Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Emotional Video Shows Colorblind Park Visitors Seeing Fall Colors for First Time

Popular

Around this time of year, millions of people travel to Tennessee's Great Smoky Mountains to witness the brilliant reds, oranges and yellows of autumn foliage.

But for the 13 million Americans who have protanopia and protanomaly (red-green color blindness or red-blind), they might not be as impressed with the scenery.


To help visitors with this affliction, the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development has installed special viewfinders that can alleviate red-green color deficiencies.

The viewfinders, which were unveiled last week, can be found at Ober Gatlinburg in Gatlinburg, Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area near Oneida, and at the Westbound Interstate 26 overlook near Erwin in Unicoi County.

As seen in the video above, the colorblind travelers who have peered through the lenses shed tears of joy or were stunned into silence after seeing the fall colors for the first time in their lives.

"I'm glad to have seen it. I just wish I had seen this all my life," one said.

"I really feel like now I know why people come from miles and states around just to see this," another said.

Tennessee's Great Smoky Mountains National Park drew more than eleven million visitors last year, making it one of the most popular parks in the country.

"One of the main pillars we promote in Tennessee is our scenic beauty," Commissioner Kevin Triplett, Tennessee Department of Tourist Development. “The reds, oranges and yellows in the fall and the incredible colors in the spring are a staple of what comes to mind when people think about Tennessee or visit here."

"But to realize, through red/green deficiencies and other forms of colorblindness, there potentially are more than 13 million people in our country alone who cannot fully appreciate the beauty our state has to offer, we wanted to do something about that. We wanted to provide opportunities for more people to see what those of us who can may take for granted."

On Thursday, Maryland will become the first state in the nation to implement a ban on foam takeout containers. guruXOOX / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Maryland will become the first state in the nation Thursday to implement a ban on foam takeout containers.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A sea turtle and tropical fish swim in Oahu, Hawaii. M.M. Sweet / Moment / Getty Images

By Ajit Niranjan

Leaders from across the world have promised to turn environmental degradation around and put nature on the path to recovery within a decade.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Smoke from the Glass Fire rises from the hills on September 27, 2020 in Calistoga, California. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Just days after a new report detailed the "unequivocal and pervasive role" climate change plays in the increased frequency and intensity of wildfires, new fires burned 10,000 acres on Sunday as a "dome" of hot, dry air over Northern California created ideal fire conditions over the weekend.

Read More Show Less
Sir David Attenborough speaks at the launch of the UK-hosted COP26 UN Climate Summit at the Science Museum on Feb. 4, 2020 in London, England. Jeremy Selwyn - WPA Pool / Getty Images

Sir David Attenborough wants to share a message about the climate crisis. And it looks like his fellow Earthlings are ready to listen.

Read More Show Less
People walk down a flooded street as they evacuate their homes after the area was inundated with flooding from Hurricane Harvey on August 27, 2017 in Houston, Texas. Joe Raedle / Getty Images

Kevin T. Smiley

When hurricanes and other extreme storms unleash downpours like Tropical Storm Beta has been doing in the South, the floodwater doesn't always stay within the government's flood risk zones.

New research suggests that nearly twice as many properties are at risk from a 100-year flood today than the Federal Emergency Management Agency's flood maps indicate.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch