SNOWBIRD CHEROKEE COMMUNITY
- Snowbird Senior Citizens Center -(1/2 day project)
- Snowbird Library
- Home Projects – paint a house, build stairs, clean, yard work, wash house siding, etc. for seniors
- Nantahala National Forest – special projects in the National Forest
CHEROKEE NATIONAL FOREST
GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK
- Trail maintenance, special projects, creek cleanups
- Remove exotic, invasive plant species, trail maintenance,
HOMESTEADING AT ONCE UPON A TIME
- Gather and split firewood
- Work in the garden (weather permitting)
- Make and can blackberry jam (you get to take a jar home with you)
- Small construction projects – build a fence, build a shed
- Plant trees, trail work, invasive plant removal in Once Upon A Time Nature Preserve
2017 Service Summary
187 students from 12 schools worked with us in 2017 from New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Vermont, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, Alabama, and Pennsylvania. In the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, students performed trail maintenance on the Elkmont Nature Trail (digging up tree root obstacles on trail), the Cove Mountain Trail (hand digging rolling drainages), and the Little Greenbrier Trail (lopping vegetation, digging rolling drainages). Elkmont Campground maintenance kept groups busy in January and March, clearing winter storm debris from 220 campsites. Invasive plant removal is an ongoing project and in 2017 students pulled English Ivy from Elkmont Campground area, honeysuckle from Abrams Creek Campground area, bush honeysuckle from the Foothills Parkway area, and privet on the western boundary of the park near Walland.
Indian Boundary Campground in Cherokee National Forest required two weeks’ worth of groups to perform campground maintenance such as clearing winter storm debris from roads and 120 campsites, installing new campsite signs, painting road stripes and campsite signs, stacking firewood at campsites, and trail maintenance on the 3 mile Lakeshore Trail.
In the Snowbird Cherokee community, students continued trail building on Gil Jackson’s property, cleared winter storm debris from an old Cherokee cemetery and the Snowbird festival grounds, and helped a Cherokee family with demolition of an old house in preparation for construction of a new house. The Senior Citizen Center reopened in mid-May so we will be able to schedule groups to volunteer with them in 2018. Breakaway alumni also came back on Memorial Day weekend to assist with the Fading Voices Festival. For those of you who volunteered with Gil Jackson and/or met his sister Shirley Oswalt who has been a leading figure in the Cherokee language revival movement, we are sad to report that Shirley lost her battle with cancer in August. Gil will be picking up a lot of Shirley’s classes and programs to continue this important work.
Sequoyah Museum also had some projects for students this year. Trail maintenance on the 1.5 mile Lakeshore Trail, and assisting with moving equipment and boxes for the upcoming renovation of the museum.
And, of course, there’s always “homesteading” projects at Once Upon A Time. Students helped bring down six dead trees which were subsequently split for firewood (five cords of firewood were split this year!), planted the spring garden, did trail maintenance on the 1-mile hiking trail, designed and painted some trail signs, and made yummy blackberry jam.