Project Numbers on the Blue Ridge Parkway. PDF. https://cdn.lib.unc.edu/blue-ridge-parkway/static/images/construction_chronology.pdf. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina. http://docsouth.unc.edu/blueridgeparkway/about/about_parkway/timeline/. Accessed September 28, 2017.
What a day! The link above is to a source that I’ve been using to put together a My Map with the sections of the Parkway and when they were opened. I’m unsure how to cite it because I found it on the DocSouth website but they didn’t have a citation either and I can’t seem to find the document by searching the web anywhere (EDIT: Through much discussion and deliberation I have figured out how to cite the source). The document details stretches of the parkway and when construction on them began, as well as when they were opened to the public.
However, this document is not what I want to focus on today. I visited the Headquarters of the Blue Ridge Parkway today to meet with Jackie Holt, the Museum Curator for the Parkway. She was beyond enthusiastic about our project and introduced me to several people in the office including the folks who manage community outreach, tourism, all the Parkway’s social media accounts. Everyone there was excited and incredibly helpful when it came to our topic. I have pages of notes from the meeting as well as a flash drive full of documents to look through and several Park documents like their General Management Plan and Founding Document.
One of the things that we discussed while I was there that I found to be of particular interest was what brought the actual employees to work at the Parkway. Many of the people I spoke with today told me that they had bounced from Park to Park and when they landed at the Parkway they loved it so much that they didn’t want to leave. This opened up an avenue that could lead us to having oral histories included in this project. Jackie and I talked about the possibility of talking to retired National Parks Service employees who had worked on the Parkway and decided to stick around in the area after their retirement. The ideas and opinions brought up today made me realize that we really need to nail down what our geographic location will be for this project –the Parkway is huge! Western North Carolina is also quite large! On a similar note, I really need to study a map of both places so my head spins a bit less when the conversation turns to counties and cities.
Overall the meeting today was the kick in the butt I needed to get on top of research and start critically thinking about how our project is going to look and what kind of impact it will have. I look forward to working closely with the folks at the headquarters and digging through the documents they provided to find trends that will aid our project.