For over 25 years your donations to FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge Parkway have been making the critical difference for the Blue Ridge Parkway.
In addition to providing millions of dollars in volunteer service, FRIENDS also directly funds projects and programs for historic preservation, saving parkway views, youth engagement and wildlife management. Here are just a few examples of ways that your support is making a positive impact on the Parkway.
Historic Preservation – The Kelley School
This ongoing project involves the restoration of a historic two-room schoolhouse at milepost 149 on the Parkway. This is the only educationally oriented structure on the Parkway, and it could become an educational/ interpretative center displaying how children learned the three R’s in the southern Appalachians 75 years ago. FRIENDS has raised $7,000 to repair the roof thus saving the structural integrity of the building. READ more about Kelley School here.
Save Parkway Views
Encroaching residential and commercial development compromises the Blue Ridge Parkway. As development and industry moves closer and closer to the Parkway, views are compromised and habitats are destroyed. To help mitigate these problems, the National Park Service (NPS) and FRIENDS partner to plant trees to protect and help restore and maintain wildlife habitats. We work in partnership with developers to create a win-win for the Blue Ridge Parkway. FRIENDS has planted over 6,000 trees with the help of member funds and donations!
In addition to planting trees, FRIENDS clears overlooks and vistas where views are impeded by overgrowth. The #1 reason visitors come to the Blue Ridge Parkway is for the views. With your help, we are bringing Parkway views back to life!
FRIENDS provides funding for programs for youth of all ages – children, teens and young adults – that educate and engage them in conservation, ecology and land stewardship. Junior Rangers, Parkway interpretive programs, cultural history events, Youth Parkway internships and FRIENDS Alternative Break program are made possible in part by the dollars you so generously give to FRIENDS.
Wildlife Management – Endangered Species Protection
The bog turtle is among several endangered species on the Parkway. FRIENDS provides both much needed funds for scientific studies and volunteers who act as research assistants to the biologists who study threatened species.