ROANOKE, Va. — The superintendent of the Blue Ridge Parkway is retiring after a four-year tenure that saw an increase in visitors and volunteerism along the scenic road.

The Roanoke Times reports ( ) Mark Woods will retire as parkway superintendent on July 3, ending a 37-year career with the National Park Service.

Woods joined the parkway at a chaotic time in 2013. Budget cuts had forced the closings of some campgrounds and picnic areas and then the federal government shut down, causing even more closings.

According to the newspaper, parkway visitation has risen every year since 2013 after years of decline. Last year saw the most visitors in six years.

Woods also worked closely with volunteer groups to recruit help with maintenance projects. Still, the parkway has a long list of unfunded projects.

Information from: The Roanoke Times,

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