Civilian Conservation Corps | NATIONAL PUBLIC LANDS DAY

Civilian Conservation Corps


National Public Lands Day volunteers are keeping alive the promise of the Civilian Conservation Corps: to preserve and protect America's natural heritage.

From 1933 to 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt recruited a civilian army to conserve our nation's natural resources. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) would engender strong national pride in America's rich legacy of land stewardship and would prove to be of moral and spiritual value to our great nation.

Man Volunteering.

Known as "Roosevelt's Tree Army", more than two million Americans -- mostly men --planted over three billion trees and spent countless hours fighting forest and coal fires. They also surveyed and mapped lands and lakes, wired whole towns and built fences, lodges, museums, lookout towers, wells and pump houses.

The numbers are impressive:

  • Built 46,854 bridges
  • Restored 3,980 historic structures
  • Developed 800 state parks (many states had no parks before the CCC)
  • Installed 5,000 miles of water supply line


On September 29th, 2001, The Civilian Conservation Corps passed their legacy to National Public Lands Day and to volunteers across the country working to ensure the future of the Corp's magnificent heritage of stewardship.  The conservation promise long held in the able hands and trusted hearts of the CCC passed to a younger generation. On NPLD 2001 in Virginia's Shenandoah National Park, CCC alumni recognized National Public Lands Day and its partners as keepers of their legacy.

In 2008, National Public Lands Day volunteers commemorated and celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Civilian Conservation Corps by planting 1.6 million trees between Arbor Day and National Public Lands Day.