National park in Eufaula remains open despite shutdown - WRBL

National park in Eufaula remains open despite shutdown

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Mayor Tibbs, speaking with the Seay family from Dothan Mayor Tibbs, speaking with the Seay family from Dothan

The Crawford's visit White Oak Creek Park about a dozen times a year. They had plans to visit this week, but heard it was closed because of the government shutdown.

"This is our favorite park, we try to come at least every other weekend in the summer, so when we heard it was closed we were really disappointed," says Cheryl Crawford of Dothan.

A few campsites down, the Seay's were getting their campsite setup Monday morning. They assumed the park would be closed, but heard it was open from a friend.

"We were disappointed at first because we had already planned to come before it was closed," says Shirley Seay of Dothan, "And then a couple days later we found out it was open, so here we are."

The park closed its gates on Tuesday after many government services shutdown. However, the next day, the Eufaula mayor and city council signed an agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to keep the campground open during the government shutdown. The city is providing it's own services and funds to keep the park open. Mayor Jack Tibbs says keeping the park open is crucial because of its economic impact.

"This park is really important to our local economy," says Mayor Tibbs. "It attracts thousands of visitors each year and with that comes business to our restaurants and businesses."

The Corps was already planning to close the facilities for the winter because of budget cuts. The City of Eufaula has offered to provide services during that time in order to keep the park open. 

White Oak Creek Park is the only U.S. Army Corps of Engineers national park open in the southeast region, according to a representative with Corps Monday morning.

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