As many of you know, Grassy Hollow Visitor Center has served our local forest and communities for over the past two decades. During that time, the Volunteers of the Angeles National Forest (VANF), a group of mainly local people, staffed the building and provided a myriad of programs and activities.
Since Covid-19 began, the visitor center has been shut down like all other similar governmental buildings. Now with the lifting of restrictions, one would think the center could re-open. But that is not the case. (You can, however, use the picnic area.)
In an effort to “improve the financial status of the forest and improve the quality of visitor experience,” the USFS/Monument is going to turn over the running of most sites and buildings in our part of the forest to a concessionaire. VANF was asked to move out of Grassy Hollow Visitor Center and into the Big Pines Information Center located on Hwy 2, three miles west of Wrightwood.
The Volunteers have completed the huge task of packing up and moving all their displays and possessions and are now in the process of unpacking and setting up. A lot of downsizing had to occur, and programs and activities will need to be adapted.
With COVID restrictions changing weekly, the Volunteers were allowed by the USFS/Monument to open an informational desk outdoors on the deck in front of the Big Pines building over the Memorial Day Weekend. Then they were told they could expect to be able to open their part of the building “sooner than originally expected.”
VANF members and friends continue to work hard to adapt the building and set up their displays and materials. They plan to be open their usual hours of Saturday, Sunday, and some holidays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Keep an eye out, come by and visit their new digs, and, if you can, please volunteer as they rebuild their organization and continue serving the public – helping everyone to enjoy and take care of our forest. See you soon at Big Pines Information Center!