As the National Park Service faces an astonishing price tag to repair all aspects of the Blue Ridge Parkway, coupled with impending budget constraints, care of the trails, campgrounds, picnic areas, and overlooks are falling to the bottom of the long list of priorities. That means, the places you enjoy nature on the Parkway desperately need your help!
With the recent addition of new interpretive indoor panels, Craggy Gardens Visitor Center features a wealth of fascinating information about the flora and fauna that call the high-elevation area home. But even in the off-season, the popular hiking destination known for its fantastic long-range views is one of the most visited places on the Parkway. Your gift will create much needed outdoor exhibits for visitors who stop by after hours or during the six months of the year when the visitor center is closed.
Updated annually, the printed Outdoor Activity Guide features trail maps, safety information, bear encounter guidance, and articles on Parkway programs, the Blue Ridge Music Center, and current issues facing the park. The National Park Service offers this 24-page newspaper for free at every visitor center, as well as community outreach events. It is an essential guide to a well-planned Parkway excursion. With your support, 100,000 copies will be printed and made available before the busiest visitation periods of the season.
The Waterrock Knob Visitor Center near Cherokee, North Carolina, occupies a unique position on the Blue Ridge Parkway, having the potential to be either the first or last stop for travelers. With the help of your donation, the National Park Service will install new exhibits to replace the current time-worn displays that feature outdated information. The new exhibits will inform visitors about:
Our Kids in Parks program got its start in 2009 with the opening of the first TRACK Trail at the Asheville Visitor Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Today, there are five trails along the route that engage children and their families with the outdoors through activity brochures. You can expand these adventures for future land stewards by supporting the creation of new experiences at two fascinating Parkway sites in Virginia: the James River and Rocky Knob/Mabry Mill.
A rehabilitation project for one of the most popular trails along the Blue Ridge Parkway is underway! A crew with the American Conservation Experience is repairing Craggy Flats Bald Trail, which has become deeply rutted, leading to erosion.
Thank you for your gifts to make the first phase of this project a reality. The work will be accomplished in two phases with the main exhibits slated for installation in the winter of 2017/2018. Additional gifts will help us accomplish phase two!
The Craggy Gardens Visitor Center hosts 85,000 visitors annually. Inside the circa-1952 building, the 10-year-old faded and outdated exhibit panels will be replaced by displays that tell the story of the plants and animals in this unique and harsh high elevation environment.
Kids in Parks is a network of hiking, biking, paddling and disc golf trails outfitted with free activity guides for children and families. The mission behind these TRACK Trails goes beyond fun; the goals are to encourage kids to be physically active and help them build meaningful connections with nature. In turn, these goals help inspire the next generation of stewards, who will care for all public lands, including the Blue Ridge Parkway. Parks are at their best when people use, appreciate, and care for them.
The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation is working with individuals and community groups to refresh and revitalize the interpretive information at Buck Spring Lodge, where George W. Vanderbilt's hunting retreat stood. The site overlooks the birthplace of American Forestry and Pisgah National Forest.