CASEY: As 2020 draws to a close, the Blue Ridge Parkway has lost a lot of ‘friends’ | Local News
“Essentially, [Labrie] told us that having two philanthropic partners was confusing, ”Wall told me. “This is its raison d’être.” Wells added that he found the reasoning confused. But what could Friends do?
Rather than disband, “we looked at other opportunities on how we can help communities,” Wells said.
One example is the move in 2021 of a summer concert series from Roanoke Mountain Campground to Explore Park, which is not owned by the federal government. (The next monthly gig, by the way, is July 18. The Blue Ridge Girls will start playing at 5 pm)
Another product of the split is something you may have seen an ad recently. These are special Blue Ridge Parkway license plates issued by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.
The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation – which already sells a license tag in North Carolina – has asked the Virginia DMV to sell a Blue Ridge Parkway tag in Virginia. Of course, some income would go to the foundation.
The problem is, there is already a Virginia beacon for the walk. It was created in 2012 by the Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway, which is now the Friends of the Blue Ridge.
As of mid-June, the DMV had issued 9,780 Friends-sponsored plates to vehicles registered in Virginia. You’ve probably seen them. They feature a winding road ascending to the top of a light blue mountain.