Great Smoky Mountains National Park is recruiting for volunteers to participate in the Adopt-a-Trail (AAT) program, an effort that helps to maintain the Park’s 800-mile trail system. The Volunteers in Parks (VIP) program has integrated volunteerism into many of its Park operations, including trail maintenance that covers everything from picking up litter to removing treefalls and reporting trail problems to the Park. A mandatory training program is scheduled on Saturday, July 31, in the North Carolina area of the Park for those who are interested in participating in the program.
AAT volunteers must be 18 years of age or older and in good physical condition. They are expected to hike/patrol the trail(s) at least eight times per program year--March through October. Specific trail duties include: Collect and remove litter; clean waterbars and drainage systems; perform brushing and removal of small windfalls or branches (hand tools only); perform minor trail tread maintenance; remove illegal campsites and fire rings found along trail; inspect trail and trail signs; and promote Leave No Trace outdoor ethics.
The training will be held on Saturday, July 31, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Park’s North Carolina Trail Shop Training Room near the Oconaluftee Visitor Center, 2 miles north of Cherokee. In order to attend, participants must register by July 26 by email with Christine Hoyer, Trails and Facilities Volunteer Coordinator, or by phoning (828) 497-1949. The later part of the training will take place outside on the trail so people should wear appropriate clothing including sturdy footwear. Also, a packed lunch will be necessary.
If you are interested but are unable to attend the July training, please feel free to contact Christine Hoyer to be placed on a mailing list to attend future training sessions in Tennessee as well.
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