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This profile was last updated on 9/14/13  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

Chief of Planning and Professiona...

Phone: (828) ***-****  HQ Phone
Virtual Blue Ridge
PO Box 2325
Boone, North Carolina 28607
United States

Company Description: Virtual Blue Ridge is the premiere online resource for information about the Blue Ridge Parkway with an extensive travel planner aimed at taking the effort out of...   more

Employment History


  • BLA , Landscape Architecture
    Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • BS , Sociology
    Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
108 Total References
Web References
Reconstruction of Goshen Creek Bridge - Parkway Milepost 286.3, 14 Sept 2013 [cached]
"There is no other bridge like it on the Blue Ridge Parkway," lamented Gary Johnson, Chief of Planning and Professional Services for the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Gary ..., 5 April 2012 [cached]
Gary Johnson Blue Ridge Parkway 75
Blue Ridge Parkway 75th Anniversary - 1935-2010
Gary Johnson
Gary Johnson Chief of Resource Planning Blue Ridge Parkway
For the past 16 years, Gary Johnson has been Chief of the Resource Planning and Professional Services Division, Blue Ridge Parkway. Gary, a landscape architect and planner, heads a division staff of 13, including branch chief, land resources specialist, cultural and natural resource management specialists, park curator, resident landscape architect, community planner, and a computer aided draftsman. This group of professionals is responsible for all of the pre-implementation planning and compliance and resource management activities on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Prior to his current position, Gary served for 18 years in field assignments in the southeastern United States and in the Denver Service Center as a project manager/landscape architect and section chief on major planning, design, and construction projects in some 50 National Park Service units. From 1988 to 1994 he supervised a group of Denver Service Center planners responsible for planning NPS areas in Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, and the western United States. Project clients have included numerous NPS managers and non-profit organizations with an interest in resource protection and visitor use management. In addition to directing projects, Gary has published and lectured on the subjects of visual quality, corridor resource assessments, cultural landscapes, historic landscape integrity, interpretation planning, goal-driven and strategic planning, and tourism planning.
Gary is a graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, where he received a BS in Sociology in 1969 and a BLA in Landscape Architecture in 1976.
Gary Johnson, the chief ..., 1 Mar 2010 [cached]
Gary Johnson, the chief resource ranger at the Blue Ridge Parkway, often consults those maps-850 sheets in all-as the guiding management vision.
"It is a landscape that is very labor intensive," Johnson said.
Gary Johnson, the chief of resource management on the Parkway, is often torn between stop-gap measures versus more costly but permanent repairs. When a stone wall starts to crumble, he can slap some mortar in the holes and stuff the falling rocks back in place. But in the long run, the wall needs to be rebuilt on a better foundation.
A batch of federal stimulus money is allowing the Parkway to rebuild 31,000 feet of rock wall this year, which posed its own dilemma: balancing the historic character of the stone walls with a modern safety design. At two-feet-high, the rock walls aren't terribly effective as guard rails, but Johnson is debating how high to make them without compromising their charm. The other question is whether to use traditional, dry-stack techniques versus super-strength mortar.
Park managers have learned to balance aesthetics with safety. For example, the historic wooden guardrails along the Parkway are reinforced by steel banding on the back but are not visible from the road.
When Johnson came to the Parkway in 1994 as its chief landscape architect, he was humbled by the footsteps he followed in. Nothing is taken lightly, he said.
Johnson said.
Gary Johnson Ranger - ..., 29 Jan 2014 [cached]
Gary Johnson Ranger - Camp Kettle Run Phone: 856.816.8658
sharingVillage In The News, 27 Feb 2012 [cached]
When a request went out to the equestrian community from the sharingVillage Driving for Surviving group to help find a pony for a young man named Gary, Dover joined forces with the American Shetland Pony Club and American Miniature Horse Registry (ASPC/AMHR) and found the perfect match.
Dover used his voice by writing on his popular website about Gary and his quest for a driving pony.
"Every once in a while someone comes into your life and reminds you of just how all of us were meant to be - loving, caring, giving, compassionate, resilient and forgiving," Robert wrote about Gary.
Dover shared the story that Gary had lost his most recent pony to Cushing's disease, a pony named Boxcar Willy that Jim and Robin Fairclogh had donated to the program.
In short order the ASPC/AMHR stepped up to help, donating a 13-year-old bay and white pinto Shetland gelding named Kid Rocket Ranger to Gary. Ranger already knew how to ride and drive and had been High Point pinto pony for his area in halter and driving.
"Robert conducted his own national and international campaign to find the right pony or mini for Gary.
Thanks to the generosity of the ASPC/AMHR, and the dedication of Dover, Gary and Ranger are now a team and getting to know each other.
"The first day was smiles and a tentative approach as Gary was concerned Ranger would be afraid of his crutches.
Gary and his new American Shetland Pony Ranger have become a great team and Gary is looking forward to driving and competing Ranger.
joined forces to find the perfect driving pony for Gary, a cancer survivor who is a member of Driving for Surviving, a Pediatric Equestrian Carriage Driving Program for Life, in New Jersey.
Thanksgiving had a special meaning for Gary Johnson of Orange this year. When a petite pinto named Ranger came his way this month, the 17-year-old cancer survivor finally got the special animal he'd been waiting for since January.
"I was able to communicate with him very easily," said Johnson, noting the fact that he uses crutches didn't faze Ranger.
Johnson got a whole new perspective on life from the seat of a carriage after he took up driving under the auspices of the sharingVillage Driving for Surviving program for children who have suffered from cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
His heart was broken last winter after Boxcar Willie, the pony with which he'd had show ring success, had to be put down when he got Cushing's Disease.
He took a lot of time from his own business to help me out," said Johnson.
"I'm thankful for everything that has come to me. Right now, I'm kind of in remission," added Johnson, who no longer has to undergo painful spinal taps.
For Dover, the new Canadian dressage coach, an introduction to Johnson in June was a life-changing experience.
Johnson can only watch that process, noting, "it's hard for me to balance, I won't be able to do that.'' But once he's in the carriage, he said, "I'm ready to go. ***
Johnson, one of the students at the Driving for Surviving program part of the SharingVillage Cancer Survivor Group in Far Hills New Jersey was to have performed during the event, but the relentless rain caused the program to be cancelled. "That is when Gary and the program director Shelley Zlotkin came into the tent for a visit, and asked if we could help him find a pony," said Phelps.
Gary, who is also a recipient of funds from the Equestrian Aid Foundation, got a huge boost when Robert Dover published Gary's story on Gary had lost his other pony to Cushing's disease, and was unable to participate in the programs held daily at the beautiful facility dedicated to the program.
"I knew Johnny Robb, media director of the American Shetland Club was on the hunt and trying ponies, but time was running out for Gary to begin practicing for their upcoming event to be held at Gladstone, October 11.
Gary, who has Cerebral Palsy and is also a cancer survivor, was ready and waiting.
As soon as Gary picked up the lines it was as if they had been a team forever. "Gary has a natural talent, and Buddy softened to him right away.
I knew there was nothing to worry about, for either Gary or my pony!
Next week I am bringing him to New Jersey to donate his services for then next two months to Gary Johnson, an amazing young man I met during the National Dressage Championships at Gladstone who was featured on Gary is a part of a wonderful program called Driving for Surviving at He has Cerebral Palsey, and the driving pony he had so much success with sadly had to be put down.
Gary Johnson of East Orange takes a mini-horse for a spin during a practice session with Driving for Surviving.
Like many 16-year-olds, Gary Johnson of East Orange has a preoccupation with driving. But the Essex County Vo-Tech senior's fixation doesn't involve getting his license.
Johnson's kind of driving is done in a carriage behind a mini-horse or pony, and it has changed his life. As he deals with cancer and cerebral palsy, involvement in the sport has both brightened and broadened his horizon. He participates with the sharingVillage Driving for Surviving pediatric equestrian program several times each week at a Bedminster stable, when he can put his crutches aside and be just another horseman.
Focusing on driving has helped him deal with recurring medical procedures, including chemotherapy and spinal taps. He explained, "I wasn't so stressed. When I come here, my mind is clear; I'm not thinking about problems I have elsewhere. I'm focused on one thing and I don't have to focus on other things.''
An orphan who lives with his aunt, Gary came to the attention of East Orange school nurse Mary DeStefano several years ago. When she went to a polo match and ran into Shelley Zlotkin, one of the founders of Driving for Surviving, and then watched the organization's young drivers give a demonstration, DeStefano thought it would be a perfect opportunity for Gary.
He was willing to give it a try, but he wasn't certain how it would turn out.
Driving for Surviving continues to offer opportunities to Johnson, who also works as an intern at the sharingVillage office in Peapack.
There are a number of high-profile horse people trying to help Johnson.
Johnson and other Driving for Surviving members, meanwhile, are taught by former top driver Sharon Chesson.
Paula Duva, a volunteer from Mendham, was watching the other day when Johnson was working with coachman Will Hick, who is employed by Driving for Surviving board of managers member Teri Piancone and her husband, Lou Piancone, of Bedminster.
Handling the reins was 16 year old Gary Johnson, one of the four Driver-Survivors representing sharingVillage Groups. Gary projected confidence as he cruised around the imposing Grand Prix jumps with Sammy, a 13-year old brown and white pinto gelding that appeared even smaller alongside the imposing six foot jumps.
Gary Johnson, 15, of East Orange, NJ carried a special passenger in his carriage. Beezie Madden, a member of the United States Equestrian Show Jumping Team who will be representing the U.S. in Beijing in August, rode along with Gary as he maneuvered the carriage pulled by a striking black pony named Box Car Willy. Most of the miniature horses and ponies in the Driving for Surviving program, including "Willy," are either donated or on loan to the program. They are all well trained and very experienced, many having been former show ring champions. "Willy," held the title of Reserve World Champion Driving Pony and competed all over Europe.
Johnson, who has been part of Driving for Surviving for about three years, admits that when he started in the program he was "kind of nervous at first. Like most of the children in the program, ranging in age from 6-16, he had never really been around horses or ponies before. Johnson recalls starting out with a miniature horse named "Rocky" who quickly gave him confidence. "It's really easier than I would have thought," he admits, "and a lot of fun. A sophomore at West Caldwell Essex Vocational School, Johnson has encouraged other children to join the program. "It's not just the driving, but also the brushing, combing the manes, and all that kind of thing that we learn," he explains.
Johnson has definitely learned well as he now competes in driving shows with "Willy. At a large show last summer the pair "got 3rd place out of all
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