A New Deal for Texas Parks - HTML Exhibit

Chapter 5 - Keeping the Boys Busy.

Introduction

The Civilian Conservation Corps shaped Texas’ lands, provided places for recreation, built character in Texas youth and gave needy families relief. Camps eventually shut down and projects ended when World War II began, but the spirit of the Civilian Conservation Corps continues every day in Texas Parks, modern corps organizations and CCC reunions.

TPWD Photo.
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CCC alumni from Garner State Park gather for a reunion in 2005.


Legacy You Can See

Across Texas you can see the legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corps in picturesque parks, along Texas highways and in dense forests. In Texas State Parks, this legacy endures in the hand-crafted and unique architecture of park buildings and structures. Refectory buildings, picnic shelters and even water fountains were designed with nature in mind. Great care and craftsmanship were taken from the earliest drawing to the last stone laid. Today, the people of Texas Parks work hard to protect and maintain these special places.

View of Indian Lodge at Davis Mountains State Park.
TPWD Photo.
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Not only was the natural surrounding considered in building Indian Lodge
at Davis Mountains State Park, but architects were influenced by history
too. Its design was inspired by Native American pueblo villages.
TPWD
Photo.
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The heavy, rough stones used at the foundation of the Refectory
Building at Palmetto State Park seem to make the building
emerge from the earth, uniting the natural and man-made.
TPWD
Photo.
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This cabin, located at Palo Duro Canyon
State Park, blends seamlessly with the
red rocks of the "Grand Canyon of Texas."
Architectural drawing for Palmetto State Park entry.
TPWD Photo.
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Architects considered local materials, the natural surroundings & the
shape of the land in every project they designed. What resulted were
beautifully crafted buildings that fit perfectly in the natural setting.


Personal Legacies

The Civilian Conservation Corps changed the life of each individual whose hands stacked stones or built trails. Luckily, many CCC alumni have shared their personal stories with Texas Parks and Wildlife. These stories give us a picture of what life was like during the Great Depression and in the CCC camps. CCC oral histories recount how CCC boys learned skills that they carried with them throughout their lives or how they met their wives at the local dancehall. Each story is unique and a part of the enduring legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corps.

CCC Alumni visit Fort Parker for the dedication of historic plaque in their honor.
TPWD Photo.
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M. F. Rutherford worked at Fort Parker and expressed his pride in building parks for Texas.
"When I see this place here, and when my mind reflects back over some fifty some-odd years
ago, and I see this place, and it gives you a proud feeling to know that you had something to do
with this park. Long-lasting. The hope and with the quality of work that was put in to this here,
and the time that I spent on this building here, and when I come back and my mind reflects
back to when I was a boy, eighteen years ago-now I'm a man seventy-six years old-and reflect
about what this training in the CCC-the work, the officers, the leadership, the directorship that
we had in this-I just makes me feel good to know that I've lived long enough to see this."

Photograph of W. R. Patrick during an interview.
TPWD Photo.
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When asked what he learned in the CCC that helped him later in life, W. R. Patrick responded "Everything. No doubt.
Mostly, I think what it did for me, is how to handle people. I was a supervisor for the rest of my life and most of the time
in the three Cs. I don't like to brag about it, but that's what made me today, what I am today. Ain't no doubt about it."
Photograph of Henry Trees.
TPWD Photo.
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Henry Trees shared his CCC story with Texas Parks
& Wildlife in 2003. When asked about his fondest
memories, he said "All of them. I enjoyed it up here."


Corps Movement Today

The CCC provided the foundation for many corps groups that operate today all over the United States. The Corps Network is a group of over 113 conservation and service groups that operate in 41 states. In Texas, American YouthWorks provides opportunities for at-risk youth to serve their community, further their education and assist in conservation projects across the state. Volunteers from American YouthWorks have continued in the CCC legacy by maintaining trails and buildings built by the CCC in parks like Garner State Park.

Photograph AmeriCorps volunteer.
TPWD Photo.
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Today young people from all over the United
States give back to communities while building
skills just as the CCC did over 70 years ago.
Photograph of an AmeriCorps volunteer.
TPWD Photo.
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At a recent CCC reunion at Bastrop
State Park AmeriCorps volunteers
used tools & techniques used by the CCC.


Experience the Legacy Yourself

The Civilian Conservation Corps made a lasting impact on Texas Parks. You can experience the legacy yourself by visiting some of the 31 state parks that were built by the CCC. Not only can you experience history through the Civilian Conservation Corps, you can experience the unique beauty of Texas through its parks. Much like early nature lovers, visitors enjoy many different outdoor activities like camping, picnicking, hiking and swimming in your own backyard. Discover your Texas parks today!

Photograph of cabin at Bastrop State Park.
TPWD Photo.
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To get away from it all, many park visitors
spend the night in parks in tents, RVs & even
CCC-built cabins like this one in Bastrop State Park.
Photograph of park visitors.
TPWD Photo.
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Texans have enjoyed their state parks
for over 70 years. Today, there are
over 90 state parks across Texas.


Multimedia:



Download "My Keepsake" guide for Chapter 5media download(PDF 132.7 KB).


Go to A New Deal for Texas Parks main page.


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