Created By: North Dakota State University
One of Lindenwood Park’s earliest features was the camping area. Later, during Roosevelt’s New Deal era, Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) workers added shelters, walking paths, and modern toilet facilities with potable water.
The CCC operated under the army’s control. Camp commanders had disciplinary powers and corpsmen were required to address superiors as “sir.” By September 1935 over 500,000 young men had lived in CCC camps, most staying from six months to a year. The work focused on soil conservation and reforestation. The CCC was responsible for over half of the reforestation, public and private, done in the nation’s history! Corpsmen also dug canals and ditches, built over thirty thousand wildlife shelters, stocked rivers and lakes with nearly a billion fish, restored historic battlefields, and cleared beaches and campgrounds.
In less than 10 years, the Civilian Conservation Corps built more than 800 parks and planted nearly 3 billion trees nationwide.
Although professing a nondiscriminatory policy, the CCC failed to give a fair share of work to blacks, especially in the South where local selection agents held sway. In spite of rigid segregation and hiring quotas, black participation reached 10 percent by 1936, but women were never allowed to join the CCC.
In all, nearly 3 million young men participated in the CCC. The army’s experience in managing such large numbers and the paramilitary discipline learned by corpsmen provided unexpected preparation for the massive call-up of civilians during World War II. After the December 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor, corpsmen were called up to defend their country. The CCC ended in 1942.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Walk with the Dead: Fargo's Riverside Cemetery