The Friends of Claude Moore Colonial Farm (“the Friends”) had been in good faith negotiations with the National Park Service (“NPS”) for six years to secure another long-term cooperative agreement under the terms that have served well the Farm, the NPS and the Metropolitan Washington, DC community for the last 37 years.
The NPS ultimately communicated to the Friends on March 30th that it would sign a new short-term agreement only, with terms that the Friends find burdensome, oppressive and impossible under which to operate the Farm.
The National Park Service then communicated that it will close the Claude Moore Colonial Farm 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.”
“The Claude Moore Colonial Farm provides a unique and valuable educational experience for the Washington, DC community and our visitors, particularly school age children,” said Friends’ President Dr. Virginia Norton. “We intend to use every resource available – public and private, legislative and administrative – to keep the Farm operating and open to the public.”
Added Friends’ Director Elliott Curzon: “It is not clear why the NPS would want to close an award-winning National Park site that so well serves the public and, in addition, costs them nothing to operate. It is worth noting that the Farm sits on 77 acres of land that has increased in value over the last four decades. We believe the NPS is under pressure from developers, including Fairfax County, to repurpose this land for development.”