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Community Education Outdoors

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is hosting National Park Career Day

May 9th, 2014 1:45 pm by Staff Report

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is hosting National Park Career Day

Friends of the Smokies specialty license plates help support 26 seasonal interns in GSMNP, Robin Lenner shown here with Parks as Classrooms students. Photo credit: NPS.

KODAK, Tenn. -- Sales of the Friends of the Smokies specialty license plate in Tennessee benefit priority projects in Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP) including work opportunities for young people who may become future park rangers.

The Tennessee Department of Safety released first quarter revenues with $85,285 going to Friends of the Smokies from specialty plate sales. Total contributions from the Smokies plate now top $7.6 million since 1997.

These contributions help fund projects in GSMNP including 26 seasonal internship positions. Interns gain valuable hands-on work experience while providing cost-effective labor for the park. They assist with scientific research and natural resource management projects including eradicating non-native plants, wildlife management, spraying for hemlock wooly adelgid, and sampling streams for native brook trout.

"Many of our park employees, including myself started their careers as an intern," said Management Assistant Dana Soehn. "These positions provide an incredible opportunity for the next generation to gain valuable, hands-on experience, while also providing critical field support for park programs that allow us to better serve our visitors and protect resources."

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is hosting National Park Career Day, from 9:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m., Saturday, May 10, and invites students, recent graduates and their families to get a behind-the-scenes look into National Park Service careers.

For any questions about the event, contact Park Ranger Emily Guss at (865) 436-1713.

Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park's license plate is available any time from any local County Clerk's Office. The specialty plates are an additional $35, with $31 going to the 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit organization; for more information visit the website at:

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