Just after midnight on Oct. 1 the United States government began to shut down a variety of programs and offices due to a Congressional budgetary impasse.
According to the White House, services such as the issuance of Social Security checks, postal service and operations related to national security or public safety will continue operating.
However, several services began shutting down shortly after midnight, including the 32,000-acre Cuyahoga Valley National Park which was gearing up for its fall trail walking and bicycling season.
"At 12:01 [Oct. 1] we were notified like the rest of the world that the government did not resolve their issues and gates started swinging shut as soon as people were able to come into work," said Mary Pat Doorley, park public affairs officer. "We are all about service and we are all about people having a great experience in their national park, but we have to follow the shut down process -- there will be no services, no rest rooms and no trail heads open."
About 109 employees of the park, including Doorley, were placed on furlough until the government passes a budget, Doorley said.
Doorley said an unspecified number of law enforcement personnel will remain on duty.
Another popular feature of the park, The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, will be idled during the shutdown, Doorley said. With parks closed there will be no parking and the tracks are maintained by staffers who are now furloughed, she added.
"So from a safety perspective, it's not a good place to be," Doorley said.
Some areas of the national park which will remain open are areas rented out for events, such as concerts, Doorley said. Also, areas which are being farmed, will remain open. However, depending on how long the shutdown lasts, the weekend Farmers Market will be moved to Old Trail School.
Countryside Conservancy, all Countryside programming, and Countryside Initiative Farms will remain open and operational during the government shutdown, according to Heather Roszczyk, education and marketing manager for Countryside. Countryside Initiative Farms, located on CVNP property, are privately leased farm businesses.
Countryside Farmers' Markets will also operate throughout the closure. Countryside Farmers' Market at Howe Meadow, which operates on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon is located on Cuyahoga Valley National Park property.
However, if the shutdown lasts until noon Oct. 4, the market will move to its winter location at Old Trail School, 2315 Ira Road, Akron.
For more information, customers can visit Countryside Conservancy on Facebook or Twitter at @countrysidechix or by visiting www.cvcountryside.org.
Doorley said patrons should take the opportunity to explore other area Metro Parks.
"It's a great opportunity to go explore parts of the canal way which include the Metro Parks to our north and the Metro Parks to our south," Doorley. "It's a great time to make that happen."
The 14 parks and 125 miles of trails managed by Metro Parks, Serving Summit County are locally owned and operated, and not affected by the shutdown of the federal government, according to officials.
"Yes, we're open for business," spokesperson Nathan Eppink said. "Over the years we have received some federal grants for special projects like stream restorations and trail construction, but our day-to-day operations and public programs are paid for by Summit County property owners, not Washington, D.C." The park district is funded by a 1.46-mill Summit County real-estate tax. Most Metro Parks areas are open 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., unless otherwise posted.
For more information about the park district, visit summitmetroparks.org or call 330-865-8065.
All Social Security Administration offices are open, but with limit services, according to the administration's website. Checks will be issued, but offices cannot issue new or replacement Social Security cards, replace Medicare cards or issue proof of income letters.
Other service programs, such as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, will continue to operate during the shutdown.
According to the WIC website, "Ohio WIC has sufficient funds to operate through the end of October, and is operating as business as usual."
"I come from a place where accountability matters and therefore, cannot accept pay during this shutdown," Joyce said. "I've spent the past days meeting with Democrats and Republicans alike who agree that partisan fights are not worth a shutdown. I will continue to work with both sides to find a resolution and remain committed to being part of the solution, not the problem."