WASHINGTON — Monuments and memorials on the National Mall in D.C. will resume normal operations Sunday, the National Park Service announced Saturday.
All facilities will be open, though Ford’s Theatre National Historic Site and Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument will have a delayed opening at 10 a.m., NPS spokesman Mike LItterst said in a statement.
Litterst said that it will be “business as usual” on Sunday.
The National Zoo will reopen on Tuesday, along with other Smithsonian museums affected by the partial government shutdown.
Pending passage of a continuing resolution to fund the government, all Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo will reopen Tuesday, Jan. 29 at their regularly scheduled times.
— National Zoo (@NationalZoo) January 25, 2019
Using prior-year funds, the zoo and other Smithsonian museums closed on Jan. 2, 11 days after the shutdown which started on Dec. 22. This gave visitors a chance to visit them over the winter holidays.
During the shutdown, some zoo staff remained to care for the animals, with help from volunteers. A National Zoo spokesman told WTOP that the shutdown did not change their commitment to the safety of the staff, and “the standard of excellence in animal care.”
However, the live animal cameras, including the popular Giant Panda Cam, remained dark while the zoo was closed.
In an Op-Ed for USA Today, Smithsonian secretary David J. Skorton said that the shutdown cost the Smithsonian Institution $1 million a week in revenue from restaurants, IMAX theaters, shops and other operations. He also said that more than 4,000 employees were furloughed and did not get a paycheck; and some 45,000 visitors a day were not able to access the collections.
Near the National Zoo, businesses that were usually bustling from zoo traffic experienced a slowdown on the first day of the zoo’s closure.
“We went from having thousands of people every day for Zoo Lights in December to having nobody in January,” Yael Krigman, of nearby shop Baked by Yael told WTOP.
In a statement Friday, the National Park Service said that it was preparing to resume regular operations nationwide. Because of individual parks’ staff size and complexity of operations, the opening schedule may vary and some parks may not open immediately. NPS asked visitors to contact individual parks or visit their websites.
“Following the enactment of the continuing resolution, the Natl 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.” Full statement at https://t.co/j0R3Kdo8b8
— NationalParkService (@NatlParkService) January 26, 2019
Several parks left areas open to visitors during the shutdown, but there was little staff on duty, causing trash, illegal off-roading and other damaging behavior in fragile areas, The Associated Press reported.
In areas around the National Mall, the D.C. government and outside groups stepped up and helped pick up trash while NPS employees were furloughed.
Litterst said that maintenance staff came back on Jan. 11 so trash and similar issues experienced by other parks in the country were not a big issue.
“Everyone is ready to go back to work,” Litterst said, and they’ve been ready to get back almost since funding ran out and had to shut down.