(GSMNP) Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced several volunteer workdays beginning April 5 through April 28 along heavily-used trails and nature loops as the park prepares for the busy summer season. These opportunities are ideal for people interested in learning more about the park and the trails program through hands-on service alongside experienced park staff.
Volunteers will help clear limbs and debris that have fallen over the winter months along with helping repair eroded trail sections. Workdays will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in North Carolina on April 5, April 7, and April 19 and in Tennessee on April 12, April 21, and April 28. Prior registration is required.
Please contact Trails and Facilities Volunteer Coordinator Adam Monroe by phone at 828-497-1949 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org for workday details and to register. Interested volunteers can also contact Monroe to learn about additional volunteer opportunities throughout the year including the ‘Adopt-a-Trail’ program and the Trails Forever ‘Working Wednesdays’ opportunities on Rainbow Falls Trail beginning April 25 through August 29. These opportunities are perfect for those with busy schedules who would like to volunteer once a month.
For the April trail workdays, volunteers must be able to safely hike while carrying tools up to 4 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.
Volunteers will need to wear boots or sturdy closed toed shoes, long pants and appropriate layers for cold and 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.
For more information about the volunteering in the park, please visit the park website at https://www.nps.gov/grsm/getinvolved/volunteer.htm.