Sunday, January 30, 2011

Ten years ago, the Bent Mountain Community created a Vision for 2010

As we move into 2011, we now are beginning
to realize a major element of that vision.

This is an adventure in progress.

The Bent Mountain Community has been struggling for the past year mourning the loss of the closed Elementary School that served as a strong center for this community since it was originally built in the 1920's. Many of the "Bent Mountain" people have been working hard and long to find a use for the facilities that would not require long term commitment of financial support from Roanoke County.

Seventy-five years ago, President Roosevelt's Civilian Conservation Corps and other federal agencies provided jobs to struggling people on Bent Mountain, cutting in and building fire trails including Honeysuckle Lane and the Big Laurel Creek Fire Trail. They also built the Blue Ridge Parkway helping us recover from the Great Depression.

Now as we embark into the Blue Ridge Parkway's 76th year, the Bent Mountain community has come together to form the 11th Chapter of Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Once again in a time of need, as we rise out of the Great Recession, the community is volunteering to provide services to the National Park Service in this time of shrinking federal budgets.

In recent years the Bent Mountain community has longed to develop a closer relationship with America's favorite scenic highway. Today, our nearly 2000 residents in the area see wonderful opportunities to serve parkway visitors and share our unique Blue Ridge mountain community via a scenic 2.4 mile drive to and from the Adney Gap entrance near MilePost 135. The abandoned Bent Mountain Elementary School will become a community center that may provide a space to provide the first off-parkway Visitor Center operated by a Friends of the Parkway Chapter.

(to be continued) :)