Lake Red Rock Volunteers Receive National Award

Published Sept. 26, 2017

Chester and Phyllis Briggs, Newton residents and long-time Lake Red Rock volunteers, are two of this year's national recipients of the Enduring Service Volunteer Award.  They will receive the award at 10:00 am on Thursday, September 28 at the Bass Pro Shops in Altoona, Iowa.

The Corps Foundation established the award in January 2016 to honor long term service and outstanding accomplishments by individuals and families of volunteers at US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) lakes and waterways. In addition to the Briggs, this year’s award winners include:

  •   Mrs. Edie Wright, with 12 years of distinguished service at Carr Creek Lake at Sassafras, Kentucky

     Chester and Phyllis Briggs, 19 years of dedicated service at Lake Red Rock at Knoxville, Iowa

Chester and Phyllis Briggs have logged over 9,300 hours of volunteer service at Lake Red Rock, where they have worked seasonally since 1998. Chester and Phyllis manage a bird habitat restoration program which was initiated in 1979 to address a dramatic decline in bird populations by constructing and maintaining nest boxes. In conjunction with their field work, the Briggs have also made significant contributions to the interpretation and outreach programs at Lake Red Rock by sharing their knowledge of birds with visitors. Under the Briggs' guidance, Lake Red Rock's nest box program has grown to include a trail of 113 bluebird boxes and 4 purple martin colonies which contributed to the fledging of 3,412 bluebirds, 2,172 tree swallows, 825 purple martins and 304 chickadees.

Chester and Phyllis Briggs were selected for the exceptional quality and impact of their volunteer work at Lake Red Rock. Their outstanding volunteer effort over a period of 19 years exemplifies the type and caliber of dedicated volunteer service for which the Enduring Service Award was established. They were selected from an impressive group of individuals nominated for their continued service and accomplishments at USACE projects throughout the United States. 

The Enduring Service Volunteer Award was established by the nonprofit Corps of Engineers Natural Resources Education Foundation, doing business as The Corps Foundation. It is the only nationwide nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to supporting our nation's lakes, rivers and their many resources. Its mission is to engage the public to ensure the environmental health and recreational enjoyment of the nation’s lakes, lands and waterways administered by USACE.

Release no. 17-043