Civilian Conservation Corps celebrates 80th anniversary
In honor of the 80th anniversary of the establishment of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), Great Smoky Mountains National Park is hosting a special day of commemorative activities on Saturday, Sept. 14. The day’s events will take place in and around the Sugarlands Visitor Center from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. All the activities are free to the public.
The activities will include an interpretive program, a panel discussion, and a walk to the site of one of the park’s many CCC camps. The schedule includes:
10 a.m. “Our Mark on This Land: A Guide to the Legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corps” by Red and Helen Davis
11 a.m. One hour panel discussion with former members of the CCC enrollees, moderated by National Park Service staff
1 p.m. Walk to Camp Morgan in the Sugarlands Valley with park volunteer Raymond Palmer
The CCC was established in 1933 as a federal work project during the Great Depression, employing young men in conservation work on federal and state lands. The program provided gainful employment and education to the enrollees from all over the country while also providing much-needed work on public lands throughout the nation. In Great Smoky Mountains National Park, as many as 4,000 enrollees were assigned to 22 CCC camps at various times from 1933-1942, building roads, trails, fire towers, and structures. The legacy of the CCC is enormous, and the work of these young men remains clearly evident today.
“Evidence of work by the Civilian Conservation Corps can be seen everywhere you travel in Great Smoky Mountains National Park,” said Park Superintendent Dale Ditmanson. “Roads, trails, and bridges built by the CCC in the 1930s are used every day by our visitors. I look forward to welcoming the members of this historic group who have left an indelible legacy, not only on this park, but the entire nation.”
For more information about the event, please contact the Sugarlands Visitor Center at 865-436-1291.