The Shawnee NF turns 80! 2020 - Passport in Time

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Illinois - Shawnee NF
Closed! The Shawnee NF turns 80!

Pooped.jpg by US Forest Service
Pooped: CCC boys returning to camp after a hard day of work

June 26-30, 2020 (including weekend)
Volunteers must commit to a minimum of 1 day

Come on out to the Shawnee National Forest this summer as we celebrate the Forest’s 80th Anniversary! On October 31, 1933, shortly after President Roosevelt became President of the United States, and as part of the New Deal, the first Forester arrived in southern Illinois. From there, things began to happen very quickly: five lookout towers and 11 pick-up trucks were delivered, and 28 FS staff arrived and began acquiring worn-out and eroded farmlands that would soon become the Shawnee NF. By the end of 1933, Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Camps Herod, Kedron, Eddyville and Hicks had been constructed and were occupied. With the addition of two more camps by the summer of 1934, southern Illinois began to change. During the first part of that year, the CCC resurfaced 60 miles of road, constructed 7.6 miles of telephone line, planted 62 acres of pine trees, and built three bridges. Other improvements – such as the construction of recreation areas at Bell Smith Springs, Lake Glendale, Pounds Hollow, and Pine Hills to name a few – rapidly followed. The first timber plantations were sewn during the spring of 1934; 57 acres of the only nursery stock available: Jack pine, White spruce, Ponderosa pine, Norway spruce, Douglas fir and red pine. Planting continued through the 1930s, but the peak year of planting was in 1941 – the year 600 Works Progress Administration (WPA) laborers, 100 CCC enrollees, and 100 hires planted 8,000 acres. By the next spring, the United States was at war and planting was halted until nearly 1945. In all, there were 12 CCC camps scattered across southern Illinois, with 15 fire towers staffed by young people from amongst the camps. This June, we’ll be building another commemorative quilt to celebrate the works done by the CCC and WPA all those years ago. So, bring your scissors and needle and thread, and join us as we remember and record – in stitch – 80 years of CCC and WPA history on the Shawnee!

Number of openings: 12

Special skills: Previous experience with sewing and/or quilting helpful, but not required

Minimum age: 10 years old; applicants under the age of 18 must apply with a parent or guardian; guardian MUST submit a separate application and plan to attend

Facilities: Tent and RV camping available at nearby Giant City State Park ( in Makanda at volunteer expense; water, bath house, electricity; RV hook-ups; Carbondale, Anna, and Marion are full-service communities with hotels/motels, restaurants, and a full range of other amenities; volunteers responsible for own lodging/camping equipment, food, and daily transportation to and from FS Supervisor’s Office

Nearest towns: Project based out of FS Supervisor’s Office in Harrisburg; Makanda, Carbondale, 7 miles; Anna, 10 miles; Marion, 22 miles

Applications due: Closed

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