Furloughed federal workers to hand out tourist guide to shut-down D.C.

Federal employment inherently involves public service, so why let a government shutdown stop that?

A group of furloughed federal workers plans to lend a hand to tourists of the nation’s capital on Wednesday, distributing guides that tell visitors which area attractions are open and closed.

(Carolyn Kaster/AP) - A National Park Service employee posts a sign on a barricade closing access to the Lincoln Memorial. (Carolyn Kaster/AP) – A National Park Service employee posts a sign on a barricade closing access to the Lincoln Memorial.

The “Federal Workers’ Guide to Shutdown D.C.” lists open destinations with green lettering and closes sites with red. Federally-employed members of several unions plan to distribute the handouts from 10 a.m. to noon Wednesday at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.

Among the sites that are closed: All the Smithsonian Institution museums, the interior of the Lincoln Memorial, the Library of Congress, the U.S. Botanic Garden, the National Zoo and the National Archives, among others run by the federal government.

The U.S. Capitol and the White House will also be off-limit for tours during the shutdown. For what it’s worth, the White House has not offered tours since March, when the automatic spending cuts known as the sequester began.

The destinations remaining open are mostly privately-operated, with many requiring a fee for entry. They include the Newseum, the Spy Museum, The Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Museum of Crime and Punishment, the National Cathedral (which offers free admission) and the Phillips Gallery.

Outside the Beltway, many of the nation’s federal tourist destinations will close down as the National Park Service shutters more than 400 national parks and museums, according to the agency’s contingency plan.

To connect with Josh Hicks, follow his Twitter feed or e-mail  josh.hicks@washpost.comFor more federal news, visit The Federal Eye, The Fed Page and Post Politics. E-mail federalworker@washpost.com with news tips and other suggestions.

Josh Hicks covers Maryland politics and government. He previously anchored the Post’s Federal Eye blog, focusing on federal accountability and workforce issues.

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