Help the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation: Drive a Donation to the 469 Challenge

End the year with one last philanthropic gesture and become one of 469 donors needed to “match the mileposts” on the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation.

For the second time in two years, the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation is nearing 2013 with a year’s end fund-raising initiative, the 469 Challenge. The effort is inspired by the number of miles on America’s most scenic road and seeks to net one donation for every mile. “The 469 Challenge is our way to show the Parkway what it means to us,” says Director of Development Christy Bell. “This campaign focuses on the act of giving, and gifts of any size will help us complete this challenge. This is a great opportunity for all Parkway neighbors and enthusiasts to get involved and really make a difference!”

In 2011, the Foundation raised 452 donations towards the 469 Challenge. As of December 5th, 2012, the Foundation had raised 233 donations towards the 2012 goal.

The Foundation paints a compelling picture for why they’re making an end-of-year effort to raise funds—in part by touting the Blue Ridge Parkway’s unique challenges.

“With more visitors every year than Yellowstone, Yosemite and the Grand Canyon combined—more than16 million a year,” the Foundation notes, “the Parkway is the most visited unit of the National Park Service. Yet the Parkway charges no entrance fees like these and other parks. Add that to declining federal budgets and the vast needs of an aging and expansive resource, and the Parkway is uniquely reliant on those who value the road to keep it functioning as a priceless destination treasured by millions.”

In the effort to complete the 469 Challenge, the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation is aiming its request for help at all the Parkway neighbors and enthusiasts with the message that the high road needs our help—for today and the future.

The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation is the primary fundraiser for the Parkway. Since its founding in 1997, the organization has worked in close cooperation with the National Park Service to meet the needs of the Parkway, providing over $3.4 million to fund projects that enhance and protect the natural, cultural, historic, and recreational qualities that make the Parkway an American treasure.

In 2012, the Foundation has funded projects at popular spots including Graveyard Fields near Asheville, the Heart Pond and Price Lake in Blowing Rock, and Abbott Lake at the Peaks of Otter near Roanoke. The Foundation also funds year-round initiatives like Parks as Classrooms, allowing interpretive rangers go into schools in Parkway communities to connect students to the natural world and the cultural heritage of the region in a way that is real and meaningful, making over 45,000 contacts with schoolchildren annually.

To donate or learn more about the Foundation’s efforts to safeguard the future of America’s Favorite Journey®. visit the organization online.