Break Description


Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most biodiverse park in the National Park system. …Over 19,000 species have been documented in the park and scientists believe an additional 80,000-100,000 species may live” there. It’s also the most visited National Park, receiving more than twice as many visits annually as the Grand Canyon. The park covers more than half a million acres and straddles the border between North Carolina and Tennessee. Great Smoky Mountains NP is also rich in human history and is adjacent to the Qualla Boundary, which is the home of the sovereign nation of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

You’ll be working directly with Adam Monroe, a Park Ranger and JMU alum. Although this is his first time hosting a JMU ASB, he’s worked with Alternative Break groups for many years and is very excited you’re coming, both because he’s a proud Duke and also because he’s had fewer volunteers in recent years due to COVID. He’s got a variety of projects for you in the park’s trails, campgrounds, and historic landscapes.

The National Park will provide a campground for the group that includes tent sites, a shelter for cooking, and bathroom and shower facilities. The group will also have access to a large conference room in the campground, which can serve as a backup shelter in case of inclement weather. All group camping gear, such as tents, cooking gear, and camp stoves will be provided. Participants will need to bring personal camping gear, such as sleeping bags and sleeping pads (if you don’t have a sleeping bag, you can rent one cheaply from UREC!).

The group will travel to Great Smoky Mountains National Park by 12-passenger van.



Focus on: Preserving the Environment and Biodiversity

Community: Great Smoky Mountains National Park, NC, TN

Leaders: Amy Beladia and Erin Knappman

Cost: $100

What type of travel will this break use? Domestic Driving

What kind of break is this? Spring Break

Departure Date: 03-12-2022

Return Date: 03-19-2022

What community partner will you be working with? Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Currently Offered?: Yes

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