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CCC Vets, Families Sought to Attend 80th Anniversary Celebration in April
CANYON – At his March 1933 inauguration amid the Great Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt called for the creation of a “forest army” to staff a massive conservation and public recreation program that included the development of state and local parks. By July, 274,000 men between the ages of 17 to 25 had joined the Civilian Conservation Corps.
Now, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is looking for living CCC veterans, their family members and the general public to attend a celebration of the 80th anniversary of the CCC on April 6-7 at Palo Duro Canyon State Park. The majestic Panhandle park, which today covers 38,000 acres, is one of 29 CCC Texas state parks operated by TPWD that were built in the 1930s and 1940s.
Most of the young men whose skilled hands worked on soil conservation and forestry projects, and helped build the structures that form the backbone of such outstanding state parks as Palo Duro, Garner and Caddo Lake have passed on as the anniversary approaches. Those CCC workers who are still alive today are in their 90s.
Members of seven CCC companies between 1933 and 1937 developed and made improvements to Palo Duro, building roads, steps, trails, dams, picnic shelters and the handsome, stone interpretive center perched on the canyon rim. By 1935, 27 CCC companies were working in Texas state parks, building roads, bridges, swimming pools, dams and hundreds of sturdy, handsome rock-and-timber structures, such as Indian Lodge in Fort Davis.
The Texas state parks operated by TPWD bear the distinct mark of the young CCC laborers who erected permanent structures that reflect the National Park Service’s trademark “rustic style.” The 101 companies of young men at 130 CCC camp locations throughout the state developed 56 local and state parks in Texas between 1933 and 1942 before many of them headed off to World War II.
Now, Texas stands ready to salute these remarkable gentlemen one more time. For more information about the celebration, please contact event coordinator Janelle Taylor at (512) 389-4665 or Janelle.email@example.com.
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