While Virginia’s Philpott Lake is not on federal land, it is federally funded and managed by the Army Corps of Engineers. Philpott Lake park rangers Dan LaPrade and Ernie Shepard were furloughed due to the government shutdown, so they’ve created a volunteer gig for themselves: trash collection along the roads near the lake.
“I felt like I had to be doing something. This isn’t much, but at least it’s something,” LaPrade said.
LaPrade and Shepard were told they’d get paid for the furlough time when the government reopens. It’s part of a bill Congress passed to compensate federal employees during the government shutdown. Both of them wanted to earn the money instead of staying home.
“Instead of just sitting at home and having my wife make me paint rooms, I figured I would come out here and give a little bit back rather than just sit at home and draw my paycheck,” LaPrade said.
The rangers told WDBJ7 they’re hoping other furloughed workers will join them. Laprade asked, “If just each of them gives an hour of public service, how many weeks of actual work is that, that gets done?”
President Petulant can shut down the parks, but he can’t shut down the American spirit.