Volunteers Honored At Great Smoky Mountains National Park For Thousands Of Hours Of Service

Volunteers are a large part of the national park community, donating time and sweat to help improve their favorite park. At Great Smoky Mountains National Park, officials recently honored some volunteers who eclipsed 5,000 hours of service to the park.

The volunteers were honored for their stewardship with a special recognition plaque that will be on permanent display at park headquarters near the Sugarlands Visitor Center near Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

The park has recorded 11 individuals or groups who have contributed more than 10,000 hours of volunteer service and 15 individuals who have accumulated more than 5,000 hours since the inception of the program in 1970.

These dedicated volunteers have shown a long-term commitment to the park, performing a variety of tasks including maintenance and renovations in park campgrounds, backcountry campsites, and along trails; providing visitor information at visitor centers, backcountry information office, historic structures, and in our campgrounds; and providing field assistance in the Smokies' fisheries and vegetation management programs.

“It is an honor to work with such devoted park advocates,” said Superintendent, Dale Ditmanson. “Their time, talent, and enthusiasm for Great Smoky Mountains National Park benefit not only our park visitors, but also the park staff. We are happy we can honor their work by displaying this plaque in our Park Headquarters Building.”

Present at the celebration were several of the honored volunteers, park staff, the current park volunteer coordinator, Christine Hoyer, and as well as her two predecessors, Dana Soehn and Babette Collavo. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park Volunteers in Park program is the largest in the Southeast Region. During 2012, 3,019 volunteers contributed a total of 161,913 hours of service to the Park.

5,000-hour Stewards

• Merwyn Borders

• Jim Burbank

• Mike Braun

• Allan Goss

• Fred Griffin

• Millie Griffin

• Frances Hensley

• Buck Lambdin

• Dan Lawson

• Charles Montgomery

• Ray Payne

• Dave Reppert

• Stan Totten

• Tom Wainner

• Sarah Wightman

10,000-hour Stewards

• B&W Y-12

• Jim Goddard

• Robin Goddard

• Paul Hadala

• Tom Harrington

• David Higgins

• Bob Lochbaum

• Linda Montgomery

• Raymond Palmer

• Smoky Mountains Hiking Club

• Trout Unlimited