FRIENDS Volunteers are Amazing!!
Hello FRIENDS Volunteers,

Well, Summer is here and it is HOT!! Hopefully, you are finding a cool spot on the Parkway to stop and take in the views. FRIENDS volunteers have been busy at work and it is visible along the Parkway. Thanks to all those that are out there helping NPS crews make the park a wonderful place to visit! 

Remember to be safe on the Parkway: 
  • wear your vest 
  • display your magnet 
  • drink plenty of water
  • watch for snakes while working on trail maintenance

FRIENDS volunteers are very valuable so take care of yourself! 

Thanks for all you do for the Parkway!
The FRIENDS of the BRP Staff
For the Love of the Park!

Day Campers at Humpback Rocks

Blue Ridge Children's Museum partnered with the Waynesboro YMCA for the month of June to provide a free summer camp for qualifying Waynesboro Elementary students. Each Thursday BRCM brought the 40 campers up to the Humpback Rocks area of the Parkway where they got to dive deep into nature and learn about the history of the area. Some of the children attended the previous year, but many were new to the camp and had never been on the Parkway before. 

Campers  went on hikes, played old-time games on the farm, did some farm chores, learned about wildlife, human responsibility in nature, trail safety and more. They all received Junior Ranger badges from Ranger Ann Coyne at the end of the program. Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway  supported the camp by providing funds for snacks and supplies while volunteers from the FRIENDS Humpback Rocks Chapter helped. 

A huge thank you to NPS Staff Peter Hamel and Ann Coyne, and FRIENDS volunteer Sandy Gallagher for their efforts and support with the camp. 

  • Sandy helped out with the garden education center on our day at the Humpback Rocks Farm. Children learned about the plants in the garden, did a planting activity, watered trees using the yoke to get water from the stream, and did some weeding with Sandy's expert guidance.  
  • Peter helped with providing us with games and materials and his expertise during the planning process. 
  • Ann was there to help us with learning centers on our day at the Humpback Rocks Farm. She also did a spectacular job swearing-in all 40 campers as Junior Rangers at a special ceremony around the flag pole at the visitors center at Humpback Rocks. 

It was a magical experience and we can't wait to get more kids on the Parkway!

 Link to additional photos

Battling Vandalism
FRIENDS overlook adopter, Ralph Barton, recently adopted the Great Valley Overlook. To beat the heat he went up on the Parkway at dawn. He  picked up litter for 1 mile south and 1 mile north of the overlook along the Parkway. He collected two full bags of trash and got in a good workout! While he  was working he saw graffiti painted on the sign at Taylor Mountain overlook. He went back up and to remove the graffiti with, GOOF-OFF, and a lot of elbow grease.

Do you have a preferred method? Share it with us and we'll collect resources.
News from the Parkway
Interesting Sightings:  Two Trees Connected

A trail adopter in North Carolina sent this photo in of two trees growing along his trail.  The trees are attached a few feet up from the ground. The adopter says he has seen trees add bark around a sign that had been attached to the tree in years past or to a damaged area of a tree, but is not sure what caused this connection.  Perhaps an object was caught between the trees at some point possibly damaging the trees; so they attempted to heal themselves by growing protective bark over the damage. Regardless of the reason, this unusual sight always catches the trail adopter's attention each time he works on this section of trail.
Chapter News Briefs
Peaks of Otter Chapter

During May and June, the Peaks of Otter Chapter Co-Chair, Pete Lascell,  was the campground host at the Peaks of Otter. While he was there, he had the chapter's maintenance trailer parked in the campground so he had ready access to tools which he used many times. 

In addition, it was an opportunity to advertise FRIENDS as most campers had to drive by it at the host site. Pete had numerous inquiries about how to be a host and some asked about overlooks, etc.  You just never know where you might find your next FRIEND.

Roanoke Chapter

The Roanoke Chapter is an
 instrumental part of the NPS concert series on Roanoke Mountain. For 22 Sundays each year they host visitors on the mountain. 

Despite threatening weather and occasional drizzle, 148 brave souls ventured out on Sunday, July 7th to enjoy a concert provided by the Maness Sisters. Previous concerts have topped 300 visitors. 
Come on out and enjoy the fun!

Fisher Peak Chapter
Here's looking at you! This is a photo from one of last year's wildlife cameras.  Yowee!  

Volunteers from the Fisher Peak Chapter deployed their first wildlife camera for this season in June.  Their Parkway Natural Resources contact provides them with the latitude and longitude of locations to position cameras.  

The locations so far have typically involved a good deal of bushwhacking through difficult terrain.  Not to mention you might get to meet up close and personal with this little wild friend.  If this sounds like fun to you, let them know!

Crabtree Falls Chapter

On July 1st, volunteers worked at Linville Falls removing flood debris from the viewing area of the Upper Falls. We did this a year ago but the debris was worse and three of the stone pillars actually washed into the river! thanks to Tim, Shawn, Joe, Duke, Rick, Robert, Bob and John for a really hard day's work! 

Safety First: Chainsaw Safety

Some of our volunteers have personal experience in chainsawing.  However, to saw on Blue Ridge Parkway property, please remember that you must have a current:
  • Sawyer certificate through the Park or an approved organization
  • CPR/1st aid certificate
  • Blood borne pathogens certificate. 
  The sawyer certificate lasts three years, the CPR/1 st aid certificate typically 2 years, and the blood borne pathogens certificate one year.  It is the sawyer's responsibility to maintain updated certificates.

In addition, there are several levels of certification that limit sawing to match a person's depth of training and experience.  Volunteers are typically restricted to cutting only trees that have already fallen.  You also need the proper government-approved personal protective equipment (PPE) and another person must always be present during the sawing.

With the above certificates and PPE, there may still be situations in which the job is best left to someone else such as a park employee.  

This photograph shows a large tree crossing a hiking trail on a steep incline.  If you do not feel that your skills and experience fit the task, don't be afraid to ask for help.  The steep terrain along with the large tree size (2 or more feet in diameter) and the appearance of rot can create a dangerous and unpredictable condition best left for someone with plenty of experience.

Even if you feel you have the appropriate experience, there are other conditions that may make sawing unsafe.  Consider the weather, the size, and condition of the saw, how long one has been out working that day, and other hazards in the immediate area.  So play it safe.  If you feel uncomfortable with a sawing situation, leave it for another time or for a more experienced sawyer.
Volunteers by the Numbers
The National Park Service uses volunteer numbers to gain funding for the following year and the more hours volunteers report the more funding the NPS receives! 

Let's make this a record breaking year!
Volunteer Incentive Program
FRIENDS has started a volunteer incentive program to recognize the outstanding work our volunteers do for the love of the Parkway. Read more about it in the volunteer manual. Click the button below:
We'll keep the tallies below current each month so we can watch the numbers grow! 
 Volunteers with 50 + Hours Logged in 2019
We congratulate the following volunteers :

Aubrey Arrington                      Rusty Mansel       
Ross Akin                                   Nancy Midgette
Julie Carpenter                          Pete Lascell       
Ken Carpenter                          Tanya Poole        
Mike Davis                                Cary Simms        
Steve Estep                               McFerrin Smith
Harlan Goodreau                     Libby Wilcox                
Paul Kitchen
David Lennox

Keep reporting your hours!
Volunteer Hours by Group
October 2018 - June 2019 (NPS Fiscal Year)
Have you been out on the Parkway working? 
Do you have hours to report?  
  • Email them to:
  • Mail them to: PO Box 20986, Roanoke, VA 24018
  • Or click the button below to send them through the Google form
NOTE: If you are part of a chapter, check with your chapter chair about how to enter your hours. They may be sending them in for you. 


Job Task
Contact Info
May 14
General tasks as needed
Peaks of Otter Thursdays 9am to Noon Work at Johnson Farm

"Volunteers don't necessarily have the time; they just have the heart." 
--Elizabeth Andrew

Upcoming Events
Don't forget to enjoy a fun day on the Parkway this summer. The summer concerts are happening at Humpback Rocks, Peaks of Otter, Roanoke Mountain, Mabry Mill and the Blue Ridge Music Center. Not to mention all the interpretive programs happening at Parkway locations.

For a full listing of Parkway events visit the Parkway Events Calendar or the FRIENDS Events Calendar.
Are you a member of FRIENDS?
As a FRIENDS  volunteer , you give your  TIME  for the love of the park! 

But have you ever wondered how the vistas are restored or the demonstration gardens are funded? 

Our  members support the work of NPS staff and FRIENDS volunteers. Every year we create a list of funding requests that we hope to fulfill. Gifts from our annual members make that happen. 

For $40 a year you can become a member of FRIENDS and help the park and other volunteers!

Do you have information to share in an upcoming issue? 
Please email us!
Volunteer Resources
Click the links below to quickly access resources:
Connect with your local FRIENDS chapter!

Humpback Rocks:
Peaks of Otter:
Roanoke Valley:
Rocky Knob:
Fisher Peak:
Northern Highlands:
High Country:
Crabtree Falls:

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