The Letchworth Park CCC Legacy Pathway will be dedicated at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 7.
This marks the 38th year of the Friends of Letchworth State Park recognizing and saying “thank you” to the Civilian Conservation Corps. CCC veterans, their relatives, and members of the public are invited to meet at the CCC Worker Statue near the parking lot by the Lower Falls Restaurant and Recreation Center.
The ceremonies will include the raising of the American Flag and the special Letchworth CCC Flag on the memorial flagpole and laying a wreath at the CCC Statue. This statue honors the memory of the men of the Civilian Conservation Corp, created as part of President Roosevelt’s New Deal program to combat the Great Depression of the 1930s.
An estimated 3 million unemployed men, ages 18 to 26, served in nearly 3,000 camps across the nation. Some 3,000 enrollees served the four camps that operated in Letchworth Park between 1933 and 1941. Big Bend Camp 23 was near Cabin Area E on the east side of the park, while Gibsonville Camp 40, St. Helena Camp 76 and Lower Falls Camp 49 were on the west side of Letchworth State Park.
Over the eight years in which they worked in Letchworth Park, CCC members completed hundreds of work projects focusing on forest improvement, soil conservation and park development. Their hard work laid the foundation for the modern park thousands of visitors enjoy today.
The new CCC Legacy Pathway will both highlight and honor their contribution through 15 interpretive panels that have been placed in historically significant locations throughout Letchworth Park. In addition, specially designed medallions have been placed on 60 CCC-built park structures, including shelters, cabins and a recently restored lean-to.
“The CCC Legacy Pathway Project was designed to make the legacy of the CCC accessible to the average park visitor through the use of directional road signs and interpretive panels,” Friends of Letchworth State Park Trustee Victoria Campbell said. “It couldn’t have been done without generous funding from a Parks and Trails New York Partnership grant, public donations and hundreds of volunteer hours.”
The project has been a joint effort of the Friends of Letchworth volunteers and Letchworth State Park employees.