The Montgomery County executive promises to tear down the barricades at Glen Echo Park in Maryland if the National Park Service doesn't reopen the historic landmark, where the closures cost non-profits hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“We're not asking them to do anything but get out of our way,” County Executive Ike Leggett said.
The federal shutdown is hurting the people who work, study and play at the park, Leggett said. People have had to cancel classes or pay to rent new space. The Puppet Company at Glen Echo has canceled all of its recent shows.
“Non-profits operate on a very small margin, so any situation like this is very hard on the artists,” Puppet Company Artistic Director Christopher Piper said.
So far the shutdown has cost the non-profit groups at Glen Echo Park more than $300,000, so Leggett’s decision to defy the feds and reopen the park Friday was met with lots of smiles.