Over the years, about 165,000 individuals were employed in at least 50 Illinois Civilian Conservation Corps camps in Illinois. Many of these worked on projects in Illinois' state parks.
One of the most successful programs to aid Americans during the Great Depression was President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Civilian Conservation Corps. The program provided training and employment to more than 3 million young men during its nine years of existence, from 1933 to 1942.
Enrollees were sent to camps in every state and territory of the U.S. to work on conservation projects, fight fires, assist during emergencies, and build roads, bridges, and buildings. Illinois was one of the first states to utilize the CCC.
The men built shelters and buildings, constructed roads and 1,192 miles of trails, planted 60 million trees, built nearly 400 bridges, and performed a variety of other park improvement and maintenance activities.
Each enrollee was paid $30 a month. Of that amount, the enrollee received $5, and $25 was sent home to his family. In addition, the young men received three full meals a day, lodging, clothes, footwear, inoculations and other medical and dental care, and, at their option, vocational, academic, or recreational instruction.
Captions: Nationwide the CCC planted
about 2.5 billion trees, gaining it the nickname of Roosevelt's tree army.For most enrollees, camp life didn't end with the completion of their CCC service. They either enlisted or were drafted into the military when the U.S. entered World War II.A typical camp had 4 to 6 barracks, a mess hall, recreation hall, infirmary, officer's quarters, garages, latrine, and shower building.Many CCC projects can still be seen in Illinois' state parks. Map of CCC projects