The U.S. government remains shut down on this year’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, but the historical park in Atlanta honoring his life and achievements has reopened for visitors – and it will stay that way through Super Bowl weekend in February.
The National Park Service says a grant from The Delta Air Lines Foundation and revenue generated by its recreation fees have enabled it to open up the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park today in celebration of the 90th anniversary of his birth.
“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 statement.
The sprawling 35-acre park “includes 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,” the National Park Service says.
The $83,500 grant will allow the park to stay open through Feb. 3 – the day the Super Bowl is played in Atlanta -- and will cover “clean up, administration, maintenance and operating costs of employees not covered under the fee collection funds,” it added.
“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,” said Acting Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt.