On the week of the famous activist’s birthday, Delta Air Lines donated funds to reopen Atlanta’s Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Park despite the government shutdown.
Starting Saturday, the national park will reopen for visitors and will be able to operate through early February thanks to a grant from the airline.
Most of the park has been closed since the government shutdown began on Dec. 22. An $83,500 grant from Delta will cover the park’s re-opening (including clean up, administration, maintenance and employee pay) through Feb. 3.
“Upon learning that the #governmentshutdown meant Dr. King’s birth home, Ebenezer Baptist Church, Fire Station No. 6 and the visitor center would be closed during the national holiday, we knew we had to take action,” Delta CEO Ed Bastian wrote in a statement on LinkedIn.
The park will be open at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 19. Visitors will be able to see all 35 acres of the historic park, including the home where King was born and the church where he served as co-pastor.
“It is not possible to overstate our appreciation to The Delta Air Lines Foundation for ensuring the Martin Luther King, Jr. sites are accessible to the American people as we honor Dr. King on the 90th anniversary of his birth,” David L. Bernhardt, acting secretary of the interior, said in a statement. “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.”