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ADOPT-AN-OVERLOOK

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“Enjoying the Parkway views…”

is the #1 reason more people visit the Blue Ridge Parkway than any other National Park.


The Blue Ridge Parkway has many overlooks that feature grand and extensive scenic views; others are locations for informational signs about important aspects of Appalachian history, ecology and culture, and still others serve primarily as parking lots for trail access.

The Blue Ridge Parkway National Park Service (NPS) manages more than 250 such overlooks, pull-offs and parking areas along its 469-mile route.

The NPS has entrusted FRIENDS with the care of these areas, supplementing their often overstretched maintenance staff resources with our volunteers. FRIENDS has created our overlook adoption program for just this purpose. We are actively recruiting individuals and groups to adopt overlooks. We register, train, equip and celebrate those that are willing to take on these important volunteer roles! We have 67% of the overlooks adopted at present, we’re looking to adopt out 100% in !

INTERESTED?
If you’ve got a group interested in adopting an overlook, you need to make sure you have a basic understanding what is involved to ensure that it is a good fit for you or your group. FRIENDS will work with you in all aspects, but we do recommend that you do some up front research yourself. We request all individuals or groups wishing to adopt an overlook do so for at least a year, and preferably three to five. It takes time to get you or your group set up, trained and working productively and so we do ask for a minimum commitment. Of course, we are thrilled to have you stay on with the overlook for as long as you like. We have individuals and groups that enjoy being outside, find the work rewarding and stay with their overlooks long term.

Found your overlook? then there are a few details to take care of. You’ll need to complete and submit some forms, await approval from the National Park Service and FRIENDS, and if approved, take some training from other FRIENDS volunteers.

We’ve outlined the entire procedure for you below.

  1. Read our Guidelines for Adopting an Overlook to get a basic understanding of what is involved in overlook maintenance.
  2. Many interested individuals or groups already have an idea which overlook they’d like to adopt. Please review our list of adopted overlooks to see if the one you’re interested in is available. In deciding if a particular overlook is a good fit for your group, be sure to consider the travel time.
  3. If your overlook is not available and there are no other overlooks that are appropriate for your group, there is always the option to volunteer with the group that has adopted one near you and FRIENDS can put you in touch with that group.
  4. If your overlook is available, please contact FRIENDS and talk to us. We can help you fill in any blanks, put you in touch with another overlook group who can talk to you about their experiences, help you arrange to go out on a overlook maintenance day, whatever you need to feel comfortable that you’re not only willing, but ready and able.
  5. Download the Adopt-an-Overlook Application. This application is for your entire group and it must be completed and returned to FRIENDS to start the approval process. You may mail the completed application to us or you may scan and return the completed application by e-mail to staff@friendsbrp.org.
  6. Each member of your group must also be a registered volunteer with FRIENDS before you can start work. Please refer your members to our BECOME A VOLUNTEER page for information and forms.
  7. When your group is approved, FRIENDS will contact you to arrange for training.
  8. When your group begins your overlook work, you will be asked to submit regular Adopt-an-Overlook Maintenance Forms. These reports log the number of people working, the hours each worked and makes note of any special conditions that the National Park Service should be aware of on the overlook. Again, you have the option to mail these to FRIENDS or scan and return them by e-mail to staff@friendsbrp.org.

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