Who We ARE

We’re the FOUNDATION.
And so are you.

As the primary private fundraising partner of the Blue Ridge Parkway, expectations of us run higher than the treetops. The National Park Service relies upon our commitment to fund programs and projects that enhance the visitor experience and have lasting value. With shrinking Federal funding, it’s more challenging than ever for them to maintain their high level of service. 

The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation is a non-profit 501(3)c organization founded in 1997 through a cooperative agreement with the National Park Service to provide private financial support for the Blue Ridge Parkway. We receive no annual Federal funding, and our budget greatly depends upon people like you who cherish the grandeur and legacy of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Parkway.

The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation is your passage to one of the most visited units in the National Park system. Join our community of stewards who want to create a solid future for the Blue Ridge Parkway and preserve it for future generations.

Share the journey with us.  Since 1997, we have provided over $2.7 million dollars for projects and programs that benefit the Parkway. Learn more about what we do.

Our Partners

Vehicles For Charity allows individuals to donate their vehicles to the charity of their choice instead of selling, trading or storing them. They accept cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats, recreational vehicles, and campers, and offer free pickup of the vehicle.  They also provide the donation documentation that is required for tax deductions.

The Western Virginia Land Trust works to preserve the region’s unique scenic, historic, agricultural, recreational, and natural features focusing efforts on the 10 Virginia counties of Bedford, Botetourt, Carroll, Craig, Floyd, Franklin, Henry, Montgomery, Patrick, and Roanoke. By educating landowners, elected officials, businesses, and the general public, WVLT encourages respect for the environment and arranges voluntary conservation easements that protect land forever. WVLT’s educational activities help landowners make informed decisions about how various land conservation options can affect their estate planning, taxes, and the future of their land. 

For more than 50 years the Blue Ridge Parkway Association, a group of travel businesses and chambers of commerce, has provided information about accommodations and visitor services along the entire Parkway corridor. Its annual Blue Ridge Parkway Directory, distributed free at Parkway visitor centers, contains the most extensive single listing of hotels, attractions, and other travel services in the region. 

Our People

Carolyn Ward

Chief Executive Officer

Carolyn Ward, Ph.D. serves as the CEO of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, the primary philanthropic partner to the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Willa loves to hike Parkway trails and engage people in protecting the natural resouces and history of the Parkway.

Willa Coffey Mays

Chief Development Officer

Willa has an MBA/ MHA and extensive experience in non-profit management.

Jason Urroz

Director, Kids In Parks

Jason came to the Foundation in 2008 to assist in running the Kids In Parks program for which he now serves as Project Director.