Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Bays Mountain Park Association (BMPA)?
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.
What is the purpose of the BMPA?
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.
What revenue does the BMPA receive?
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.
Are all funds collected by the BMPA used to benefit the park?
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.
What benefits do park members receive?
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.
Do park members get to enjoy zip line rides for free also?
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.
Is summer day camp available to park members’ children and grandchildren?
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.
How can I get involved in the BMPA?
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.
Do any age requirements exist for volunteering?
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.