Great Smoky Mountains National Park Needs Oconaluftee Volunteers

Smoky Mountains Oconaluftee volunteers needed.Great Smoky Mountains National Park Needs Oconaluftee Volunteers. National Park officials are recruiting volunteers to assist park visitors by exploring the Oconaluftee River Trail, Mountain Farm Museum, and fields along Newfound Gap Road near the Oconaluftee Visitor Center. Volunteers are needed from April through November and usually work one, four-hour shift per week.

The Oconaluftee Visitor Center is a must stop for any visit to the Great Smoky Mountains! Entrance to the Center is free and it is open to the public every day except Christmas day. The Visitor Center has plenty of parking for cars, RVs and motor coaches. Public restrooms and vending machines are available to the left of the Center’s main entrance. You will find everything you need to experience the Park at your own pace.

The Visitor Center offers a unique view into the area’s past at the Mountain Farm Museum – a collection of historic log buildings from the late 19th century that were relocated here from all over North Carolina in the 1950’s. 

Volunteers will share information to visitors about park regulations that best protect wildlife which includes proper waste disposal and safe wildlife viewing distances. When elk are present in the fields, volunteers assist Park Rangers with traffic management to assure visitor and wildlife safety. In addition, volunteers provide information about cultural resources found at the Mountain Farm Museum and natural resources along the Oconaluftee River Trail.

Everyone interested in volunteering are required to attend a training session on Tuesday, April 3 from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at the Oconaluftee multi-purpose-room near the Oconaluftee Visitor Center. Volunteers should bring a bag lunch to the training.

To register for training or for more information, contact Kathleen Stuart at 828-497-1914 or kathleen_stuart@nps.gov. For more information on elk, please visit the park’s website at NPS.gov.

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