SAVING THE PARKWAY’S VANISHING VIEWS!
One overlook, one vista at a time
Our Parkway was designed to maximize scenic views and give visitors the impression that they are in a park with boundaries to the horizon. The Parkway has some 500,000 acres of view-area scenery along it’s 469 miles. Managing this scenic beauty is a complex and important task cited in the enabling legislation of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
The Parkway was created to “conserve the scenery and preserve the natural and cultural resources of the park’s designedand natural areas.” You come for theBlue Ridge Parkway views. However, as a Parkway visitor, you have been disappointed, as reflected by Blue Ridge Parkway survey responses.
We take your concerns very seriously and we are already addressing the issues and producing results. Partnering with our park, FRIENDS launched its first project in the fall of 2014. The National Park Service Blue Ridge Parkway brought in a national arborist team and park employees to clear more than 1,000 trees in 10 days. In the spring of 2015, the work continued near Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina. The third project started this past March. During this three-week period, over 8,000 trees were cleared and vistas were restored to their original state. From March 12-17, a six member crew in North Carolinaworked north from Milepost 289.5 to Milepost 277.3 restoring seven vistas. A ten member crew moved northward to Virginia where, on March 27 through April 9, they restored 29 Virginia vistas from Milepost 100.9 to Milepost 93.1, also clearing the overlook near the Parkway entrance at Milepost 13.1.
Chris Ulrey, Plant Ecologist for the Blue Ridge Parkway, reflected on one of the projects funded by FRIENDS:
Videos courtesy of Tom Cerul and Art Sellers of Exposure Roanoke camera club
“FRIENDS’ goal is to clear every overlook and designed vista along the 469-mile corridor.” — Richard Wells, Executive Board-Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway