Tour Your Shut-down National Parks

by Kate Zickel

The federal government has locked down multiple parks and museums as a result of the government shutdown — including some surprising sites. Scenic overlooks and unmanned parks have been shut down despite the fact that it seems it would take more time and money to set up the barricades than it would to simply leave them open and let people enjoy themselves. 

Here’s just a few of the parks and recreation areas that have been closed for seemingly no reason. 

Roaches Run Wildlife Sanctuary

A scenic and relaxing lookout on the side of the George Washington Memorial Parkway, near Reagan National airport, this little parking lot normally requires no guarding or oversight.

Gravelly Point Park

On the opposite side of the George Washington Parkway, Gravelly Point Park is a large field where dogs can run and kids can watch low-flying airplanes land on the tarmac of Reagan National Airport. It’s a popular site for runners and bikers, D.C. locals and visiting tourists alike — not anymore.

The Washington Marina

While the slips and docks are still open to private owners and renters, the park itself, the pathways, and parking lots are closed to the public. The government is supposedly requiring boat owners to park elsewhere and swim to their boats.

The Tidal Basin

Apparently fearing an anarchistic outbreak of monument lovers and paddle boaters, the government chained up the paddleboats before declaring the Tidal Basin and the Jefferson and FDR Memorials off limits. 

The Sculpture Garden

Located right on the Mall, the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden is a perfect place to appreciate modern art or catch a free summer concert. Not anymore. The park is currently closed off and manned by one or two security guards who are being paid to shield the art from being viewed 20 feet closer than the gates allow.

The Botanical Gardens

Any guesses on how long Nancy Pelosi’s paycheck during the shutdown would fund the Botanic Gardens operations and staff?