Eight dollars a month was the salary paid to the young men who built many of the outstanding buildings and structures currently in existence in Blanco State Park, including the pavilion, picnic tables, stone dams, and the low-water crossing. Their work in the park was completed 80 years ago this month, and although their salary seems paltry by our standards, these men may have felt lucky to have any job at all. In fact, their employer was the Civilian Conservation Corps, which provided jobs to more than 500,000 young men during its existence.
In 1933, the United States was in the grips of the Great Depression, and more than 25 percent of the population was unemployed. To help relieve unemployment, the Civilian Conservation Corps was created as a public works project. The goals of the CCC were to promote environmental conservation and to provide jobs. In less than 10 years, the CCC built more than 800 parks and planted nearly 3 billion trees nationwide.
In Texas, Blanco State Park was among the earliest of the state parks improved by the CCC. The men completed their work by May of 1934, taking only 11 months to do their job. The park was opened to the public the same year. On your next visit to the park, admire the limestone and timber buildings, picnic tables, stone dams, bridges, and other structures that are the legacy of the CCC.
This monthly column is brought to you by the Friends of Blanco State Park, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving and protecting the park’s natural beauty for current enjoyment and that of future generations. It is easy to become a member of the Friends group. Just pick up a membership application at the park office, join us at one of our events, or call the park office at 830-833-4333.
Nature Walk – May 31, 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Texas Outdoor Family – June 6 - 8
Birds at Breakfast – June 7, 9 a.m. – 10 a.m.
Nature Walk – June 7, 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Nature Walk – June 21, 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Invasive Plant Removal – June 27, 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Check this column monthly for more news about upcoming events and other happenings at Blanco State Park.
Did you know…….? A stone chair, sometimes called the “Indian Chair,” is located above the campground on a hill. There used to be a hiking trail to the chair, where one could sit and see a great view of the park and the river. However, dense woods now block the view.