- North Higgins Lake, MI
- Site Type:
- CCC Camps, Forestry and Agriculture, Nurseries, Tree Planting
- New Deal Agencies:
- Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), Work Relief Programs, Conservation and Public Lands, US Forest Service (USFS)
- Quality of Information:
- Site Survival:
- No Longer Extant
North Higgins Lake State Park near Roscommon MI is built on what was once the world’s largest seedling nursery, established by the Michigan State Forester in 1903.
December 5, 1933, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) established a camp at Higgins Lake, briefly on the Hanson Military Reservation and then on US-27 midway between Roscommon and Grayling. The camp operated from 1933-42, and a big part of the CCC activities was forest-related, planting trees and fighting forest fires across the northern part of the state. The Higgins Lake tree nursery and CCC camp were central to this effort.
By 1942, when the CCC ended, some 100,000 enrollees in Michigan had planted 484 million trees across the state, more than twice the amount in any other state. The CCC also revitalized the Michigan State Park system. North Higgins Lake State Park was, however, created after the nursery closed in the 1960s.
Just north of the state park, also on former nursery land, the state built a Civilian Conservation Corps Museum that documents the extensive CCC work in Michigan and its parks. The museum opened in 1985 in a replica of a CCC barracks and with a full-sized bronze statue of a CCC enrollee out front (photos below). Its exhibits were recently renovated.
Roger Rosentreter, "Roosevelt's Tree Army: Michigan's Civilian Conservation Corps," https://www.michigan.gov/mhc/0,9075,7-361-85147_87219_87222-472998--,00.html
Site originally submitted by Paul Baicich on March 30, 2015.
Additional contributions by Richard A Walker.
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