Late last week, Bastrop State Park hosted close to 70 former Civilian Conservation Corps members who helped build the foundation of the Texas State Park system back in the 1930s and 1940s. The March 28-29 event commemorated the 75th anniversary of the CCC, started by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933 to address joblessness during the Great Depression. Most of the men whose skilled hands helped build state parks such as Caddo Lake, Garner and Indian Lodge have passed on.
But a number of CCC workers now in their 80s and 90s made the effort to attend the conference, accompanied in many cases by children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. TPWD and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation sponsored the CCC celebration with assistance from other organizations, including the U.S. Forest Service, Austin and Dallas Parks and Recreation departments and the National Park Service.
TPWD currently operates 30 CCC-built state parks. Most CCC-built state parks in Texas had displays set up at the conference, and a new traveling exhibit of CCC architecture was featured at the two-day event.