Friends of the Blue Ridge shifted their focus away from the Parkway last year. Now they are doing projects in adjacent localities, like fundraising for playgrounds. With the story, WFIR’s Caroline Moore.

Over the last 12 months:
  • We held a free summer concert series at Explore Park in Roanoke, featuring a host of popular and up-and-coming Appalachian musicians, and look forward to hosting three new concerts this year on April 9, July 16 and Sept. 17.
  • We partnered with other Blue Ridge organizations to feature their mission, such as the Junior Appalachian Musicians (aka JAM), which we presented in an hour-long show in May on Blue Ridge PBS.
  • We launched a $40,000 campaign to finish the funding of three community playgrounds: the Blue Ridge Children’s Museum in Waynesboro; the Britni Discovery Park in Hillsville; and a nature-themed playground at Explore Park. And we’re helping a Hillsville organization with the restoration of the historic Sidna Allen House.
  • We volunteered at the Blue Ridge Marathon and the Carilion Clinic IRONMAN 70.3 Virginia’s Blue Ridge, helping ensure the safety of the thousands of athletes visiting our region to compete.
  • We sponsored and promoted a variety of community events such as the Smoke on the Mountain BBQ festival in Galax and the Brushy Mountain Apple Festival in Wilkesboro, NC.
  • We redesigned our Virginia license plate to more accurately reflect our broader mission and vision and look forward to presenting it soon.
  • And many of our volunteers continued to support the Blue Ridge Parkway through the National Park Service’s Volunteers-In-Parks (VIP) program. We will always value our history with the Parkway and continue to find ways to support this national treasure.

Visit “Friends” website here