Great Smoky Mountains National Park and “Friends of the Smokies” Unite to Rehabilitate Trails
Create an endowment that helps fund much-needed rehabilitation on the high use trails in the park.
Presenters: Tobias Miller, Supervisory Facility Operations, National Park Service; Eric Wood, Assistant Trail Crew Leader, Great Smokey Mountains National Park; John Shapiro, Trail Crew Leader, Great Smokey Mountains National Park
Great Smoky Mountains National Park has partnered with their friends group, “Friends of the Smokies,” to create an endowment that helps fund much-needed rehabilitation on the high use trails in the park. The presentation will discuss the technical nature of the work and how it was accomplished. The program “Trails Forever” just finished its second large-scale project of a full rehabilitation of the Chimney Tops Trail. The work has been accomplished through the efforts of a professional National Park Service trail crew, leading both youth corps (Student Conservation Association and American Conservation Experience), as well as many group and individual volunteers.
By recognizing the common goals that all trail user types share, and fighting for those goals together, it is possible to create a real and positive impact on the trails world.
Database management; website development; trail and facility inventories; trail assessment and maintenance records; identifying and gathering needed information.
Creating and maintaining partnerships; interagency project management; structuring agreements among partners; nurturing cooperation among a variety of recreation and conservation interests; planning trail systems across jurisdictional lines.
Specific skills used in development of organizations for trails and greenways work: creating and building a nonprofit organization; managing boards and staff; recruiting, training, and rewarding volunteers; managing finances and legal issues.