CLINGMANS DOME, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The Great Smoky Mountains National Park needs volunteers to help staff the visitor information center at Clingmans Dome through November.
The visitor's center sits 6,300 feet up and provides information about both the park, as well as the high elevation spruce fir ecosystem. The park needs volunteers to help educate visitors about the park, provide recreational and trip planning and directional information.
The information center originally served as a comfort station when the Civilian Conservation Corps built it, but in 2010 the park converted it into a seasonal information center. Inside, visitors will also find a bookstore area run by the Great Smoky Mountains Association.
“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.”
The visitor information center also offers other services, including guides and maps, outdoor apparel, and other products for sale.
Volunteers will work alongside park employees. Each volunteer is expected to work at least one four-hour shift each week. The park plans to hire 12 new volunteers to fill all the days of the week, with the greatest need on weekends. Hours are from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Anyone interested in applying will get orientation and training before they start work at the center. To sign up, call Florie Takaki at 828-497-1906, or send an email to Florie_Takaki@nps.gov.
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