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July 23, 2014

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Work progresses on Heart Pond on the Cone Manor Estate on the Blue Ridge Parkway last year. Photo by Jeff Eason

Originally published: 2014-05-01 10:25:07
Last modified: 2014-05-01 11:25:49

Parkway Foundation targets projects

By Jeff Eason

The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, a non-profit entity dedicated to helping the National Park Service with maintenance and education projects on the scenic roadway, this week announced its list of approved projects for 2014.
Approved by the BRPF Board of Trustees, the list has a projected price tag of $700,000.
"These projects will safeguard the wildlife and the environment of the parkway, preserve its historical features, cultivate an appreciation of nature through education and ensure recreational areas are welcoming and safe for all visitors," foundation officials said.
The foundation funds these projects through income from the sale of N.C. Blue Ridge Parkway specialty license plates, individual gifts and grants.
"We have given careful consideration to the projects that would best protect this special resource and serve both its visitors and neighbors," said Carolyn Ward, CEO of the foundation.
"We look forward to working with parkway fans from near and far to make these projects a reality. We hope that all those who love the parkway will join our community of stewards to help protect our parkway for future generations."
The foundation's 2014 funding priorities include:
* Restoration of the Waterwheel Site at Mabry Mill (Milepost 177).
* Repair and maintenance of the Price Park Loop Trail at Julian Price Memorial Park (Milepost 297).
* Expansion of Linville Falls Overlook for Interpretation of Significant Geologic Features (Milepost 316).
* Graveyard Fields Enhancement Project (Milepost 418).
* Stone Water Foundation Reconstruction (park wide).
* Preventing the spread of white-nose syndrome threatening parkway bat populations (park wide).
* Emergency Medical Services/First Responder Continuing Education Classes for Parkway Personnel (park wide).
* Ecological Restoration of High-Priority Wetlands (park wide).
* Visitor Maps and Guides (park wide).
Last year the foundation provided funds for the restoration of the Heart Pond at Bass Lake in Blowing Rock.
"The parkway reflects and highlights the cultural and natural heritage of this entire region of the country, and the responsibilities and challenges of protecting this vast resource are tremendous, said Mark Woods, superintendent of the parkway. "We are excited to continue our relationship with the foundation and its community of stewards to help safeguard this vital resource for current and future generations."

For more information and stories, see The Blowing Rocket.

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