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Built To Last: The Legacy of the CCC in Minnesota


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Monday September 4 at 9:30 pm CDT

At the height of the great depression, a program took shape to provide work for unemployed young men that would teach them job skills, restore logged over forest, and take the concept of public parks from paper to reality. Although it lasted only 10 years, the boys of the CCC left a lasting legacy in Minnesota that can still be seen today.

The Civilian Conservation Corps was born from the desperate need of a country in the grips of the Great Depression. Just 5 days after taking office in 1933, President Roosevelt introduced a bill proposing the first of his New Deal programs — the Civilian Conservation Corps. The program was immediately popular with both the public and politicians. Before anyone thought possible, hundred of companies of 200 enrollees each were sent out to remote sites throughout the country creating distinctive amenities for Americans suddenly interested in exploring Minnesota’s most scenic regions.

The CCC boys lived up to their motto “We Can Take It.” Living in tent camps and temporary barracks and doing their work largely by hand, enrollees carved trails, built roads, fought forest fires, replanted trees, created erosion control systems, stocked lakes, preserved historic structures, and built iconic permanent park structures throughout the state that we are still enjoying today.

Filmed at scenic locations across the state, Built To Last takes viewers on a tour of some of the most beloved CCC projects around the state.

  • Chippewa National Forest, Cass Lake MN
  • Camp Rabideau National Historic Landmark, Blackduck MN
  • Jay Cooke State Park, Carlton MN
  • Interstate State Park, Taylors Falls MN/St Croix Falls WI
  • Scenic State Park, Bigfork MN
  • Gooseberry Falls State Park, Two Harbors MN
  • Itasca State Park, Park Rapids MN
  • Flandrau State Park, New Ulm MN

Producer: Kim Stenehjem

Editor: Cassie Larson

Executive Producer: Bob Dambach

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