For Immediate Release Contact: Wendy Fox
March 30, 2007 617-626-1453
STATE HOUSE EVENT CELEBRATES CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS
PASSING THEIR ROLE ONTO MODERN-DAY SUCCESSORS IN SCA
BOSTON—Today, the 74th anniversary of the founding of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), was celebrated by state legislators, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation and partners in a ceremony and speaking program at the State House. Governor Deval Patrick issued a proclamation recognizing the contributions of the CCC in Massachusetts. The CCC, a Depression-era public works program, employed 100,000 men in Massachusetts from 1933-1942.
The event also celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Student Conservation Association (SCA), and the 10th anniversary of the SCA Massachusetts Parks AmeriCorps program. The CCC’s spirit of environmental conservation that survives today in the SCA and the Massachusetts Parks AmeriCorps program was recognized in the passing of a ceremonial shovel and saw from CCC alumnus Francis Derwin to current Massachusetts Parks AmeriCorps program members.
“It is truly an honor to again participate in the Anniversary Celebration of the Civilian Conservation Corps,” said Senator Michael W. Morrissey. “These men, in their youth, made a profound impact on our State Parks. Massachusetts will be forever indebted them.”
“I'm proud to be a part of celebrating the spirit with which these great organizations were established,” said Senator Edward M. Augustus, Jr. “The founding of the Civilian Conservation Corps in particular marked a bright spot in a dim period in American history and that has illuminated a greater passion and earnestness for preserving our state's natural treasures.”
“It is a privilege to host members of the the Civilian Conservation Corps here at the State House, and to honor them for all their hard work and accomplishments,” said Representative George N. Peterson, Jr. “These individuals have been an asset to the Commonwealth and I am happy to recognize them for their dedication and service.”
“The CCC built the backbone of the Massachusetts State Parks system, and we are forever grateful for their inspiring efforts,” said DCR Acting Commissioner Priscilla Geigis. “Today, the CCC’s legacy of environmental conservation and personal sacrifice lives on in the SCA and the Mass Parks AmeriCorps program, who carry on both the spirit and the work of the CCC in Massachusetts.”
“The SCA is proud to be the successor to the CCC,” said SCA Public Relations Associate Elli Caldwell. “We are happy to carry on the CCC’s important work, conserving public lands in Massachusetts.”
The Civilian Conservation Corps, founded in 1933, was part of President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, and would become one of the most popular public works programs of the Great Depression era. The program operated some 4,500 camps where nearly 3.5 million worked for about $30 a month, most of which was sent directly to their families.
Since its founding in 1997, members of the Student Conservation Association (SCA) Massachusetts Parks AmeriCorps (MPA) program, headquartered in Kenneth Dubuque Memorial State Forest in Hawley, Massachusetts in the northern Berkshires, have logged more than 300,000 hours of service time, and have completed some 300 conservation projects on public and nonprofit lands, constructed or maintained more than 250 miles of trails, and taught over 7,000 environmental education lessons across the Commonwealth.
Next year will mark the 75th anniversary of the CCC’s founding. State legislators and DCR are planning a major celebratory event.