The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), established by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1933, was one of many "New Deal" Programs created towards economic recovery from the Great Depression. The goal of the CCC was to create Conservation Jobs for the thousands of young men struggling with unemployment.
Employed in national forest and national and state parks, their world included landscaping, road work, building and trail construction, erosion control, and masonry. This nation-wide program, known as Roosevelt's "Tree Army," carried out the most effective large-scale environmental program in the nation's history.
The men of the largest CCC program on the Island of Hawai'i were stationed here from 1934-1942.
While working and living in the park, the "boys" successfully accomplished many great tasks. They established much of the park's early infrastructure, including roads, trails, and buildings. Examples of their masonry and construction work can be seen throughout the park, including a unique octagonal stone shelter at the top of Mauna Loa Road, and directional compasses at the top of Pu'u Huluhulu Trail and at the end of Hilina Pali Road. Other examples include trail construction and forest restoration work in the Kipukapulu and Kilauea Iki areas. In addition to learning skills that they would carry and use for lifetime - masonry, construction, electrical, plumbing, and landscaping - they were also proud and grateful to provide $25 a month to their families at home who were struggling with the effects of the Great Depression.