City of Vicksburg, non-profit take action to keep military park open despite shutdown

The Vicksburg National Military Park is getting a helping hand from the city and citizens.

City of Vicksburg, non-profit take action to keep military park open despite shutdown

VICKSBURG, MS (WLBT) - The federal government shutdown is now in its third week, with no real end in sight.

The impacts are being felt by many national parks that are struggling to remain open. The city and community members are stepping up to financially fill the void left by the shutdown.

The Vicksburg National Military Park is getting a helping hand from the city and citizens.

The City of Vicksburg and the Friends of the Vicksburg National Military Park and Campaign have taken action to keep the park open and maintain services, but it is not cheap, and they want the shutdown to end soon.

“I am worried for our staff here. This is a long time and a lot of uncertainty,” said Bess Averett.

Averett is the executive director of the Friends of the Vicksburg National Military Park and Campaign.

“When the rumblings started about the shutdown, we immediately started our backup plan, which is a partnership agreement to fund the basic operations in the event of a shutdown, just to keep the doors open," she said. “We start wiring $2,000 a day in the hopes that it will be brief. Now, it’s 17 days later and we are $34,000 in.”

Mayor George Flaggs says the city has agreed to match the amount the nonprofit is giving to the park.

“That park generates one dollar out of every $10 to our local economy,” said Flaggs.

Both the mayor and the nonprofit agree that closing the park would have a negative financial impact on the city. Trash would pile up, and it would also upset people who travel from around the country to visit the iconic park.

“We do not want to disrupt tourism because of what it is going on in Washington D.C,” said Flaggs.

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