You don’t have to choose between recreation and giving back. Here’s a list of organizations across Tennessee that promote active lifestyles and social responsibility.
Hands on Nashville
Whether you want to spend a Saturday planting flowers, or every other weekend making your neighbors’ homes more energy-efficient, Hands On Nashville (HON) can help you find the perfect place to do it. This organization pairs up Nashville residents with community involvement opportunities, based on volunteers’ interests, skills and availability. Along with supporting area non-profits, HON enrolls families and individuals in programs ranging from urban agriculture to youth leadership development.
Team Green Adventures
Nashville-based Team Green Adventures draws volunteers from across the state. Created in 1996 by Lightning 100, “Nashville’s Independent Radio,” this group turns community service events into adventure and recreation the whole family can enjoy. Learn more about nature and how to protect the environment while biking, climbing, rafting or camping with other eco-friendly adventurers.
Shelby Farms Park Conservancy
Shelby Farms Park is a 4,500-acre green recreation space located in the heart of Memphis. Each year, volunteers spend more than 30,000 hours helping to maintain the park and its 6.5 miles of urban trails. Volunteer to be a playground monitor, park guide, trail scout or urban gardener. Shelby Farms Park welcomes individual volunteers, as well as families and other small groups.
Want to get involved in your community? Learn more about becoming a volunteer.
Knoxville Track Club
For a fast-paced way to give back, the Knoxville Track Club (KTC) might be more your speed. One of the largest running clubs of its kind in the country, KTC raises money for local charities through its own races and by participating in marathons that benefit numerous worthy causes. KTC also inspires young people to be more physically active by sponsoring exceptional athletes while working with the track and field programs at local schools.
Chattanooga-based Wild Trails is a community of trail runners and nature enthusiasts who work to preserve and expand green spaces for recreational use. Wild Trails promotes the sport of trail running, educates the public about local trails and holds special events to raise public awareness around physical fitness and community health. Group members also help maintain existing trails and build new ones for runners and hikers to explore.
Great Smoky Mountains National Parks
Even if you don’t live near a major city or large organization, you can still preserve Tennessee’s natural beauty. Volunteer with the National Park Service to assist with special events in your area, adopt a trail or campsite, help biologists monitor trout populations or find similar ways to make Tennessee that much more beautiful for future generations of outdoorspeople.
Ready to start volunteering in the Volunteer State? Grab your family and friends, get outdoors and start giving back.