newspreorders available for new blue ridge parkway license plate

Preorders available for new Blue Ridge Parkway specialty license plate

Abbott Lake credit Vicki Dameron
Abbott Lake at Peaks of Otter. Photo: Vicki Dameron

The Virginia General Assembly approved the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation’s specialty license plate Friday.

Proceeds from the sale of the license plate will go toward enhancements and improvements of the most visited national park in the United States.

The foundation exceeded the 450 preorders necessary to secure approval of the license plate. The new license plate will be the only specialty plate in Virginia dedicated to funding projects and programs on the Parkway.

“We are so grateful to all the Virginians who placed a preorder for the plate and helped us create a new source of support for the national park in their backyard,” CEO of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation Carolyn Ward.

The Blue Ridge Parkway welcome more than 15.7 million visitors last year, and does not charge an admission fee. The new license plate was supported across the region, from Augusta County to the Roanoke Regional Chamber to Patrick County.

“The Parkway is a significant economic driver for Southwest Virginia. Additionally, the work of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation has had a tremendous impact in both Virginia and North Carolina, and this license plate project will help the Foundation support projects and programs on the Parkway for years to come,” Kimberly Davis, executive director of the Friends of Southwest Virginia, wrote in a letter of support for the license plate.

The plate fee is $25, $15 of which will toward key improvements on the Parkway such as trail repairs, campgrounds and picnic areas. Funding will also support projects such as wildlife studies, historic preservation and educational programs. Personalized plates are available for $35 each.

The new plate is available for vehicles and motorcycles. Preorders will be accepted online through Friday, March 31. Plate production is estimated to take a few months, so plates will be available probably in July or August 2023.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.