There are a variety of volunteer opportunities available at Smithgall Woods State Park. There are ongoing projects and improvements that anyone can be a part of. Take a look at the volunteer opportunities and see where you can lend your talents.

Cottage Garden

Interested in gardening? Smithgall Wood’s Cottage Garden is the place to be.

Situated at Smithgall’s cottages along a pristine section of Dukes Creek lies a peaceful garden.  High bush blueberries stand at both ends of the garden while gravel pathways wind through beds of flowers.

Volunteers share the experience of continuing maintenance throughout the year working at pruning, weeding, watering and fertilizing.

Pollinator Garden

The Smithgall Pollinator Gardens were developed to highlight the importance of maintaining habitat for birds, insects, and other pollinators that are critical for plant reproduction.

Located near the Smithgall Woods Visitors’ Center, the gardens include a large shade bed and a smaller sun bed that contain native plants and shrubs that are attractive to pollinators. An interpretive panel describes the role of pollinators. Individual plants are labeled for visitors who may want to use similar plants in their own gardens.  In that way, this display also serves as a “demonstrator garden” for the use of native plants in the landscape.

Volunteers have helped plan the design of the gardens, build the gardens, and design the interpretive panel. On-going maintenance of the gardens will primarily depend on volunteer support.

Hemlock Keepers

Smithgall Woods is located at the southernmost terminus of the Appalachian Mountains and is home to a large population of Eastern Hemlock trees. These beautiful trees are under attack by a pesky bug called Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA).   Most of the Hemlocks from Virginia south to here have already been killed by this HWA!  There is now a chemical that can be injected into the ground around the tree that will kill HWA for up to five years.  We have approximately 1,700 trees that have been treated and plans are under way to treat more trees this year.   Friends of Smithgall Woods volunteers have been monitoring a sampling of the treated trees each year to determine how well the trees are responding to the treatment and the general overall health of the tree.   Volunteers have also measured and marked approximately 200 more trees for treatment and are expected to help in the treatment process.   This is a great program for volunteers to get out in the woods and help save our beautiful Hemlocks, so come on out and join us!

Viola Rotundifolia
Cottage Garden