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News 13 Charity Challenge
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Friends of the Parkway

Updated: Monday, October 21 2013, 09:14 AM EDT
News 13 continues our Charity Challenge to help give back.

Last week we told you about Girls on the Run, the group empowers young girls by building confidence and getting them in shape at the same time.

This week we are spotlighting Friends of the Parkway.  The volunteers strive to keep our scenic by-way beautiful, when funding is tight.

"We like to use our tools.  We like to be together and leave the Parkway better than we got it."

But on this day, these friends stroll down a path, armed with shovels and rakes in hand, unable to use them.

Janet Moore, Friends of the Parkway volunteer,  "actually our organization had several projects they were going to be working on and because of the shutdown they are not able to do that."

The government shutdown, just one more obstacle, friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway has had to battle this year.  "There has really never been a bigger need for friends than now.  Between budget cuts and sequestration all of our nations parks have suffered."

The Parkway especially, because there is no admission fee.  "you'll find friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway cleaning trails, milepost markers, you'll have them at overlooks making them pretty for everybody to enjoy."

In August, Friends took on a more serious project, a crack that closed the Parkway for months.  Volunteers did hours of back-breaking work, cleaning 2100 feet of drainage ditches to keep rain runoff away from the road.

Gay Deamer, Friends of the Parkway volunteer,  "a lot of mud, plants, muck a lot of people out there with rakes and shovels."

Protecting and preserving one of our greatest assets for locals and tourists alike.  "And when you have a lot of visitors it's like when people come to your house, you have to do a lot of preparation before they come and cleanup when they leave."

So the Asheville chapter needs more volunteers and money.  "This money will enable them to buy the supplies they need to keep one of the most visited sections of the parkway looking beautiful."

Zibs Reiter, Friends of the Parkway volunteer,  "it takes a lot of work to maintain a garden, and this is a beautiful big garden."

To find out more about Friends of the Parkway, click here.

Go to the WLOS Facebook page to nominate a charity you think deserves to win $1,000 from our partner, Bryan Easler Toyota.Friends of the Parkway

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