Claude Moore Colonial Farm Managing Director Anna Eberly says that the Farm, which receives no federal funding yet has been closed down by the National Park Service in the ongoing government “shutdown,” says that its supporters have offered an outpouring of donations and assistance to keep the it alive.
“We have had offers of home baked cookies, animal feed and hay, free labor and legal help in the fight to reopen the Farm,” Eberly says in an update on the Farm’s plight. She adds that many have made cash donations to the Farm through its web site.
She says, though, that “The Farm is still closed with barricades in place however the NPS has never acted on its threat to blockade the staff and volunteer’s access to the property. Maybe they are all busy on the mall or standing guard over the scenic overlooks on the George Washington Memorial Parkway but at least they have left us alone,” Eberly said. She is referring to the NPS decision to place barriers, which have come to be known as Barrycades, at unmanned scenic overlooks around Washington. The manpower, time and fuel to place the Barrycades costs taxpayers more than simply leaving the sites alone. But the Obama government isn’t in the business of leaving anyone alone, ever.
Eberly says the Farm is pursuing legal action, but the weekend hindered progress. “One of our dedicated volunteers is pursuing the legal route with the Department of the Interior (NPS being part of) as they apparently sent all of the NPS attorneys home as non-essential,” she says. “We believe, according to our lease with the National Park Service, that we have both a right and a duty to be open to the public. Of course, the Feds don’t work weekends so nothing on that front can happen until [Monday].”
Today, the Farm will attempt to contact Interior. There will also be a protest at the department’s headquarters in Washington. Eberly says that several kids who grew up working at the Farm are protesting today at noon. “There is nothing more heady than fighting for what you think is right and winning,” Eberly says, adding “And we will win this fight.”
The Farm kids are calling their protest the “Freedom from tyranny colonial rally.”
The Claude Moore Colonial Farm has never closed before during any previous government shutdown. It would not be closed during this shutdown, but the Obama administration is using the shutdown of approximately 17% of the government to make a public show of pain and spite. Over the weekend, Obama ordered Florida Bay closed to charter fishing, and has previously forced closures of hundreds of privately-run parks on federal land that pay into the Treasury. All of those closures threaten thousands of private-sector jobs. The Obama government has also closed off unmanned monuments in Washington that honor our war veterans and those who made the ultimate sacrifice to preserve freedom against tyranny.
The “Freedom from tyranny colonial rally” is set for noon Eastern time at 1849 C Street NW in Washington.
More: Who wrote the NPS shutdown contingency plan?