary in Dollywood, told National Geographic that Dolly is very active in causes close to her heart.

“The Smoky Mountains where she grew up is where her heart is,” she said.

Visit the National Geographic website for the full interview and more on Dolly’s conversation with Amy Alipio.

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