Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Blue Ridge Parkway and Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation Announce $700,000 Centennial Challenge Funding

The Blue Ridge Parkway is pleased to announce that $710,035 will be directed to addressing critical repairs along the 469-mile corridor. The Parkway and the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation are receiving these funds through the NPS Centennial Grant Program, which includes $26 million for restoration projects at national parks around the country, including $16 million from non-governmental partners. The Parkway projects will improve visitor services, support outreach to new audiences, and strengthen partnerships reinvigorating connections to park communities.

Parkway Superintendent Mark Woods describes this announcement as momentous. "These projects will not only help us reestablish high levels of public service in some areas with serious needs, they are a wonderful model for leveraging public and private funds to advance the Parkway in ways that would not be possible otherwise. Private, local support has been instrumental throughout the history of the National Park Service; it will continue to be critical to the future success of parks and their mission of protecting the country's natural and cultural resources for future generations."

Protecting the Parkway is an immense undertaking; fortunately the Blue Ridge Parkway has a strong tradition of partnerships and private support. Every dollar awarded to the Parkway as part of this Centennial initiative will be matched by private donations through the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation. Carolyn Ward, Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation CEO, states, "Our goal is to work hand-in-hand with the Parkway, providing financial support that ensures protection of resources and a high quality experience for visitors now and long into the future. Because of this matching opportunity, Parkway supporters can double the impact of every dollar they donate through the Foundation, up to the promised match amount." Funding for these projects is in addition to the Foundation's support of other critical projects in 2015, and brings the nonprofit's total impact on Parkway improvements to $1.25 million this year.

For a list and details on the 2015 Centennial Challenge projects on the Blue Ridge Parkway, please click here.

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