Columbia Sportswear places ad in Washington Post: ‘Make America’s parks open again’

PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - A Portland-based sportswear giant is taking a stance as an ongoing government shutdown takes a major toll on prominent parks, historic sites and monuments.

Columbia Sportswear placed a full-page advertisement in The Washington Post on Friday, saying to “make America’s parks open again”.

The ad is a play off the President’s campaign tagline, with a clear message that parks should not be used as political pawns.

Columbia Sportswear’s CEO, Tim Boyle, says the company doesn’t usually take a political stance, but this one feels different, because parks are on the line.

Although its website is rarely getting updated during the shutdown, the National Parks service estimates around half of all parks, historic sites and monuments are closed, while others are only partially open.

Meanwhile, the longer the shutdown continues, the more trash builds up – and Boyle says he’s worked it could lead to long-term damage.

“Who could argue with national parks, and the fact that we need to preserve them and keep them special?” Boyle said. “Some of the nation’s most valuable assets are under incredible pressure and could be damaged … we felt that it’s really important for the leadership of the country to know we think it is time to reopen the parks, put people back to work and have discussion about other topics at some other time and place.”

Safety is also becoming a major concern. With little to no staff manning the parks, at least three people have died.

Boyle says so far, the response to the ad is overwhelmingly positive; he encourages other companies to take action, too.

Copyright 2019 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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