|Photos from Colorado's Wealth depicting Colorado land use problems.|
Schoolteachers used the Colorado Department of Education booklet, issued during the same era as the CCC, to help children appreciate and protect Colorado's natural wonders. The booklet starts off with a quote from Walter Lowdermilk of the U.S. Soil Conservation Service, entitled "The Eleventh Commandment:" "Thou shalt inherit the holy earth as a faithful steward, conserving its resources and productivity from generation to generation...if any shall fail in this stewardship...thy descendants shall decrease and live in poverty or perish from off the face of this earth." The booklet continues with a discussion of the conservation movement and a "challenge to schools" from Charles Lory, former president of Colorado A&M (later Colorado State) University. The remainder includes essays on various conservation topics to give teachers "an understanding of land problems and the effects of the misuse of land resources on the entire population of our country" in the 1930s and 1940s. Concepts such as erosion are shown in drawings while photos of flood damage and dust storms graphically illustrate what can happen when conservation is ignored. The final part of the book illustrates projects that children and youth have created or participated in as ideas of how to get them involved in the conservation movement. Some of the projects discussed show a diversity in the students creating them -- projects from Navajo and "Spanish-American" students are included.
This publication is a fascinating look at the conservation movement during an era when the past several generations' overuse of the land caused widespread ramifications and in response inspired a new appreciation of the state's soil, botany, and wildlife.