The National Park Service has announced that Liberty and Ellis Islands will continue to be open to visitors using revenue generated by National Park Service (NPS) recreation fees and support from its partners. Castle Clinton National Monument at Battery Park in Manhattan, where ticketing for ferries to the Statue of Liberty occurs, will also remain open.
The parks have been open since the beginning of the lapse in appropriations thanks to a previous donation from the State of New York.
The NPS has funds derived from entrance, camping, parking, and other fees collected from park visitors. The Department of the Interior has determined that these funds can and should be used to provide immediate assistance and services to parks during the lapse in appropriations.
The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, a long-time partner of the NPS, has donated additional funds to cover the costs of employees not eligible to be covered under the fee collection funds.
The statue of “Liberty Enlightening the World” was a gift of friendship from the people of France to the United States and is recognized as a universal symbol of freedom and democracy. The Statue of Liberty was dedicated on October 28, 1886. It was designated as a National Monument in 1924. Employees of the National Park Service have been caring for the colossal copper statue since 1933.
Opened on January 1, 1892, Ellis Island became the nation’s premier federal immigration station. In operation until 1954, more than 12 million immigrants were processed at the station. It has been estimated that more than 40 percent of America’s population today can trace their ancestry through Ellis Island. After 30 years of abandonment, the main building was restored by The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation and, working in partnership with the National Park Service, opened as a museum in September 1990.
For more information about the National Park Service, visit their website.
Photo of Statue of Liberty courtesy Wikimedia user Elcobbola.