KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) – The City of Kingsport and Bays Mountain Park & Planetarium are working together to teach the community about how to live with the growing wildlife in the area.

While city officials note the many benefits and perks of living among nature, a release states that there are several challenges that come with sharing a home with so many animals.

Bays Mountain Park chief ranger Tyler Wicks said learning to live with nature instead of against it is critical.

“The people of Kingsport are privileged to have thousands of acres of wild lands right in their community,” Wicks said. “With this privilege comes a certain level of responsibility to know and respect your surroundings.”

“Our recommendation is to respect nature as much as possible and to leave things as much natural as we can,” said park ranger Bob Culler.

With black bear sightings common in Kingsport and a deer population that has exploded in recent decades, the city and park have teamed up to launch the “Living with Nature” series to answer questions about how residents can best experience life in the mountains. Installments of the series will be posted on the city’s website and on the Kingsport Alerts Facebook page.

The series will highlight different species of animals throughout the year and will provide tips on how to stay safe and enjoy seeing wildlife at home or while in the community.

“There’s a lot of information out there, on the Internet especially, that’s not real sound as far as dealing with wildlife sometimes,” said Culler. “So, yeah, and information changes as well. We learn things. We learn things constantly. And so it’s always good to kind of get the latest information.”

Culler also said anyone who has questions about wildlife near their homes can call Bays Mountain for advice or information.