Did you know that Virginia has historically ranked near the bottom of the states in terms of state per capita spending on the state park system?
And, did you know that despite being severely underfunded and understaffed, the overall state and local economic impact generated by the state park system in Calendar Year 2015 was about $209 million -- more than 11 times the $18.9 million General Fund appropriation for state park systems operations?
Also, did you know that Virginia citizens, recognizing the unmet needs of the state park system, contributed 214,194 volunteer hours of support to the state park system in 2015? The park system valued this volunteer support as being the equivalent of $5.3 million.
Join the VAFP to support Virginia's state parks.
The VAFP is the nonprofit umbrella organization for the respective citizen support groups (Friends Groups) and individual volunteers supporting the 37 state parks, 62 state natural areas, and the 22 national parks, monuments, and historic sites located across the commonwealth.
VAFP is unique in that we know of no other organization that is working towards the goal of a "seamless" park system from a user perspective. Our view is that "a park is a park" regardless of the funding source-national, state, regional, or local.
In keeping with that view, VAFP is supportive of all parks within the commonwealth. We advocate for park issues at the local, state, and national levels and seek funds through tax deductible gifts, grants, contributions, and other mechanisms to support our operations and invest in parks. We also offer free technical advice and assistance to those who wish to form new citizen support organizations. And, we conduct semi-annual conferences that include training sessions and networking opportunities to exchange ideas.
Please join us and help support Virginia's parks. We have several levels of membership: Associate Member, Sustaining Member, Silver Member, Gold Member and Platinum Member. All dues are deductible for income tax computation purposes.
A VAFP Associate Membership is free. By joining the online community, you will automatically receive periodic emails and updates on activities and opportunities to volunteer and support your parks. This community also allows you to select targeted information for your favorite destinations, activities or programs.
To become a member using one of the paid options below, you may either pay online using PayPal or download, print and mail this form.
A Sustaining Membership conveys all the benefits of the free membership plus conveys the privilege of voting on all key issues and decisions as well as the opportunity to serve on committees, including the Executive Committee. Annual dues for this level of membership are $10 for individuals and $20 for organizations.
Platinum, Gold and Silver Memberships convey the same privileges and opportunities as the Sustaining Membership. Additionally, the names of these members will be prominently displayed on the website to show their outstanding support for Virginia's parks.
Silver Membership dues range: $100 to $499 annually.
Gold Membership dues range: $500 to $999 annually.
Platinum Membership dues range: $1,000 and up.
To join via postal mail, download this form.
Find out more ways you can help parks in Virginia by visiting DCR Volunteerism Opportunities.
The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, which oversees Virginia’s state parks, publishes this useful guide, Volunteer Citizen Support Organization Manual, for those interested in forming friends groups.