The Good Neighbors Program


Nature doesn’t recognize borders. Wildlife crosses in and out of protected and private land; invasive plants and pests ride on wind, cars, and boots across boundaries; wildfires spread through brush regardless of property lines.  

With a park as long and skinny as Shenandoah, bordered by hundreds of privately owned properties in eight counties, what affects one entity inevitably (and quickly) affects the rest. From trailheads on private property to light and sound pollution to encroaching development, decisions made outside the park have a direct impact on the wilderness and public land just on the other side of the invisible line.  

In response to the recent increase of attention around land management, invasive species, and development across Virginia, we developed the Good Neighbors Program. Through this initiative, we hope to address our community’s need for collaboration and shared knowledge concerning land stewardship along the borders of Shenandoah National Park. 

Collaborative efforts with park neighbors will have myriad positive effects on the visitor experience in Shenandoah and conservation efforts across the region. These benefits include, but are by no means limited to:  

  • Protecting habitat for wildlife and plants
  • Preserving access to trailheads on private property
  • Preventing encroaching development that would disrupt the natural viewsheds and soundscapes that make visitors feel truly immersed in nature
  • Mitigating light pollution that affects night skies
  • Improving climate resilience through collective forest management
  • Combatting the spread of invasive species  
Want to learn more about land conservation?
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to protect land along Shenandoah’s borders.

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