Help preserve trails at Great Smoky Mountain National Park by volunteering

Smoky Mountains

(Photo via National Park Service)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Great Smoky Mountains National Park is holding volunteer workdays throughout September. During these workdays, volunteers will work alongside park staff to help preserves the 848 miles of maintained trails throughout the park.

Volunteers will help repair erosion control features, cut back overgrown vegetation and perform general trail tread maintenance. Workdays will be held Wednesdays from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in Tennessee on Sept. 2 and 9 and in North Carolina on Sept. 8, 15, and 22. There will also be a workday in North Carolina on Saturday, Sept. 25, in honor of National Public Lands Day.

Volunteers must be able to safely hike while carrying tools up to four miles per day and be prepared to perform strenuous, manual labor. Participants will be expected to use hand tools such as shovels, rakes, loppers, and hand picks. The minimum age to volunteer is 16 and those under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Volunteers should wear boots or sturdy closed-toed shoes, long pants and appropriate layers for the weather. The park also asked participants to bring a day pack with food, water, and rain gear. Instruction, necessary safety gear, and tools. will be provided by the park. Within all national parks, individuals are required to wear a mask in crowded outdoor locations when six-foot physical distancing cannot be maintained.

Pre-registration is required and space is limited. To register, contact Trails and Facilities Volunteer Coordinator Adam Monroe at 828-497-1949 or adam_monroe@nps.gov. For more information about volunteering in the park, https://www.nps.gov/grsm/getinvolved/volunteer.htm.

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