The Civilian Conservation Corps

Suffering the devastating effects of the great depression, a generation of Americans witnessed a rise in unemployment from 5% in 1929 to over 25% in 1933, with America’s youth hit particularly hard by the lack of full time jobs.

Newly-elected president Franklin Roosevelt, and his administration, worked quickly to develop relief programs to address the economic crisis. Introduced in April of 1933, a New Deal program titled Emergency Conservation Work aimed to address the joblessness of young American men as well as the depleted natural resources of the nation’s landscape. The program was commonly referred to as the Civilian Conservation Corps by the public and the name was officially changed in 1937.

Recruiting young men to reforest timberland, restore farmland, and construct parks and monuments, the program engaged the men in productive work and worked to lift the morale of not only the men but the communities they served.

The local community of Coles County found opportunity in the work offered by the CCC and realized a long-held vision of preserving the community’s link to that great American story, Abraham Lincoln. The vision of the community, the cooperation of the state of Illinois, and the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps left a legacy of natural, cultural, and historic resources for all to enjoy.


The Community
Coles Co. Camps
Camp Life
Dedication Day

Fox Ridge Work