Home Hiking boots How to Spend Time in the Smokies While Helping the Park

How to Spend Time in the Smokies While Helping the Park

0

Knoxville, Tenn. (WVLT) – Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers a unique way to explore the park, while helping to keep the area clean and healthy.

Smokies Service Days allow customers to sign up for special events to keep the park running smoothly. Volunteers will spend a few hours in the park performing community service while enjoying the outdoors.

Park officials have released a schedule for all 2022 Smokies Service Days. Volunteers can sign up for a day of work on one or more of the following community service projects:

Saturday July 9

Independence Day Cleanup

Join us to help clean up after the Independence Day celebrations! Put on a pair of work gloves and help maintain the chimneys picnic area. We will clean the gates, collect litter and remove debris for the pleasure and safety of future visitors! Bring a snack or a picnic to enjoy and bring your hiking boots to join us on a short hike along the Cove Hardwoods Nature Trail.

Meeting Location: Parking Lot at Chimneys Picnic Area, Tennessee

Time: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Limited to 15 participants, ages 10 and up (registration required)

Saturday July 30

Green Thumb Gardening and Fantasy Fencing

Green thumb or not, bring gloves and help weed the flowerbeds so our native plants can thrive! Part of our group will become “fantastic fencers” who will help the staff maintain the historic farm fences. Then we will enjoy a walk along the mountain farm and learn about Appalachian life in another era.

Meeting Location: Oconaluftee Visitor Center, North Carolina

Time: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Limited to 15 participants, ages 12 and up (registration required)

Saturday August 13

Smokemont Campground Cleanup

Clean fire pits, pick up litter and remove debris for future campers! Put on a pair of work gloves and help prepare Smokemont Campground for fall. Bring hiking shoes if you want to join a short group hike along the Smokemont Nature Trail afterwards. We will practice our identification skills on different trees and plants that we will see along our way.

Meeting location: Smokemont Campground parking lot, North Carolina

Time: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Limited to 15 participants, ages 10 and up (registration required)

Saturday August 27

Invasive Species Removal: English Ivy Traction

Work alongside the GSMNP vegetation management team to eradicate the invasive English ivy that threatens to dominate the grounds in and around Elkmont. We’ll discuss plant ecology and learn how the GSMNP ‘Vegetable Teams’ work to maintain a healthy natural balance!

Meeting place: Elkmont, Little River Trail Head, Tennessee

Time: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Limited to 20 participants, ages 16 and up (registration required)

Saturday September 10

Cataloochee Cleanup

Get ready for camper fun and help keep wildlife out! We will clean fire pits, pick up trash, remove dead leaves and do other campground maintenance. We will enjoy the secluded atmosphere of the Cataloochee Valley and those interested can stay a little longer and explore the various historical sites.

Meeting Location: Cataloochee Campground Parking Lot, North Carolina

Time: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Limited to 15 participants, ages 10 and up (registration required)

Saturday September 24

National Public Lands Day “Parks and Partners Cleanup”

On National Public Lands Day this year, join us and our park partner, the Great Smoky Mountain Institute in Tremont, to get outside, enjoy our public lands, and help with various campus maintenance projects. Volunteers will hear from our partner about their community science initiatives, educational outreach, and other opportunities.

Venue: Great Smoky Mountain Institute in Tremont, Tennessee

Time: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Limited to 10 participants, ages: 12 and up (registration required)

Saturday October 15

Fire Safety in Daisy Town

It’s fall, y’all… So grab a rake, y’all! We will work together to eliminate the accumulation of dead leaves (fuel) around the historic cabins of the “daisy town” of Elkmont! Tools such as rakes and leaf blowers will be provided. This active day also offers the unique opportunity to learn from an NPS wildland firefighter about fire management and prevention and the role natural fires play in the ecosystem.

Meeting Location: Historic Daisy Town in Elkmont, Tennessee

Time: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Limited to 15 participants, ages 15 and up (registration required)

Saturday October 29

‘The Deep Creep!’

Do not be afraid. Welcome Halloween to the depths of Great Smoky Mountains National Park! Help keep Deep Creek BOO-tiful by participating in the annual “Deep Creep” Litter Cleanup. Costumes encouraged! We’ll be competing for horribly delicious stuff and treats. No hesitation about it… It’s sure to be a morning of spooky fun and spirited stewardship!

Meeting place: Deep Creek Picnic Area, North Carolina

Time: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Limited to 15 participants, all ages are welcome! (Registration required)

Saturday November 12

Veterans Day Cemetery Cleanup

Extend the recognition of Veterans Day by joining us for a Veterans Cemetery cleanup. Whaley – Plemmons Cemetery has several veterans buried here. Representatives from GSMNP Archeology will demonstrate how to clean the headstones and those of all abilities are encouraged to rake leaves, clean up litter, sticks and other debris to help protect this important site.

Meeting place: Whaley – Plemmons Cemetery

Time: 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Limited to 25 participants, all ages are welcome! (Registration required)

Those interested in signing up can send an email to [email protected] with the subject “SMOKIES SERVICE DAYS”. In the email itself, be sure to include the date and name of the activity you wish to register for, as well as the number of members in your group and their ages.

Copyright 2022 WVLT. All rights reserved.