04.14.08

Burr Calls For More Involvement In Our National Parks

New Destination Center expands opportunities for visitors of all ages to Blue Ridge Parkway

U.S. Senator Richard Burr today praised the opening of the new Blue Ridge Parkway Destination Center, highlighting the increased tourism it will generate in Western North Carolina. Burr also stated that the new center would help increase opportunities for kids to learn about the area and visit the parkway. He made the comments while attending the grand opening of the Blue Ridge Parkway Destination Center near Asheville.

"The Destination Center that we dedicate today is important for welcoming visitors of all ages to western North Carolina," Burr said. "By working together, the National Park Service and the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area can make this center a destination that begins a journey into the history, culture and natural environment of North Carolina."

"The Blue Ridge Parkway is in the early stages of starting a program called 'Healthy Children/Healthy Parks,'" Burr added. "Once up and running, the program will be funded entirely through donations. This is the type of program that is needed to get the young people of our country more involved in national parks."

The new Blue Ridge Parkway Destination Center will highlight Western North Carolina's natural treasures with exhibits and information about the culture and natural environment of the region along the Blue Ridge Parkway. It includes a large, high-tech interactive map of the entire parkway and a brand-new, high-definition theater that will provide films to help broaden a visitor's experience when driving through the parkway.

The Blue Ridge Parkway is a 469-mile road that spans from Shenandoah in Virginia to the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina. Each year, over 30 million visitors travel to Shenandoah, the Great Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge Parkway.

For more information, please visit the National Park Service's website for the Blue Ridge Parkway at: http://www.nps.gov/blri/.