GSMNP (press release)—Great Smoky Mountains National Park is recruiting 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 the park operations, including trail maintenance that covers everything from picking up litter to removing tree-falls and reporting trail problems to the park.
AAT volunteers should be prepared to preform basic trail maintenance, and are to hike/patrol the trail(s) at least four times per program year– March through October. Specific trail duties include: Collect and remove litter; clean water bars 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.
Trainings will be held throughout the year. Interested participants can register by contacting Alan Chapman, Trails Volunteer Coordinator by phone at (828) 497-1949 or by email at Alan_Chapman@nps.gov. Part of the training is held outside and participants should wear appropriate clothing including sturdy footwear.