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Experience Your Smokies

Posted by | 01.29.2015
Joe Grady, a participant in the 2014
Experience Your Smokies program,
had a great day assisting with a fish
restoration project at Cosby Creek.
NPS Photo

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, in conjunction with Great Smoky Mountain Association and the Friends of the Smokies, announces a special opportunity to experience the Smokies. The program, Experience Your Smokies, is a unique opportunity to get to know the park and its employees in a whole new way.

“If you have ever wanted to be a park ranger or get a behind-the-scenes look at what goes on in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, this is your opportunity,” said acting park Superintendent Clayton Jordan.

Experience Your Smokies is a program designed for local business, civic and educational leaders to get a behind the scenes look into the national park, while networking with others from western North Carolina.

“Our surrounding communities and their leaders are very important to us, and this program gives us a chance to make more meaningful connections with our neighbors and for them to do the same with us,” said Jordan.

Participants will attend five full day sessions at a variety of locations in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, accompanying park employees in activities that may include helping to restore a park wetland, participating in a fish survey, and assisting with trail restoration. This is a perfect way to get an insider’s look at park operations as we explore areas like Oconaluftee, Clingmans Dome, and Purchase Knob.

One participant said of her experience, “I was impressed by the enthusiasm of the entire staff for their respective roles. The knowledge each has is so amazing.  This has been one of the coolest experiences of my life.”

Experience Your Smokies is seeking diverse applicants from the surrounding communities for a program this spring. Programs run on Tuesdays on the following dates: March 17th, March 24th, April 14th, April 28th  and Saturday May 9th.  Those attending will be asked to commit to attending all class days.  Applications will be accepted between now and Feb. 27, 2015.  The program costs $50 with funds going towards program administration and materials. Please visit HERE or call 828-452-0720 for an application.

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