ASHEVILLE — The National Park Service invites the public to participate in an upcoming, five-part virtual open house series presented by Blue Ridge Parkway staff during National Park Week 2021 from April 19-22, 2021.
The goal of the series is to raising awareness and understanding among Parkway communities, neighbors and visitors of the National Park Service’s stewardship mission.
National Park Service staff will introduce information at each session regarding park operations, upcoming projects and the park’s strategic priorities.
“We’re excited to host this Virtual Open House series, and I hope many of our Parkway neighbors and friends will join us to learn more about what we have planned for this year,” said Alexa Viets, Acting Superintendent at the Blue Ridge Parkway. “These events help us to stay connected to the public who share in the long- term stewardship of this great park.”
Event times and topics are as follows:
• Blue Ridge Parkway Orientation: Tuesday, April 20, at 11 a.m. This session follows the same agenda of the previous day’s session and provides attendees a brief introduction to the Blue Ridge Parkway and an opportunity to consider the complexity of managing this 469-mile linear park. Visit, https://go.nps.gov/GenSession2 to learn more and register for this event.
• Caring for the Corridor: Tuesday, April 20, at 5 p.m. The care and keeping of the Parkway’s most significant assets — the scenic road, the overlooks, the bridges, the tunnels — is an enormous task, one that requires careful planning and day to day management. This session features park experts sharing information about many of the ways that both park staff and the public can help care for this historic corridor. Visit https://go.nps.gov/CareforCorridor to learn more and register for this event.
• Inspiring Park Stewards: Wednesday, April 21, at 5 p.m. Telling park stories in the 21st Century means considering a shift from traditional models of visitor services, interpretation and education to meeting people where they are. Panelists at this event will share current and upcoming tools available to engage and inspire visitors of all ages. Visit https://go.nps.gov/InspireParkStewards to learn more and register for this event.
• Protecting Park Resources: Thursday, April 22, at 5 p.m. In addition to being among the most bio-diverse areas in the country, the Parkway also features a wide variety of cultural landscapes that reveal our relationship with place and strengthen our understanding of historic events, significant people and patterns in American history. Panelists for this session will present information about current natural and cultural resource projects in several areas of the park. Visit https://go.nps.gov/ProtectingResources to learn more and register for this event.
Produced in partnership with the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, the Virtual Open House sessions will be presented as Zoom webinars. Each event is designed to last no longer than one hour, with a dedicated question and answer session during each event. Members of the public are welcome to attend and can register for one or more sessions at the links above.
About the Blue Ridge Parkway:
The 469-mile Blue Ridge Parkway connects Shenandoah National Park to the north with Great Smoky Mountains National Park to the south. The route travels the crests, ridges and valleys of five major mountain ranges, encompassing several geographic and vegetative zones ranging from 600 to more than 6,000 feet above sea level.
The Blue Ridge Parkway provides visitors with many varied vistas of scenic Appalachian landscapes ranging from forested ridgetops and mountain slopes to rural farm lands and urban areas. The parkway offers a “ride-a-while, stop-a-while” experience that includes scenic pullouts, recreation areas, historic sites, and visitor contact stations. It is known nationally and internationally for its designed landscape as a scenic motorway. For more information, visit www.nps.gov/blri.