MCLEAN, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Claude Moore Colonial Farm will be permanently closed by the National Park Service on December 21, 2018 unless immediate action is taken by the public and their legislators. The Friends of Claude Moore Colonial Farm, the community non-profit that manages the Colonial Farm, had been in good faith negotiations with the NPS to secure another long-term cooperative agreement under terms that had successfully served the Farm, the NPS and the American public for the last 37 years. However, the NPS communicated to the Friends on March 30, 2018 that it would sign a new short-term agreement only, with new terms that would make it impossible to operate the Farm. The National Park Service then stated its intent to close the Claude Moore Colonial Farm permanently on December 21, 2018: “On that date, the Friends of Claude Moore Colonial Farm’s operations at the Claude Moore Colonial Farm will conclude, and the entire site will be closed to the public, staff and volunteers.”
Save the Farm!
The Friends of Claude Moore Colonial Farm launched a campaign in the spring to keep the Farm open to the public beyond December 2018. Integral to this campaign is HR 6678, legislation to convey control of the land from the NPS to the non-profit group for the purpose of operating the Colonial Farm. Ownership of the land would be retained by the Federal Government and the American people. HR 6678 has been introduced in the House of Representatives with bi-partisan co-sponsorship. The Claude Moore Colonial Farm needs Senate sponsorship of a companion bill to HR 6678 and passage of the bill by both Houses of Congress by December 14th. The Friends of Claude Moore Colonial Farm urgently seeks the public’s help. Please contact your state’s Senators to demand their support of Claude Moore Colonial Farm and, specifically, to sponsor and vote for a companion bill to HR 6678 to Save the Farm before December 14, 2018.
“Shutting down the Claude Moore Colonial Farm would be a personal loss of huge magnitude for me,” said Claude Moore Colonial Farm volunteer May Ohman. “As a teacher, I routinely took my students to the Farm to participate in their educational events. As a parent, my children were able to see and feel what it was like to live and work in colonial America. Several programs offer the extraordinary opportunity to live for three days and two nights in the year 1771. If that isn’t living history I don’t know what is. The Farm has provided a transformative experience for countless young people and families for more than 40 years. Please help save the Farm.”
True Spirit of 1771
The Claude Moore Colonial Farm depicts the daily work and life of a poor tenant farm family in 1771, just prior to the American Revolution. The Farm was originally established by the National Park Service in 1972 and operated by the NPS until 1981 when the agency decided it could no longer do so. At that time operational control was given to the Friends of Claude Moore Colonial Farm. Since opening to the public in 1973 the Claude Moore Colonial Farm has welcomed and educated over two million visitors including families, public and private school groups, special needs children, embassy staff as well as visitors from across the country and around the world. The Farm is self-funded and does not cost taxpayers nor the NPS any money to operate, instead relying on memberships, donations, program income, sales, grants, volunteers and other means to sustain its enterprise.
Added Dr. Virginia Norton, President of the Friends of Claude Moore Colonial Farm: “Robbing the American public of this national treasure would be a tragedy. Why the NPS wants to close an award-winning National Park site that serves the public so well and, in addition, costs them nothing to operate, is a mystery. It is worth noting that the Claude Moore Colonial Farm sits on 77 acres of land that has increased in value over the last four decades. At the heart of this could be the desire to trade or sell the land for other uses.”
Save the Farm: Contact Your Senators Now:
Use this link to contact your state’s Senators. Encourage sponsorship of HR 6678 as well as their votes for passage of Save the Farm legislation before Congress recesses on December 14, 2018. https://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm?OrderBy=state&Sort=ASC
About the Claude Moore Colonial Farm
The Claude Moore Colonial Farm is a privately operated and funded living history museum and working 18th century farm. The Farm’s mission is to educate the public about early American daily life and agriculture through participation and involvement in an 18th century Virginia tenant family farm as well as other activities. The Claude Moore Colonial Farm is managed by the Friends of the Claude Moore Colonial Farm, a publicly supported nonprofit 501 (c) (3) corporation under a cooperative agreement with the National Park Service. The Farm was founded in 1972. For more information on the Save the Farm campaign please visit http://1771.org/savethefarm/.