Many tourists in the nation’s capital have stumbled into the historical Sidney R. Yates Federal Building which houses the Forest Service national headquarters by mistake — they were looking for the Holocaust Museum or the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, which is just down the street. But once inside the Forest Service facility, visitors from all over the world are surprised by the warm welcome they receive and the information available on the importance of forests and wildlife habitats.
This year the information center will welcome its 250,000 visitor.
The Forest Service facility is located a block away from the Smithsonian Metro stop, a perfect venue for tourists. It houses a 1000-square foot interactive exhibit space featuring Smokey Bear. The Agency’s animated icon reads his fan mail, greets visitors and reminds us that ‘Only YOU Can Prevent Forest Fires.’
The visitor facility is modeled after a 1920s rustic lodge. Fashioned out of pine, the lodge features hand-painted rugs and original Forest Service artifacts from the first half of the century that are tucked away in glass-enclosed cabinets.
The facility also has exhibits that deal with current Forest Service issues. Featured displays have covered a wide range of topics including wildlife, wildfires, pollinators, wildflowers and Forest Service history.
Approximately 40 illuminated photos spotlight three themes of the Agency’s multiple-use mission: natural resources, wilderness, and recreation. This full-color collection reveals the beauty of National Forests and Grasslands.
School groups are welcome. For more information, contact the Forest Service at: (800) 832-1355. Press ’0′ for an information specialist.