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Overgrown vistas along Blue Ridge Parkway cleared

The "Renew the Views" project aims to balance the original, scenic design intent of the Blue Ridge Parkway and preservation of its natural resources. (Photo credit: National Park Service)

A project along the Blue Ridge Parkway is giving the popular scenic drive a makeover.

For the first time since the parkway was constructed in the 1930s, overgrown vistas have been pruned.

The "Renew the Views" project aims to balance the original, scenic design intent of the Blue Ridge Parkway with preservation of its natural resources.

The project was completed on Sunday, but visitors will have to wait to see the newly restored views as wintry weather forced officials to close the parkway on Monday.

"Yesterday, I got a chance -- right before the snow started -- I got a chance to go up the mountain, and most of those areas are very clear, and it's really beautiful," parkway visitor Greg Lacey said. "So, if that's what they've been doing, I feel like that's what they should continue to do."

The Blue Ridge Parkway is the most visited national park in the country, drawing more than 16 million visitors in 2017.

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