17 Jul Francisco Vázquez – The Last Frontier All in One Place!
There are four Alaska Public Lands Information Centers spread across Alaska which provide visitors with different kinds of experiences and learning opportunities. I’m currently stationed at the Anchorage Alaska Public Lands Information Center (AAPLIC), but the Fairbanks Alaska Public Lands Information Center (FAPLIC), the Southeast Alaska Discovery Center, and the Tok Visitor Center all house different kinds of resources for their local communities and visitors. Here at the AAPLIC, though, we’re a jack of all trades as we help visitors find any and all information they may be looking for, whether that be information about what to do in Anchorage, information about the different National and State Parks, information on Federal lands, Alaskan flora and fauna, to information on Alaskan Natives as well. Although the AAPLIC has not been open to the public for a few years now, the staff here is still working diligently to provide different virtual programs for educators across the nation who are looking to provide their students with an unforgettable experience.
I’ve learned that the AAPLIC has been closed for a few years due to the new exhibit hall, which was constructed, but has not been seen by the general public. During my time here, I will be helping facilitate the virtual education programs while also assisting the team in transitioning to in-person programs as we work towards opening the Center for public use. Below you’ll find some pictures to better gauge what the exhibit looks like, but it’s huge! The exhibit was created to provide visitors with information on everything from animals to public lands and even glaciers! Some of the different stations within the exhibits allow visitors to interact with them to help with immersion. The center also has an information booth where visitors can talk to rangers and receive information on the different activities they can participate in while here in Anchorage and beyond. The AAPLIC, with its amazing staff, is the best place to find information on anything and everything in Alaska, especially when it comes to the millions of acres of public lands that help make up Alaska.
Despite the site being an information center, I have been encouraged to explore Anchorage and the area around it, and that’s where my true office is. Whether I find myself in the Chugach State Park or Campbell Tract, there is always something exciting to see and learn. In the past few weeks, I have been given the opportunity to hike through different locations to better learn about the federal, state, and municipal entities that help maintain the public lands here in Alaska and how they all work together toward a common goal!