Each year, the Foundation works with the National Park Service to determine where donors can make the greatest impact on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Our 2023 Parkway Project List below outlines the ways your donation can transform the national park you love.
The national park depends on dedicated donors to provide critical funding through the Foundation. You can choose to give to a specific initiative that you want to see accomplished or provide a gift that supports the highest priority needs.
Your donation today can fill a critical need for the Blue Ridge Parkway. Please give!
Natural Resource Protection
Original goal: $40,000. Still needed: $23,800
Your help is needed to save an important, but rarely seen resident of our Blue Ridge Mountains—bats. These mammals are an essential part of our mountain ecosystem. As we sleep, they eat insects that threaten human health (and just plain bug us), and beetles and moths that harm our forests. However, the bat population in our country is declining at an alarming rate.
Park scientists have found more than a dozen bat species along the Blue Ridge Parkway. With your support, scientists and university students will conduct a bat survey to determine where endangered species are living within the national park. Knowing their location and current status will help scientists as they work to save these nocturnal friends. (Photograph of gray bat by J. Scott Altenbach, Bat Conservation International)
Digitize Historic Parkway Maps & Drawings for Public Access
Original goal: $22,500. Still needed: $12,500
The Blue Ridge Parkway has more than 5,000 original maps and drawings dating from 1934 to the present. Many of the older maps and drawings are not digitized and are in very poor condition.
With your support, you can fund the work of archivists who will locate, identify, pack, and ship historical maps and drawings to the National Park Service’s Denver Service Center for inventorying and digitizing. This project will allow the park to increase public access to the park’s historical documents online.
Goal to be determined
Mabry Mill is the beloved centerpiece of a collection of fascinating historical structures at milepost 171 in Virginia. In fact, the rustic mill reflected in the adjacent pond is said to be the most photographed scene on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
The mill, including its wheel and roof, and surrounding structures are in dire need of repairs. With a donation, you can support rehabilitation projects that will preserve the complex and make the site more accessible for all visitors.
Trails & Views
Rehabilitate Picnic Area at the Asheville Visitor Center
Original goal: $22,000. Still needed: $12,000
The Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center at milepost 384 in Asheville is a popular destination for visitors to learn more about the scenic route and enjoy a break along the way. Your support will make it an even more welcoming place by providing more picnic tables for visitors and hardening a path to increase accessibility.
Trail Map Reprint
This project will provide free single-sheet trail guides to help visitors explore and learn more about 16 popular hiking destinations along the Parkway, including Humpback Rocks, Otter Creek and James River, Roanoke Valley, Cumberland Knob, Doughton Park, 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.
Volunteer Supplies & Training
Parkway volunteers fill a wide range of roles within the park, from operating chainsaws and repairing trails to serving as rover at popular visitation sites. By lending their time and talents, volunteers make the Blue Ridge Parkway a better and more beautiful place for everyone. With a gift, you can provide the supplies, training, and tools volunteers need to rejuvenate sites and help visitors all along the Parkway.
Bluffs Restaurant Maintenance
The Foundation holds a historic lease for The Bluffs Restaurant, a National Park Service facility, and is responsible for ongoing maintenance and improvements at the beloved Doughton Park establishment. You can support this beloved destination by making a donation to assist with the upkeep of the circa-1949 building.
Interpreter in Residence
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 station an interpreter to provide greater understanding of the national park.
Automated External Defibrillators
This initiative will provide Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) for park rangers to use during emergencies. Donations will also ensure training programs for National Park Service staff on the proper use of this life-saving equipment.
Blue Ridge Music Center
Amphitheater: Thanks to past donor support, the Music Center has a new lighting console and processing unit for the outdoor amphitheater stage. The second phase of updates is to replace outdated, high wattage bulbs with energy efficient, low-voltage LED bulbs that are more environmentally friendly.
Exhibit: After 12 years, the lights in the Roots of American Music exhibit are beginning to burn out and production of the original components has been discontinued. This necessary project will replace the entire lighting system in the exhibit with custom LED lite-pads so visitors can continue to learn about the origins and pioneers of mountain music.
Parking areas: Ensuring guests get back to their vehicles safely after summer concerts is a key part of a great experience from start to finish at the Music Center. Concerts conclude after dusk and the lighting on-site is inadequate and unreliable. This project will repair the existing solar lights and add eight portable lights in key locations to improve visitor safety.
These free musical sessions on summer Sunday afternoons share mountain music with a wider audience of Blue Ridge Parkway visitors. Akin to the down-home Midday Mountain Music presentations at the Music Center, this series of intimate outdoor concerts will showcase local musicians playing traditional music at Humpback Rocks, Peaks of Otter, Mabry Mill, Doughton Park, and the Asheville Visitor Center.
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.