CASTILE — Eighty-five years ago, two camps of the new Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) program were established in Letchworth Park. Over the next eight years two more CCC camps were built, allowing an estimated three thousand unemployed men young a chance to earn money and build a future as they laid the foundation of one of the most popular state parks in the Nation. On Saturday, Aug. 4, the Friends of Letchworth State Park will highlight and honor Letchworth’s CCC history during its annual CCC Legacy Day.
The day includes a variety of activities designed to increase public’s awareness and appreciation for the experience and contributions of the Park’s CCC “boys”. The day begins near the north end of the Park at 8:30 a.m. with a walk to the recently renovated 1936 CCC lean-to near the Hogsback Overlook. Events continue with a tour of the Gibsonville Camp (10 a.m.) followed by a stop at the site of the St. Helena Camp. Then, at 11:30 a.m., two surviving Letchworth CCC veterans are scheduled to help raise a special commemorative flag at the Lower Falls CCC Memorial Flag Pole and participate in a remembrance ceremony at the nearby CCC Statue. Descendants of Letchworth CCC members will also be recognized at the Octagon shelter at 12:45.
A series of special exhibits, activities and mini-talks are open to the public from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Lower Falls Octagon Shelter. Highlights include an art exhibit by the nationally known WPA Art Gallery operated by the Livingston Arts Council, an information table on New York State’s Excelsior Program - New York State’s modern-day work program for young people, a World War II exhibit by the National War Plane Museum in Geneseo and the Friends of Letchworth booth. There will also be variety of CCC and 1930s related family activities and a talk on the famous CCC built Lower Falls arch bridge.
Individuals who attended all the day’s events will be awarded the “We Can Take It” Award, named after the Civilian Conservation Corps motto. The award includes a special certificate from Letchworth Park and a pin.
All events are open to the public and regular park admission fees apply. Afternoon activities at the Lower Falls are handicapped accessible. For details, locations and times for all planned events, visit www.FriendsofLetchworth.com or call Letchworth Park directly at 585-493-3600.
This entire day is planned and supported by Friends of Letchworth State Park, a volunteer organization whose mission it is to support the preservation, conservation and careful development of Letchworth State Park.