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Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation Celebrates Park Supporters at Reception in Roanoke

Guests gather to mark license plate release and discuss future plans for national park

The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation welcomed guests to celebrate the release of the new Blue Ridge Parkway license plate and discuss plans for improvements to the national park on March 21 at The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center.

The nonprofit’s CEO Carolyn Ward and Whitney Brown, Chair of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees, welcomed the audience to share their ideas for supporting the country’s most-visited national park.

“We are so fortunate that others who came before us had the foresight to protect the wilderness that would become our national parks,” Ward said. “We have the opportunity to take action now to determine how the Blue Ridge Parkway will look in another 100 years.”

Joyce Waugh, Ken McFadyen, and Becky Anderson converse during a reception hosted by the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation at The Hotel Roanoke.

Guests included members of the nonprofit’s board of trustees and council of advisors, James Houchins, Ken McFadyen, and Jim Newlin, Parkway supporters, legislators State Sen. Chris Head and Del. Joe McNamara, and representatives from the offices of Rep. Morgan Griffin, Sen. Mark Peake, and Del. Wendell Walker.

Brown expressed her excitement about the new Parkway tag, which raises funds to support the scenic route. “The N.C. Parkway plate raised half a million dollars last year, and I can’t wait to see the Virginia plate do the same,” she said.

Virginia drivers can now order the Blue Ridge Parkway specialty license plate online and request the plate at DMV offices. The tag is the only specialty plate in the commonwealth solely dedicated to funding projects and programs within the park.

A new Blue Ridge Parkway Virginia license plate bearing a personalized THANKU message

From each sale, $15 will go toward key improvements along the Parkway, including repairs at trails, campgrounds, and picnic areas. Funding will also support projects such as wildlife studies, historic preservation, and educational programs. More information is available at

The nonprofit’s current projects in Virginia include raising funds for a new shake roof at historic Mabry Mill, trail work at Humpback Rocks, and expanded programming at the Blue Ridge Music Center.

The Foundation is the nonprofit fundraising partner of the Blue Ridge Parkway, helping to ensure cultural and historical preservation, natural resource protection, educational outreach, and visitor enjoyment now and for future generations. Since 1997, the Foundation has provided more than $23 million in support for the country’s most visited national park unit. To learn more, visit

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