Arizona - Apache-Sitgreaves NF
Closed! Preservation of Historic Water Canyon Ranger Station
Historic Photo of Water Canyon Ranger Station Building
October 24-29; October 31-November 5, 2021 (including weekend)
Volunteers must commit to 1 entire session; may participate in both
Join us this fall on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest as we work to preserve historic Water Canyon Ranger Station! The Apache-Sitgreaves NF encompasses over two million acres of mountainous range that soars high above the Arizona desert. With its rugged and wooded landscape and its many rivers, the Forest is a beauty to behold. However, the stunning landscape is not the only thing that makes the Forest unique: it is also home to many important historic sites, including the Water Canyon Ranger Station. Nestled among the trees on the bank of Water Creek, the Water Canyon Ranger Station was constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in 1934 and tells an important story of national resilience.
Created in 1933 by President Franklin Roosevelt, the CCC was a Depression-era organization that hired young men to work on public land projects while earning money for their families and gaining new skills. CCC workers received decent pay, three meals a day, and a safe place to live – things that were rare during the Great Depression. The Water Canyon Ranger Station is one of many projects completed by the CCC between 1933 and 1942. In the 1920’s, just prior to the onset of the Depression, the Forest Service developed a standard plan for ranger stations here. Each site had four buildings on the premises: a house, a pump house, a barn and a shed, all constructed in the ‘bungalow style.’ Water Canyon Ranger Station is an excellent example of this plan and style, and represents not only the history of the Apache-Sitgreaves, but also reflects the history and resilience of the United States during a national crisis.
However, as is wont to happen, Water Canyon Station has suffered the elements and the effects of time since its construction, and we need your help to get this classic gem back into shape! So, this year, in a joint effort between HistoriCorps and the Forest Service, our PIT project will tackle giving a “facelift” and much needed TLC to the Ranger Station. HistoriCorps is committed to the education and training of volunteers in preservation skills, with an overarching mission of inspiring a preservation ethic in all those involved. You will learn new skills (or hone ones you already have) and work alongside expert field staff to restore several elements at Water Canyon. Our work will entail the following among the buildings in the compound: siding repair & replacement; scraping loose paint and repainting to match existing siding; Cedar-shingle roofing; building a deck; re-glazing windows and replacing deteriorated wood elements; restoring window screens and shutters; rehabilitating and/or fabricating barn and residence doors; replacing stair stringers; and various other carpentry tasks. Tasks will vary by day and by week, depending on a variety of factors (weather, project priorities, previous groups’ work, etc.), and it is likely you will get to do most, if not all, of the above. HistoriCorps will provide all meals, tools, training, equipment, and a campsite. Volunteers will need to provide their own work clothes, sturdy boots, safety glasses and gloves, and any other personal gear.
PIT volunteers selected for the project will be directed to the site’s direct webpage to fill out a pre-orientation “packet” that will include safety forms, meal preferences, an orientation letter, and so on. If you are selected, please be sure to complete the packet at least a week prior to arrival. This is an important project, and a rare opportunity to work on such an historic treasure, so we hope you will join us in October at Water Canyon Ranger Station!
Please note: strict COVID-19 protocols will be in place for the duration of the project, including social distancing, the wearing of masks, and all other, up-to-date CDC guidelines. As shifts can occur rapidly during the pandemic, selected volunteers will be informed about any changes in protocol prior to arrival and throughout the project.
Number of openings: 16 (8 per session)
Special skills: Previous carpentry, painting, historic preservation/restoration, roofing, general maintenance, and/or knowledge of hand- and power-tool usage helpful, but not required
Minimum age: 18 years old
Facilities: Tent, small camper, and campervan camping at designated FS/HistoriCorps site; pit and/or chemical toilet; potable water for drinking and cooking provided; no hookups; all meals and snacks provided by HistoriCorps; Springerville and Alpine are full-service communities with hotels/motels, restaurants, and a range of other amenities, including RV campgrounds and dispersed camping options; volunteers responsible for own camping equipment, lodging expenses (if opting to stay off-site), and daily travel to and from designated meeting areas
Nearest towns: Springerville, 5 miles; Alpine, 30 miles; Pinetop-Lakeside, 60 miles
Applications due: September 6, 2021