NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — National parks remain shuttered as the ongoing partial federal government shutdown enters its third week.
On Saturday, more than a dozen volunteers helped clean up Gateway National Recreation Area on Staten Island.
The area is part of the National Park Service, but the federal employees who work there are forced to stay home as casualties of the shutdown.
“I think it’s also sad because a lot of people aren’t getting paid, and it’s a situation they didn’t put themselves in,” Staten Island resident Marina Hennedy said.
As Hennedy and others found out, the trash has already begun piling up. As the shutdown lingers, the volunteers said Saturday’s cleanup can’t be a one-time event.
“If it’s going to be a weekly basis, a monthly basis, we will be here,” volunteer Radhakrishna Mohan said.
Many said they fear conditions will get worse once the weather gets warmer, and more people start to use the park.
“It’s sad,” Charles Roland from the Public Employees Federation said. “At some point it’s certainly going to start to accumulate.”
Volunteers said they set out to do what Congress fails to do, come together to get the job done.