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Outdoors Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation allocates $500,000 for 2011 projects

The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation is the primary fundraiser and trusted steward of the Blue Ridge Parkway. In this current economic climate with shrinking Federal budgets, the Foundation rises to the occasion and provides more support for the Parkway than ever before, providing $500,000 in funding for needed projects and programs.

“The staff of the Parkway and I are very grateful to the Foundation for their very generous contribution to fund a variety of important needs that we have this year. Without their support, we would not be able to fund projects and programs that help us serve Parkway visitors, educate young people, and protect the Parkway for future generations,” said Phil Francis, Superintendent of the Parkway.

The Blue Ridge Parkway twists its way through some of the oldest and most diverse mountains in the world. As the most visited National Park Unit, it drew more than 16 million visitors last year. Although attracting visitors from all over the world, for those of us who live in and among its ridges, it is home. It is that sense of home, caring and mainly stewardship that drives countless members of our community to make a difference in safeguarding this American Treasure.

“Thousands across North Carolina purchase the Blue Ridge Parkway Specialty License Plate or make a donation to the Foundation, and thus it is the community of caring committed stewards that makes our support of the Parkway possible,” said Carolyn Ward, CEO of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation. “We would like to thank the community for all their support, and if you see someone with a Blue Ridge Parkway Specialty License Plate, thank them for protecting the Parkway.”

“The Board of Trustees of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation is pleased to have the opportunity to make these funds available to assist the Blue Ridge Parkway in serving its visitors. We are also most appreciative and thankful for the generosity of those who make it possible for us to provide this assistance,” said Harvey Durham, foundation chairman.

The approved projects for 2011 include:

• Continued funding of the Parks As Classrooms initiative for the 2011-2012 school year. Parks as Classrooms is the Blue Ridge Parkway’s outreach program to children, instilling values of Parkway protection to students in all 29 Virginia and North Carolina counties that border the Parkway.

• Relocation of the Park Communications Center. A 1,200 square foot communications center will be constructed at the Blue Ridge Parkway Headquarters in Asheville that will house the Parkway’s interagency dispatch operation.

• The “Roots of American Music Program”. Funding for the 2011 series of concerts at the Blue Ridge Music Center on the Parkway. Funding by the Foundation will allow 6 of the concerts to be free to the public.

• Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) Survey at Moses Cone Manor - This survey at the rear of the Moses Cone Manor House and within the area of the former bowling alley, croquet field, and tennis court will determine presence or absence, and state of preservation of any sub-surface remains of the former structures prior to implementing the Moses Cone Developed Area Management Plan (DAMP).

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