Grants from the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina and Progress Energy combined with funds from the Foundation were used by a curriculum specialist at Appalachian State University to develop a specialized curriculum for the Museum of NC Minerals (MP 331).
The Museum (MP 331) was subject to a nearly one million dollar renovation and expansion in 2002 with new exhibits and a much expanded mission and broadened interpretive goals. This was made possible by a partnership between the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, the National Park Service, and Mitchell County (NC).
For several years, the Foundation has provided support for the music programming at the Blue Ridge Music Center at MP 213. In 2013, the Foundation will take on a much larger role, funding, scheduling and running the concert series at the center.
The Blue Ridge Music Center's mission is to preserve, interpret, and celebrate the music and musicians of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Established by the U.S. Congress in 1985, the site includes an outdoor amphitheater and indoor interpretive center used to highlight an important strand of American musical culture, which is still alive and thriving in the region. You can find out more information about the Blue Ridge Music Center and the schedule of concerts at www.blueridgemusiccenter.com.
Introducing school children in 29 Virginia and North Carolina counties to the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Parks as Classrooms program is helping to build the next generation of Parkway stewards.The Foundation has provided annual operating support to this program conducted by the National Park Service since 1998.
Julia and Helen Smith of High Point, NC spent thousands of leisure hours from the 1950s through the 1980s documenting the flora and fauna of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Their collection of photographs and notebooks was given to the Park Service in 1996 by their brother, O. Norris Smith. The Foundation provided funds to preserve their collection of notebooks in 2008.
The Price Lake Trail is one of the most popular trails on the Parkway, despite its degraded and often muddy condition. The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation has committed $25,000 to work with the National Park Service, other partners and volunteers to rehabilitate this trail and enhance the outdoor experience for all park users. Nearly one mile of the existing accessible trail will be restored to meet accessibility standards. Volunteers will build a boardwalk across Laurel Creek, replacing existing planks and a substandard bridge.