The Great Smoky Mountain National Park is a treasure that stretches over 500,000 acres and hosts more visitations than any other national park in the country. People come from all over to experience its culture, its wild life and its beauty.
With yearly attendance reaching into the millions, the park must rely heavily on one of its lesser know resources, its volunteers.
Jim Burbank started volunteering in 1995. "About that time the park changed to using the volunteers in different places. The chief at that time talked about a presence in the park."
With a limited number of full-time rangers on staff, it is essential to have volunteers to pick up the slack.
One of the services provided by Bill and Barbara Feinberg is roadside assistance. "We can jump start their cars. If they get locked out of their vehicle, we have a way to open their doors and those kind of things cost money and need to be replaced and volunteering and donating to the park is a great way to provide that service."
In 2010, close to 3700 volunteers donated over 135,000 hours of service.300+ buildings, 800+ miles of trail and thousands of camp sites and streams, all cared for by volunteers.