If the legislation, HR 6678, introduced by Congresswoman Barbara Comstock is not passed by the House and similar legislation is not introduced and passed in the Senate before December 14, the Farm will close permanently at the end of this year.
We have been working since 2011 to secure the future of the Farm but the only agreement that was offered by the National Park Service would have eliminated income from sales, grants and the Pavilions leaving the Farm with only membership, programs and admissions income to fund the Farm.
As much as we desire to keep going, it is simply not possible if we cannot earn income and control our future.
What you can do now:
Immediately contact Congressmen Beyer and Connolly to support HR 6678 and Senators Kaine and Warner to introduce similar legislation in the Senate.
Representative Don Beyer 202-225-4376 Send a message
Representative Gerald Connolly 202-225-1492 Send a message
Senator Mark Warner 202-224-2023 Send a message
Senator Tim Kaine 202-224-4024 Send a message
If you live in different states or districts, then contact your Congressional delegation with the same request.
Plans if the Farm does close:
We are requesting a 30-day extension to the December 21 eviction notice so we can finish out the year as advertised to the public. That will allow the Farm to keep both the GateHouse Shop and BookShop open through the end of the year and still allow for an orderly and sane closure. The Friends have spent 37 years cleaning and improving the property so the Farm will be in better shape when returned to the NPS.
When the operation of the Farm was given to the Friends in 1981 the property was in very bad condition. With the help of volunteers, the Friends were able to clean the Farm site of rubbish, eliminate the drainage and erosion problems and replace fencing and the Farm house. With a grant from Congress the trailers were replaced with the current administration building, existing NPS housing quarters were replaced for the on-site caretaker and volunteers.
The GateHouse Shop, The Pavilions of Turkey Run and the BookShop were created and the greenhouse facilities were improved using private grants. Most of these do not sit on a foundation and in fact most can be hauled away. Under the terms of our Cooperative Agreement, the NPS owns all of the items loaned to us, less normal wear and tear of 37 years of use. This includes the original structures plus the Administration Building which was paid for by a Congressional grant.
We are planning the disbursement of the Friends of Claude Moore Colonial Farm physical and financial assets in case the Farm is closed to the public at the end of this year. As soon as we have a definite answer to the future we will contact all of our members, volunteers and the public.