Dolly Parton shares importance of caring for Earth: 'We need to be thankful that we have it'

Her philosophy is simple: Mistreating Earth is like "being ugly to your mama."
TENNESSEE (KABC) -- Dolly Parton is sharing the importance of caring for the environment, and her philosophy is simple: Mistreating Earth is like "being ugly to your mama."

In a conversation 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 our eyes.

"I really think we all need to pay closer attention to taking better care of the things that God gave us freely, and that we're so freely messing up," she said. "We need to rethink that and do better. We need to actually be more giving to Mother Nature and this planet. We're not going to have it for long if we destroy it. We need to be smart."

The country music icon's 1972 song "My Tennessee Mountain Home" was named an official state song last month, proving the great outdoors have been an inspiration to her for years.

"They're are my people, this is my home, and I've written so many things about the [Smoky Mountains] ... I just think it's one of the most beautiful places," she said. "We've got the most radiant flowers and the biggest 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, the executive director of the American Eagle Foundation, which runs a bald eagle sanctuary at Dollywood, told National Geographic Dolly is very active in causes that speak to her heart.

"The Smoky Mountains where she grew up-that's where her heart is," she said.

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

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