The Blue Ridge Parkway is proposing a fee increase for campgrounds along the scenic route. As all National Parks struggle with a maintenance backlog for a total of more than $11 billion, the Parkway is faced with $500 million of deferred upkeep projects, including campground facilities and road work. There are two town hall meetings when you can weigh in or you can submit comments online. Read on for details.
From the National Park Service:
We had such a wonderful time during The Denim Ball! From the gorgeous setting by the lake at Chetola Resort to fantastic denim outfits and the lively music by The Lucky Strikes Orchestra, the evening was a blast. It was also a great success for the future of Moses H. Cone Memorial Park.
When you step off West Beverly Street in downtown Staunton, Virginia, and through the doors of No. 17, you enter one of the great institutions of American culture. No, not a museum, or a college classroom, or a majestic courtroom with all the trappings of a justice system built upon the best principles of the ages.
The outdoors and beer go hand in hand in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Ask anyone what they love about the Asheville area and they are likely to rank the vibrant local beer scene and the Blue Ridge Parkway at the top of their list. As the Asheville area’s beer scene has grown, breweries small and large have always shown their commitment to protecting the landscape that makes our regional a natural wonderland. That’s why we teamed up with 17 local breweries to help celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.
On May 14, the Asheville BMW Riders’ third annual Blue Ridge High Pass Boogie saw nearly 100 riders depart from Eurosport Asheville to participate in one of three rides to benefit the Foundation. A mixer on Friday night featured a silent auction to further the club’s effort to support the Parkway. Both events were a great success, raising more than $10,000. The club designated its donation to help rehabilitate Moses H. Cone Memorial Park.
During June, beer fans can show their support for the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation thanks to Appalachian Mountain Brewery’s Pints for Nonprofits Program. For each pint sold, a charity chip is given out. (Request yours at the bar.) Patrons can place the chips in a box for the Foundation to donate 5 percent of their pint purchase to support the nonprofit’s work on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
As the CEO of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, never has it been clearer to me the importance of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Parkway is so much more than a road. It is one of the most biodiverse places in the temperate world. It is a living history museum protecting and telling the stories of Appalachian culture, music, and life. And as a recent study just reported, it is once again No. 1 in the country as an economic engine for the communities along its corridor.
The Blue Ridge Parkway is gearing up to launch an expanded study using remote wildlife cameras. Last year, our donors provided funding for 30 cameras. Over the next several years, park staff plan to set up cameras at sites along the entire 469-mile route to assess the distribution of wildlife and look at how human activities affect where the wildlife live and roam.
Dr. Ray Russell (President of RaysWeather.com, creator of BRPWeather.com, and Associate Professor of Computer Science at Appalachian State University) is running the entire length of the Blue Ridge Parkway. He started his journey on May 17 at the north end near Waynesboro, Virginia, and is covering roughly 20 miles per day.
In 2013, the Foundation took over musical programming at the Blue Ridge Music Center to help preserve the history and culture inherent in Blue Ridge Music. The venue is a wonderful spot along the Parkway to hear local, regional, and national acts play old-time, bluegrass, country blues, gospel, Americana and folk and explore the the Roots of American Music Museum.
Signs of spring mean the Music Center will soon reopen for visitors to experience the heritage of mountain music. Beginning Saturday, May 7, the visitor center and Roots of American Music exhibit will be open and Thursday through Monday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Congratulations to Scott Ramsey, who won first place in the Blue Ridge Parkway category of the 13th annual Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition on March 19. His image "Picnic Under the Stars" captured the Milky Way above an iconic Parkway picnic table at Waterrock Knob, milepost 451.
Have you ever wondered who clears downed trees after storms or opens up vistas along the 469-mile route? In 2014, the Husqvarna Group of Charlotte, N.C., generously donated $10,000 in chainsaws and other equipment to the Park Service for use in clearing trees after severe weather events and preserving views at overlooks. There was one hitch, the team didn’t have a good way to transport the equipment to where it was needed. So last year, the Foundation began raising funds to supply a trailer to travel with the team.
Signs of spring are finally breaking through winter’s cold grip, and the National Park Service has announced the Parkway’s 2016 opening schedule and hours of operation. Time to start planning your Parkway getaways.
Here’s a quick rundown.
After the gray and white landscape painted by winter, spring brings a great sense of renewal to the Blue Ridge Parkway. The diverse blooms, ranging from delicate to bold, that herald the season’s arrival are one of many reasons to hit the road and explore the trails for wildflower sightings amid the vibrant landscape.
We’d like to send out a big thanks to everyone who attended the Foundation’s reception at Hotel Roanoke on March 16. More than 60 people enjoyed drinks, bites and a fascinating presentation by landscape architect David Hill, principal author of A Neighbor’s Guide to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Hill shared insights behind the design of the Parkway, from its masonry to the vistas, and tips for blending neighboring homes, buildings and landscapes into the overall picture of the scenic route.
The Town of Blowing Rock is moving forward with a plan to connect its charming downtown with Moses H. Cone Memorial Park. Upon completition, visitors will be able to reach Bass Lake via a new sidewalk. Recently, the N.C. Department of Transportation approved an agreement to provide $987,956 of the $1.22 million project cost.