Fed government shutdown closes Georgia's national parks - KCTV5

Fed government shutdown closes Georgia's national parks

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ATLANTA (CBS46) -

A closed sign will greet hundreds of visitors to The Martin Luther King Junior National Historic Park on Tuesday following the government shutdown.

One of the site's jewels is historic Ebenezer Baptist Church where Dr. King was baptized, preached his first sermon and was eulogized.

Despite that closure, visitors will be able to visit the King Center.

"The King Center is a separate entity from the Martin Luther King National Historic site," said William Reynolds, the spokesman for the National Park Service's southern region.

The original Ebenezer Baptist Church, King's birth home and the visitor center will close.

The MLK National Historic site is one of 11 national parks in Georgia that will close.

"In the event there is lapse in appropriations, all national parks, all 401 across the country, will be closed," said Reynolds.

Another popular spot in Metro Atlanta that will close is the Chattahoochee River National Recreation area.

Walt Bready enjoys cycling in the park.

"Public lands, recreation and getting out in the beautiful outdoors on a regular basis keeps me sane," said Bready.

Running in the park helps Laura Espino unwind.

"I come here three or four times a week. It's good to be out in the fresh air. It gives me time to think about things with my work," said Espino. "I would miss this greatly while it's closed."

About 450 people will be furloughed, and park visitors like Espino and Bready will have to find other natural resources to enjoy.

"I feel like we have been here before. I'm sure that the legislators will come to some sort of agreement or compromise to figure out a solution," Espino said

Copyright 2013 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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