Great Smoky Mountains National Park is recruiting volunteers to help staff the visitor contact station at Clingmans Dome through Nov. 30.
The visitor station at Clingmans Dome sits at an elevation of 6,300 feet and is a point source of information for the national park and the high elevation spruce fir ecosystem, in particular. Volunteers are needed to assist in educating visitors about the Park while also providing recreational, trip planning, and directional information. The information center, constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps, originally served as a comfort station, but was converted into a seasonal information center in 2010. It also includes a bookstore area managed by the Great Smoky Mountains Association.
“In the past, visitors to this popular destination did not have a chance to obtain information on their high elevation visit or have questions answered, “said Park Superintendent Dale Ditmanson. “Now with the help of volunteers staffing the center, visitors can inquire and learn about the spruce fir ecosystem and the effects due to invasive insects, such as the balsam woolly adelgid, and air quality.”
Many other helpful services are available, including the ability to purchase guides and maps, outdoor apparel, and other products sold by the Great Smoky Mountains Association. “The Association is a significant partner of the Park. Sales from their bookstores go directly into park projects and programs which help improve park operations and services,” added Ditmanson.
Volunteers will be working alongside Association employees and are asked to work at least one, four-hour shift per week through November. The hours will be from 11am – 3pm Interested persons will be provided with an orientation and training before beginning at the contact station. Training is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 14.
Info: Florie Takaki, Monday through Fridays, 497-1906.