Shenandoah National Park marks National Public Lands Day

Shenandoah National ParkShenandoah National Park will celebrate the 86th Civilian Conservation Corps Reunion and host a volunteer event on National Public Lands Day, Sept. 28. Entrance fees to the park will be waived on this special day.

86th Civilian Conservation Corps Reunion – “Keeping the Tradition Alive”

Shenandoah National Park, along with the Barlow family of Stanley, Virginia, will co-host the 86th annual Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Alumni Reunion. The public is invited to meet with CCC families and participate in alumni reunion events at the Big Meadows Lodge Massanutten Room (mile 51 Skyline Drive) beginning at 9:00 a.m.

The full CCC reunion schedule can be found at https://www.nps.gov/shen/2019-national-public-lands-day.htm

The Civilian Conservation Corps was established in 1933 as a work relief program, putting young men to work in Federal and State lands during the Great Depression. CCC camps were first established at Skyland (NP-1) and Big Meadows (NP-2) in May 1933, and from 1933 to 1942 the park supervised the work of 11 CCC camps.  The Skyland and Big Meadows Camps were the first in the National Park Service and were visited by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in August 1933.  During the course of the New Deal program over 1,200 “boys” a year worked to build facilities and create the landscape of the park.  The park we see today would not exist without the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps.

Visitors wishing to learn more about the CCC should stop by the Byrd Visitor Center (mile 51 Skyline Drive) and explore the highly interactive exhibit, “Within a Day’s Drive of Millions.” This exhibit tells the story of Shenandoah’s establishment and development including the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps. Visitors can also view a free film entitled The CCC Boys. Please ask for the film at the visitor center information desk.

National Public Lands Day Volunteer Event – Seed Collection and Removal of Black Locust

National Public Lands Day is the nation’s largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands. Shenandoah National Park is celebrating National Public Lands Day by holding a volunteer event on Saturday, Septe. 28, at Byrd Visitor Center, mile 51 on Skyline Drive. The event will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and is open to the public. Join Shenandoah’s Native Plant crews as they collect seeds from native vegetation to support future revegetation projects and remove black locusts from the Big Meadow area to restore the meadow landscape and improve wildlife viewing.

Volunteers of all ages are welcome. Volunteers must register at Byrd Visitor Center between 9:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. Wear long pants and closed-toe shoes, apply sunscreen and bug spray, and bring snacks and water. Volunteers can choose the length of time they wish to participate.

Established in 1994 and held annually on the fourth Saturday in September, National Public Lands Day celebrates the connection between people and green space in their community, inspires environmental stewardship, and encourages use of open space for education, recreation, and general health.

To learn more about National Public Lands Day, visit https://www.nps.gov/subjects/npscelebrates/public-lands-day.htm.


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