Saturday, February 16, 2019

Delta Airlines helps National Park Service reopen MLK national park amidst the government shutdown

“As we celebrate his life and legacy this holiday weekend, we felt it was important we do our part to ensure that the historical landmarks be accessible to the public."

Image Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Delta Airlines Foundation awarded the National Park Services with a grant to reopen the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Park in Atlanta starting Jan. 19 through Feb. 3. In honor of MLK’s legacy, the Atlanta-based airlines acted after learning that some of the park’s main attractions were close because of the government shutdown.

The $83,500 grant provided by Delta’s charitable arm will go towards clean up, administration, maintenance and operating costs of employees not covered under recreation fee funds, a National Park Service press release stated.

“As we celebrate his life and legacy this holiday weekend, we felt it was important we do our part to ensure that the historical landmarks be accessible to the public,” Ed Bastian, CEO of Delta Air Lines and Trustee of The Delta Air Lines Foundation, said in a press release. “Dr. King was about bringing people together and at Delta, we are about making the world a smaller place.”

Doors to the park will open at 9 a.m. on Saturday and entrance will include important sites associated with the life and legacy of the civil rights leader, including the home where he was born, Ebenezer Baptist Church, where he served as co-pastor, historic Fire Station No. 6 and a the park visitor center, a press release stated.

Aside from the grant, recreation fees generated by NPS were contributed to provide immediate maintenance assistance and services to the parks during the government shutdown.

“It is not possible to overstate our appreciation to The Delta Air Lines Foundation for ensuring the Martin Luther King, Jr. sites are accessible to the American people as we honor Dr. King on the 90th anniversary of his birth,” Acting Secretary of the Interior, David L. Bernhardt, said. “This is yet another example of private organizations stepping up to ensure that our visitors from across the nation and around the world are able to have a meaningful experience at national parks.”

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