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Contact: Julena Campbell, 304-465-6523
Contact: Anna Ziegler, 304-660-6144
The Turkey Spur overlook has been a local favorite for years, offering stunning views 1,000 feet above the New River. The NPS made significant improvements to the overlook’s boardwalk and steps in 2015, only to have them burned a few months later. The Turkey Spur Fire started as arson and quickly spread, burning 35 acres of hardwood forest. The fire wiped out much of the newly improved overlook, leaving charred remnants of the agency’s hard work.
Responding to the local interest in reopening this popular spot, Friends took on a large fundraising effort to supply enough funding to rebuild the burned portion of the overlook. In just four months, Friends raised over $20,000 for the rebuild, with significant support from the Carter Family Foundation, Beckley Area Foundation, Robert and Margaret Sayre Fund, and local community residents. Additional support was provided by volunteer groups, who reduced the overall labor expenses by completing the project’s demolition phase and staging materials onsite.
On Friday, June 30, 2017, an opening ceremony was held to thank donors and to officially reopen the overlook to the public. “We are so grateful for the significant contribution of both funds and labor from our Friends group, as well as from many community members and businesses,” said park superintendent Lizzie Watts. “The fundraising goals were lofty, and for a newly revitalized group to work so quickly and to harness community support so effectively, was particularly impressive. We truly appreciate all of the support shown by so many in getting this beloved spot reopened this summer.”
Friends of New River Gorge National River, Inc. is a 501c3 charitable organization that provides valuable support to all three national parks of southern West Virginia. Memberships are accepted at four levels. To learn more about Friends or to become a member, visit www.friendsofnrgnr.org. To learn more about New River Gorge National River, visit www.nps.gov/neri.
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More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 417 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at www.nps.gov, on Facebook www.facebook.com/nationalparkservice, Twitter www.twitter.com/natlparkservice, and YouTube www.youtube.com/nationalparkservice.