Land Between The Lakes’s Alternative Break Program
Land Between The Lakes (LBL) is a national recreation area and environmental education area administered by the USDA Forest Service. Located in Western Kentucky and Tennessee, LBL offers 170,000 scenic acres of wildlife, history, and outdoor recreation opportunities, wrapped by 300 miles of undeveloped shoreline. We have been hosting Alternative Break groups since 1995 and have accommodated up to 8 groups per year. Each year, Alternative Break volunteers have become involved in restoring, protecting, and managing the natural beauty of our public lands. With a lot of hard work in the spirit of service, Alternative Break volunteers help provide a high-quality outdoor experience for visitors from all over the world.
Our site has become more and more popular, so please be aware that we will reserve dates on a first come, first serve basis. Groups interested in dates for the spring or other times may make reservations by calling the Friends of Land Between The Lakes at 1-800-455-5897 or 270-924-2007 (office hours are 8:00a.m. – 4:00p.m. Central time.) If your requested dates are available and a reservation is confirmed, we will then mail a confirmation form to your group. Groups interested in visiting at other times of the year may make reservations at anytime depending on availability.
Groups must commit to a minimum of eight (8) working participants. We have found that it is cost prohibitive to dedicate staff and housing to fewer than eight (8) working participants.
Type of Work
Service projects consist of everything from trail maintenance and tree plantings, to litter clean up and other area improvements (i.e., painting, clearing brush, recreational facility projects, etc.) Depending on the project, sometimes our work can range from moderately strenuous to very strenuous. Since most of our projects take place outdoors, dirt seems to make its way into each of our projects too! Our volunteers also contribute a great service by helping our staff keep LBL litter-free!
We prefer groups to work at least four (4), seven (7) hour days while you are here—generally 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with a ½ hour for lunch. This schedule has allowed most groups to work around a potential rain day, take a day to enjoy Land Between The Lakes, or go on a side trip. On occasion, some groups may work more or less than four days.
Unfortunately no general details can be provided for housing accommodations. Housing will be arranged according to availability and group numbers. Since our housing is limited, men and women may need to be housed together. If a group exceeds 12 people, arrangements may be made to accommodate larger groups. Our housing accommodations are simple but free.
Your meals will be your responsibility. Purchasing food before you arrive is recommended, since grocery stores are not located close by. Since many of our service projects are pretty far away from our housing accommodations, it is best to be prepared to pack a lunch each day that can be eaten at the work site, Small portable lunch pails and simple lunch foods (sandwiches, crackers, yogurt, fruit, canned drinks, chips etc.) make lunchtime much easier! On the days you volunteer for us we will provide a simple breakfast and drinks at lunch.
Leadership and Transportation
A staff person will coordinate your projects, provide your tools, and lead you to your work sites. Participants must provide their own transportation to LBL and to work sites.
While you are here you may visit LBL’s Nature Station, the Homeplace, Elk and Bison Prairie Wildlife viewing area, and the Golden Pond Planetarium at no charge. Other activities like canoeing and horseback riding may require a charge. Murray, Kentucky (a college town) is about 25 miles away. It is a good place for pizza and a movie. Nashville is about 100 miles away. Mammoth Cave National Park is a 3-hour drive away.
Participants with severe plant or animal allergies should not participate. Also, our staff will work hard to make your visit diverse, educational, and fun, but each participant should be reminded that Alternative Breaks are meant to have a service focus rather than a recreational focus.
For More Information
Please feel free to contact us at anytime with questions or concerns you may have via phone (270) 924-2007 or 1-800-455-5897 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about Land Between The Lakes, you may also want to check out our web sites at: www.friendsoflbl.org and www.lbl.org.
We can’t express enough how thankful we are that you are interested in giving your time to such a worthy cause. We look forward to hearing from you!
Suggested Packing List
Long pants and long sleeved shirts
Work clothes (i.e., old clothes for painting, getting muddy, etc.) *
Hiking boots, extra pair suggested, if possible
Work gloves (if you have a favorite pair) **
Lots of socks
Hat or bandanna
Flashlight and batteries
Sleeping bag and/or linens
Quarters for coin laundry (to dry clothes in case it rains)
Dishwashing liquid soap for cleaning dishes by hand
Small portable lunch pail
Plates, cups, and utensils
Lunch foods that can be packed
Large coolers for camping food (ice is provided)
Grilling and cooking utensils
Charcoal and lighter fluid for grilling (wood is provided)
Reflection journal and pen
Camera and film
Playing cards/games/books (in case of very unfavorable weather)
* Please remember that paint could get on your clothes, coats, and boots if your service projects involve painting.
** We will provide any personal safety equipment that will be needed for all service projects, such as gloves, safety glasses, etc.