“The Blue Ridge Parkway is a tremendous challenge, which we all take seriously. The Blue Ridge Parkway partners with FRIENDS, both as the membership and the volunteer organization for the park, BUT also an organization which connects YOU with the park you love – the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Together, more than ever, we need to make a responsible decision to protect our park’s vital resources for the enjoyment of current and future generations. Consider today joining and / or participating as a volunteer with FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge Parkway!” – Mark H. Woods, NPS Blue Ridge Parkway Superintendent
Over the last four years, budget cuts have resulted in the closing of campgrounds and picnic areas, educational programs have been cancelled, and even access to portions of our parks were restricted. The federal cuts in recent years are eating away at the Blue Ridge Parkway. Today our park ranks second in visitation among all 401 National Park Units with 12,877,369 visitors in 2013. The Blue Ridge Parkway still receives more visitors than the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and Yosemite National Parks combined.
Why help? The economic benefit alone, with visitors spending $782,926 and supporting 11,283 jobs is enough to supply the answer. But it goes much deeper than the monetary benefits.
The Blue Ridge Parkway is a living museum of animal and plant life, history and culture. As America’s most scenic drive, the park has:
- More than 81,000 acres of rare plants and wildlife, providing critical habitats for creatures including 74 rare and/or endangered species,
- Vibrant Appalachian traditions and historically rich cultures,
- Over 350 miles of hiking trails,
- 600 miles of streams and 15 watersheds,
- 223 historic buildings and over 690,000 artifacts in collection.
The Blue Ridge Parkway offers some of richest educational opportunities imaginable and is the second most biodiverse unit of the Nation Park Service.
Today the Parkway’s abundant resources are threatened more than ever before.
In order to preserve and protect the Blue Ridge Parkway, we must ensure it receives the funding it desperately needs!
YOU can determine if the Blue Ridge Parkway will survive.