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West Virginia State Parks
VIPP Program - Very Important Parks Person

If you frequent state parks…
If you appreciate the beauty and natural wonder found at state parks and forests…
If you participate and attend special events, activities and programs…
You are already a Very Important Parks Person.

And now’s the time to make it official!

VIPP is a unique visitation program introduced in 1986 and created to recognize
‘friends’ of West Virginia State Parks. Those individuals, families and friends have grown in number and come from the entire State of West Virginia and beyond.

VIPPers are an eclectic group.

There are hikers and bikers (both bicycle and motorcycle).

There are paw paws and whippersnappers.

There are the very curious with GPS units and the very laid back ready for a nap.

Preachers, teachers and students.

Historians and naturalists.

Teens and tweens and young families recognizing state parks and forests as an affordable family vacation with great facilities and programs.

Many VIPPers remember parks as a child and continue to visit parks as a tradition with children, a sweetheart, parent, guardian or grandparent.

Each participant has a personal commitment or fond memories of state parks and forests.

All independently share an appreciation of the recreational treasure that public lands like parks and forests offer state residents and guests. Parks and forests are special places that are
preserved, stewarded and maintained for all generations.

The VIPP concept gives recognition to individuals, friends and family visiting state parks and forests and enjoying the interpretative programs, activities and special events offered.

In the “spirit of welcome,” you’re invited to participate.

How to join the growing VIPP list:

  • Complete a simple registration form available in the printed VIPP brochure.
  • Brochures are available state parks and state forests, the WV Welcome Centers and the central office in South Charleston, WV.
  • To have a brochure/form mailed to you, please call 304-558-2764 and ask for a VIPP brochure.
  • After completing and forwarding the registration form via mail, you’ll receive a VIPP information packet via USPS mail.

A lifetime of enjoyment at WV State parks and forests begins!

To attain VIPP status participants must:

  1. Visit fifteen mandatory parks and forests and five additional areas from the list of elective parks and forests printed on the initial participation card issued.
  2. When visiting the areas, participants must stop at the park office, headquarters or front desk and have your card stamped and dated by park personnel. On those areas that do not operate a 24-hour desk or there is no one available to stamp your visitation card, you will find a modified birdhouse with a stamp specific to that area. We operate under the merit system at these areas and accept your date written by the stamp you place on the card.
  3. The program is not a race, nor are there any expectations of completion in a given amount of time. The expectation is that completed cards submitted are truthful and that the individual actually visited the areas indicated.
  4. The program is open to any person regardless of their race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, disability, or other legally recognized protected status.
  5. Once a participant has personally completed the required visits, sign the back of the card and mail it into the Parks and Recreation office.
    West Virginia State Parks
    Attn: VIPP Program
    324 4th Avenue
    South Charleston, WV 25303
  6. When the completed card is received the information is logged and your $25 state park gift card will be mailed to your address. Each registered VIPPer receives a gift card for completion of the initial card and a VIPP patch. Gift cards and VIPP patch are issued only once.
  7. There is no limit to the number of times you may complete the program.
  8. For each additional completion, a star is awarded. Participants become a Star VIPP upon the second completion, upon the third, a Two Star VIPP, etc.
  9. Star VIPPers receive a VIPP Star Card. Star VIPP cards are mailed after completion of the initial VIPP card. The practice of having multiple cards stamped for one individual or having multiple cards stamped for other individuals who are not present at the park or forest is strongly discouraged. The expectation is to receive truthful information regarding visits to areas.
  10. The coordinator for the VIPP program is Carol Stewart. She and her husband are 15-star participants and were VIPPers long before Carol came to WV State Parks to serve as VIPP coordinator. She enjoys an earlier retirement but refuses to retire completely and thus serves as VIPP coordinator on a part-time basis. She is in the office on an intermittent schedule.

    If you plan to stop by to drop off completed cards, please call or email in advance. This allows the enrollee and Carol to discuss VIPP information. Her email address is dnr.vipp@wv.gov. The phone number is (304) 558-2764. If you reach her voice mail, please leave a message with your name and phone number so she may return your call.

    Carol makes every attempt to contact VIPPers and to complete requests as soon as possible.  Gift Cards are mailed after the initial card or star cards are deemed eligible and as available.
  11. VIPP cards issued are logged prior to mailing and have a start date indicated. A database is maintained to track rewards, stars, cards and license plates issued.
  12. There is no charge to register in the VIPP program

On January 1, the reward for VIPP visit completion changed to receiving a gift card that can be used at any WV state park or forest and a VIPP patch.  This reward is a better value and more useful by VIPPer. The program allowed for this same dollar value in jacket purchases, but as jacket styles changed over the years due to replacing discontinued styles, we recognized an increase in complains about quality, styles and sizing. Completed cards submitted on or before January 15, 2014 will receive a jacket.  Completed cards received January 16 or later will be the new generation of VIPPers. 

Please know we have given this a lot of thought, elevated discussions consideration, and finally an agreement to at program better serves our VIPP supporter as well as our state park system. 

Email dnr.vipp@wv.gov for a lifetime of state park fun as a VIPP and to ask for a VIPP brochure. If you're wanting only the registration form click here to print that information.  You may complete the form, scan and forward the information via email as an alternative to a postal mailing.  The email address is dnr.vipp@wv.gov

VIPP license plate

License Plates
Purchase a VIPP license plate for your vehicle. Click here for details.

These are sold to registered individuals in the VIPP program.

28th ANNUAL PICNIC

The 28th annual VIPP Picnic will be at Pipestem Resort State Park on September 13, 2014.   Some rooms and cabins are held in a block for VIPPers to make individual reservations. On July 21, some rooms and cabins were still available to rent. When calling  tell the reservation clerk you are attending the VIPP Picnic.  Cabin rentals are for two nights. 

Reservations are the responsibility of the individual and as available.  Information about accommodations available in the Pipestem area are online at two excellent convention and visitors bureaus, www.visitwv.com or www.visitmercercounty.com

Picnickin' at Pipestem Reservation Form
An activity program will be posted soon. The registration form is available here.  Click and print the form.

Picnickin' at Pipestem Fun
VIPPers arriving Friday will enjoy evening entertainment at 7:00pm in the Faulconer Room.  Saturday includes a.m. hikes, hayrides, golf play, lawn games, special morning program, an Amphitheater Show on Saturday evening around 7:00pm, and of course, the annual Picnic that begins around noon. Doorprizes and more.

VIPP NEWSLETTERS

VIPP newsletters or fliers arrive via US postal service once a year, or more if appropriate and feasible to the addresses on file in our VIPP participant registration mailing list. If you have moved, and have not notified the program manager of the address change, we will not have a current address on file. Please keep Carol updated.

An electronic VIPP newsletter is available when we have your email address and your request for the eNewsletter.  Individuals must subscribe to the electronic newsletter and may unsubscribe at any time.  Privacy policies protect you from unwanted electronic transmissions and why you generate the email request.   Click here to fill out the online form to receive electronic newsletters.

PARK PROGRAMS
Adopt-A-Trail

Very Important Parks Person (VIPP)

Hiking Club

Volunteer Park Host Program
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