More Than Scenery: Viewshed Protection
That we respond viscerally to the view before our eyes is certain. And so there are places we chose to go where what we will see can calm our souls in a world that in too many instances is a “bad scene”.
The Blue Ridge Parkway is one such place, and millions of visitors make this aesthetic choice each year. And more and more, when they drive through the Roanoke section of the Parkway, they see that green corridor encroached by man-made structures built to the very edge of the thin boundary of pasture or woods that separates these two worlds.
And they may feel a sinking feeling deep in the pit of their stomachs. A favorite place, once set apart for a different kind of view of the world, is beginning to look like every other common road.
To many, it is appalling that such visual intrusion was not prevented before it ever happened. But there it is: a row of two story homes along a half mile stretch at Milepost 125.5 west of Roanoke. There is talk of a Wal-Mart being built adjacent to the Parkway near Roanoke–unless enough voices are heard to protest it.
Yesterday, the Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway sponsored a viewshed tree planting to grow a new forest boundary along this short stretch of roadway, and even under the threat of rain on a chilly April day, dozens turned out to help, including these 25 students from nearby Roanoke College.
If you care about what you see along the Parkway, now is the time to make a difference.