Prince William Forest Park hosted the national Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) alumni reunion on September 26th and 27th. The weekend honored the CCC alumni, commemorated their accomplishments, and recommitted the passing of the CCC legacy to National Public Lands Day.
A dozen CCC alumni gathered to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Rooseveltâs New Deal program. Highlights of the weekend included a tour of the World War II Memorial and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.; National Public Lands Day activities; and a BBQ supper and park program in one of the parkâs historic CCC-built dining halls. The event culminated with a dinner celebration hosted by the CCC Legacy and Prince William Forest Park in the recently rehabilitated CCC-built OSS Theater.
During the National Public Lands Day opening and closing ceremonies on Saturday, CCC alumni were publicly honored for their work and their conservation legacy on public lands across the United States. Prince William Forest Park was the national signature event site for this yearâs Public Lands Day event, sponsored by the National Environmental Education Foundation. A welcome was provided by Superintendent Bob Hickman and guest speakers included DOI Assistant Secretary Lynn Scarlet; NPS Deputy Director Lindi Harvey; Diane Wood, president of NEEF; Alva Adams-Mason from Toyota USA; Steven Stockton, Army Corps of Engineers; and former Pennsylvania Senator and AmeriCorps CEO Harris Wofford. A ceremonial tree was planted by volunteers and CCC alumni in recognition of the CCC in Prince William Forest Park. The Virginia red oak also marked the one-millionth tree planted by NEEF partnership organizations since Arbor Day.
The CCC Legacy and Prince William Forest Park hosted the reunion dinner at the Prince William Forest Park historic CCC-built OSS Theater on Saturday evening. A special performance of âGod Bless Americaâ was performed by Wendy Mayton, granddaughter of Henry Rich the CCCâs first enrollee. Entertainment also included FDR impersonator Delmas Wood, who made a special appearance to honor the CCC alumni and their guests.
The National CCC Legacy reunion showcased the quality CCC workmanship in Chopawamsic Recreational Demonstration Area, now Prince William Forest Park, between 1936 and 1943. Over 150 historic CCC-built structures are still actively used by the public at Prince William Forest Park.
The CCC reunion events celebrated a legacy of conservation begun by the CCC and continued today by the NPS and partners like the National Environmental Education Foundation, Student Conservation Association, Corps Network, and CCC Legacy.