Become a member of Bays Mountain Park 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.
Advantages of a Membership
Members of Bays Mountain Park 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 at no charge. Specifically, this means that members don’t have to pay normal fees for planetarium programs, barge rides, or Nature Programs. 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. Membership dues can be paid at any time and are good for one year from the day of payment.
You can purchase your membership right here, right now!
Categories & Benefits
NOTE: Membership cards will be sent via traditional mail to all who purchase online. Your purchase confirmation email may be used to immediately enjoy the benefits of your membership while awaiting the arrival of your card.
Individual Membership ($30 per year)
- Complimentary entrance for your vehicle
- Complimentary passes to our Nature, Planetarium, and Barge programs. Limit of 2 passes for the Nature, Planetarium, and Barge programs per visit.
- Invitations to attend special events.
- A one-year subscription to The Interpreter, our member’s quarterly newsletter.
Family Membership ($50.00 per year)
All of the benefits of an Individual, plus:
- The pass limit is increased to six (6) passes for the Nature, Planetarium, and Barge programs per visit.
Supporting Membership ($100 per year)
All of the benefits of Family, plus:
- Enrollment in our Animal Adoption Program.
Life Membership ($1,000)
Bestows all the benefits of Supporting membership for life, plus:
- The opportunity each summer to invite up to 35 friends for a private barge ride on the park’s lake.
For additional information about Bays Mountain Park memberships, please call 423-229-9447.
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 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 Association are is 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 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:
- A certificate of adoption naming you as the supporter of the animal or your choice.
- A picture of your animal.
- A fact sheet with information about the particular habits, markings, and facts concerning your animal.
For more information about participating in our Animal Adoption Program, please contact the Park at (423)229-9449.
A gift shop in the Nature Center, operated by the Bays Mountain Park Commission, 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 principles of science. For adults, there are star finders, sweatshirts, books on many scientific subjects, and a wide variety of other gifts. All funds generated from the gift shop are solely used for park purposes and help support our mission of preserving the park for future generations.
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.
Listed below are the different areas where you can get involved. If you are interested in volunteering or would just like to know more, please contact Volunteer Coordinator Krystal Haney’s office at (423)229-9483 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Volunteer positions are available to those who are 18-years-old and above. Group volunteer opportunities are available by special request.
The Farmstead Museum is dedicated to the people of Bays Mountain and their way of life in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Items in the Farmstead Museum include genealogy studies, farm tools, and household items necessary for everyday settler living. Volunteers will greet visitors, answer questions, and assist in the general maintenance of the facility. Volunteers are asked to work one weekend day per month from 2:00-5:00 p.m.
Volunteers will be asked to assist with a number of general tasks including, but not limited to, exhibit maintenance, brush removal, painting, cleaning, and other duties that may need to be met. Scheduling is on an as-needed basis.
Volunteers will receive training working with live turtles, snakes and amphibians such as frogs and salamanders. Training will focus on cleaning and handling such animals. Volunteers may be asked to present programs (public, school groups, and/or special events). Volunteers should become proficient in the natural history of the residents found in the Herpetarium and be able to answer visitor questions. Volunteers are asked to work one day a month between the hours of 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Volunteers selected for this position will receive intensive training concerning all aspects of bird care – handling, feeding and record keeping. Volunteers will be asked to present programs (public, school groups, and/or special events). Raptor volunteers are required to provide a solid commitment of one day per week (3-4 hours per day worked) for a minimum of one year. Some weekend work may be required.
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. A minimum commitment of two work days per month is required.
Trail Maintenance (Trail Friends of Bays Mountain Park)
There are two options available for trail maintenance. For those who enjoy the trails but do not want extensive volunteer duties we offer a checklist that allows volunteers to review a specific trail(s) and note any issues found while also removing litter from the trail(s) being surveyed. For those who desire to participate in more extensive trail maintenance we offer specific training that will allow volunteers to help with brush removal, mulching, digging, trimming, and more detailed trail maintenance efforts. Trail workdays are scheduled per trail priority and need.
Adventure Course (Ropes Course)
Volunteers will assist with the Park’s 300-foot zip line, low ropes course, and high ropes course activity. 40 hours of training must be completed prior to participation and volunteers will work the course under staff supervision. Operating times are seasonal.
The Park offers school, public and special event/request programs. Interpretive/Educational volunteers may choose one or all and will be provided study materials and training. Prior knowledge of plants, wildlife, ecology, geography, and/or general biology is a plus but not essential. Volunteers must be comfortable speaking to groups of all age groups and sizes (a typical public program may contain around 30 attendees of varying ages, for example). Programs are presented year-round. Interpretive/Educational Volunteers are asked to commit to providing assistance as needed with programs during the warm season (March thru October). Ideally, at minimum, volunteers in this field will be able to provide weekly assistance to Park naturalists in the presenting of school programs during the months of September and October in the Fall and March, April and May in the Spring.
Pavilion at LilyPad Cove Host
The primary goal of the Pavilion Host is to help visitors enjoy the Pavilion by welcoming them and providing historical information about the Park and the Pavilion itself, and helping with events hosted there. Pavilion Hosts would serve primarily on the weekends, either Saturday or Sunday, from 1:00-4:00 p.m., but may be asked to assist at other times and/or events. A commitment of two days per month is requested.
Volunteers at Bays Mountain Park & Planetarium are an incredible asset to our community. Here we see a volunteer help with our Raptor Program.
Volunteers at Bays Mountain Park & Planetarium are an incredible asset to our community. Here we see volunteers help with one of our animal habitats.
Volunteers at Bays Mountain Park & Planetarium are an incredible asset to our community. Here we see volunteers help at the Day Camp Cabin.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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.