Landscape Work

"It's a beautiful road, and in the Fall of the year, long about October, the leaves and colors and everything, it is beautiful."

Harvey Greene, 1996

The "natural landscape" surrounding the Blue Ridge Parkway was carefully created, as you can see on the Parkway Land Use Maps (PLUMS). The PLUMs show detailed notes for the scenery around the Parkway, with plans for the number, location and species of trees to surround the Parkway. They also name the number and acreage of open vistas, views woods, shrub bays, and grass bays. These planning maps clearly show how much human work was required to make the landscape look natural. One of the common effects of too much construction and logging over the years was erosion, the process by which the surface of the earth is worn away by water, glaciers, wind, waves etc. as seen in the photo titled General Ground Conditions. To repair damage like this, the surrounding lands needed a lot of landscaping work done, like the seeding and mulching done in Doughton Park. As a result of this careful landscape design, much of the area surrounding the parkway consists of peaceful, gently sloping vistas like the one in Landscape View off of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

"The landscape architects, I give them all the credit. They knew exactly what they wanted and they knew what would be a good view and what wasn't a good view. All I had to do was take their plans. From one end of the parkway to the other there is land use plan. That land use plan goes to the ranger in the field, the maintenance man in the field so that they can use that if they want to know anything about it... But unfortunately now, unfortunately, sometimes those rangers, sometimes those maintenance people, don't use those plans like they should."

William O. Hooper, 2001