Working Together (2 Photos)
Ron Ford of Chicago, Ill. breaks off a piece of an intruding stone to make way for the next granite stair step while building a river access with the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps under the Route 107 Bridge in Bethel, Vt., on June 3, 2014. The crew estimates that it will take them a week to place the roughly 20 granite steps donated by Rock of Ages into the bank. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Purchase photo reprints »
Chelsea Jandreau, of Potsdam, N.Y., foreground left, Daniel Williams, of Eugene, Ore., foreground right, work a block of granite down the bank of the White River under tension from Ron Ford, of Chicago, Ill., back right, and supervision of Nate Kopp, of Alden, N.Y., back left, on June 3, 2014. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Purchase photo reprints »
Ohio’s Cuyahoga River valley, which is full of parks, buildings and infrastructure built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, is a short drive from my childhood home. The idea of men working together in a time of economic crisis to help future generations enjoy the natural beauty of the valley captivates me more each time I have a chance to return to the stone and wooden structures built by CCC members.
A more contemporary link to the CCC exists in the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps, which I have encountered several times while working for the Valley News. Its members live simply, camping throughout the state in small groups for months out of the year. They use the simplest of tools to clear trails and move impossibly heavy stones while building infrastructure that will serve the state for generations.