The Parkway Forever program is our largest program that strives to preserve and maintain the many Parkway attractions.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.