CCC Camp NA-1 (National Arboretum) – Washington DC

Description

Camp NA-1 was located in the National Arboretum, Washington, DC, and was home to Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Company 1360, an all African-American unit. Many of the enrollees in Company 1360 were young men from the city itself.

Company 1360 formed on June 7, 1933 at Fort George Meade, Maryland and, after initial work assignments in Chester, Virginia (Camp P-61) and Williamsburg, Virginia (Camp SP-9), the men settled into Camp NA-1 in November 1934. From then until 1941 these young African American men made the earliest significant developments to the National Arboretum – a project of the Bureau of Plant Industry in the Department of Agriculture.

Work projects included bringing in top soil for barren areas; constructing roads, walks, and bridges; planting trees, shrubs, and grass; and building artificial ponds (for more information on work performed, see our project page “National Arboretum – Washington DC”).

In 1941, Frederic A. Delano, chairman of the Advisory Council of the United States National Arboretum (and President Franklin Roosevelt’s uncle), wrote: “These competent young men [of the CCC] have, among other things, built roads, laid out trees, built artificial lakes and, in fact, have helped put the soil in good condition for growing a tree crop” (Evening Star, November 19, 1941).

In addition to their activities at the National Arboretum, the men of Company 1360 at Camp NA-1 worked at other DC sites, including Fort Mahan, Brentwood Park, Fort Bunker Hill, the C & O Canal, and Rock Creek Park.

A detailed description of the layout of Camp NA-1, as well as camp life, is contained in the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) in the source list below.

Source notes

Civilian Conservation Corps, Official Annual, 1937, District No. 3, Third Corps Area. Baton Rouge, LA: Direct Advertising Company, 1937.

“Mr. Delano Outlines Progress of Arboretum,” Evening Star (Washington, DC), November 19, 1941, p. A-10.

“Arboreal Paradise Soon Opens to Public Here,” Sunday Star (Washington, DC), November 16, 1941, p. B-4.

Civilian Conservation Corps Activities in the National Capital Region of the National Park Service,” National Park Service, Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS No. DC-858), pp. 33-39 and 135.

"Meet the African American CCC company that created our National Arboretum in Washington, DC," New Deal of the Day blog, February 21, 2022.

Project originally submitted by Brent McKee on February 26, 2022.

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Location Info


28th and M Streets NE
Washington , DC

Location notes: This intersection no longer exists, but the camp was probably between the present National Grove of State Trees parking lot and Kingman Lake

Coordinates: 38.905246 , -76.966198

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