Student Volunteers Her Summer To The NC Mountains

What did Sarah Logan Beasley do for her summer vacation?

For three weeks, the 16-year-old high school junior from Tallahassee, Florida, helped build 2,500 feet of trail on the North Carolina side of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

By day, Beasley and her fellow crew members cleared brush and moved 400-pound rocks. At night, they slept in a remote backcountry campsite next to Deep Creek.

Food was delivered to them on horseback. On one of their days off, they hiked approximately 26 miles to Clingman's Dome and back.

Beasley and her four crew mates were with the Student Conservation Association. It's a group that's been partnering with the Smokies since 1965 and is the park's single largest contributor of volunteer manpower.

Last week, Beasley was recognized as the 50,000th SCA volunteer in the organization's 50-year history. With almost 9 million visitors a year, the Smokies receives more wear and tear than most national parks.