By Jesse Wood
Country Boy Landscaping is in the middle of a two-week project to improve median landscaping along U.S. 321 near the Blue Ridge Parkway access in Blowing Rock.
Plantings for the beautification project include a variety of trees, including evergreens and dogwoods, a multitude of shrubs and seasonal flowers, according to NCDOT Division 11 Roadside Environmental Engineer Jason Joyce.
“The NCDOT combined with the Town of Blowing Rock to develop a plan and implement it on a seasonal basis. The town will assume maintenance responsibilities once all plants are in the ground,” Joyce said.
NCDOT spokesman David Uchiyama said he didn’t foresee any traffic delays or problems “except for those who slow down to enjoy the scene” throughout the current landscaping period.
Blowing Rock Town Manager Scott Fogleman first announced the project at a meeting with the Village Foundation in June. Fogleman noted that the median improvement project – between the town’s water plant and Edmisten Road – would cost about $110,000.
“They’ll effectively wipe that slate clean and put in a meandering planting, a mixture of local planting materials, and then sod the rest of it, so it will have a nice clean edge on it and have mulch in and around the planting,” Fogleman said. “Nestled within that as you come off the parkway, we envision and a ‘Welcome to Blowing Rock’ sign in that median as well.”
The U.S. 321 corridor near Edmisten Road has received quite a makeover in the past year with Appalachian Ski Mtn.’s visitor center that High Country Host will operate out of and Appalachian Regional Healthcare System’s Foley Center at Chestnut Ridge almost complete.