Find your journey. Then help protect it.

May 2017 - In this Issue of The Scenic:
Sharp Top Shelter at milepost 86 is slated for rehab.

We've got big plans
for the Blue Ridge Parkway!

We want each year on the Blue Ridge Parkway to be better than the last. That's why we work closely with the National Park Service to determine where the Parkway can most use our help to make the journey even more memorable for you and millions of visitors. We've just announced our new initiatives for 2017! In our 20th year as the primary fundraising partner of the Blue Ridge Parkway, we are excited to tackle projects large and small all along the route. Your gifts will determine what we can accomplish.  Here is just one of the projects ahead:

Sharp Top Shelter interior
Rehab at Sharp Top Shelter
The little stone building nestled in rock at the pinnacle of Sharp Top Mountain has provided hikers refuge for generations. Sharp Top Shelter was built in 1858 by the Otter Peaks Hotel to provide rustic overnight lodging for guests willing to make the challenging hike to the summit. Today, the shelter is damaged due to weather exposure and vandalism. With your support, we will restore the structure so it can continue to host interpretive programs and provide a safe haven for trekkers during inclement weather. 

Vote for Kids in Parks!

Our Kids in Parks program is in the running for a portion of a $100,000 gift from Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina! The gift will be split among five nonprofit organizations. The percentage KIP receives depends on the number of votes the program receives on Twitter and Instagram between May 25 and June 16. To vote, tweet or post to Instagram using the hashtag #VoteKIPNC and tag @BCBSNC (you must do both). It's an easy way to boost KIP's initiatives to get kids unplugged and outdoors enjoying nature!
Favorite Spaces

" My favorite view on the Blue Ridge Parkway is the Thunder Hill Overlook. My grandparents lived on the Parkway near milepost 290. My grandfather often said he had the prettiest view on the Parkway from his own yard. 
My grandparents have passed away now, but I can share their view with my son. Thanks to the work of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation and the National Park Service, my grandfather's cherished view will be protected for future generations." 
- Jordan Calaway

By sharing the story behind your favorite places on the Parkway, you help us spread the word about its importance. Click here to tell us your Parkway story
Calling All Auction Items!
Denim Ball Auction

We're hosting The Denim Ball, our annual fundraiser for Moses H. Cone  Memorial Park 
on Friday, August 4, at Chetola Resort at Blowing Rock, and you can help us get ready for the big night by d onating to our silent auction. We love to feature art, jewelry, vacation packages, gift certificates, antiques, and more for bidding to raise money for the estate. Businesses and individuals who donate to the auction will be acknowledged in the evening's program. To donate, contact Mandy Gee at or (866) 308-2773, ext. 364. 

For event tickets, click here.

Photo by Vicki Dameron

As the Foundation celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, we're reflecting on the projects you've made possible. In the spotlight this month is the preservation of the Smith sister's notebooks. 

Wildflowers continue to frame the road along the Blue Ridge Parkway thanks to two sisters. Julia and Helen Smith spent thousands of hours from the 1950s to the 1980s documenting the flora and fauna of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The sisters lobbied for 15 years to keep the wildflowers along the roadways and won their battle in the early 1980s, when the National Park Service adjusted its cutting policy. To see their collection of photographs and notebooks, be sure to visit the Peaks of Otter Visitor Center, milepost 85.6. The Foundation funded the preservation of the collection in 2008. 
Road to the Past

It's time to go exploring on the Blue Ridge Parkway! Two more attractions are about to open for the season: Rocky Knob Visitor Center welcomes travelers on Friday, May 26 ( Friday-Monday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.), and Humpback Rocks Farm opens, Monday, May 29 ( Friday-Tuesday, 10 a.m.-noon and 1-5 p.m.).  

Visit  Driving Through Time: The Digital Blue Ridge Parkway for historic images, maps, and more.

Leave a Legacy on the Blue Ridge Parkway
Andre Michaux Logo

By naming the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation as a beneficiary of your IRA, a life insurance policy, or in your will, you create an enduring legacy that protects this special place for generations to come.

With a planned gift, you also become a member of The André Michaux Society, which honors the French botanist and explorer who enlightened others about the natural wonders of our mountains. For more information, call Ashley Edwards at (866) 308-2773, ext. 170, or e-mail
Let the Mountain Music Begin!

The Steel Wheels open the Roots of American Music series
The Steel Wheels and Dan River Girls are kicking off the Roots of American Music Summer Concert Series at 7 p.m., Saturday, May 27, at the Blue Ridge Music Center. The series features 15 shows that highlight the traditions of mountain music, including old-time, bluegrass, gospel, and more. 

The Foundation proudly supports programming at the venue at milepost 213 to preserve the cultural and musical heritage of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Here are helpful links to help you enjoy the summer series.

Order your North Carolina specialty license tag and help the Parkway.  For each attractive Blue Ridge Parkway license plate sold, $20 funds important projects on the scenic route. 
Get yours today!

Join our Community of Stewards                           


As the primary fundraiser and trusted steward of the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Foundation is forever committed to preserving the past, enhancing the present, and safeguarding the future of America's Favorite Journey™. Learn more about joining our Community of Stewards at

Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation
717 S. Marshall St., Suite 105B
Winston-Salem, NC 27101-5865
(866) 308-2773