Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Volunteers Needed to Staff Information Center at Clingmans Dome

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is recruiting volunteers to help staff the visitor information center at Clingmans Dome through November 30th.

The visitor information center at Clingmans Dome sits at an elevation of 6,300 feet and is a point source of information for the national park and the high elevation spruce fir ecosystem, in particular. Volunteers are needed to assist in educating visitors about the Park while also providing recreational, trip planning, and directional information. The information center, constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps, originally served as a comfort station, but was converted into a seasonal information center in 2010. It also includes a bookstore area managed by the Great Smoky Mountains Association (GSMA).

"In the past, visitors to this popular destination did not have a chance to obtain information on their high elevation visit or have questions answered," said Park Superintendent Dale Ditmanson. "Now with the help of volunteers staffing the center, visitors can inquire and learn about the spruce fir ecosystem and the impacts of invasive insects, such as the balsam woolly adelgid, and air quality."

Many other helpful services are available, including the ability to purchase guides and maps, outdoor apparel, and other products sold by GSMA. Volunteers will be working alongside GSMA employees and each volunteer is asked to work at least one four-hour shift per week. About twelve new volunteers are needed to fill all days of the week, but especially from Friday through Sunday. The hours will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Interested persons will be provided orientation and training before beginning at the contact station. The period that volunteers will be needed is during the peak season, April through November. Training will be held from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. on Friday, May 17th.

To sign up for training or for more information, contact Florie Takaki at 828-497-1906 or by email, Monday through Fridays.


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