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Public Invited to Regional Meetings for Blue Ridge Rising Action Plan

The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation is announcing a series of meetings in August to help formulate an action plan for Blue Ridge Rising, the regional planning effort that is uniting the gateway communities of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Members of the public are encouraged to register for and attend any of the seven meetings hosted in North Carolina and Virginia.

Blue Ridge Rising marks the first time in the Parkway’s 87-year history that all 29 Parkway-adjacent counties in North Carolina and Virginia are engaging together to determine strategies that have wide-ranging benefits for the region’s communities. The initiative is organized by the Foundation, with primary funding provided by the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

“We are very grateful to more than 400 people who attended the initial round of 30 local meetings and shared their thoughts and visions for the future,” said Carolyn Ward, chief executive officer of the Foundation. “Every community offered innovative ideas for regional unity and growth.”

The Foundation will host seven regional meetings from August 1-17 for community members to help select the top priority strategies for action. “It’s vital that we have widespread input to ensure that the action plan represents the needs of all Parkway communities,” Ward said.

Blue Ridge Rising regional meetings are scheduled for:

·        3-5 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 1, Meadowbrook Inn, Blowing Rock, N.C.

·        3-5 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 2, Morganton Community House, Morganton, N.C.

·        3-5 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 3, The Barn at Edwards Farm, Galax, Va.

·        3-5 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 8, Hampton Inn, Lexington, Va.

·        3-5 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 9, Hilton Garden Inn, Roanoke, Va.

·        3-5 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 15, Lake Junaluska, Waynesville, N.C.

·        3-5 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 17, The Collider, Asheville, N.C.

Visit to register to attend. The meetings are drop-in style, so people can come at any time during the two-hour window. The Foundation also invites participants to stay after each meeting for an optional social hour to meet other community leaders in the region.

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