Category Archives: Little Rock District

Beaver Lake Celebrates Golden Anniversary

Anniversary celebrations are big events for most families as they spend months planning for their cherished day.   The details in planning and the excitement of the event was no different for the Beaver Project Office personnel and community partners as they prepared for and celebrated the 50th anniversary of Beaver Lake and Dam Oct. 6.

“I’m so proud of my staff and our community partners, Beaver Water District, Beaver Lake Foundation, and Beaver Watershed Alliance, for the time, effort and donations we received,” said the Corps’ Beaver Lake Operations Project Manager Sean Harper.  “This celebration would not have been as big of a success without them.”

And a success it was.

From politicians to local stakeholders, visitors to neighbors, current and former employees, more than 275 people gathered near the dam to roast and reminiscence about the lake and recognize it for all the benefits it provides to the region.

During Beaver powerhouse open house, Oct. 6, visitors looked at photos taken when the facility was under construction. Tours were conducted after the 50th anniversary celebration. The dam and powerhouse were completed in 1966 at the cost of about 46.2 million.
During Beaver powerhouse open house, Oct. 6, visitors looked at photos taken when the facility was under construction. Tours were conducted after the 50th anniversary celebration. The dam and powerhouse were completed in 1966 at the cost of about 46.2 million.

Each of the featured speakers highlighted the lake’s long list of accomplishments, from providing more than $106.1 million in flood risk reduction, producing enough renewable electricity yearly to power 700,000 homes.  The lake provides clean water to more than 500,000 people in the region which has allowed industry to prosper while hosting more than 2 million visitors a year to its 12 parks adding millions of dollars to the local tourism economy.

Little Rock District Commander Col. Robert Dixon, keynote speaker of the celebration, not only focused on how great the Beaver Lake and project was but highlighted people like Bobby Garner and Dale Graham.  The people who built the dam and powerhouse.

“Bobby Garner has been an integral part of everything we do as a Corps and represents the Corps of Engineers most valuable asset: the great people who live and work in our communities while serving their nation by building and taking care of its infrastructure,” said Dixon.

Colonel Robert Dixon (center) poses with Dale Graham (left) and Bobby Garner (right) after the golden anniversary celebration of Beaver Lake, Oct. 6. Both Graham and Garner worked on the construction of the facilities in the early 1960s.
Colonel Robert Dixon (center) poses with Dale Graham (left) and Bobby Garner (right) after the golden anniversary celebration of Beaver Lake, Oct. 6. Both Graham and Garner worked on the construction of the facilities in the early 1960s.

To each speaker, Beaver Lake had a special significance.

Rogers High School senior Audrey Klug, Beaver Lake 50th anniversary essay winner, may have summed it up best.

“Beaver Dam has had a huge impact on the State of Arkansas, not only has it helped prevent flood damage, therefore saving money and resources but it has also given Arkansan’ more new and exciting things to do,” said Klug. “So tons of families, including mine, are out on the lake having fun while the dam is still right there, producing electricity and clean water for hundreds of thousands of people state wide.”

All of the speakers and attendees agreed, Beaver Lake has provided so much to the growth of the northwest region of the state and they all look forward to its next 50 years.


CELEBRATE SOMETHING WE ALL SHARE: OUR PUBLIC LANDS!

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will waive day use fees normally charged at boat launch ramps and swimming beaches at its recreation areas nationwide in recognition of National Public Lands Day on Saturday, Sept. 24.

The waiver does not apply to camping and camping-related services, or fees for specialized facilities such as group picnic shelters. Other agencies and partners that manage recreation areas located on USACE lands are encouraged, but not required, to comply with this waiver of day use fees in the areas they manage.

In addition, volunteers who participate in one of USACE’s National Public Lands Day activities will be issued a fee-free coupon if the volunteer site is participating in the coupon program. Volunteers should check with their local USACE project for more information. The fee-free coupon is valid for one year from date of issue and may be used for one day of entrance or day use fees at any participating federal agency’s park, forest or recreation area that charges either of these types of fees.

Thousands of volunteers are expected to support the more than 80 USACE projects participating in this year’s National Public Lands Day, the largest annual volunteer hands-on restoration activity of its kind. Volunteers at USACE sites will take part in tree planting, erosion control, bank stabilization, building trails, restoring recreation areas, trash pickup, removing invasive species and non-native plants, improving wildlife habitats, harvesting prairie plant seeds and rehabilitating playgrounds.

Last year, more than 11,000 volunteers participated in National Public Lands Day activities at 114 USACE lakes. The volunteers cleaned 1,001 miles of shoreline, maintained 288 miles of trails, removed 128,000 pounds of trash, and planted approximately 1,300 trees and shrubs on USACE-managed lands.

USACE has been involved with National Public Lands Day since its inception in 1994 and has consistently been one of the event’s largest providers of sites and volunteers. USACE manages more than 400 lake and river projects in 43 states. With 90 percent of these projects located within 50 miles of metropolitan areas, USACE sites provide a wide range of safe and affordable outdoor recreation opportunities close to home.

Click here for For more information on National Public Lands Day or or call your local USACE lake or river office. For more information on USACE recreation opportunities visit Corps Lakes.