Great Smoky Mountains National Park Press Releases

Park Volunteer Receives Regional Recognition

Release Date: September 25, 2019

Contact: Jamie Sanders, [email protected], 865-436-1203

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is pleased to announce that dedicated Park Volunteer, Jim Goddard, has won the National Park Service Southeast Regional Hartzog Award for Enduring Service. Mr. Goddard will be presented the Award in appreciation of his significant skills, talent, and time which he has shared with the park for well over two decades.

“We are so very pleased to announce Mr. Goddard as this year’s recipient of the prestigious regional Hartzog Award for Enduring Service,” said Superintendent Cassius Cash.  “Jim has provided a tremendous service to the visitors of the Smokies.  He has been instrumental in ensuring that visitors are able to safely navigate the park trail system and in the preservation of the park’s cultural history. His legacy will live on for generations to come and it is an honor to recognize him for his contributions.”

Jim has served continuously as a Volunteer-In-Park for more than 23 years.  His creation of iconic wooden signage allows hikers of all skill levels to safely explore the 850 miles of backcountry trails in the Smokies. He has created signs, performed trail maintenance, and helped restore and preserve fragile cultural resources. Jim’s craftsmanship has been applied to one-of-a-kind replicas of church benches, school desks, and tub mills. He creates custom shelving, educational tools, mile-marker posts, wayside exhibit carts, and display cases which can be enjoyed at park visitor centers and overlooks. Jim also personalizes wooden arrowheads to present to National Park Service employees as they transfer to other parks or leave the service for retirement.

In addition to Jim’s hands-on contributions, he offers services to the park community and to visitors in helping to plan, coordinate, and facilitate popular special events. Due to his stewardship, Jim was selected to serve as one of the official Ambassadors for the 75th Anniversary of GRSM. He assumed that role again in 2016 as part of the National Park Service Centennial celebrations.

This year, the park is pleased to also recognize three additional Volunteers-In-Park for their outstanding service contributions. They are Campground Hosts Clyde and Deborah Whitaker and Herbarium Assistant Janie Bitner.

Each year, Volunteers-In-Park perform a variety of activities at Great Smoky Mountains National Park. These include: providing valuable visitor information, removing litter, eradicating invasive plant species, assisting with cultural demonstrations, participating in special events, providing practical support for visitors along roads and trails, assisting with data collection, maintaining backcountry campsites, helping biologists monitor wildlife populations and serving in the role of campground hosts. The park has well over 2,800 Volunteers who provide many hours of service to the national park every year. To learn more about Great Smoky Mountains National Park Volunteer-In-Park Program visit