Volunteers are valued members of our Community of Stewards. By generously sharing their time and talents, they reflect a deep commitment to the Blue Ridge Parkway. We can’t thank them enough for choosing to work with the Foundation to make an impact. Here are just a few of the many people who contributed their time in 2019.
Spreading the Word
If there is one volunteer who knows how to go the extra mile, it’s Ed Grove. Over the past two Parkway seasons, he’s driven thousands of miles on his BMW RT motorcycle to deliver thousands of brochures to donor stations and Visitor Centers, from Craggy Gardens to Graveyard Fields. With each drop-off, he is making sure more visitors learn how to support this amazing park through the Foundation. And if you ask Ed, it’s the coolest volunteer gig around. “It’s the best way to experience the Parkway,” he says.
At just 14 years old, Virginia Ward earned the Blue Ridge Parkway Youth Volunteer Award for her work to help protect native plant species in the park. Under the guidance of National Park Service Biologist Chris Ulrey, Virginia journeys off-trail, up steep rock faces and through dense flora, to access rare plants and gather data. The information she records will help to provide insight about the well-being of these plant populations, as well as assist in developing management strategies to protect each species.
Mike Duncan is the official volunteer photographer for the Blue Ridge Music Center. For the last five concert seasons, Mike has made the drive from his home in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina, with his wife, Judy, to capture dynamic photos of performances by the likes of the Steep Canyon Rangers, Mountain Park Old-time Band, Old Crow Medicine Show, and so many more. We are so grateful that he gives his time and incredible talent to help document and share the special musical moments that take place at the Music Center. “I’m not just there for the photography,” Mike says. “I love the music.”
Photo of Mike by JL Parker
Would you like to volunteer for the Blue Ridge Parkway? Visit our volunteer information page for opportunities.