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With National Monuments Open Again, Schools Begin To Plan Missed - KOAM TV 7

With National Monuments Open Again, Schools Begin To Plan Missed Field Trips

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With the partial government shutdown over, National Parks across the country are open once again for business. But what about all of those school trips that had to be canceled?

"We talk about it all the time, about how our actions affect others, and how this one..it sure did. The actions of our government are affecting not just the park, but everyone that wants to go."  

This is how the principal of Diamond Elementary, Jeff Payne, broke the news to sixty crestfallen third graders that their annual field trip to the George Washington Carver National Monument was canceled. The monument was closed a total of sixteen days during the partial government shutdown.  

"It's been tough, but the good thing is, we've told them, we'll go again," Payne said.
 
And Diamond Elementary wasn't the only school forced to cancel their school trip to the George Washington Carver National Monument, according to the Monument's Park Rangers, 16 schools and over 1,000 students where left in the balance because of this shutdown. And now that it's over the monument is working to make up for lost time.

"We are working diligently to get those rescheduled and so we expect our fall field trip season to extend now all the way until Thanksgiving to try and give everyone the field trip they were hoping for," said Park Ranger Diane Eilenstein.
  
And Eilenstein says the first day post-shutdown has been pretty steady for a non-field trip day. The two class trips originally scheduled remained canceled due to late notice, but she says that starting Friday they expect a steady stream of kids; because Eilenstein says it wasn't just the Park Rangers that missed this National Monument. 

"They were saying 'hallelujah' we're glad you're back, so they are very thankful that we're open, and I believe they missed the parks a lot, they are very excited to reschedule."
 
And as for Diamond Elementary, they haven't rescheduled yet, but Principal Payne says it's only a matter of time.

Park Rangers say they will work with schools to re-schedule all of the missed field trips. They even plan on adding volunteers to help with the influx of kids they expect the rest of the month.

For more information on the George Washington National Monument, click here.

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