Blue Ridge Parkway 75, Inc., the organization tasked with planning and producing the various projects related to the Parkway’s 75th Anniversary in 2010, has launched the official 75th Anniversary Web site – blueridgeparkway75.org. The Blue Ridge Parkway’s vision for the Anniversary is to engage local communities and the nation in efforts to sustain a healthy Parkway for future generations by celebrating 75 years of history, Appalachian culture, and spectacular scenic views. NewCity, a Blacksburg-based Web design firm, worked closely with staff and a team of Board members to identify the elements that would most effectively capture the Parkway’s brand. The end result is a site that successfully merges this shared vision with 21st century technology by offering easy-to-use navigation alongside a visually rich design that highlights scenic and historic Parkway photography, regional information, and current Parkway issues. The site’s top-tier pages – More Than a Road, Get Involved, and Events – align closely with the mission and goals of the Anniversary.
“We’re excited about unveiling the new Web site,” said Dan Brown, president of Blue Ridge Parkway 75, Inc. “We see this site as a strategic communication tool that can help promote the Blue Ridge Parkway region, spotlight the unique communities along its corridor, and provide visitors with ‘calls to action’ to address the health and well-being of the Parkway now and for the next 75 years.” One of the most prominent features of the new site is the ability to explore Parkway communities in a dynamic Google Maps platform. The feature presents the first-of-its-kind comprehensive approach to the Parkway and the region through which it passes. Users can also explore events during the Anniversary year in 2010, learn about challenging issues facing the Parkway, and identify ways they can support or be involved.
In addition, the Web site provides links to popular social media – Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr – where the Parkway’s 75th Anniversary has a strong and growing presence. Visitors to the site can subscribe to the 75th Anniversary’s e-Newsletter, donate funds for the project, visit a variety of Parkway partner organizations, and shop for commemorative 75th Anniversary merchandise.
The Parkway and its neighboring communities are inherently tied together by common boundaries, economics, and shared history as evidenced by the 16 million annual visitors and $2.3 billion economic impact in North Carolina and Virginia. Partnerships with adjacent communities are essential for long-term success and are an integral feature of the new Web site. “The symbiotic relationship between the Parkway and gateway communities is strong and will become stronger through the 75th Anniversary. Many people see local communities as a gateway to the Parkway,” Parkway Superintendent Phil Francis stated. “We often think of the Parkway as a gateway to unique local communities and authentic experiences.”