Most Recent Articles

Announcing the Winners of our Scenic SWPA Photo Contest – and Fan Favorites Winner

We are honored to be announcing the winners of our Scenic SWPA Photo Contest and our Fan Favorites Photo Contest winner! This is the first year Scenic Pittsburgh has held the photo contest, which asked for submissions in 6 categories from across SWPA’s 10-county region. We hoped to call more attention to the overwhelming beauty…

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Scenic America Applauds House Appropriations Committee for Including Byways Funding in FY 23 Bill

Today, the House Appropriations Committee approved the  FY23 House Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations bill, which includes $30 million in funding for the National Scenic Byways Program (NSBP). Scenic America celebrates the House’s inclusion of funding for this important program, which stands to deliver critical economic benefits to communities located along the more…

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Introducing Scenic Pittsburgh’s Fountain Street Overlook

This greenspace restoration project opened on Tuesday, June 21, 2022. The event included a ribbon-cutting ceremony featuring our executive director, Sen. Mike Dawida, and a display of historic photos and more recent ones that tell the story of the space’s evolution and eventual restoration to the community, as well as tours of the space. Read…

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Research Shows that Digital Traffic Safety Messages Contribute to Highway Accidents and Fatalities

A new study suggests that digital highway signs that are designed to encourage safe driving contribute to an increase in nearby traffic accidents. The study, published in April 2022 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science on science.org, looked at several years of data from Texas to find that the number of vehicle…

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Supreme Court Sides with City of Austin over Reagan National Advertising in First Amendment Case

On April 21, in a victory for scenic beauty, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in favor of the City of Austin over Reagan National Advertising, affirming the constitutionality of the longstanding distinction between content displayed on signs that are located on-premises and off-premises. With this ruling, the Supreme Court overturned the decision of the…

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Energy Equity: A Scenic Concern

The term “energy equity” is generating a lot of buzz these days as people become increasingly aware of how disadvantaged communities are disproportionately impacted by pollution, a lack of investment in clean energy solutions, limited access to energy-efficient housing and transportation, and a lack of understanding about renewable energy choice. These marginalized communities often also…

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The Scenic SWPA Photo Contest is Here

Our first annual #ScenicSWPA Photo Contest is now open to anyone over 18 in our 10-county area Our region has beautiful scenery, and a lot of talented photographers. What’s more perfect than calling attention to our mission – to protect, enhance, and promote the scenic beauty, both natural and built, of southwestern Pennsylvania – than…

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road bridge ocean
The Best US Road Trips

With temperatures warming up and summer on the horizon, it’s the perfect time to start planning for a quintessential American pastime: the road trip. Here are six of the best road trip ideas for your next getaway. 6 Best American Road Trips Pacific Coast Highway, California The Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) is one of the…

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Visual Pollution and the Preservation of Aesthetic Places

Aesthetics has become a widely-used concept nowadays, from your “Instagram aesthetic” to your personal fashion aesthetic. But America’s most alluring places have aesthetics of their own—beauty that is being threatened by visual pollution. Here’s a look at the meaning of aesthetics and the ways in which visual pollution can erode it. What Does ‘Aesthetic’ Mean?…

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Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Includes Support for Key Scenic Priorities

Scenic America is thrilled to announce that the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (H.R. 3684), passed by Congress on Friday, November 5, and signed into law by President Joe Biden on Monday, November 15, includes provisions supporting two of our key policy goals: utility undergrounding and flexible program funding for gateway communities adjacent to national…

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Florida’s New “30A” License Plate to Help Keep
Walton County Scenic

Florida drivers will soon have the chance to help preserve Walton County’s scenic beauty while showing their love for the 30A lifestyle brand by purchasing a new 30A specialty license plate. Developed through an innovative partnership between 30A and Scenic Walton, the tag features 30A’s famous sunshine logo set against a silhouette of Western Lake,…

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Supreme Court to Hear Austin v. Reagan

On November 10, 2021, at 10 am EST, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case with critical implications for the Highway Beautification Act. City of Austin v. Reagan Advertising considers whether regulation of billboards (“off-premise” signs) violates the First Amendment rights of advertising companies. The final ruling is expected in early 2022. The docket…

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What 5 things can you do right now to make your community more scenic?

Here are a few ways you can act today, where you are, to champion the unique scenic values of YOUR neighborhood.

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U.S. Capitol Building
Scenic America Scores More Victories in Congress

House Passes Surface Transportation Bill with Funding for Byways and Support for Undergrounding and Gateway Communities Scenic America landed additional legislative wins this month as the surface transportation reauthorization bills moved through the House and Senate. Three out of our four strategic priorities are included in the final House bill, which passed the House of…

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Brews for Views 2021 with guest Che Zuro – Coming August 21

After no Brews for Views last year due to the pandemic, we are looking forward to having a bigger event than ever this year! We’re planning more beer, more food – and a special musical guest – so buy your tickets now! Find out more about our annual fundraiser, Brew for Views, including all the…

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Scenic Michigan announces new sign guidebook

Scenic Michigan has released the second edition of its Michigan Sign Guidebook. Like the celebrated first edition published in 2011, the 2021 edition is designed as a go-to resource about local sign regulation as communities consider the legal defensibility of their existing sign regulations and make needed updates. Most sign ordinances currently in place in Michigan…

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Digital Billboards Impede Green Energy Goals

From Scenic Los Angeles President, Patrick Frank The largest concentration of digital billboards in Southern California is in the city of Inglewood, bordering Los Angeles International Airport. A local business known as Wow Media Co. owns and operates 14 boards along Century, Manchester, and La Cienega Blvds., several of which are also clearly visible from…

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Placemaking Spotlight: Columbia, MO

Making Cultural Headway in the Missouri Heartland Recognized as one of the nation’s top 10 college towns and one of the best places in the nation to live, Columbia, Missouri, is known for the small-town comforts, community spirit, and big-city culture that make it a prime example of placemaking excellence. Affectionately known as “CoMo,” Columbia…

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Scenic Developments in Ohio

The Scenic Ohio chapter has been active in their communities, working on scenic conservation projects. In collaboration with the Ohio Department of Transportation, the Ohio Rest Areas Landscape Design Manual emphasizes the use of native plantings to create “more parklike rest stops” and provides information for landscape architects and design teams to enable a new…

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Scenic-Friendly Legislation Advances in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, and Texas

Scenic America has been tracking promising legislation in several states, including bills that protect scenic roadways and restrict outdoor advertising. In Oklahoma, state legislators recently passed Senate Bill 549, which strengthened rules that prevent the relocation or installation of outdoor advertising in communities. In Arkansas, legislators approved House Bill 1375, designating State Highway 5, known…

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Art on Billboards: Not Worth It

From Scenic Los Angeles President Patrick Frank Periodically we see something resembling art on billboards, when an arts organization takes over a set of billboards and replaces the usual ads with mock-ups of work by actual artists. Here in Los Angeles, for example, the local non-profit The Billboard Creative runs an annual month-long group exhibition…

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Scenic America Launches Agents of Discovery Mobile App

Scenic America is excited to announce the launch of an exciting new way to learn about scenic conservation. In partnership with Project Green Schools and Agents of Discovery, we have created a free mobile app in which users will be able to play informative, engaging games called “missions” that will challenge them to think and…

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Scenic America Accepting Applications for Summer 2021 Internships

Scenic America is now accepting applications for Summer 2021 internships in Communications and Development, and Policy, Advocacy, and Research.  Interns can work in-person in our Washington, D.C. office or virtually from their home or university. As a growing nonprofit, Scenic America provides its interns with hands-on, practical experience in communications, research, advocacy, fundraising, and other…

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Scenic Heroes: Charles Floyd

When Charles Floyd passed away on October 15, 2020, the scenic community lost one of its strongest and most passionate heroes, and Scenic America lost one of its founding members. A retired professor, Charlie dedicated the second half of his career to fighting billboard blight, authoring paper after paper decrying the ruthless tactics and questionable…

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Placemaking Spotlight: Oxford, Mississippi

Southern Charm and Smart Design There’s a popular saying among residents of Oxford, Mississippi: “We get to live here.” It’s so popular, in fact, that it has become a hashtag that the town’s 25,000 residents share with pride on social media. And with good reason. Named after another university town—Oxford, England—the idyllic city is often…

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Scenic America Board Member honored with Women in Preservation award

The Historic Savannah Foundation (HSF) in Savannah, GA has honored a Scenic America board member, Ardis Wood, with the Women in Preservation Award. This award honors women working in preservation in Savannah as a part of Women’s History Month celebrations. HSF described Wood as a globe-trotter, a historic tour maven, and a community cornerstone. A…

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Underpass Construction Begins in Walton County

Construction on the Inlet Beach Underpass in Walton County, Florida, has begun. Our Scenic Walton chapter has worked tirelessly over the last several years to coordinate the effort to make this important safety improvement happen. Walton County officials held an official groundbreaking ceremony for the underpass on March 26. According to the Florida Department of…

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Scenic America Secures Great Press for Byways Announcement

Scenic America made its way into the headlines in February and March following the announcement of the newest National Scenic Byways and All-American Roads. Our dedication to and work in this area was highlighted in multiple news stories across the country. Read some of these stories below: Lonely Planet Travel + Leisure Conde Nast Traveler…

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Billboard Bills to Watch

Scenic America is currently tracking bad billboard legislation in places such as Missouri, West Virginia, and Providence, Rhode Island. Missouri House Bill 1115 This legislation currently under consideration modifies the existing language of a statute related to outdoor advertising to the benefit of billboard companies. If passed, it would revoke the authority of a city…

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Blue Ridge Parkway
Scenic America Celebrates Announcement of New Scenic Byways Designations

New Designations Announced for the First Time since 2009 WASHINGTON, DC—Scenic America celebrates the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)’s announcement today of 34 National Scenic Byways and 15 All-American Roads, the first additions to the program since 2009. The new designees– ranging from Maine’s Katahdin Woods and Waters Scenic Byway to California’s Historic Route 66 Needles…

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Placemaking Spotlight: New Harmony, Indiana

A Quirky Utopian Town Embraces its Past while Forging its Future Tucked away on the southwestern tip of Indiana on the banks of the Wabash River, the tiny town of New Harmony has evolved from an 1800s social experiment into a modern-day spiritual sanctuary and gathering place for scientists, spiritualists, artists, and scholars. Its placemaking…

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Scenic Utah Wages Fight on Drastic Billboard Laws

Utah may be known for its majestic scenery and stunning landscapes, but if state legislators get their way, the Beehive State may soon be known for one of the most damaging billboard laws in the nation. On January 19, 2021, Sen. Scott Sandall introduced SB61, allowing any billboard owner in Utah to upgrade their billboards…

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Scenic America Celebrates $16 Million to Jump-Start the National Scenic Byways Program

Congress Provides New Funding for the First Time in Nearly 10 Years Scenic America celebrates the inclusion of $16 million in funding for the National Scenic Byways Program in the omnibus spending package announced today by Congress—the first time in nine years that dedicated funds have been made available for this important program.  As part…

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Scenic America Accepting Applications for Spring 2021 Internships

Scenic America is now accepting applications for Spring 2021 internships in Communications and Development, and Policy, Advocacy, and Research.  Interns can work in-person in our Washington, D.C. office or virtually from their home or university. As a growing nonprofit, Scenic America provides its interns with hands-on, practical experience in communications, research, advocacy, fundraising, and other…

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Blue Ridge Parkway
Senate Includes $35 Million for Scenic Byways in Appropriations Bill

Scenic America recently took an important step forward in its ongoing effort to secure funding for the National Scenic Byways Program. The Senate Appropriations Committee included $35 million for scenic byways in its appropriations bill for Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development (THUD), and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2021.  You can find the appropriation here,…

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Baughman Rock Overlook Ohiopyle State Park Laurel Highlands CVB
Top Picks for Fall Foliage Viewing from Scenic America

With autumn in full swing, it’s the perfect time to hit the road for leaf-peeping and other activities in the great outdoors and along our National Scenic Byways. As the nation’s leading advocate for scenic conservation issues, Scenic America has put together this list of twelve of our favorite destinations that showcase autumn’s beauty. Arkansas:…

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Scenic America Partners with JWC Studios on New Video Series

Scenic America has teamed up with a newly launched philanthropic production company to create a compelling collection of videos and stunning images that showcase the natural beauty of the nation, beginning with a video focusing on Walton County, Florida. These media assets will be featured in campaigns to attract additional supporters and donors to the…

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Tell your Representative: Ensure Scenic Beauty is a Priority in the INVEST Act

We want to ask you to take urgent action on behalf of our scenic byways—and much more. Time is short, and the stakes are high. The U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee just introduced the “INVEST in America Act,” H.R. 7095, which funds our country’s highways for the next five years and will…

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2022 Scenic Symposium Presentations

Please see the following links to view the presentations shared during our 2022 Scenic Symposium in Nashville, Tennessee. Visual Resources Stewardship Part 1: The Viewshed Approach to Scenic ProtectionRichard Smardon, professor emeritus, SUNY dept of environmental studies & landscape architecture;Patrick Miller, FASLA, FCELA, professor emeritus, Virginia Tech landscape architecture programBrent Chamberlain, assoc prof, dept of…

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The Best Winter Destinations in the U.S.

Gearing up for some winter road trips? Here are some of our favorite U.S. winter destinations, for the people who love the snow and the people looking to escape it. Winter Travel Destinations If you love a winter wonderland, these winter vacation ideas are for you: Warm Winter Vacations in the USA Looking for some…

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History Along the Selma to Montgomery March Byway

About the Byway The Selma to Montgomery March Byway is a 54-mile trail in Alabama. Designated as an All-American Road, it follows the path of the historic 1965 civil rights march from Selma, Alabama to Montgomery, Alabama. Here’s an overview of the famous history of that road. Civil Rights History At the Zion United Methodist…

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Announcing the Winners of the 2022 America the Beautiful Photo Contest

Scenic America is pleased to announce the winners of the 2022 America the Beautiful Photo Contest. We received more than 800 photos from professional and amateur photographers across the country. Entrants submitted examples of their original work showcasing our country’s beauty from different perspectives, locations, and points of view. A panel of judges made up…

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2022 America the Beautiful Fan Favorite Competition

We need your help! Vote for your favorite image or images as we decide the “Fan Favorite” category winner for our 2022 America the Beautiful Photo Contest. Voting runs from Wednesday, November 9, through 12 pm EST on Thursday, November 17. Want to be notified of the results and learn about future photo contests and…

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Honoring Alaska’s Billboard Ban

November 3 Marks the 24th Anniversary of the State’s Ban on Billboards On November 3, 1998, Alaskan voters overwhelmingly approved a measure to formally ban billboards throughout the state. The Alaska Prohibition of Billboards Initiative, also known as Measure 5, decreed that “Alaska shall forever remain free of billboards.” With the passage of the law,…

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Placemaking Spotlight: Nashville’s Jefferson Street

Historic Community at a Crossroads is Profiled in Documentary Film Once the northern boundary of Nashville, Jefferson Street boasts a rich history as a hotspot for African American commerce and culture. Once a haven for formerly enslaved people, it was home to three historically Black colleges and universities, a vibrant entertainment scene, and some of…

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New Research Draws Attention to Privacy Concerns with Digital Billboards

A new report takes aim at the privacy concerns raised by digital billboards, examining how advertisers use the insights they capture from digital ads to tailor the messages served up to people on digital billboards. Developed by Big Brother Watch, a non-partisan and non-profit civil liberties organization based in the UK, the report shows how…

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Hurricane Ian Underscores Need for Utility Undergrounding

As one of the strongest hurricanes to make landfall in the United States, Hurricane Ian dealt a devastating blow to the western coast of Florida and other parts of the Southeast, killing 89 people in Florida alone, destroying homes, and leaving millions of people without power. In Florida, about 2.7 million people lost power, or…

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Scenic Heroes: Lindsay Marshall

Connecting People and Nature for Health and Wellness A physical therapist by training and an environmentalist by passion, Lindsay Marshall has a unique appreciation for how a person’s surroundings impact their overall health and well-being. Through her leadership roles in the Garden Club of America, in her community, and as a member of Scenic America’s…

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