The 2014 HALS Challenge

Galena Forest CCC Camp, Mount Baker National Forest, Washington, 1936 image: National Archives
Galena Forest CCC Camp, Mount Baker National Forest, Washington, 1936
image: National Archives

Documenting the Landscapes of the New Deal

The Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) was created in 2000 to document our country’s dynamic landscapes. Much progress has been made in identifying cultural landscapes but more is needed to document these designed and vernacular places.

For the 2014 HALS Challenge, we invite you to document landscapes of the New Deal. People from every state are hereby challenged to complete at least one HALS short format history to document the landscapes created during the Great Depression. These great public works were typically funded by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and built by programs such as the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Workers planted nearly 3 billion trees to help reforest America, constructed more than 800 new parks nationwide, upgraded most state parks, restored countless historic sites, and built a network of service buildings and public roadways across the nation. Many of these landscapes remain in all 50 states, but their history may go unnoticed.

The Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS), a companion program to HALS and  the sole surviving New Deal program, was created  80 years ago in 1933, the same year as the CCC!

Short format histories should be submitted to HALS at the National Park Service no later than July 31, 2014. HALS Short Format History guidelines, brochure and digital template may be downloaded from the HALS website.

Cash prizes will be awarded to the top 3 entries, which will be announced at the 2014 ASLA Annual Meeting and Expo in Denver during the HALS Meeting. Employees of the National Park Service, American Society of Landscape Architects, and Library of Congress may submit HALS Short Format Historical Reports, but are ineligible for prizes.

All HALS documentation is permanently archived and publicly accessible at the Library of Congress.

For more information, please contact Chris Stevens at 202-354-2146 or

by Chris Stevens, ASLA, Landscape Architect and Past Chair of the Historic Preservation PPN

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