Legacy & History

FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge is a non-profit, volunteer and membership organization dedicated to protecting and preserving the Blue Ridge region.

Members financially support FRIENDS programs. FRIENDS chapters are community-based organizations that empower and coordinate volunteers, projects, and events in their local areas.

We extend our reach by working with local and regional government, common-minded nonprofits, clubs and other organizations.

We’re on a MISSION

To preserve, promote and enhance the outstanding natural beauty, ecological vitality, and cultural distinctiveness of the Blue Ridge region including surrounding scenic landscape, thereby preserving it for future generations.

Many People Share our Passion

We have over 1,500 members and nearly 750 volunteers supporting the work of FRIENDS.

FRIENDS Purpose

The purpose of FRIENDS is to protect, promote and enhance the Blue Ridge region, (defined as the geographic area extending approximately 25 miles to the east and 25 miles to the west of the Blue Ridge Parkway in both Virginia and North Carolina) through a collaborative public/private partnership focused on:

  • Conservation initiatives aimed at conserving the natural and cultural integrity of the Blue Ridge region, especially those areas adjacent to or in the vicinity of the Blue Ridge Parkway
  • Preservation and interpretation of historic sites and structures
  • Educational initiative targeted at the general public and those who visit and enjoy the Blue Ridge region
  • Community involvement aimed at re-investing the public in the wise integration of economic development and environmental protection at the local, state and national levels
  • Collaboration with other public and private entities intended to leverage the resources of FRIENDS for the benefit of the Blue Ridge region
  • Engagement of the public in volunteerism