The warmer weather is bringing a variety of wildlife back to the park. Shorebirds and songbirds are plentiful throughout the park. As a reminder to our guests, please do not disturb the resting shorebirds as they use the park to rest during their migration. Fishing activity is also increasing as the large red drum, black drum and trout are actively running along the shore. Flounder returned to...
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The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Role in Florida State Parks
Developed under the New Deal Era of President Franklin D Roosevelt. The CCC was designed to provide jobs for young men in relief of families who had difficulty finding employment during the Great Depression (1933-1943). This program implemented one of the largest natural and cultural resource conservation efforts in US history.
During its nine year existence 2.5 million young men participated in the CCC program, which provided them with shelter, clothing and food, together with a small wage of $30 a month ($25 of this was sent home to their families).
During the time of the CCC, volunteers planted nearly 3 billion trees to help reforest America, constructed more than 800 parks nationwide and upgraded many other state parks, updated forest fire fighting methods and built a network of service buildings and public roadways in remote areas.
Although the Florida legislature authorized creation of a state park system in 1925, it took the depression of the 1930s and the development of federal New Deal programs to create the impetus for the formation of the Florida State Park system.
Nine of Florida’s First State Parks were developed by the hard work of the CCC, including: Florida Caverns, Fort Clinch, Highlands Hammock, Hillsborough River, Mike Roess Gold Head Branch, Myakka River, O’leno, Ravine Gardens and Torreya State Parks.
By 1941, 99 buildings had been constructed in the nine parks and by 1942, all of the CCC camps in Florida were closed because of World War II. State park development came to a halt and did not advance for another decade.
CCC Company 1420 worked at Fort Clinch State Park constructing the museum, campground and park roads as well as beginning the restoration of historic Fort Clinch by removing more than 10,000 cubic yards of sand and debris from the Fort. Imagine removing this much sand by shovel and wheelbarrow as the men of the CCC did!
Continuing where the CCC ended, the Florida Park Service has managed Fort Clinch State Park, working to restore several historic structures inside the fort, stabilizing masonry and steel components and interpreting the facility as an important Civil War site. Florida State Parks have made numerous upgrades including expanded camping facilities, a beach use area and fishing pier, group camping facilities and more.