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Smokies Service Days Return

Smokies Service Days Return

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials are excited to announce that the popular “Smokies Service Days” volunteer program will resume this month. Park staff will lead service opportunities on Saturdays beginning June 9. 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 campgrounds, native plant gardens, and other natural and cultural resources within the park boundaries.

This volunteer program helps complete much needed work across the park and is ideal for those seeking to fulfill community service requirements, including high school and college 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 are required to wear closed-toe shoes and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as directed. Volunteers planning to stay for the optional enrichment activity must also bring a sack lunch.

Those interested in volunteering need to contact Project Coordinator, Logan Boldon, at 865-436-1278 or logan_boldon@partner.nps.gov prior to the scheduled event date to register. Space may be limited.

 

Schedule of Service Activities

 

June 9, 2018: Campground Clean-Up

Clean out fire pits, pick up trash, remove leaf litter and perform other campground maintenance to prepare for the enjoyment of future campers and help keep our wildlife wild!

Meeting Location: Elkmont Campground, Tennessee

Time: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Option: Let’s have a picnic at Huskey Branch Falls! We’ll take a hike along Little River to the falls and enjoy the beautiful scenery as we eat! The hike is a moderate 4.3 miles roundtrip. 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM.

 

June 16, 2018: Campground Clean-Up

Clean out fire pits, pick up trash, remove leaf litter and perform other campground maintenance to prepare for the enjoyment of future campers and help keep our wildlife wild!

Meeting Location: Smokemont Campground, North Carolina

Time: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Option: Head on over to the Oconaluftee Visitor Center for the Women’s Work Festival! This annual event showcases the work done by women on mountain farms with demonstrations including hearth cooking, soap making, corn shuck crafts and spinning. The festival lasts until 4 PM and is free!

 

June 30, 2018: Gardening

Become a Weed Warrior in the Battle of the Beds! Don a pair of gloves and remove unwanted vegetation from the flower beds in front of the Oconaluftee Visitor Center and the Mountain Farm Museum gardens.

Meeting Location: Oconaluftee Visitor Center, North Carolina

Time: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Option: Enjoy a ranger-led interpretive program on the natural and cultural history of the area! 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM.

 

July 7, 2018: Picnic Area & Campground Clean-Up

Fourth of July festivities can leave their mark on the park! Clean up the picnic area by picking up trash and removing debris from the grills to help us prepare for future visitors and assist with wildlife management! Then we’ll tackle the campground!

Meeting Location: Deep Creek, North Carolina

Time: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Option: We’ll explore the waterfalls of the Deep Creek area: Juney Whank Falls, Tom Branch Falls, and Indian Creek Falls! The hike is an easy 2 miles roundtrip. 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM.

 

July 21, 2018: Campground Clean-Up

Clean out fire pits, pick up trash, remove leaf litter and perform other campground maintenance to prepare for the enjoyment of future campers and help keep our wildlife wild!

Meeting Location: Cosby Campground, Tennessee

Time: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Option: Let’s take a leisurely stroll in the woods on the Cosby Nature Trail and learn about the local flora and fauna! The hike is and easy 1.1 miles roundtrip. 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM

 

For more information or to register, contact:

Logan Boldon

logan_boldon@partner.nps.gov

865-436-1278

 

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