During the Great Depression, President Roosevelt created the Civilian Conservation Corps to provide jobs for millions of out-of-work men. But in doing so, he also saved an environment damaged by World War I activities and gave the country new trees, beautiful parks and recreational areas. Thousands of desperate young men from the East Coast came to Washington state to work in the woods alongside local boys to build bridges, roads and park buildings.
During this conversation, historian Janet Oakley will talk about the history of the Civilian Conservation Corps camps in Washington and explore the impact they had on our state’s natural resources and on the men who worked to preserve them.
Janet Oakley is a writer and historian based in Northwest Washington. A former educator at the Skagit County Historical Museum, she grew up listening to her mother’s stories about the Civilian Conservation Corps boys from “New Joisey,” who occupied a rugged side camp up the creek from her uncle’s ranch. Oakley writes social studies and history curricula for schools, national parks and museums. She has published in historical journals, including an upcoming article on the ship Ann Parry for the Sea Chest maritime journal, and wrote the award-winning novel Tree Soldier. When not writing, she makes butter and other folk crafts with students or is involved with reenactments at English Camp on San Juan Island.
Funded project of Humanities Washington. Humanities Washington is a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.