Smokies Service Days provide opportunity to give back to GSMNP

October 19, 2021

GSMNP volunteers blowing leaves

by Julie Dodd

You can give back to Great Smoky Mountains National Park and be part of park-loving team by participating in Smokies Service Days.

Individuals and groups are invited to sign up for weekend ‘work-togethers,’ being held on weekends this fall.

A volunteer removes invasive plants during a Smokies Service Days event. NPS photo

“Smokies Service Days volunteers lend energetic support that helps upkeep park trails, campgrounds, visitor centers, and historic sites,” said Sheridan Roberts, Parkwide Volunteer Coordinator. “The Saturday morning work-togethers are a lot of fun and allow us all a chance to learn together as well.”

This volunteer program helps complete much needed work across the park and 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.  

“This awesome program that brings together people of all ages and backgrounds, in the spirit of stewardship,” Roberts said.

Each project consists of tasks appropriate for a wide range of ages, though some may have restrictions. Depending on the project, Smokies Service Days last for 3 to 4 hours on Saturday mornings.

Tools and safety gear, including gloves and high visibility safety vests, will be provided by park staff.

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 bring their own water and bagged lunches. 

Registration process

Register by email: grsm_volunteer_office@nps.gov  In subject line, enter ‘SSD Registration’. 

Indicate the Date and Name of Activity you wish to register for. Include the number in your group and the age of each volunteer.

Your participation will be confirmed via email. 

Project Schedule

October 23:    Campground Clean-Up 
Smokemont Campground (NC)
9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.; limited to 12 parti+cipants, Ages 10+

October 30:    “The Deep Creep” (Costumed Clean-Up) 
Deep Creek Picnic Area (NC)
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.; limited to 25 participants; All Ages Welcome!

November 6:  Fire Safety in Daisy Town
Elkmont (TN)
9:00 a.m. – 12 p.m.; limited to 15 participants, Ages 15+ 

November 13:  English Ivy Pull (Vegetation Management)
Elkmont (TN)
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 (TN) – near Laurel Falls Trailhead
9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.; limited to 18 participants, Ages 13+