During the depths of the Depression, President Franklin Roosevelt created the Civilian Conservation Corps. The New Deal program put unemployed young men to work on conservation projects all over the country. The structures they built in national parks and on public land are some of the loveliest examples of WPA architecture and design. As part of their conservation mission, the CCC planted an estimated five billion trees for the National Forest Service. When the nation entered WWII, after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the CCC became unnecessary and was disbanded, but the model for youth work programs remained.
States revived the idea in local environmental programs. In Louisiana, America’s Wetland Conservation Corps organizes the state’s youth to help with wildlife and coastal restoration programs. Next week, there will be two AWCC projects targeting southwest Louisiana.
On March 24, America’s Wetland has teamed up with the Vermilion Chapter of Delta Waterfowl, the LSU AgCenter and the Abbeville High School Industrial Arts Department to install wood duck boxes along the Vermilion River. Nesting season begins soon, and spring break from school allows students to participate in the outing. To volunteer, email your name, email address, phone number, and address to Ashlee Marceaux at [email protected] Participants will meet at 9 am at the Abbeville 4-H Extension Office, 1105 W. Port St. Abbeville, and will caravan to the site from there. Please bring a bag lunch.
Another opportunity to help with coastal restoration comes on March 27, when AWCC invites volunteers to plant more than 700 trees in Nibblet’s Bluff Park to help repair damage from Hurricane Rita. The group will meet at 1 p.m. at the LSU AgCenter, 7101 Gulf Highway, Lake Charles, LA, just south of Burton Coliseum. Participants are asked to bring gloves and shovels.To volunteer, please contact Sharon Nabours at [email protected] or call 337 475-8812.