Park Service Goes From Turning on Fountains to Clearing Snow - NBC4 Washington

Park Service Goes From Turning on Fountains to Clearing Snow

Sudden change in weather causes National Park Service to halt preparations for spring

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    Employees of the National Park Service shovel snow as they clear up a path under early blossom cherry trees at Tidal Basin.

    Last week, National Park Service employees were turning on pool fountains and drinking fountains on park service land around Washington.

    This week, they're clearing snow from the monuments and memorials on the National Mall.

    The timing of this year's first significant snowfall is odd because it comes amid preparations for spring, said Jeff Gowen, the park service's acting facility manager for the National Mall. Many of the city's famous cherry trees are nearly in peak bloom.

    The snow removal went smoothly Tuesday, Gowen said, and the major monuments and memorials are in good shape for visitors.

    The park service is accustomed to people throwing snowballs and building snowmen on its property, he said. If there's a big snowball fight, crews just wait until it's over to move the snow.