The first camp, Camp Roosevelt, was set up at Luray in the George Washington National Forest in 1933. In its nine years of work, the CCC spent $109 million in Virginia, the fifth-largest state expenditure in the country. The state ranked fourth in the number of camps (more than eighty, twelve of which were for black Virginians) and seventeenth in the total number of enrollees. The CCC employed 107,210 men statewide, 64,762 of whom were Virginia youth and 10,435 of whom were local camp officers and supervisors. The agency put most of its effort into controlling erosion and flooding and improving forest landscaping and wildlife conditions. Its contributions in Virginia were significant: 15.2 million trees planted in reforestation and erosion control, 986 bridges constructed, fire hazards reduced over 152,000 acres, 2,128 miles of new telephone line strung, and 1.3 million fish stocked. The conservationists also worked on the restoration of historical sites at Jamestown, Williamsburg, Yorktown, Fredericksburg, and Spotsylvania and combated floods along the James and Potomac rivers.
The war and dwindling unemployment caused the termination of the CCC in 1942. The final Virginia report summarized its work: "In no State did the CCC make a greater or more lasting contribution to the well-being of its citizens than it did in Virginia."
April 17, 1933 - The first Civilian Conservation Corps work camp is established in Luray, Virginia.
June 15, 1936 - Virginia's state parks system launches when the six inaugural parks—Douthat, Fairy Stone, Hungry Mother, Seashore, Westmoreland, and Staunton River—open simultaneously. All of the parks are products of the workers employed by U.S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt's Civilian Conservation Corps.
1942 - The beginning of World War II along with dwindling unemployment cause the termination of of the Civilian Conservation Corps.
- Twentieth Century History (1901–2000)
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First published: June 23, 2008 | Last modified: January 18, 2012