Most federal offices and facilities across Nebraska are closed, due to the federal government shutdown, including the Homestead National Monument of America, a unit of the National Park Service.
Monument superintendent Mark Engler says staff preparations were already underway for a shutdown.
“We have steps that we need to go through with the employees,” Engler says. “We have preparations to do with reference to signage and site security needs and utility needs.”
He says several school groups were scheduled to visit the monument for “Pioneer Day” programs this week, but those events are all being cancelled. The programs typically draw more than 500 children from a dozen public and private schools, along with another 100 volunteers.
This year with the federal sequester, Engler says the Homestead National Monument of America has already sustained staff and program cutbacks.
“In order for us to have met the challenges with sequester, some programs were totally eliminated,” he says. “We’re very thankful and appreciative for our volunteers and organizations that have provided grants to us.”
Engler says the gates are shut at the monument, located four miles west of Beatrice, and the trail system is closed.
By Doug Kennedy, KWBE, Beatrice