Vicksburg District

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Posted 1/14/2015

Release no. 15-001

Shirley J. Smith

VICKSBURG, Miss…The manager of the Vicksburg District’s Arkansas lakes recently retired. For 42 years, Brenda Meeks served the Corps with distinction and honor and was an outstanding ambassador for Lake Ouachita, DeGray Lake and Lake Greeson. She was a tremendous advocate for recreational facilities, resulting in numerous partnerships with local communities and organizations surrounding the three lakes.

Meeks career with the Corps began in 1972 in the Project Resources Management Branch of Operations Division. Upon her retirement, Meeks was responsible for managing not only the three Arkansas Corps lakes but also each of their hydropower plants, and 114,183 acres of public lands with 49 recreational areas. She also managed a combined staff of 188 Corps and contract employees with an average budget of approximately $19 million.

Nationally recognized projects within her oversight included the Geo-Float Trail, the first water-based nature trail in the country, which was a finalist in the Chief of Engineers awards program in 1984, and the recently completed 45-mile Lake Ouachita Vista Trail that will benefit the local economy by providing recreational opportunities for thousands of visitors. Lake Ouachita also received a National Take Pride in America award in 1991.

Meeks awards and recognitions included the Achievement Medal for Civilian Service for her efforts with the Arkadelphia, Arkansas tornado cleanup in 1997; the Vicksburg District’s nomination for the Women in Science and Engineering Award for Scientific Achieve¬ment; and the Commander’s Award for Civilian Service in 2006 for her work with the Hurricane Katrina cleanup.

A native of Hot Springs, Arkansas, she received her Bachelor of Science Degree in park administration from Arkansas Tech University.