BANDY CREEK — If you have a special talent, are friendly and knowledgeable about the Big South Fork area, and perhaps enjoy working outside, then Big South Fork NRRA is seeking your help.

Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area relies on hard-working and knowledgeable volunteers to accomplish a variety of important tasks, jobs, and projects.  Join our team and gain a rewarding experience contributing to the National Park Service mission.

Here are a few opportunities this year at Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area:

Visitor center volunteers - Volunteers help at Bandy Creek Visitor Center or the Blue Heron Outdoor Museum by staffing the front desk and bookstore.  They assist visitors by providing information on park resources, safety, things to do, etc.

Trail keeper - Volunteers provide an extended presence in the backcountry and, at the same time, provide the trail crews with information on trail conditions and issues.

Campground host - Volunteers greet and assist visitors in locating campsites, provide information, verify compliance to park regulations, and work with park staff in a variety of campground-related duties

Clerical assistant volunteers - Volunteers assist staff in answering phone inquiries and complete a variety of administrative tasks

Special event volunteers - Volunteers assist with special events in the park, such as annual events, trail races, and festivals.  Some duties include distributing information, taking photographs, assisting with crowd control, setting up and taking down equipment, putting up signs, and/or picking up trash.  Volunteers may also perform education or interpretative programs and demonstrate a craft related to the special event.

The National Park Service volunteer program was established in 1970 to provide citizens with meaningful opportunities to help protect and preserve our nation’s natural and cultural treasures.  Each year, nearly 250,000 volunteers provide invaluable support throughout the National Park System by donating their time, talent, and energy to America’s treasured places.

For more information about the park volunteer program, contact the volunteer coordinator at (423) 569-9778.

Trail run planned: Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area is partnering with the Knoxville Track Club to hold three trail runs on the scenic Oscar Blevins Nature Trail during the 17th Annual Spring Planting and Music Festival on Saturday, April 29, 2017.  The three run program includes a one mile kids fun-run beginning at 9 a.m. (ET); then at 10 a.m. there will be a 4 mile run and a 7 mile run.  After the run, participants are encouraged to enjoy a wide array of activities at the park’s annual festival celebrating Appalachian life and music.

Registration is free the morning of the race, or participants can pre-register at through April 27, 2017, and receive a shirt commemorating their participation in the event.  All participants should meet at the Bandy Creek “F Loop” picnic shelter 30 minutes prior to start times.  This event is open to the public.

For more information or directions, contact the Bandy Creek Visitor Center at (423) 286-7275.