Joining NPCA in 2001, Joy serves as the Senior Regional Director of the Mid-Atlantic, overseeing NPCA’s activities in the region’s five states and the District of Columbia.

Because clean water is essential to the health of the more than 50 national parks in the Chesapeake watershed, Joy serves on the steering committee of the Choose Clean Water Coalition of more than 200 organizations working for clean water in the Chesapeake. She is a leader in the “Scenic, Wild Delaware River,” a new partnership with community leaders along the middle and upper Delaware River to preserve and promote the nature, history and culture of this three-state, nine-county region anchored by national parks.

Soon after joining NPCA, she helped establish and, for a time, led NPCA’s clean air for parks and people program. Joy was a leader in the Healthy Air Campaign in Maryland, which in 2006 resulted in the nation’s strongest state legislation to reduce pollution including carbon dioxide from power plants. At Valley Forge, Harpers Ferry, Manassas, Wilderness battlefield, and elsewhere, Joy has led numerous successful campaigns to preserve nationally significant lands in and adjacent to national parks in the region, and to contest inappropriate developments near and inside of national park boundaries. She has led publication of Making Connections reports at Shenandoah, Colonial, Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania, and Delaware Water Gap, which engage community leaders in articulating the economic benefits and quality-of-life values generated by the national park that anchors that region.

Prior to joining NPCA, Joy worked for the Sierra Club, and in the 1990s led a campaign to preserve a remarkable forest in southern Maryland downstream of Washington, D.C. The campaign resulted in enactment of Maryland’s landmark Smart Growth program, and creation of the 2,200-acre Chapman Forest State Park and related natural area. In 1997 Joy was a founder of the Coalition for Smarter Growth in Washington, D.C., which continues to work for better communities with less traffic in the Washington region.

A native Virginian with deep roots in rural culture, Joy graduated magna cum laude from Duke University with a B.A. degree in religion. She enjoys traveling with her family, exploring and enjoying America’s national parks and other preserved areas, and gardening for native plants and animals.

Articles by Joy M. Oakes