In 1983, then-Mayor Dianne Feinstein and the Honorable Justice J. Anthony Kline founded the San Francisco Conservation Corps, creating the first urban municipal youth corps in the nation.
In that first year, 24 young adults joined the Corps. They received basic job training and worked on projects to conserve and improve San Francisco’s environment.
The new Corps drew on the legacy of President Franklin Roosevelt’s Civilian Conservation Corps. Roosevelt founded the Corps in 1933 to create paid work for thousands of people struggling with unemployment during the depression. The Corps worked on projects to enhance the country’s natural resources at a time when land was being ravaged in the dust bowl. Over the nine years of its existence, Roosevelt’s CCC planted almost 3 billion trees and provided work experience for almost 3 million men.
The San Francisco Corps also grew out of the model of the California Conservation Corps, a statewide Corps founded in 1976 with goals similar to the Civilian Conservation Corps. The California Corps is still going strong.