National parks and symbols opened during US government shutdown only with foundations help


Facilities at many national parks were shuttered. Bathrooms were closed. The National Christmas Tree near the White House reopened after a foundation stepped up with the needed support. “The National Park Foundation and hundreds of local philanthropic organizations and other park partners are always working to help ensure all people have access to our treasured national parks,” Will Shafroth, president of the National Park Foundation, said in a statement. Some national parks, like the Statue of Liberty in New York, were kept open by individual states.


“We will not allow President Trump’s repugnant symbol of division close the true representations of who we are as a state and a nation,” Cuomo said in a statement. He added that shutting down the park would deny access to an average of 12,000 daily visitors. Utah’s state government is paying to staff the visitor centers at Arches, Bryce Canyon and Zion national parks, and Arizona is ponying up to keep trails, shuttles and restrooms open at the Grand Canyon. About 800,000 federal employees facing deferred pay.


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