519 East Sheridan Street, PO Box 609 • Eagle River, Wisconsin 54521 • (715) 479-6456
They worked for $30 a month -- $25 of which went home to support their families.
They left their mark on our state parks and national forests – yet, many people today know little about their contributions.
The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was a Federal Works Program created by President Franklin Roosevelt during the Great Depression. During the CCC’s nine-year run, 92,000 young men worked in Wisconsin camps, another 3 million in camps nationwide. In Wisconsin, CCC members planted 265 million trees, built 483 bridges, erected more than 4,000 miles of telephone poles, constructed 4,300 miles of truck trails, stocked half a billion fish, fought forest fires and built several state parks.
As the CCC celebrates its 90th anniversary, Trees For Tomorrow reflects on its special connection to the CCC. Their campus is located on US Forest Service property and formerly known as Region Nine Training Camp. In the late 1930s, the US Forest Service used the facility to train workers, including men who managed CCC camps and supervised CCC enrollees.
Several buildings on the campus date back to the 1930s and some were constructed with the aid of CCC members. The special role of the campus in both conservation, government and “events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history,” led to it being added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1996. Trees For Tomorrow began operating on the property in 1944 as a reforestation and landowner education teaching facility.
In August 2013, Trees For Tomorrow helped celebrate the 80th anniversary of the creation of the corps with a dedication ceremony of a full-size bronze statue of a CCC worker that resides on the their campus in front of the Education Building. Six CCC veterans (5 from Wisconsin) and family members from many who had passed attended and were honored for their service.
“The CCCs did so much for our state and this country. It’s important to keep their memory alive,” says Cheryl Todea, executive director of Trees For Tomorrow. “The CCCs were active from 1933 to 1942. As they age and members of their generation pass on, fewer and fewer people are aware of their accomplishments and the statue will remain as that reminder.”
The six former CCC members also participated in a tree-planting ceremony and were the first to sign a bench that will remains on the Trees For Tomorrow campus and, in addition to the statue, will serve as a lasting tribute to the CCC. Trees For Tomorrow actively educates students on the history of logging and reforestation in Wisconsin and practical knowledge on how we as a country can manage those resources for all to utilize and enjoy for generations.
For information about the Civilian Conservation Corps, visit www.ccclegacy.org.
Trees For Tomorrow’s campus, located in Eagle River, Wisconsin, includes National Forest property under permit from the USDA Forest Service. Private property owned by Trees For Tomorrow (TFT), the Wisconsin Newspaper Association and Tara Lila LLC are also utilized for education and outreach purposes.
Trees For Tomorrow is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
519 East Sheridan Street, PO Box 609
Eagle River Wisconsin 54521
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