Celebrating 20 years in 2017, the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation is the primary fundraiser and trusted steward of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Foundation is committed to preserving the past, enhancing the present, and safeguarding the future of the 469-mile scenic drive.
While the Parkway operates as a unit of the National Park Service and receives operating funds from the NPS, the Foundation identifies additional projects that enhance and protect the natural, cultural, historic, and recreational qualities that make the Blue Ridge Parkway an American treasure. In other words, they take the Parkway experience to the next level! And we are grateful.
Photo at top: The Foundation raised funds to repair boardwalks at Rough Ridge.
If you have used the restrooms and extra parking added at Graveyard Fields in 2014, thank the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation for raising the funds!
The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation has worked with donors to invest more than $12 million in critical projects in the following areas:
Education and Outreach
- Parks as Classrooms benefits over 25,000 school children each year by bringing park rangers to the classroom and introducing a future generation of stewards to the Parkway.
- Kids in Parks links the health of our children to the health of our parks by getting children and families unplugged and outside, learning about nature and walking over 10,000 miles total on trails.
- Interpretive panels, educational materials and exhibits connect millions of Parkway visitors each year to the natural and cultural wonders of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Natural Resource Preservation and Protection
- Viewshed protection projects, administrative funding to conservancy groups for acquiring easements and educational materials ensure the preservation of the scenic overviews.
- Research projects result in better understanding and management of environmental resources including wildlife studies, habitat and exotic vegetation research and biological inventories.
Historic and Cultural Resource Protection
- Preservation and protection projects focus on iconic historical and cultural resources such as Moses H. Cone Memorial Park, Camp Catawba and Blue Ridge Music Center.
- Collection and archiving of historical maps, oral histories, photos and planning documents ensures historic preservation of cultural heritage.
Visitor Experiences through Facilities and Safety
- Visitor facilities provide comfort and welcoming environments, including Waterrock Knob Visitor Center and the Museum of North Carolina Minerals.
- Park staff are provided with emergency training, equipment and facilities enhancing visitor protection and safety including construction of the new state-of-the-art Communications Center.
- Visitors are provided with multiple access points and increased safety with projects including trail construction and maintenance at areas like Rough Ridge.
Read about our efforts to help the Craggy Gardens Trails rehabilitation. To donate and learn more about the current projects of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, please visit their website.
Blue Ridge Parkway License Plate
Show your love and support of the Blue Ridge Parkway with a North Carolina specialty license plate for your car or motorcycle. For each specialty plate fee, $20 goes to the Blue Ridge Parkway and $10 goes to the N.C. Department of Transportation Wildflower Program. The entire fee of $30 is tax deductible. For more info, visit their website.
Also see: Community & conservancy partners we support.