I would also nominate the work of the WPA and the Civilian Conservation Corps during the 1930s and early '40s. As was true in other states, these organizations provided jobs and economic strength when there was very little of either. But beyond that, the structures, parks and trails that were built defined a Minnesota style that was every bit as influential as Prairie Gothic and Frank Lloyd Wright's Arts & Crafts.
The bridges, buildings and parks built by the CCC and WPA survived and were actively used for more than 60 years -- some of them are still in use. They influenced public and private architecture for generations. And they became a part of the idea of Minnesota as a beautiful place of lakes and wild woodlands -- a kind of northern frontier that was also accessible and inviting to ordinary people.
~Doug Wilhide, Minneapolis, MN
Provided work and shelter for thousands of ambitious men during depression times in Northern MN. This experience conferred discipline and responsibility which carried forward in private & military life while benefiting and defining Minnesota forests.
~Rodney Revsbech, Mtka, MN
Lives were effected by being in this Roosevelt program. The effect has been intergenerational. What was planted then is being harvested now. The CCC took on responsibility to take care of the forests.
~Ed Nelson, MN
I am a former CCC Corps member. The Civilian Conservation Corps was started in 1934, in Minnesota, by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. There were over 65 CCC camps in Minnesota during the Roosevelt Tree Army from 1934-1942 and all the roads, parks and also county and state projects were built by these young men. Some of the buildings are still standing, like the DNR building in the state fairgrounds and Itasca State Park, and are being used to this day. This was the great accomplishment.
~Lamonte Dehn, Brooklyn Center, MN