From the depths of the Great Depression came one of the greatest investments in the American landscape. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was one of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal work programs. It enlisted unemployed men to work on land conservation and park development projects.
More than 50,000 CCC enrollees served in Texas. They worked six days a week under National Park Service and Army supervision. The CCC constructed parks from the ground up across the state, creating the Texas State Park system.
Today, TPWD manages 29 CCC-built parks. We strive to tell their stories and preserve their historic architecture. The cabins, shelters, trails, bridges and refectories create these parks' distinctive character. CCC parks offer outdoor beauty and recreation, while reminding us of the men and conditions that built them.
CCC State Parks
- Texas State Parks and the CCC: The Legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corps by Cynthia Brandimarte with Angela Reed
- Parks for Texas: Enduring Landscapes of the New Deal by James Wright Steely
- Park and Recreation Structures by Albert Good
- Guided with a Steady Hand: The Cultural Landscape of a Rural Texas Park by Dan K. Utley and James Wright Steely
Other New Deal Programs
The CCC had an immediate and far-reaching impact on Texas state parks. Yet other New Deal programs, including the Work Projects Administration, Public Works Administration and National Youth Administration also worked on or at a number of state parks and historic sites.
Did you know that two New Deal agencies (the PWA and the WPA) built the San Jacinto Monument? That WPA funds and labor constructed Bastrop State Park’s golf course and swimming pool? Or that the NYA crafted furniture for Texas State Parks?
Check out photos from the U.S. National Archives capturing some of the non-CCC New Deal work completed at Texas State Parks and Historic Sites.