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Dolly Parton: ‘Mistreating Mother Nature’ is ‘like being ugly to your mama’

Dolly Parton presents the award for entertainer of the year at the 57th Academy of Country Music Awards
Associated Press/John Locher

Dolly Parton says that the world’s inhabitants need to take better care of the environment and stop “mistreating” it.

“We should pay more attention,” the “Jolene” singer told National Geographic in an interview published this week about her native eastern Tennessee.

“We’re just mistreating Mother Nature — that’s like being ugly to your mama,” Parton told the magazine.

“We need to take better care of the things that God gave us freely. And that we’re so freely messing up,” the 76-year-old legendary singer said.

Parton praised the surroundings amid the Great Smoky Mountains that she calls home, saying, “We got the most radiant flowers, the biggest assortment of trees.”

“The Smokies have a heart of their own. It’s the way the water flows, the way it sounds, and the way it feels when you get in it,” Parton said.

“I don’t know if it’s just because it’s my home — but I really don’t think so. I think it’s just one of those special places that God put here for us to enjoy.”

Parton’s Dollywood amusement park in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., is the largest corporate sponsor of the American Eagle Foundation, and the organization’s leaders credited the Grammy Award winner with helping to rehabilitate birds in the Volunteer State.

Dollywood, American Eagle Foundation Executive Director Jessica Hall said, “has been instrumental in our success.”

Parton also described her love of monarch butterflies, which are part of Dollywood’s logo and often incorporated into her projects.

“When I was little I would wander off, chasing butterflies into the woods, so they had to come find me,” Parton said.

“I always related to them because I felt like they were harmless and they were colorful — kinda like I think that I am,” she said. “They’re just meant to be mine, I think.”

Tags Climate change Dolly Parton Dolly Parton Dollywood Jolene Mother Nature National Geographic Tennessee
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