Volunteers help clean up GSMNP during shutdown

Local News
COVER PHOTO_Keep Sevier Beautiful cleanup_0110_1547165865696.JPG.jpg

Collateral damage from the partial government shutdown is all too obvious in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Three weeks in, and without federal workers to keep the park clean on a regular basis, the litter has been piling up. 

Over 80 volunteers collected more than 160 bags of trash at the Spur on Thursday. Keep Sevier Beautiful organized the cleanup.

Volunteers cleaned up seven miles of the Spur, a divided highway with treacherous turns and steep embankments. 

The Spur is a part of the Smokies that is heavily traveled with many visitors leaving behind a lot of litter, hurting the hearts of those who embrace the environment and the magic of our mountains. 

This was part of a volunteer effort to help get parts of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, mainly the Spur, as the partial government shutdown has affected staffing. 

Keep Sevier Beautiful plans to organize more volunteer cleanups as the shutdown drags on. They will keep people updated on when those cleanups will happen. 

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With the shutdown affecting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Keep Sevier Beautiful is hosting a volunteer cleanup event.

Visitors are still able to go to the park, but without staff. 

That cleanup is set for Thursday, Jan. 10 from 9 a.m. to noon, at 1011 Banner Rd. in Gatlinburg. 

Volunteers are meeting at the Gatlinburg Welcome Center at 8:30 a.m. to sign in. 

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