Tag Archives: Little Rock District

Dewey Short Visitor Center Announces August Programs

The Dewey Short Visitor Center, located just south of Table Rock Dam on State Highway 165, is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  The visitor center offers interactive displays, a 22 minute movie about the purpose and construction of the dam, and viewing decks overlooking Table Rock Lake and Dam. Picnic facilities and a 2.2 mile asphalt surface trail are located on the visitor center grounds. Park rangers will be offering the following interpretive programs and events at Dewey Short Visitor Center during the month of August.  All programs are free of charge and no registration is required.

Wednesdays, Aug. 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29 at 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., you can find one of our rangers at the overlook off Highway 165, just across the highway from Dewey Short Visitor Center. The ranger will be available to answer questions about hydropower and point out features of the dam and powerhouse. This program will be recurring every Wednesday at this time for the month of August.

Stop by the Dewey Short Visitor Center on Sundays, Aug. 5, 1219 and 26 at 11 a.m. to learn from a park ranger about a variety of topics.

On Aug. 5, a ranger will have the water safety trivia wheel out. Give it a spin in the visitor center lobby for a chance to win water safety prizes and learn how to stay safe on the water.

On Aug. 19, at 11 a.m., meet with the ranger at the entrance to the Dewey Short Visitor Center to join in on a small walk. During this walk, you will learn the names of and ways to identify native plants and trees that are around the visitor center.

Finally, on Aug. 12 and 26, at 11 a.m., learn about Table Rock Lake’s dam and the production and benefits of hydropower in the lobby of the visitor center.

Programs on Mondays, Aug. 6, 13, 20, 27 at 11 a.m. will be on native animals and water quality.

The visitor center’s old gift shop area by the front desk will be showcasing Animals of the Ozarks exhibit the entire month of August.

On Aug. 6 and 27 a ranger will be present to talk more about the exhibit and displays, the animal skins, skulls and more.

On Aug. 13 and 20, stop by to learn the importance of water quality and how the native animals are connected.

Additionally, on Friday Aug. 17, join us at 3 p.m. for our program, Crafty Critters. Craft your favorite native critter while learning more about the animals of the Ozarks.

On Aug. 11, 18, and 25, water safety programs at 11 a.m. will be held. Learn how to stay safe on and near the water.

On Aug. 25 will have a special water safety program called, ‘Knot’ical Safety. In addition to learning about water safety, learn how to tie some helpful boating knots.

Some programs may be cancelled in inclement weather.  For more information or to check the status of a program, please call 501-340-1943.

Little Rock District Civilian of the Year

The 2017 Little Rock District Civilian of the Year award was bestowed on Joel Epperson, deputy operations project manager for the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System (MKARNS) project office, during the district’s annual Corps Day award ceremony June 21.

“I was completely shocked when my supervisor told me that I was selected for this award,” said Epperson. “It is a humbling experience to be nominated much less win such a high honor.”

Joel Epperson (center) receives his award from COL Robert Dixon, Little Rock District Commander and Craig Pierce, District Deputy for Programs and Project Management.

Epperson started his Corps career more than 31 years ago working at Lake Dardanelle on the MKARNS. He has always believed that hard work would pay-off and did not go looking for promotions. Those promotions found him over the years.

“I never thought about my next job or promotion, but somehow things just lined-up perfect and I was selected for new opportunities at just the right time for me, my family and the Corps. My most recent move had me leaving a staff of 17 to leading a team of more than 200 people up and down the MKARNS,” said Epperson.

And according to Epperson, a native of Conway, that move came with its share of challenges and rewards.

“My current position has a lot of moving parts and a huge annual budget. My team works all shifts, 24/7, 365 days a year. Making sure we have the right people in the right places at the right time, with all the challenges of employee turnover, deployments and temporary duty assignments keeps me on my toes.

“But I find the most rewarding part of the job is the people. Hiring quality people to fill key positions and helping them learn their new job is very rewarding,” according to Epperson.

Joel Epperson, Little Rock District’s 2018 Civilian of the Year, discusses operations at Toad Suck Lock on the MKARNS. Epperson, a native of Conway, Arkansas has worked in the district for 31 years.

Those people working across Arkansas on the navigation system in turn help drive Epperson.

“I am inspired by our people,” said Epperson. “What they do each and every day pushes me to do better. I work hard every day to take care of our people and keep my main focus on the site offices across the [MKARNS] system so they can remain focused on their mission.”

According to the award submission, Epperson “displays professionalism and integrity in all actions, both on and off duty. In addition, Epperson has performed his supervisory duties in an exemplary manner while taking the time to mentor the next generation of leaders within the organization.”

The one main theme that recurs while talking with Epperson is family and friends. Their support has helped him reach his current position and be recognized with this award.

Joel Epperson, deputy operations project manager for the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System (MKARNS) project office, is the Little Rock Distirct’s 2018 Civilian of the Year

“I could not have accomplished half the things I have during my career without the love and support of my family,” said Epperson. “They have always stood with me and that goes for all my brothers and sisters in the [Little Rock] district. I feel like all the people I work with day in and day out are my extended family. That is a great feeling to have at work.”