The Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials are excited to announce a new opportunity for the public to participate in service projects across the park. Park staff have coordinated ten Smokies Service Days on Saturdays beginning July 22 through October 28.
Individuals and groups are invited to sign up for any of the scheduled service projects that interest them including unique opportunities to help care for park cemeteries, campgrounds, trails, roadsides, rivers, and native plant gardens.
This new volunteer program will help complete much-needed work across the park and is ideal for those seeking to fulfill community service requirements including students, scout troops, civic organizations, visitors, families, and working adults with busy schedules. Each project will provide tasks appropriate for a wide range of ages. Volunteer projects will begin at 9:00 a.m. and last until noon on Saturday mornings. In addition, each project will be followed by an optional enrichment adventure to immerse participants in the abundant natural and cultural resources of the park.
Tools and safety gear, including gloves and high visibility safety vests, will be provided by park staff. Participants will be required to wear long sleeve shirts, long pants, closed-toe shoes, and bring water. Volunteers planning to stay for the optional enrichment activity must also bring a sack lunch.
Shelby Harrell is the editor of the Biltmore Beacon, editor of The Guide arts and entertainment publication and is a staff writer for Mountaineer Publishing. Originally from Asheville, she has worked in journalism for seven years and currently lives in Clyde, NC.