Great Smoky Mountains service projects are Saturday


GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) – Great Smoky Mountains National Park has several service projects planned for Saturday in recognition of National Public Lands Day.

The public can join park staff to participate in the volunteer effort to help out.

A trail rehabilitation project along the Forney Ridge Trail near Clingmans Dome will involve digging out drainage culverts, adding soil to trail turnpikes, sloping trail tread and naturalizing damaged trailside areas, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Volunteers will hike some 2 miles total over steep, rocky terrain.

An exotic plant removal project at Elkmont will involve hand pulling English ivy from natural areas from 9 a.m. until noon.

Litter patrols will help clean up scenic overlooks along the Foothills Parkway West and Clingmans Dome area from 9 a.m. until noon.

The park asks participants to RSVP to or (865) 436-1278.