Category Archives: Recreation

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.


Whitney native receives District EEO Employee of the Year

Justyss Esquivel, Natural Resource Specialist for the Fort Worth District enjoys a day at Whitney Lake fishing with friends.
Justyss Esquivel, Natural Resource Specialist for the Fort Worth District enjoys a day at Whitney Lake fishing with friends.
Justyss Esquivel, Natural Resource Specialist, Fort Worth District and Bobber the Water Safety Dog attend a water safety event during a P.E. class June 30 at Whitney Middle School in Whitney, Texas.
Justyss Esquivel, Natural Resource Specialist, Fort Worth District and Bobber the Water Safety Dog attend a water safety event during a P.E. class June 30 at Whitney Middle School in Whitney, Texas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Story by Denisha Braxton
Fort Worth District Public Affairs Office

Justyss Esquivel a Whitney, Texas native, was recognized as the 2016 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Fort Worth District Equal Employment Opportunity Employee of the Year.

Esquivel, a Natural Resource Specialist for the District was recognized for her efforts mentoring contract gate attendants, coordinating water safety outreach events, and seeking training on new ways to foster a diverse and inclusive work environment throughout the Whitney Lake Project Office and Three Rivers Regional Office.

“I want to do the best I can in this position. I intend to have my accomplishments mean something, to make a positive impact on someone’s life. I was in disbelief that someone would think so highly of me to even nominate me for the award. It made me appreciative of the amazing people I work with every day,” said Esquivel.

Esquivel graduated from Stephen F. Austin University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Forestry, with a minor in Biology. Upon graduation, she began her career with the Fort Worth District performing various duties at the Project Office that were crucial to the operation of parks, day use areas and wildlife management.

Currently, Esquivel is working on obtaining Educational Display Permits from Texas Parks and Wildlife and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. These permits will allow District team members to use salvaged animal carcasses as educational displays to help promote the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics initiative.

“Justyss is a valuable team member at Whitney Lake and within the Three Rivers Region. Whether being a part of a Project Delivery Team or participating in a group meeting, she always has a positive attitude and encourages others,” said Abraham Phillips, lake manager, Fort Worth District Whitney and Aquilla Lakes.

“When dealing with customers, she takes an optimistic approach and handles each situation with respect. She represents all aspects of the Army Values and exemplifies a positive organizational image throughout all of her duties as a natural resource specialist,” added Phillips.

Working just two years for the Corps of Engineers, Esquivel has been a champion for the local diverse water safety community. From school programs to playing a vital role in local drowning prevention coalitions, few opportunities are missed by Esquivel. This year alone, she has made more than 2,000 direct water safety contacts and 1,500 STEM contacts. Additionally, Esquivel maintains the life jacket loaner boards at Whitney Lake, which offer a Spanish translation for customers.

“The water safety program is what I love most about this job. I hope the water safety topics and scenarios I describe to people help them in some way, either they avoid a dangerous situation or they are able to help someone in need,” she said.

When she’s not reading, practicing archery or spending time with family, Esquivel takes time to share her experiences with students in her hometown and encourages them to do well in school. With her knowledge and passion for STEM, she educates students on the numerous career opportunities with the Corps.

“Our park rangers are the face of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and are critical to the Fort Worth District’s mission in ensuring public safety. Justyss receiving this significant award is a great accomplishment, not only for all of her outstanding work and efforts, but because she is a role model for her colleagues, her community and the future generation,” said Lt. Col. Clay Morgan, deputy commander, Fort Worth District.