Who Are We?

We are the non-profit volunteer group that serves as a caretaker of Pensacola Scenic Bluffs Highway, to ensure that the vision and intent of the Florida Scenic Highway program is fulfilled with in the corridor.

We are an organization made up of concerned individuals, neighborhood organizations and businesses.  Our mission is to promote, protect, preserve, maintain and enhance Pensacola Scenic Bluffs Highway.  We maintain a corridor management plan that promotes the preservation and beautification of this most significant, historic, scenic and natural resource.  Scenic Highway Foundation serves as vehicle for community input to express the views and desires of the public.

How did we come about?

In 1929 Scenic Highway was paved by the Florida Department of Transportation as a tourist attraction.

1973 Scenic Highway was designated a “State Scenic Parkway” by the State Legislature through the efforts of the Pick-N-Poke Garden Club.  This was the beginning of a grassroot effort to save the highway and bluffs for future generations.

1980 James and Patricia Brittman saved a portion of Magnolia Bluffs area from residential development.  The grassroot effort spurred the City of Pensacola and the State of Florida to purchase the land for Bay Bluffs Park.

Overlooking Pensacola BayIn the years between 1980 and 1995 many concerned citizens including the Pensacola North Rotary Club and the Pick-n-Poke Garden Club, now organized as Scenic Highway Preservation Group, worked to clean up the chimney area and surrounding woods.  Among them Pat Dodson and R.D. Dunagan were leaders of this grassroots effort.

In 1995 a Citizen’s group formed to obtain designation as a Scenic Highway under the new U.S. Department of Transportation National Scenic Highway program.  This group was led by Janine Raby.  It included members of the former grass root organizations.

In 1996 Scenic Highway Foundation incorporated as a 501 ©(3) organization.  The organization was then able to collect membership fees.

1998 Pensacola Scenic Bluffs Highway was dedicated Florida’s First Official Scenic Highway.

2001 Pensacola Scenic Bluffs Highway Master Plan was completed.

2011 Scenic Highway Foundation inaugurated an oral history series

2012 University of Michigan Graduate Landscape Architects Olivia Garnett, Mary Hejna and Helen Graham presented their plan for “Redesigning the Pensacola Scenic Bluffs Highway.

Also Scenic Highway Foundation received notification that the Hyer-Knowles Planning Mill Chimney was approved for listing on the National Register of National Historic Places.

We were created without funds dedicated to implement the master plan or carry out future projects.

Scenic Highway near PensacolaWe have been able to accomplish some of our goals through the support of the City of Pensacola Parks Department, the County and grants.  Before this year the grants were a god-send because they accepted matching volunteer time instead of matching dollars for every dollar the grant supplied.  All that has changed since the economy went “south”.  Now only dollars are accepted as the matching part of the grant.  That really puts Scenic Highway Foundation in a bind since our only source of money is membership fees.  The city budget is stretched thin.  We need more members!  Not only does the membership fee help accomplish projects, it pays for the newsletter.  We have a mass membership mailing in October of 3,000 which requires printing, folding and postage.  After the mass mailing we send another publication called “Trip News”.  This newsletter keeps the membership current about what is going on along the highway.

Florida has over 2,000 miles of coastline and this is the only area that has natural bluffs—in fact along the whole Gulf Coast down to Veracruz, Mexico, theses are the only bluffs.  A miracle of nature.  They are beautiful and need to be taken care of so they will be here for future generations.  The area is full of history that needs to be told—we are attempting to do this with our history lectures that we have in January, February and March.  The dates and place are announced in the newsletter and trip notes.  The lectures are free.