• Approximately 1,500 black bears live in the national park.

    Great Smoky Mountains

    National Park NC,TN

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  • Trail Advisory

    Several trails in the park are temporarily closed. Please check the "Backcountry Facilities" section of the Temporary Road and Facilities Closures page for further details. More »

Volunteer

Volunteers assist the park in a variety of ways.

The Volunteers in Parks (VIP) program allows people from all walks of life to step in and lend a hand to help the park.

Photo by Don McGowan.

 

Volunteer in Great Smoky Mountains National Park!

Help us protect this special place by joining Park Rangers in our efforts to maintain trails, staff information desks, serve as campground hosts, and more! The work you do makes a difference! Our Volunteers-in-Parks (VIP) accomplish an amazing amount of work each year while they learn, explore, and share their time and talents in the Smokies. More…

We have a variety of volunteer opportunities for individuals and groups, including many that do not require training. The VIP program allows people from all walks of life to assist the park by doing jobs that otherwise could not be done.

How to get started:

• Download a listing of Volunteer Opportunities or call (865) 436-1265 to receive an information packet and application.

• Search our Schedule of Events during June - September for Special Volunteer Work Days if you are interested in a one-day work event.


How to apply for a Volunteer-in-Park Position:

After reviewing our Volunteer Opportunities, download a VIP Application. Make sure to note where you would most like to volunteer. Send the application to the Volunteer Coordinator or by mail at:

VIP Coordinator
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
107 Park Headquarters Drive
Gatlinburg, Tennessee 37738

• Find out how you can be a Student Intern at Great Smoky Mountains National Park!

• Learn more about our Scout Ranger program for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts!

 
Student Conservation Association
We also utilize Resource Assistants and high school work crews from the Student Conservation Association, Inc. (SCA), which accepts applications for various agencies like the Smokies. They recruit applicants for high school volunteer programs and college-age and older volunteers as Resource Assistants and Conservation Career Development Program fellows. Each year the park utilizes a number of individuals and high school crews, recruited by SCA, in Resource Management activities such as:
  • Wildlife and fisheries management
  • Vegetation management
  • Air quality monitoring
  • Backcountry management
  • Long-term inventory and monitoring activities of the resources
  • Support of the Park's Visitor Services and Parks-as-Classrooms programs
  • Support of backcountry management and trails maintenance activities.


Applications are accepted for winter/spring and summer/fall periods. For more information contact:

The Student Conservation Association, Inc.
PO Box 550
Charlestown, NH 03603-0550
(603) 543-1700
www.sca-inc.org

Did You Know?

President Roosevelt at the park's Rockefeller Memorial.

Money to buy the land that became Great Smoky Mountains National Park was raised by individuals, private groups, and even school children who pledged their pennies. In addition, the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial Fund donated $5 million to create the park. More...