The citizens who promoted the park formed an organization known as “Friends of Bays Mountain.” After the City built the park, they reorganized, changed the name to “The Bays Mountain Park Association,” and obtained a classication of 501(c)(3) from the IRS. This classification is for non-profit organizations and permits tax-deductible contributions to be made to the Association.
The purposes of the Association are twofold: First, to give its members unlimited access to the park when it is open; and second, to assist the park and the park staff in any way possible. Assistance is given by volunteers who meet the public, assist in instruction of school groups, lead nature hikes, and answer questions about the park and its facilities, exhibits, and programs, as well as helping the staff “back-stage.” The Association also runs the gift shop in the nature center. Functionally, the Association reports to the Bays Mountain Park Commission, which is a group charged by the City of Kingsport with setting park policies.
The Association’s income consists of membership fees, profits from the gift shop, and contributions. All surplus funds are given each year to the Bays Mountain Park Commission and are used for new equipment, facilities, and other improvements to the park that would not ordinarily be funded by the City of Kingsport.
Become a member of the Bays Mountain Park Association and enjoy many valuable benefits throughout the year. When you become a member, you also help Bays Mountain Park to continue a tradition of preservation, exhibition and educational programs that reach thousands of school children annually.
Members of the BMPA have unlimited access for their vehicle to enter the Park during open hours with no entrance fee. All of the Park’s public programs are available to them at no charge. Specifically, this means that members don’t have to pay normal fees for planetarium programs, barge rides, or special shows in the Nature Center or the amphitheatre. Free tickets for these events are also available for guests (see “Categories and Benefits” below). Members also receive a quarterly newsletter and are invited to at least one special event for members each year. They may also check out videos from the Association free-of-charge, choosing from a large collection of National Geographic, nature, space and related programs. Membership dues can be paid at any time and are good for one year from the month of payment.
Individual Membership ($25 per year)
Family Membership ($35.00 per year)
All of the benefits of an Individual, plus:
Supporting Membership ($75 per year)
All of the benefits of Family, plus:
Life Membership ($1,000)
Bestows all the benefits of Supporting membership for life, plus:
For additional information about membership in the Bays Mountain Park Association, call Faye Wexler or Melissa Keeler at 423.229.9449. Or call 423.229.9447 to have information mailed to you.
The many animals in our Animal Habitats require constant and unique care and nurturing. Your support helps us maintain the level of care that our animals deserve.
Participants will receive:
For more information about how to participate in our Animal Adoption Program, please contact the Park Association at (423)229-9449.
Soon after the City of Kingsport built the park, “Friends of Bays Mountain” reorganized choosing the name of Bays Mountain Park Association and obtained a classification of 501(c)(3) from the IRS. This classification is for non-profit organizations and permits tax-deductible contributions to be made to the Association.
The purposes of the BMPA are twofold: First, to give its members unlimited access to the park when it is open; and second, to assist the park and its staff in any way possible. Assistance is given by volunteers who meet the public, assist in instruction of school groups, lead nature hikes, and answer questions about the park and its facilities, exhibits, and programs, as well as helping the staff in a variety of other ways. The BMPA also runs the gift shop in the Nature Center. Functionally, the Association reports to the Bays Mountain Park Commission, which is a group charged by the City of Kingsport with setting park policies.
BMPA income consists of membership fees, profits from the gift shop, donations, sponsorships and other contributions. All surplus funds are given each year to the Bays Mountain Park Commission and are used for new equipment, facilities, and other improvements to the park that would not ordinarily be funded by the City of Kingsport.
Yes, all funds received by the BMPA are used to directly benefit Bays Mountain Park, its programs and services. No funds collected by the BMPA are re-directed to the City of Kingsport. Excess funds are presented to the Bays Mountain Park Commission where they are earmarked for use solely for the benefit of Bays Mountain Park. Every penny collected by the BMPA is, in fact, responsibly used to benefit the park and the BMPA in order to preserve educational, recreational and leisure opportunities for this and future generations to come.
Memberships are good for one full year from the month of activation. Members receive free year-round entry for one vehicle into the park, plus program passes on each visit for each park program/service offered (including Planetarium show, barge ride and nature programs) up to the maximum number offered per membership level, free quarterly newsletter, and invitation to the BMPA annual meeting. Plus, as mentioned, park members play a role in helping protect the park and the opportunities it offers for this and future generations.
While memberships do not offer free zip line rides they do offer discounts. For example, while a zip line ride is normally $10.00 for the general paying public, park members can purchase zip line rides at $5.00 per ride.
Yes! Each summer Bays Mountain Park offers summer day camp for kids in two different age groups: those entering first thru third grade, and also for those entering fourth thru sixth grade the following fall. Cost to attend for park members is only $55.00 per child, per week. For more information on summer day camp, weeks available and to register your child or grandchild call 423.229-9447.
Once you are park member, perhaps the best way to get involved in the BMPA is to become a park volunteer. Members can volunteer in a number of areas including the Raptor Center, Herpetarium, Farmstead Museum, Ropes Course, trail maintenance and more. While each area requires a different level of commitment and physical ability, the most important requirement is a willingness to make a difference. The park could not operate successfully without the support of our wonderful volunteers! For more information call 423-229-9447.
Yes, all volunteers must be at least 17-years-old, and those volunteering in select areas such as the Herpetarium, Volunteer Naturalist and Raptor Center must be at least 18-years-old.
A gift shop in the Nature Center, operated by the Bays Mountain Park Association, stocks reasonably priced merchandise for shoppers of all ages. For the school children, there is a wide variety of toys, many of which help to teach some principle of science. For adults, there are starfinders, sweat shirts, books on many scientific subjects, and a wide variety of other gifts. The gift shop also has a large stock of National Geographic, nature, space and astronomy videos that are available for free checkout to Association members.
Volunteers play a vital role to the daily operations of Bays Mountain Park and Planetarium. The volunteer opportunities at Bays Mountain Park offer individuals a variety of ways to become involved in the community. Bays Mountain Park Association (BMPA) volunteers are trained by the Park’s staff and aid in every aspect of the Park’s operation. Some of Bays Mountain Park’s largest public programs could not be offered without the assistance of volunteers.
Greet visitors to this museum about the history of families who lived on Bays Mountain and what life was like for them. The Farmstead Museum features exhibits of farming equipment once used on Bays Mountain and helps visitors understand the history of Bays Mountain. Present short interpretive programs using tools and implements in the museum.
Volunteers take small groups of students on nature hikes and teach grade-level curricula. Hikes last 50 minutes with stops along the way to watch animals. One of our most-demanding support positions, being a naturalist volunteer requires a one-year commitment.
Help monitor public access to our snake, frog, turtle and other related displays at this building. Provide information and answer questions for visitors.
Join other volunteers in the daily care and management of our birds of prey. Raptor volunteers also conduct both school and public programs. This position requires a one commitment with volunteers expected to commit to one day per week. A thorough training process is involved, but this special opportunity has many rewards.
Astronomy enthusiasts can provide help by joining the Bays Mountain Astronomy Club. The club provides volunteers to assist with special events and astronomical programs for the public at the park observatory and around the community.
Meet the public, answer questions about the fresh-water pool and fresh-water aquariums, and explain the other live and freeze-dried specimens in the room. Feed the fish and clean the outside of aquaria.
Use the link below to download the Bays Mountain Park Association Volunteer application: