The Regional Review

Volume IV - Nos. 4 & 5

April-May, 1940

The CCC and State Parks
Civilian Conservation Corps.

. . . The work of the Corps in State park conservation and development has been one of the most widespread and far reaching in effect of all its projects in the last seven years. Moreover, this particular activity has brought a most active and encouraging response from both park administering agencies and the public itself.

I think that the CCC can lay claim, without risking contradiction, to being responsible for a very large share in the increase in State park acreage of practically 100 per cent since 1933. Seven years ago this acreage totaled 965,057, exclusive of, the Adirondack and Catskill State Forest Preserves of 2,345,634 acres in New York. As of June 30, 1939, the last date for which definite figures are available, the total State park acreage had increased to 1,918,863, exclusive of the Adirondack and Catskill areas. In the last seven years the number of State park areas has grown to some 1,400, representing an increase of about 580 areas in 45 States. There can be very little question that this growth has been due to the availability of Federal aid for planning and development through CCC funds and manpower.

The spread of this work throughout the country has been one of its best features. Last year, for example, we cooperated, through the National Park Service, with 109 different State, county and metropolitan park administering agencies, operating 237 camps on 423 areas to taling 1,040,342 acres. What these operations have meant to people in all parts of the United States can be readily understood. In the first place, of course, the CCC enrollees thus engaged, and the members of their families have been helped materially and morally by these projects. Secondly, the park areas have been conserved, protected and developed for public use. Thirdly, thousands of people in need of such means of outdoor recreation have been able to use areas and facilities which, were it not for the CCC, would not have been made available for years to come, if, indeed, ever at all. . .

As the CCC begins its eighth year, I want to call attention to one of the most significant although little publicized results of the CCC program. I refer to the awakened public interest in conservation matters so apparent throughout the country. Today the public has a better conception of conservation as a national problem. This is due in part, to the fact that for the last seven years hundreds of thousands of young men have been learning about conservation first hand and passing the word back home. . . This increased interest in conservation matters is a good sign for the future. It represents at least an indication that the present generation plans to keep up the good work that has been done in recent years in the development and protection of our natural resources wealth. ---From an address delivered May 16 before the National Conference on State Parks in session at Spring Mill State Park, Indiana.

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Date: 04-Jul-2002