How about challenging yet rewarding outdoor experiences that leave you with a great amount of personal satisfaction at the end of the day? If you have that desire come and join our "TEAM". As a Forest Service Volunteer on Team Conasauga, there are over 300 miles of trails that you can help put much TLC (trail loving care) back into for this precious resource. Volunteering gives you a chance to work side by side with our district employees and seasoned Volunteer Crew Leaders while learning more about places like the Cohutta Wilderness, the Pinhoti Trail and Georgia's distinctly different ridge and valley region located west of Dalton. Another plus is that you will enjoy the camaraderie of other people who share your love for the outdoors. The award-winning Conasauga Ranger District Forest Service Volunteer program works like this:
Volunteers work (work=fun here) as often as they like. Some come once or twice a year. Others once or twice a month. Our program runs year round. There is always something going on, always work to be done. Trail maintenance involves: clearing blown down trees and limbs, swingblading, trimming, water bar maintenance and construction to prevent erosion, campsite cleanup and rehabilitation, and more!
What is a typical work day like? Generally we meet at the designated trailhead around 9:00 am, discuss the plan for the day and do a quick safety brief. We then hike to the start of the work - generally 0 to 2 miles. The group then gets spread out tackling the assigned tasks. We almost always work in pairs with each pair tackling a short section of trail. When that section is complete the pair leapfrogs past all the other groups to the next open section. In this way we get to take hike breaks while we work. We'll usually take lunch as a group around noon and then finish up by 2:00 pm. We try to be back at the trail head by 3:00. Often we'll enjoy food and fellowship for a bit afterwards - frequently home made chili and soups!
Every quarter the district has a "Working Weekend." Volunteers work with district employees on a Friday and Saturday overnight trip on larger trail projects. The district started this in December of 1990 and it has been a huge success. Volunteers come for either day but often end up there for the entire weekend.
Trail Volunteers also receive the prestigious U.S. Forest Service Region 8 Trail Volunteer patch and additional rocker patches as they build up hours along the way. These are earned after 40 hours on the trail.
First-time volunteers should print and fill out the Volunteer Agreement provided below.