Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Smokies seeks volunteers for Clingmans Dome Visitor Contact Station

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is recruiting volunteers to help staff the visitor contact station at Clingmans Dome when it opens on Friday, April 1.

Last year, the building that had served as a comfort station since the Civilian Conservation Corps era was renovated and converted into a seasonal information center and bookstore/sales area managed by Great Smoky Mountains Association (GSMA). The renovation project was funded by GSMA.

The center sits at an elevation of 6,300 feet and will be a point source of information on the national park, in general, and on this high elevation spruce-fir ecosystem in particular. Volunteers are needed to assist in educating visitors about the Park and providing recreational and trip planning information and directions to other destinations.

Many other helpful services will be available, including the ability to purchase guides and maps, outdoor apparel, and other quality products sold by GSMA. “The Association is a significant partner and so are our volunteers. Their volunteer assistance at this location will go a long way in helping Association staff provide essential services to the public,” said Park Superintendent Dale Ditmanson.

Volunteers will be working alongside GSMA employees and each volunteer is asked to work at least one 4-hour shift per week at the information desk and roving the trail to the Dome Tower. The hours will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. April – November. Interested persons will be required to attend one of two 5-hour orientation and training sessions which will be given: March 10 at the Sugarlands Training Room near Gatlinburg, Tenn.; and March 19 at the Waynesville Library, in Waynesville, N.C. To register for the training or for more information, contact the Oconaluftee Visitor Center at (828) 497-1904.


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