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October 07, 2013

Claude Moore Colonial Farm is Fighting Back

Ace covered the NPS-forced closure of the privately funded, privately operated living history museum Claude Moore Colonial Farm. The Farm is fighting back.

Managing director Anna Eberly says that the Farm is pursuing a legal remedy thanks to a generous volunteer. "We believe, according to our lease with the National Park Service, that we have both a right and a duty to be open to the public," she wrote to supporters.

In a separate email, Eberly explained that the Farm's lease agreement "states that we will operate the Farm and open it to the public and the only thing [the NPS] will provide is police protection if needed." Notably, the Farm hasn't relied on NPS police because Fairfax County PD is closer and more convenient.

Unlike federal employees, the Farm isn't going to get any money back when the shutdown is over. So far, according to Eberly, the Farm has lost $15,000 in operating income due to the shut down. That's from cancelled rentals, admissions, sales, and program fees.

Today, the Farm has declared a "Freedom from Tyranny Colonial Rally" to take place in front of the Department of the Interior at noon. The invitation is below the fold.

The Claude Moore Colonial Farm at Turkey Run (McLean, VA) is a living-history museum that portrays family life on a small farm just prior to the Revolutionary War, ca.1771.

The Farm has achieved national recognition for its innovative educational programming that uses the 18th-century Farm as an authentic representation of colonial agricultural and social history - to provide perspective and context for present day life.

The Farm is a completely independent entity, leasing land from the National Park Service but drawing no resources, personnel, and most importantly, currently drawing no money from the NPS or the American people. It funds itself completely through its school, community, and public programs.

However, this government shutdown has caused the NPS to shut down this Farm, despite its independence, proximity to extreme security, and privately paid full staff. Without income from school groups, public programs, and public entry, the Farm will not meet its bills and will have to shut down forever.

This Colonial Rally announces the value of the Farm, telling the NPS, representatives, and your community that this valuable, educational, local, and fun resource needs to be released from the government shutdown - since it is not operated by the United States government.

I hope the weather cooperates.

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posted by Gabriel Malor at 10:05 AM

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