Experience the Park through Smokies Service Days

(GSMNP press release) Great Smoky Mountains National Park is hosting park-led ‘work-togethers’ on weekends throughout the year as part of Smokies Service Days. Individuals and groups are invited to sign up for these volunteer opportunities to help care for park resources, trails, and facilities. Service activities include invasive plant removal, structural fire prevention, and cemetery clean-ups. Each service day also offers optional enrichment activities with park staff to learn more about the park’s biodiversity and history. 

Through Smokies Service Days, volunteers help complete much needed work across the park. The opportunities are ideal for families, visitors, scout troops, civic organizations, working adults with busy schedules, and those seeking to fulfill community service requirements, such as the Tennessee Promise program. Activities are appropriate for groups with mixed abilities, though some may have age restrictions. Smokies Service Day projects typically last 3 – 4 hours on Saturday mornings.   

Registered participants are provided more details about their service activity closer to the date. Tools and safety gear, including gloves and high visibility safety vests, are provided. Volunteers should bring their own water and bagged lunch.

To register, email grsm_volunteer_office@nps.gov and enter ‘Smokies Service Days’ in subject line. Indicate the date and activity you wish to register for. Include the number in your group and the age of each volunteer. You will receive a reply confirming your registration.  

2022 Project Schedule 

July 9:                      Independence Day Clean-Up 

Chimneys Picnic Area (TN) 

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.; limited to 15 Participants, Ages 10+ 

July 30:                    Green Thumb Gardening and Fantastic Fencing 

Oconaluftee Visitor Center (NC) 

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.; limited to 15 Participants, Ages 12+ 

August 13:               Campground Clean-Up 

Smokemont Campground (NC) 

9:00a.m. – 12:00p.m.; limited to 15 Participants, Ages 10+ 

August 27:               English Ivy Pull (Vegetation Management) 

Elkmont (TN) 

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.; limited to 20 Participants, Ages 16+ 

September 10:         Campground Clean-Up 

Cataloochee Campground (NC) 

9:00a.m. – 12:00p.m.; limited to 15 Participants, Ages 10+ 

September 24:        National Public Lands Day ‘Park and Partners Clean-Up’ 

Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont (TN) 

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.; limited to 10 Participants, Ages 12+ 

October 15:             Fire Prevention in Daisy Town 

Elkmont (TN) 

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.; limited to 15 Participants, Ages 15+ 

October 29:             “The Deep Creep” (Costumed Clean-Up) 

Deep Creek Picnic Area (NC) 

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.; limited to 15 Participants, All Ages  

November 12:         Veterans Day Cemetery Clean-Up 

Whaley – Plemmons Cemetery  

8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.; limited to 25 Participants, All Ages 

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:30 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, and cats Oliver, Bow and Libby.

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