Help to the Smoky Mountains
Help to the Smokies is an effort led by BWXT/Y-12, which includes Team UT-Battelle and other Oak Ridge area businesses, to provide and coordinate volunteer workers for "light construction" rehabilitation projects in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The partnership began in 1996 and typically schedules 2–4 work days each year. Previous projects have resulted in completely rehabilitated picnic areas at Metcalf Bottoms (see video), Cades Cove, and the Chimneys; work in the Cosby Campground; ground preparation for and the assembly of a large native plants greenhouse at Twin Creeks; and the initial work on the now-completed Orientation Shelter at the entrance to Cades Cove.
General Information for Volunteers
Notification: An e-mail list is maintained and used to communicate to interested volunteers. Announcements are posted to ORNL Today. To have your name added to the e-mail list, please contact Kim McMahan at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Registration: All volunteers register and sign a release for each work session. Forms are e-mailed to those who indicate interest. Registration typically closes on the Tuesday preceding the work day, so that the lunch order can be placed in time and so that the Park Service can judge how many tools to provide. Lunch: Lunch is provided for all registrants.
Family and Friends: Family and friends are welcome to register and work, but keep in mind that these are light construction projects. Small children are not allowed on the work sites and no child care is provided. Responsible teenagers are welcome.
Tools: All tools and equipment are provided by the Park Service. Only Park Service personnel or trained individuals are allowed to operate chain saws and similar equipment used on the projects.
PPE: Safety glasses, work gloves, and closed-toe shoes. If you will be doing heavier work, such as carrying timbers, use hard-toe safety shoes. Bug repellant, hats, and sunscreen should be brought and used at your discretion. There usually is a small supply of safety glasses and gloves at the work site, but if you can bring your own (or borrow some from here), then you'll have some that fit the way you like.