An example of the rock work, which the California Conservation Corps summer workers accomplish, shoring up the trails in the Mt. San Jacinto State Park. Photo by Garratt Aitchison

The Mount San Jacinto State Park received the Sponsor of the Year award from the California Conservation Corps (CCC) during a ceremony held on Jan. 26.

Sector Superintendent Garratt Aitchison and District Superintendent Ron Krueper accepted the award on behalf of the park staff.

“I was pleased to hear that during the nomination and voting process, our local state park staff were at the top of their list. Each year, the CCC recognizes a sponsoring agency that provides their crews with project work,” Aitchison said explaining the award. “It’s quite a feather in our cap.”

What began as trading business cards, phone discussions, and emails, during the 75-year CCC celebration a few years ago blossomed into a partnership that has produced some amazing projects.

Current State Wilderness trail repairs along the PCT and Round Valley are two multiyear projects that are among the most physically challenging for their crews. CCC Director David Muraki compared this work to that of the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s that built a majority of the state park.

“They realize that the improvements they are making are immediate results that contribute to the overall visitor experience, safety, and resource protection that will last for decades,” Aitchison said. Organizing several crews, for months at a time was a challenge.

The CCC work at Mt. San Jacinto State Park is not over. Several more years and additional project phases await completion, according to Aitchison. He praised his staff and the many volunteer groups who have contributed efforts.