Friday evening, July 6: Floyd General Store, Friday Night Jamboree – 6:30 pm, downtown Floyd
Saturday morning, July 7: Pancake Breakfast at Mabry Mill Restaurant, 8:30 am, Milepost 176.2
Saturday morning, July 7: Hike into Rock Castle Gorge, led by Ranger Mike Ryan, meeting at Rocky Knob Cabins at 9:30, hike completes around 12:30
Saturday afternoon, July 7: One actor play, They Call Me Aunt Orlene, beginning at 2:00 pm at the Puckett Cabin (milepost 190) on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Bring folding chairs or blanket.
Sunday morning, July 8: Hike to Buffalo Mountain (easy to moderate), led by Jack Price, meeting at 8:30 at the Rocky Knob Visitor Center, Milepost 169
All weekend: The Foundation will exhibit at the Wine Down Music Trail Festival, a celebration of fine wine, music, food and mountain crafts on the Blue Ridge Parkway, near the Villa Appalaccia and Chateau Morrisette Wineries!
Specialty Plate Takes to Two WheelsSave the Date
| ||North Carolina senators recently considered whether to approve a new specialty license plate for motorcycles. The Blue Ridge Parkway specialty license plate would be the first specialty plate issued for motorcycles and would benefit the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation in the same way that the current vehicle license plate has since 2004. More than 17,000 |
|automobile drivers have the specialty license plate on their vehicles now. However, the Blue Ridge Parkway is considered by many motorcyclists to be a premiere destination for motrocycle touring and the Foundation believes that the new tag would help promote stewardship of the Blue Ridge Parkway among its two-wheeled visitors. Watch for updates on the Foundation’s website.|
Share the Journey Special Collection Looks Ahead
Graveyard Fields Receives New Tread on Life
reminiscent of “above tree line environs” of the Rocky Mountains.
Above: Marshall Lovedahl and Randy Carpenter of the
Balsam Gap maintenance office examine progress on
the staircase Copyright Houck Medford/Blue Ridge Parkway Fdn.
|Graveyard Fields (Milepost 419), the second most popular location on the Blue Ridge Parkway, second to Mabry Mill in Virginia is Haywood County’s own jumping-off point to the Shining Rock Wilderness Area, the soothing waters of Yellowstone Prong (the headwaters of the Pigeon River), and a high-altitude vegetative environment |
High visitation levels have taken its toll on the delicate landscape. In an effort to direct where feet trod, the US Forest Service who owns and manages the land away from the Parkway’s 800 foot wide boundary, and the National Park Service as a partner have completed several thousand feet of boardwalk and stair cases in the last 10 years. The first initiative came in 1996 when the Pigeon River Fund awarded a grant to the National Park Service to build a staircase to the “Lower Falls”, the most favorite site location.
Erosion was a huge problem and the grant guidelines to control run-off were a perfect fit for the project. Earnest volunteers from Waynesville and neighboring communities completed the project in a series of six weekends.
Last year, the US Forest Service completed nearly a 1000 feet of boardwalk to direct the traffic away from fragile creek banks which were caving due to increasing foot traffic and a frequently swollen creek.
The last staircase is now being completed, thanks to the National Park Service, which will give a more comfortable conveyance from the end of the approach asphalt path to the creek bridge itself.
Convenience of access, however, increases visitor demand and to examine the issue and to propose solutions, the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, National Park Service, and US Forest Service with the pro bono assistance of LandDesign, a land planning firm in Asheville, will complete this summer an evaluation of issues and resources to make additional recommendations to insure the quality of the visitor experience.
Competitors Climb Highest Parkway Peak in the 32nd Assault on Mount Mitchell
Watch the top 20 competitors and highlights from the Assault on Mt. Mitchell here.
Copyright Volunteer/Bethel United Methodist Church
|For the 32nd year, riders rode to the top of Mount Mitchell in the national cycling event, Assault on Mount Mitchell, on Monday, June 11, 2007. Mount Mitchell (elevation 6,684 feet) on the Blue Ridge Parkway (Milepost 355.4) is the highest point east of the Mississippi River. |
Rocky Knob Project Moves Forward
Three years ago Congressman Rick Boucher (9th District- VA) formed the Rocky Knob Advisory Committee (RKAC) to advise him on appropriate development in the vicinity of Rocky Knob (Milepost 169) that would assist in promoting regional tourism efforts and economic growth. The Congress recently approved and provided over $1 million to conduct feasibility studies and support initial planning.
Now Virginia has approved the Articles of Incorporation establishing the Blue Ridge Heritage, Inc. (BRHI) as a non-profit that evolved from the all-volunteer RKAC which includes approximately fifty residents of Floyd and Patrick counties.
As a 501-c-3 organization, BRHI will function as the operating arm of the RKAC to develop recommendations for presentation to Boucher. Following approval and funding of these recommendations, BRHI will oversee their implementation and operation. The Board is advised by Rebecca Coleman from Congressman Boucher’s office and by Gary Johnson and Mindy DeCesar representing the National Park Service and the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Congress is considering tax incentives for voluntary land conservation
With 350 miles of trails, 900 scenic vistas, and more than 4,500 adjacent private property owners, the Blue Ridge Parkway is impacted greatly by decisions about the use of the pastures, woodlands and streams that are part of its landscape.
Congressman Robert Goodlatte [6th District – VA] has co-sponsored HR 1576 which would make permanent the current conservation tax incentives for landowners, which are set to expire Dec. 31, 2007. Conservation easements are generally on properties of over 100 acres whose protection represents a value to the community by protecting natural resources, scenic views, wildlife habitat, historic resources or agricultural lands. These incentives have been a boon for conservation in Virginia and across the country.
HR 1576 has been referred to the House Ways and Means Committee whose members include Congressman Eric Cantor [7th District – VA], another of the 70 co-sponsors of the legislation.
A parallel bill was introduced in the Senate earlier this year S.469, and both Virginia Senator John Warner and North Carolina Senator Elizabeth Dole have signed on as co-sponsors of that legislation. That bill has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee.
Find out what you can say to your legislators to encourage their support.
Citizens may get a vote on land and water conservation funding
In North Carolina, state legislators will vote in the next week or two to put increased funding for Land and Water Conservation on the next state ballot. The amount of the increase is $1 billion over 5 years, from $805 million to $1.8 billion. The bill that our legislators will vote on is to put increased funding for land and water conservation on the next ballot so that citizens can vote on it.
A wide range of over 240 organizations supports increased funding for Land and Water Conservation including The Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Carolina Mountain Club and Friends of the MST.
Land for Tomorrow is helping North Carolina citizens get their chance to vote on increasing funding to protect the state’s natural treasures.
Legislators depend on citizen input and they count the letters and emails that they receive. Phone calls are good also. Give examples from your state that illustrate your points.
**Take the time to thank the representatives and senators who are taking action on behalf of land and water conservation;
**Tell them that voluntary private land conservation is an important part of preserving America’s natural heritage for future generations;
**Tell them that protecting critical lands provides clean drinking water, clean air, thriving farms and forests, and preservation of your state’s natural and cultural heritage; and
**Tell them that investing in public lands provides places to hunt, fish and watch wildlife, places to hike and walk and places to enjoy the natural beauty of your state.
Please send an email, write a paper letter or call your legislators now.
Artisan Dana Abbe to Appear at Crabtree Meadows July 7 and 21
Explore the craft and jewelry world of this regional craftswoman at the Crabtree Meadows Visitor Center and Gift Shop – all day, both days!
Blue Ridge Music Center Summer Concert Series, Saturday evenings throughout the summer
The Blue Ridge Music Center at will continue its summer concert series with A Salute To Galax Musicians, Past and Present on Saturday, June 9. Th
is program will honor the rich musical heritage of Galax with performances by present day musicians and will offer a glimpse of some of the great players of the past.
“They Call Me Aunt Orlene” at the Puckett Cabin, MP 190 on Saturday July 7 at 2:00 p.m.
Southwest Virginia midwife Orlene Puckett has become a local legend. Living to over 100 years old, she is known for delivering over 1000 babies in the late 1800’s and early 1900s. However, none of the 24 children she bore herself ever lived for more than a few months. Actress Phyllis Stump will perform this one-woman show about Puckett’s life at the site of the midwife’s cabin. This is the fourth season for this popular presentation. For more information call the Rocky Knob Visitor Center at 540-745-9662.
“Scenic Overlook” at Blue Spiral 1 Gallery, in Asheville between August 30 and October 27
The group exhibition features works by more than 25 regional artists, paying homage to, inspired by and helping to protect the scenery and wildlife along the Blue Ridge Parkway’s 469 miles in Virginia and North Carolina. Displayed in geographical sequence, the exhibition includes paintings, photography, art quilts, and fine craft objects in glass, clay and wood.
“Visitors will be able to travel the Parkway through the artists’ eyes, milepost by milepost, on two of the gallery’s three floors,” said Jordan Ahlers, Blue Spiral 1 Gallery Director. Scenic Overlook: Blue Ridge Parkway is the third exhibition of its kind at Blue Spiral 1 (previous exhibitions were in 2001 and 2004). Ten percent of all exhibition sales will be donated to help protect land along the Parkway.
For more things to do on the Blue Ridge Parkway, please visit the Blue Ridge Parkway Guide.
Read the Latest News on our web site; you can read headlines, access the NPS Daily Report or download thelatest Scenic, the Journal of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation.
Contact a Foundation staff member if you have any questions about the Parkway, or if you are looking for a speaker for your group or gathering. The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation is eager to share its progress and vision with any audience.
Thanks for your interest!