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VOL. 45 | NO. 2 | Friday, January 8, 2021

Smokies seeks volunteers to monitor visitor use patterns

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GATLINBURG (AP) — Great Smoky Mountains National Park is looking for volunteers to monitor visitor use patterns in several of the park's most popular locations, according to a Monday news release from the park.

Park visitation has increased by more than 30% over the last decade, resulting in congestion at some of the most popular destinations, according to the release. That has caused problems like people parking along the roadside, causing damage and creating a safety hazard as they walk along busy roads. Managers will use the data collected by volunteers to develop recommendations to improve access and safety.

Volunteers are needed in both North Carolina and Tennessee and will be asked to work at least one, 4-hour shift each week from April through November. Training will be offered virtually in March.

Those interested in volunteering should email Management and Program Analyst Kendra Straub at kendra_straub@nps.gov.

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