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 Association: Promotes travel along the Parkway and provides print and electronic information to visitors about adjacent accommodations, attractions and communities. http://www.blueridgeparkway.org
Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation: Raises funds to support many Parkway programs and projects. Supports music performance and exhibits at the Blue Ridge Music Center. http://www.brpfoundation.org
FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge Parkway: Promotes volunteerism and leads tree plantings to screen adjacent development. http://www.blueridgefriends.org
Blue Ridge National Heritage Area: Helps operate the Parkway?s Visitor Center (Milepost 384) and promotes the preservation and enjoyment of western North Carolina?s cultural and natural heritage. http://www.blueridgeheritage.com
Eastern National: 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. http://www.easternnational.org
Carolina Mountain Club: Provide trail maintenance at the Parkway?s southern terminus. http://www.carolinamountainclub.org
Conservation Trust for North Carolina http://www.ctnc.org and the Western Virginia Land Trust http://www.westernvirginialandtrust.org Provide funds to preserve key tracts of land along the Parkway and seek private landowner support.
Southern Highland Craft Guild: Provides educational demonstrations, exhibits and sales of regional crafts. http://www.southernhighlandguild.org