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Contact: Sarah Olson, 845-229-9115 x 2033
The National Park Service employees who work at the Home of FDR, Eleanor Roosevelt’s Val-Kill and the Vanderbilt Mansion returned to work this morning, following the lapse in Congressional appropriations which kept the parks closed for 16-days. "We are very happy to be back on the job," said Superintendent Sarah Olson, "and to be able to reopen our doors to visitors. Working to preserve these special places and share them with the visiting public is what we’re all about," added Olson. "It felt great to be able to get back to work serving our visitors."
The three parks, together with the FDR Presidential Library and Museum, remained closed over the busy Columbus Day weekend, not only inconveniencing and disappointing thousands of visitors, but impacting area businesses that benefit from tourism. The sites are among the top destinations for tourists in the region. A 2010 study of economic benefits of the national parks to local communities estimated the impact of the Roosevelt-Vanderbilt sites at $ 9 million annually.
The government shutdown also affected several partner organizations working with the National Park Service which were also unable to operate at the sites during the closure. Olson conveyed her appreciation to the many park partners and friends in the community for their patience and support during the shutdown.
As of Thursday, October 17th, the three sites are open and welcoming visitors. Fall color remains in abundance and the spectacular views of the Hudson River from the sites are worth a journey. An extensive network of trails offers 17 miles of varied walks and hikes for people of all ages who wish to explore the landscape settings for the Roosevelt and Vanderbilt properties. For more information about visiting, call 845 229-9115.