Smithsonian, National Zoo and national parks prepare to reopen
iStock/Coast-to-Coast(WASHINGTON) — After 35 days, shuttered parts of the U.S. government are slowly coming back to life, and tourists in Washington will once again get to see some of its most famous attractions.
The longest government shutdown in U.S. history ended on Friday when President Trump signed a bill passed by Congress to temporarily open the government for three weeks. The wall on the Mexican border, a key campaign promise, remains unfunded.
As lawmakers take that time to battle it out, key D.C. institutions that are managed through federal agencies are preparing to go back to business as usual.
The Smithsonian, a complex of 19 different museums, which also operates the National Zoo, tweeted: “All Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo will reopen Tuesday, Jan. 29 at their regularly scheduled times.”
The National Air and Space Museum, which is operated by The Smithsonian, will also re-open on Tuesday.
The country’s public lands were also starting to re-open, although the National Park Service cautioned that the process may take time.
“Following the enactment of the continuing resolution, the National Park Service is preparing to resume regular operations nationwide though the schedule for individual parks may vary depending on staff size and complexity of operations,” deputy director P. Daniel Smith wrote in a statement on the NPS website.
Not all parks were closed during the shutdown — some were open with skeleton crews and basic services. NPS also manages the National Mall, an open-air park near the key D.C. Monuments, the White House and the U.S. Capitol.
Tourists should check to make see when a particular park will open, Smith advised.
“Visitors should contact individual parks or visit park websites for their opening schedules and the latest information on accessibility and visitor services. Some parks which have been closed throughout the lapse in appropriations may not reopen immediately, but we will work to open all parks as quickly as possible,” Smith added.
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