SEVIER COUNTY, Tenn. — Want to give back while spending time in the great outdoors?
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park announced it will be hosting "weekend 'work-togethers'" called Smokies Service Days.
Individuals and groups are invited to sign up for unique volunteer opportunities to help maintain and improve operations at campgrounds, historic structures and other natural and cultural resources, according to a release from the park.
Park officials said each Smokies Service Day activity offers group- enrichment geared to deepen the experience of the natural world and helps complete much-needed work across the park.
It is ideal for families, visitors, scout troops, civic organizations, nature lovers of all kinds, working adults with busy schedules, and those seeking to fulfill community service requirements, including high school and college students, according to the release.
The park said each project will provide tasks appropriate for a wide range of ages, though some may have restrictions, and will last for 3 to 4 hours on Saturday mornings depending on the project.
The park said its staff will provide tools and safety gear, including gloves and high visibility safety vests, according to the release. Participants are required to wear closed-toe shoes and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as directed by the Project Coordinator (safety goggles will be provided when necessary). Volunteers will also need to bring their own water and bagged lunches.
You can register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Put ‘SSD Registration’ in the subject line and write out the date, the name of the activity, the number in your group and the age of each volunteer.
Your participation will be confirmed via email, according to the park.
The park provided a schedule of activities:
October 16: Green Thumb Gardening
Oconaluftee Visitor Center (North Carolina)
9 a.m. – 12 p.m.; limited to 10 participants, ages 12+
October 23: Campground Clean-Up
Smokemont Campground (North Carolina)
9 a.m. – 1 p.m.; limited to 12 participants, ages 10+
October 30: “The Deep Creep” (Costumed Clean-Up)
Deep Creek Picnic Area (North Carolina)
10 a.m. – 12 p.m.; limited to 25 participants, all ages welcome
November 6: Fire Safety in Daisy Town
9 a.m. – 12 p.m.; limited to 15 participants, ages 15+
November 13: English Ivy Pull (Vegetation Management)
9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.; limited to 20 participants,ages 16+
November 20: Park and Partners (Steep Slope Clean-Up)
Maloney Point Overlook (Tennessee) *near Laurel Falls Trailhead
9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.; limited to 18 participants, ages 13+