The protection of the Parkway and surrounding region is an immense task, with much at stake. Decades of eroding budgets have reduced staffing and made it more and more difficult to maintain the parkway's aging and considerable infrastructure to monitor and preserve its many natural and cultural resources, and provide educational services for visitors. The trend is undeniably clear: fewer staff members must confront mounting threats and try to carry out a dual mission of preserving the Parkway and serving the visiting public. They cannot do it alone. Their success will depend on mobilizing an army of concerned citizens. The Parkway of tomorrow will be defined by the extent to which people today are willing to speak out on behalf of the Parkway and to invest in its future. Fortunately, many non-profit partner groups now work hand-in-hand with the Parkway staff. While these organizations have differing missions, they share an overarching goal: to preserve and enhance the national treasure that is the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation meets a wide variety of Parkway needs every day. They collaborate closely with the Park and a Community of Stewards to ensure maximum flexibility and impact of each donor dollar whether donor interests are in education, environmental and resource protection, visitor facilities, or cultural heritage. www.brpfoundation.org
FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge Parkway is a unique group of members and volunteers who preserve, protect, celebrate, and enhance the Blue Ridge Parkway and its surrounding corridor for the benefit of its communities and future generations. Through education and public engagement in volunteerism, FRIENDS conserves the natural and cultural integrity of the Blue Ridge Parkway. www.friendsbrp.org
Eastern National operates bookstores at Parkway visitor centers. Bookstore proceeds support numerous education and research programs on the Parkway. Shop at non-profit stores in Parkway visitor centers to enjoy your visit more, support visitor center staffing, and generate cash donations to the Parkway. www.easternnational.org and www.eParks.com
The Carolina Mountain Club is an organization of Hikers and Trail Maintainers. The CMC Hikes and Maintain trails on the Parkway and trails that cross the Parkway from the Smokies to the Black Mountain Campground. carolinamountainclub.org
Conservation Trust for North Carolina and the Blue Ridge Land Conservancy Provide funds to preserve key tracts of land along the Parkway and seek private landowner support. www.ctnc.org and www.blueridgelandconservancy.org
Last updated: July 25, 2016