The National Park Service confirmed yesterday it plans to cut $3.3 million from its Washington-area budget, eliminating or curtailing several of the agency's most popular programs in the nation's capital.
The cutbacks, effective immediately, will eliminate the popular Turkey Run living-history farm in McLean, mothball the Lightship Chesapeake moored in the Washington Channel since 1972 and reduce summer programs and maintenance in most of the Park Service's 50,000 acres of parkland in the area.
Also facing elimination, unless Congress provides additional money to fund the projects, are the 4th of July fireworks display at Wolf Trap Farm Park, most of the weekend programs at Glen Echo Park, tours at Great Falls Park and three supervised campgrounds along the C&O Canal National Historic Park.
Park Service officials said they were forced to slash the agency's $70 million regional budget to absorb reductions imposed last December by Congress and the Carter administration.
Part of those reductions -- $1.8 million -- are to help offset a 9.1 percent pay raise granted federal workers last October. An additional $1.1 million cut in general funds was ordered by Congress in the 1981 budget.
Park Service employes working at Turkey Run the Lightship Chesapeake and in other eliminated programs will be transferred, spokesman George Berklacy said yesterday.
Community groups affected by the cutbacks could not be reached immediately for comment late yesterday when the Park Service confirmed rumors of the cutbacks.
This is the second year the Park Service has had to reduce area programs to compensate for budget cutbacks. A $2 million reduction was absorbed last year by limiting part-time summer help and reducing maintenance in local parks.
Among the specific cutbacks:
Turkey Run Park, where the $159,000-a-year program, with its five full-time and three temporary employes, two cows, 20 turkeys, two horses and one pig will be eliminated. A custodian will take care of the animals until they can be transferred, probably to one of the Park Service's two other living-history farms here, the Oxon Hill Children's Farm and National Colonial Farm, both in Prince George's County.
The Lightship Chesapeake, a converted U.S. Coast Guard vessel, which costs $155,000 annually, will be put into storage somewhere, Berklacy said.
Glen Echo will have about $45,000 of its weekend programs either eliminated or reduced, including art workshops, concerts and demonstrations. The park will have fewer weekend programs and local arts groups using the park will be asked to pay increased rents.
At Great Falls Park all guided tours and talks by park rangers will be ended.
On the C&O Canal, the nighttime barge trips, pulled by mules, will be ended, and three campgrounds, all in Allegany County, will be closed.
At Ford's Theater, daytime interpretive programs will be cut. They cost $50,000 a year.
Other cuts include ending street lighting along lower Rock Creek Parkway, for a $20,000 annual saving; less maintenance along the George Washington Memorial Parkway, $101,000, and reducing the living-history program at Pierce Mill in Rock Creek Park, at a $14,000-a-year saving.