Published On: Wed, May 5th, 2021

Park hosts hands-on volunteer opportunities in May and June 

 

Great Smoky Mountains National Park staff are hosting several volunteer workdays in May and June on trails throughout the Park. These opportunities are ideal for people who enjoy hiking and hands-on work in a beautiful setting. Volunteer service will take place alongside experienced park staff and will help preserve the 848 miles of maintained trails throughout the Park.

Volunteers will help repair erosion control features and perform general trail tread maintenance on sections of trail. Workdays will be held on Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in North Carolina on May 13, May 20, and May 27 and in Tennessee on June 10, June 17, and June 24. In addition, a special opportunity will be held in North Carolina on Saturday, June 5, in honor of National Trails Day.

For the trail workdays, volunteers must be able to safely hike while carrying tools up to four miles per day and be prepared to perform strenuous, manual labor. After receiving proper training, participants will be expected to safely use hand tools such as shovels, rakes, loppers, and hand picks. Minimum age of participants is 16. Those under 18 must be accompanied by a responsible parent or guardian. The 2021 Volunteer Program will be following CDC best practices in response to COVID-19. Pre-registration is required as space will be limited. Please contact Trails and Facilities Volunteer Coordinator Adam Monroe at 828-497-1949 or adam_monroe@nps.gov for workday details and to register.

Volunteers will need to wear boots or sturdy closed toed shoes, long pants, and appropriate layers for inclement weather. Volunteers should bring a day pack with food, water, rain gear and any other personal gear for the day. The Park will provide instruction, necessary safety gear, and tools for the day.

Interested volunteers can also contact Monroe to learn about additional volunteer opportunities throughout the year including the self-led, ‘Adopt-a-Trail’ program and ‘Trails Forever Tuesdays’ on the Abrams Falls Trail, held every Tuesday this summer from May 11 through September 14. For more information about the volunteering in the Park, please visit the Park website at https://www.nps.gov/grsm/getinvolved/volunteer.htm.

– National Park Service release

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