Back in May, we celebrated the historic legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corps, known colloquially as the CCC, with a capsule collection that benefited the organization. But what was the CCC and how is their legacy being carried forward today? 

The CCC was created in the spring of 1933 as a work relief program with the intention of helping young men and World War I veterans support their families by giving them jobs that related to environmental projects. Although the outbreak of World War II forced the CCC program to come to an end, the effort was not in vain—over its nine years of existence, the CCC planted over three billion trees and constructed roads, trails, and buildings on over 800 sites, many of which are still in use today! 

 

CCC workers with picks and shovels building road in Utah between Milford and Beaver

Conservation service still continues today thanks to organizations like Conservation Legacy, an organization that has been engaging individuals to complete important conservation projects throughout the nation for over twenty years. Conservation Legacy provides support for local conservation service programs by engaging youth, young adults, and veterans in conservation, restoration, and community development programs—in 2019 alone, they contributed 1.3 million hours of service to public lands. 

Take the Arizona Conservation Corps Crew #139, for example. On March 5, 2020, members of the crew were tasked with revegetating a section of Chiricahua National Monument, a 11,985 acre site features extensive hoodoos and balancing rocks and offers hiking and camping for visitors. The crew removed gravel and washed it to purge any invasive species before replanting the area with native species. 

 

Check out our interview with members of the AZCC here!

 

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