This year, the Foundation celebrates 25 years of support for the country’s most visited national park. From the start, those who love the park, like you, came together to give time and financial support in pursuit of the best Blue Ridge Parkway possible. The quantity and magnitude of projects, and the enthusiasm from supporters, has only increased over the years. Thank you for recognizing the Parkway’s beauty as well as its needs and potential.
Each year, we work closely with the National Park Service to select critical projects that enhance the park now and sustain it for years to come. The latest opportunities to help the park are focused on providing richer experiences, supporting volunteer contributions, improving trails and overlooks, and more. Please donate today to the following projects that most inspire you!
Among the Parkway’s iconic experiences are hiking winding trails, admiring breathtaking mountain views, and spending quality time at campgrounds and picnic areas with family and friends. With an ultimate goal of $3 million, the Trails & Views Forever program allows you to enhance the outdoor places you love.
Viewshed Restoration ($12,000 needed)
The Parkway’s designers created astounding roadside overlooks as hallmarks of the national park. Today, many are hidden by years of tree growth. With your help, arborist crews will continue their work to clear the views.
Trail Project Manager ($65,000 needed)
The Parkway does not have a dedicated trail crew or manager on staff to oversee the 369 miles of trails within the park. You can change that by funding this new position, which will be dedicated to implementing trail projects on the Parkway, including prioritizing repairs and organizing community and volunteer involvement.
Trail Rover Program ($4,000 still needed)
This season, volunteer rovers will protect peregrine falcons at Devils Courthouse and rare plants at Craggy Gardens and Rough Ridge by educating visitors about these important ecological sites. Your generosity can ensure the rovers are equipped with the supplies they need, including hand-held radios, backpacks, rain gear, and first-aid kits.
Volunteer Training ($14,500 needed)
Parkway volunteers fill a wide range of roles within the park, from operating chainsaws to directing visitors. To maximize their impact, you can provide first-aid and CPR training, in-depth Parkway orientation, and other opportunities for volunteers to grow their skills.
Mount Pisgah Platform ($10,064 still needed)
At the pinnacle of the popular Mount Pisgah Trail, visitors can take in mountain views from a wooden observation deck. Patch work on the platform has become extensive, and it is time to replace the structure. Your donation will fund the reconstruction of the platform to provide a safe and enjoyable stop for trekkers.
Craggy Gardens Exhibits ($5,243 still needed)
Craggy Gardens, known for its fantastic long-range views, is one of the most visited destinations on the Parkway. Your gift will create outdoor exhibits near the visitor center to provide directions and highlight the diverse natural resources of the high-elevation site.
Blue Ridge Music Center
A venue, visitor center, museum, and all-around cultural hotspot, the Blue Ridge Music Center is celebrating 20 years of summer concerts this season and expanding its services and reach on the Parkway. Join the music lovers preserving and celebrating this rich aspect of mountain heritage and history.
Partner Ranger ($15,000 needed)
Your gift to support this position assists our National Park Service partner in providing educational programming at the Roots of American Music Museum and Parkway information at the Visitor Center. The partner ranger will also launch and oversee the Milepost Music series.
Milepost Music ($20,000 needed)
With your help, the new Milepost Music sessions on summer Sunday afternoons will share mountain music with a wider audience of Parkway visitors. Akin to the down-home Midday Mountain Music presentations at the Music Center, this free series of intimate outdoor concerts will showcase local musicians playing traditional music at Humpback Rocks, Peaks of Otter, Roanoke Mountain Campground, Mabry Mill, and Doughton Park.
Music Programming ($70,000 needed)
You can ensure that the shows and programs go on at the Music Center. Generous support from individuals, businesses, and foundations is vital to providing dynamic experiences, from the Deep Roots, Many Voices interview series focused on diversity and inclusion in American roots music to the signature summer performances from the likes of Steep Canyon Rangers, Rissi Palmer, Kruger Brothers, Dori Freeman, and many more.
Lighting System ($20,000 needed)
Light up the stage with your generosity! Last year, a lightning strike damaged the amphitheater’s lighting console and processing unit. In addition to illuminating a stellar slate of talented performers, the new system will pave the way toward replacing old fashioned, high-wattage bulbs with low-voltage LED bulbs that will be more energy efficient and better for the environment.
Moses H. Cone Memorial Park
This season is the first opportunity for tens of thousands of visitors to admire the grand beauty of Flat Top Manor since extensive exterior repairs were completed last fall. This major achievement highlights the monumental impact of your contributions. You can continue your commitment to the care of the historic estate and the experiences it provides with the following initiatives.
Bass Lake Accessibility Ramp ($17,000 estimated)
The flat loop trail around picturesque Bass Lake is a popular destination for High Country residents and visitors alike. Unfortunately, the ramp that leads to the trail from the parking area creates an obstacle for guests with limited mobility. Your donation will provide safer access to a cherished place.
Extended Ranger Season ($14,000 needed)
Insightful programs and guidance from a ranger can make a visit to Moses H. Cone Memorial Park even more meaningful and engaging for visitors. With a gift, you can extend the Flat Top Manor ranger’s season, making assistance available earlier in the spring and later in fall.
Cone Estate Maps ($5,000 needed)
Each year, the Foundation prints and distributes maps of the Cone estate to help guide visitors on the 25 miles of carriage trails and share the past of the historic gem. Your gift will ensure more visitors can appreciate the backstory and beauty of this park, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Comfort Station Maintenance (FUNDED)
A generous donor has provided this year’s funding to keep the restrooms on the grounds of Moses H. Cone Memorial Park clean and open at Bass Lake and extends the number of months the Carriage Barn restrooms are cleaned and open to visitors. This project requires $15,000 annually so we invite your continued support for this important visitor amenity.
Kids in Parks
With a gift to the Kids in Parks program, you can encourage children to make outdoor adventures an ongoing part of their lives and bring smiles to young faces. After exploring the outdoors with the help of our signature activity guides, Kids in Parks mails children prizes, including a Trail TRACKer Passport, stickers, and nature-themed Adventure Cards. Your gift can help provide these incentives, which are designed to encourage repeat adventures in nature and make their next journey even more fascinating. This project also provides an excellent sponsorship opportunity for businesses inspired to improve children’s health and well-being and cultivate the next generation of public lands stewards.
More Ways to Help
The Bluffs Restaurant Upkeep & Improvements
After donors’ remarkable support for the rehabilitation of The Bluffs Restaurant, the Foundation signed a historic lease that allows us to ensure the beloved gathering place never again falls behind on the maintenance it requires. You can help us keep that commitment with a donation toward upgrades that include increases in energy efficiency at the circa-1949 building.
Interpreter-in-Residence ($20,000 needed)
With the addition of an interpreter-in-residence at Crabtree Falls Campground, milepost 339, the National Park Service will be able to expand its services for visitors, including demonstrations, campfire programs, guided hikes, and more. This popular spot has seen an increase in campers in recent years, making it the perfect place to launch this new program designed to share a greater understanding of the national park with those who visit.
Web Cameras ($20,000 needed)
You can support the placement of web cameras at key locations on the Parkway to share the beauty of the national park online all year. The state-of-the-art units will showcase views to keep you connected to the places you love.
Overmountain Victory Celebration ($13,500 needed)
You can revive the live version of the Overmountain Victory Celebration. The reenactment highlights the march leading up to the pivotal Battle at Kings Mountain during the Revolutionary War. The three-day event at milepost 331, near Spruce Pine, N.C., includes educational demonstrations and workshops, ranging from candle making to writing with a quill pen, for hundreds of public and homeschool students. Volunteers and staff in period dress also perform plays of the Overmountain story and lead tours of the encampment for the public. Your gift will also allow a videographer to film the reenactors for an online version of the celebration.
Trail Maps ($18,000 needed)
With your support for this project, visitors will find single-sheet trail guides to help them explore and learn more about 16 popular hiking destinations along the Parkway, including Humpback Rocks, Otter Creek and James River, Roanoke Valley, Cumberland Knob, Julian Price Park, Linville Falls, Mount Pisgah, and Waterrock Knob. The guides will include information about safety, resource protection, and opportunities for children, such as the Junior Ranger and Kids in Parks programs.