The goal of this project is to support the connection between the next generation of artists and adventurers with America’s national parks. This project will bring together two artist-led teams of students and community members to create closed-loop life cycle sculptures inspired by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park along the 6.7 miles of hiking trails at Western Carolina University. Juror and artistic advisor Patrick Dougherty, an artist known for his large-scale environmental sculptures, will guide a team of regional arts professionals in selecting two artists to create the new works. Great Smoky Mountains National Park rangers and educators will guide artist-led student groups through the National Park at different times of the year to learn about the flora and fauna of the park and gain inspiration for the creation of new work. An exhibition featuring historic photos of the park and sketches and/or maquettes of the sculptures selected for this project will be on display at the WCU Fine Art Museum throughout 2016.