NPS thanks DC for picking up trash during shutdown, says it will resume services Friday

The Capitol building is visible as a man who declined to give his name picks up garbage during a partial government shutdown on the National Mall in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

For the first three weeks of the government shutdown, DC’s Public Works Department has been picking up the trash at national parks within the District.

The National Park Service announced on Thursday that it will resume trash collection, urgent roadwork and sanitation services at the parks in DC on Friday.

When the shutdown began, Mayor Muriel Bowser wrote a letter to President Donald Trump asking him to end the partial federal government shutdown. She said the city, its residents and its businesses will severely suffer if the shutdown continues.

Bowser urges Trump to end shutdown, cites severe impact to DC, residents, businesses

The mayor said the city will remain open and take over certain responsibilities for handicapped federal agencies, such as trash removal and snow clearing. The letter said trash removal alone on federally-owned parks will cost the city about $46,000 a week.

“We appreciate the generous support of many of our partners, the DC government and BIDs [Business Improvement Districts] across the city who helped us maintain our parks during the lapse in appropriations,” said acting National Capital Regional Director Lisa Mendelson.

The national parks in DC will continue to be accessible for some services, NPS says. But during the shutdown, some services will continue to be limited or not available, such as visitor centers, ranger talks and programs and emergency services.

NPS says it will use the fee revenue collected at national parks across the country to pay for the services in DC to ensure health and safety at the parks and to keep them open.

The parks in DC include Anacostia Park, Baltimore-Washington Parkway, Capitol Hill Parks, Civil War Defenses of Washington, George Washington Memorial Parkway, Georgetown area parks including Georgetown Waterfront Park, Kenilworth Park, Meridian Hill Park, National Mall and Memorial Parks, President’s Park, Rock Creek Park and Suitland Parkway.

Visitors should check park websites on to confirm the operating status of park sites before they visit. Additional information is available at

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