Friends Chapters

FRIENDS created a network of chapters along the length of the Parkway to be the voice of their local communities.

Our Chapters create and implement an annual work plan with local National Park Service staff to ensure the needs of their area are met along the Parkway. Chapters also promote the Blue Ridge Parkway in their communities and create a bridge between the park and local residents to ensure the preservation of this national treasure.

This volunteer network is the backbone of our organization.

Parkway Forever

The Parkway Forever program is our largest program that strives to preserve and maintain the many Parkway attractions.

Vista Restoration

Supported by proceeds from the FRIENDS license plate program in Virginia, vista and overlook restoration is our largest project on the Northern end of the Parkway. Every year a specialized team of arborists works with the Parkway’s landscape architect to strategically remove overgrown trees and brush from the vistas and overlooks along the Parkway to allow the original views to be uncovered once again. 

Parkway Maintenance

FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge Parkway volunteers work with district-level National Park Service staff to help meet the needs of the of their areas. Whether it is trash pickup, graffiti removal, trail maintenance, or any other repairs, FRIENDS volunteers work closely with NPS staff to ensure the Parkway is in pristine condition for visitors.

Camp Ground

Teams from FRIENDS chapters work to maintain campgrounds by cutting back vegetation, cleaning out fire pits, repairing tent pads, and making sure bear boxes are operational.

Adopt Programs

Adopt-a-Trail

The Blue Ridge Parkway offers over 100 hiking trails ranging from a casual walk through the forest to a strenuous hike up a section of the Appalachian Trail. FRIENDS volunteers, working as individuals or with a group, keep the trails safe and accessible for Parkway visitors to enjoy nature and the Blue Ridge Mountain views.

Adopt-a-Overlook

FRIENDS volunteers help maintain overlooks to supplement maintenance staff resources. FRIENDS overlook adopters remove trash, clean graffiti, perform basic maintenance and report more serious maintenance issues to the NPS staff. With over 250 overlooks to maintain, there are plenty of for individuals and groups to adopt.

Adopt-a-Cemetery

FRIENDS volunteers help identify cemetery boundaries, clean and maintain Parkway cemeteries. Duties may expand to include grave marker data collection for the Blue Ridge (BLRI) Cemetery Database, locating birth/death/marriage records in the local county courthouse and efforts to locate relatives that might be interested in maintaining the grave sites. This is fascinating work for genealogy enthusiasts especially.

Want to Volunteer? 

No matter what your interests are there is a way for you to help the Blue Ridge Parkway. Join us.

Future Stewards

The FRIENDS future stewards program focuses on getting the youth of all ages to enjoy the natural beauty of the Blue Ridge Parkway. These programs are designed to educate today’s youth about stewardship of public lands and the natural beauty of our area.

Alternative Break

FRIENDS Chapters host Alternative Break Programs to provide college students an opportunity to be immersed in a Blue Ridge Parkway community and engage in volunteer service as an alternative to traditional spring or fall breaks. Each FRIENDS Alternative Break Program is focused on Blue Ridge Parkway project needs, such as, but not limited to, restoration of Parkway assets or trail maintenance. If your college or university is interested in participating in this program, contact our office at staff@friendsbrp.org.

Youth Outdoors

The Youth Outdoors initiative focuses on the connection between children and the natural world. This program promotes outdoor opportunities within our park. This program also highlights and addresses the barriers in getting children outside by engaging organizations that are part of the solution. Partnering with a FRIENDS Chapter engages the children in volunteer experiences getting them outdoors while also providing an educational component.

High School & College Outreach

This program is for high school groups and college-age students who are looking to volunteer on a repeat or one-time basis. Working with our program director and local chapter leads, volunteer efforts are tailored to your group and NPS district needs. Please contact our office to discuss possibilities in your area.

Supporting the Park

FRIENDS supports the park we love by helping fund several park interpretive programs. We give money to the park for Junior Ranger supplies, cultural concerts, interpretative programs, interpretative interns, and garden and historical sites. We support numerous volunteer efforts along the Parkway that help meet the demands of visitor traffic. We love our park and want visitors to love it, too. 

If you love the park as much as we do, become a member and know that your dues support FRIENDS and National Park Service Programs. 

Jr. Ranger

The National Park Service (NPS) Junior Ranger program brings children ages 5 – 12 outdoors, replacing TV, computer, and mobile devices with trees, trails and nature studies. Junior Ranger handbooks, maps, and activity sheets are available thru the NPS website or picked up at any NPS park visitor center.


Cultural Concerts

FRIENDS supports a variety of free traditional music concerts during the Summer and Fall along the Parkway:
• Humpback Rocks concerts at Humpback Rocks Farm, VA 
• Roanoke Mountain Picnic Area MP 120.4 in Roanoke, VA
• Mabry Mill concert series MP 176
• Peaks of Otter concert series starting in 2019 at Peaks of Otter Lodge


Interpretive Services

FRIENDS supports interpretative rangers by providing them with props and materials for demonstrations at cultural farm and gardens along the Parkway. We try to meet the needs of interpretative rangers so they can meet the needs of visitors.


Interpretive Interns

FRIENDS supports the intern program which places interns along the Parkway as they help interpretative rangers with demonstrations, cultural programs, visitor centers, and leading hikes. Interns also learn about working for the National Park Service and conservation of public lands.


Gardens and Historical Sites

FRIENDS helps support and maintain numerous cultural gardens and demonstration farms along the Parkway. Whether it is buying seeds or supplying props, FRIENDS volunteers have a hand in maintaining the gardens and participating in demonstrations. Binegar Gardens, Johnson Farm and Humpback Rocks Farm are just a few locations where you can experience the culture of the Parkway.