Smokies volunteers honored

The team of skilled volunteers that organized the mission to connect with the next generation of park users during the National Park Service’s 2016 centennial won the Southeast Regional Group Volunteer Service Award from the National Park Service.

The group of 35 spent more than 2,300 hours in communities around the region to bring the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to people at more than 90 community events, festivals and fairs. Throughout the year, they connected with more than 26,000 people as they raised awareness about park resources, recreational opportunities and inspired people to support national parks.

Parkwide, approximately 2,000 volunteers provide 115,000 hours of service to the Smokies each year. To learn more visit

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