Greensboro, N.C.-- Trash is piling up in national parks across the country. The workers who usually clean it up are not on the clock because of the government shutdown.
- There is no maintenance in national parks during the government's shutdown.
- The Libertarian Party of North Carolina is helping fill the void.
- The party chair says it is up to the people who love the land to do what the government cannot.
The sign at the entrance to the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park in Greensboro reads “park closed." Look closer, and a smaller sign notifies park visitors there is no maintenance during the government's shutdown.
The Libertarian Party of North Carolina is helping fill the void. The party chair, Susan Hogarth, said it is up to the people who love the land to do what the government cannot.
"A big thing for Libertarians is that people will take care of the things that are important to them,” Hogarth explained. "So we want to be a part of that. In fact, we don't think the federal government should be owning park lands or any lands. So, as part of that, we'd like to show that it's possible for it to be taken care of without the government doing that job."
"[The park is] a wonderful resource. For me, being shut down makes no difference because I walk on the trails. The trails are all open, the trails are clean. It's fine,” said Greensboro resident Lyn Ryan. "I come every day that it isn't raining or snowing or something. I walk on the trails, and there's no extra trash."
"That's a really clean park anyway because the people, they really take care of it. The people who use it really take care of it. They care about it. They go running here and bicycling. So they do tend to throw their stuff away. But that means the trash cans are full,” Hogarth said.
Libertarians coming from all parts of the state say they're here to show their commitment to the community.
"We want to have people more engaged in their communities and less engaged in trying to push other people around,” Hogarth said.
Hogarth says the cleanup is a demonstration that the people who use these resources care about the land and will take care of it, even when state and federal agencies do not.