Y-12’s Help the Smokies team continued their 18-year tradition of stewardship in Great Smoky Mountains National Park by renovating 26 campsites at Cosby Campground. Volunteers from the Y-12 National Security Complex and Oak Ridge National Laboratory have donated over 14,000 hours of service to the park including over 300 hours in 2014.
Volunteers elevated, leveled, and reset 31 picnic tables using over 85 tons of gravel in 26 different campsites. The team also repaired campfire rings at the campsites. In addition to their work in the campground, the team replaced several picnic tables in the Cosby Picnic Pavilion.
“Through this unique partnership, we have been able to accomplish a variety of complex projects pairing their highly skilled volunteers with our park staff,” said Acting Superintendent Clayton Jordan. “We appreciate their ongoing support which allows us to better care for facilities serving thousands of visitors annually.”
Over the last 18 years, the volunteer group has completed similar campground and picnic area renovations at Elkmont, Cades Cove, Chimneys, and Metcalf Bottoms. They also aided in the construction of the Cades Cove Loop Road orientation shelter, reassembled of a 26’x90’ greenhouse at the Twin Creeks Natural Resources Center, and coordinated temporary storage for the park’s cultural resource collection at facilities in Oak Ridge.
“The park has given me and my family hours of enjoyment,” said Al Roberson, Help the Smokies Team Leader. “I want to see my children and future generations experience the same beauty and majesty of our national park.”