By Jack Betts and Broaddus Fitzpatrick
Virginia and North Carolina are two competitive states — in sports, in economics, in academics and in their magnificent environments running from the mountain ridges down to the coastlines. Residents of both the Commonwealth of Virginia and the State of North Carolina have exceptional pride in the beautiful local, state and federal parks — particularly the 469-mile long Blue Ridge Parkway, which the two states share.
So why do North Carolinians provide so much more support for the Parkway?
More than 200 guests attended The Denim Ball on Thursday, Sept. 15, at Moses H. Cone Memorial Park in Blowing Rock, N.C. The event surpassed its previous fundraising record, garnering $240,000 in support for continuing improvements at Moses and Bertha Cone’s former 3,500-acre estate.
The Blue Ridge Parkway is celebrating 87 years this Sunday, Sept. 11. We could list hundreds of reasons to celebrate this amazing national park, but here are just a few adventurous ways to mark the occasion. Enjoy!
This spring, the National Scenic Byway Foundation awarded the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation the 2022 Visitor Experience Award for the rehabilitation and reopening of The Bluffs Restaurant at Doughton Park on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Laurel Springs.
We’re getting closer and closer to our required goal of 450 pre-orders for the new Blue Ridge Parkway license plate in Virginia. To show our thanks, we’re entering every current plate applicant’s name, and those who order by August 31, in a drawing to win a $100 gift card to Mast General Store. You can use it at any location or online to shop for outdoor gear, clothes, and more.
As part of our 25th anniversary celebrations, the Foundation honored seven special members of its community of stewards at a ceremony on Saturday, June 18, at the Blue Ridge Music Center.
“Our 25th anniversary is really a celebration of the people who bring our mission to life through their contributions to the national park they love,” said Carolyn Ward, CEO of the Foundation. “We are fortunate to count these honorees as members of our community of stewards.”
The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation and Blue Ridge Music Center are launching free Milepost Music presentations on rotating Sunday afternoons at popular destinations along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
These intimate outdoor concerts will showcase regional musicians playing traditional music at Humpback Rocks, Peaks of Otter, Roanoke Mountain Picnic Area, Mabry Mill, and Doughton Park. The first session is from 1 to 3 p.m., Sunday, June 5, at the Peaks of Otter at milepost 86 in Bedford, Va.
We are please to welcome new member to our Board of Trustees and additions to our Council of Advisors. The new members will help provide leadership our nonprofit organization, which is celebrating 25 years of partnering with the National Park Service to preserve and enhance the country’s most-visited national park.
Former advisor Greg Andeck of Carrboro, N.C., was voted on to the Board of Trustees. Andeck is the Director of Strategy and Government Relations, N.C. office of National Audubon Society.
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.
The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation has secured two grants totaling $911,117 from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to support economic development planning in the Blue Ridge Parkway corridor in Virginia and North Carolina. The grants are funded through the American Rescue Plan Act and U.S. EDA’s programs to advance economic recovery and resilience in travel, tourism, and other sectors.
The Public Lands Alliance awarded the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation and National Park Service (NPS) the 2022 Public Lands Partner Award on Wednesday, April 20, for their joint project to rehabilitate the exterior of Flat Top Manor at Moses H. Cone Memorial Park in Blowing Rock, N.C.
We were thrilled to honor special members of our community of stewards during a 25th anniversary reception on April 7 at the Virginia Museum of Transportation in Roanoke, Va..
Conservationist and retired attorney Broaddus Fitzpatrick was awarded the Pat Shore Clark Stewardship Award for exemplary individual service in the advancement of the Foundation.
This summer, the Blue Ridge Music Center is celebrating 20 year of hosting concerts in the hillside amphitheater at milepost 213 on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Galax, Virginia.
Taking the stage are fan favorites, including North Carolina-based acts such as the Steep Canyon Rangers, Kruger Brothers accompanied by Kontras Quartet, and Chatham County Line, and Virginia-based acts The Steel Wheels, Dori Freeman accompanied by a Winston-Salem Symphony String Quintet, and Bill and the Belles.
Need a great gift for a loved one? We’ve got perfect presents for people who love music, the outdoors, photography, puzzles, getaways, and more. The best part is that each gift also shows your love for the Blue Ridge Parkway. Happy holidays!
Give in honor of a loved one
After 14 months of exterior renovations, Flat Top Manor, the centerpiece of Moses H. Cone Memorial Park on the Blue Ridge Parkway, once again gleams from its perch overlooking Bass Lake, thanks to you. Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation donors and the National Park Service funded the $2.4 million rehabilitation on the circa-1901 Colonial Revival style home completed this fall.
On October 15, the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation and Blue Ridge Conservancy unveiled a display sign along the Middle Fork Greenway in Blowing Rock, N.C., to commemorate Camp Catawba and the work of the camp’s director Dr. Vera Lachmann, a Jewish refugee of Nazi Germany. The sign also features information about music director Tui St. George Tucker. In addition to the typical outdoor activities, the summer camp for boys was known for its cultural programs. The campers acted in plays, played in an orchestra, and sang in a choir.
Did you know that elk can run up to 45 miles per hour? That black bear cubs stay with their mother for 18 months learning to hunt and survive? That, at 6,293 feet, Waterrock Knob is the highest peak in the Plott Balsam Mountains?
Our Kids in Parks program is celebrating a major milestone just in time for Take a Child Outside Week, September 24-30. The national program just surpassed one million adventures completed by children on its TRACK Trails found in parks across the country, demonstrating its success in inspiring kids to experience the outdoors.