The efforts of some federal workers in Grayson and Breckinridge counties — and some volunteers as well — drew national honors this week.
On Thursday, employees of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers office at Rough River Lake received the Corps’ 2012 Chief of Engineers Natural Resources Management Project of the Year.
The award recognizes an office or “project” for its accomplishments in management efficiency, public involvement, public safety, management effectiveness, partnerships, environmental stewardship and environmental compliance as related to all elements of the Corps’ Natural Resources Management Program. The evaluation focuses on management efforts that contribute to greater efficiency and effectiveness in use of personnel and funds, while sustaining or improving good customer service and stewardship of project resources.
The Corps, which operates and maintains 422 multi-use lake projects nationwide, has been naming a Project of the Year for more than 44 years.
Louisville District Commander Col. Luke Leonard presented the award to employees at a lakeside gazebo near the new Visitor’s Center.
Park manager Diane Stratton previously said Rough River was selected because of efforts to serve “the Corps and our nation very well with effective management with decreased funding.
“The staff is (being) recognized for outstanding efforts to maximize their programs in a manner that allows them to still meet the needs of the visiting public,” she said.
According to the Corps, the staff at Rough River has revolutionized safety awareness programs “by thinking outside the box and creating programs that will serve the public nationally, regionally, and locally.” It also praised their focus onstewardship and its partnerships with local volunteers and communities.
Specifically, the Corps cited the Rough River employees for their communication with the public, including their use of social media; their water safety programs; and their commitment to customer service, which included working to upgrade electrical and water service at the lake’s four campgrounds and building shower houses at Laurel branch and Cave Creek campgrounds.
Rough River Lake was first selected as the representative project for the Ohio River Division before moving on to the national review at the Corps’ headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Receiving the award were Stratton; rangers Adam Warren, Adam Taylor, Adam VanZant, J.D. Tucker, and Wendy Pohl; administrative assistant Tammy Simpson; office clerk Brittany Ford; maintenance leader Layman Lucas; maintenance workers Mark Cardwell, Bryan Duvall, Tim McQueen, Tom Dennison, and Steve Clemons.
Following that presentation, the Friends of Rough River Lake received the Corps’ Commander’s Award for Public Service.
The award recognized the volunteers’ “exceptional public service,” noting their partnerships with the local Corps’ staff to promote outdoor recreation, water safety, community involvement and area and natural history.
It also praised the volunteers for their work on renovating and staffing the new visitor and outdoor learning centers at the lake.
Receiving the award for the Friends were president Gillie Hust, vice president Howard Tomes, secretary Joan Hust,treasurer Susanna Webb, and members Cathy Corbett and Mark Webb.