By Mr. Edward N Johnson (USACE)January 27, 2020
Glenn and Bobbie Wehrmann, both long-time U.S. Army Corps of Engineers volunteers at Lake Texoma, located on the Oklahoma and Texas border, were presented the prestigious Corps Foundation Enduring Service Volunteer Award, here, Jan. 21.
According to Marilyn Jones, Corps Foundation Secretary and Treasurer for the Corps of Engineers Natural Resources Education Foundation, the Werhmann's were recognized for their outstanding volunteerism and many accomplishments at Lake Texoma.
Volunteers at the lake for more than 12 years, the Werhmans have contributed more than 13,300 volunteer service hours for a cost savings to the U.S. Army of $338,219.
Following the awards ceremony, both Glenn and Bobbie were also given individual $250 gift cards, donated by the Bass Pro Shop in Garland, Texas.
Lake Manager and Deputy Operations Project Manager, Joe Custer, who nominated the couple for the award, also expressed his gratitude to the Werhmann's during the ceremony.
"They have been instrumental in helping clean up flood and campsite debris, as well as utilizing heavy equipment to make repairs to recreation area roads and campsites," added Custer.
"This hard working couple is often the face of the Army Corps of Engineers here at Texoma and they both consistently give visitors to our parks and recreation areas a very positive view of the Army Corps," added Custer.
"We were surprised and very appreciative of the award," said Glenn Wehrmann, a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department retiree. "And we look forward to continue being volunteers here for as long as we can."
According to Jones, the Corps Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to engaging the public to ensure the environmental health and recreational enjoyment of our Nation's lakes, lands and waterways administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Lake Texoma offers a multitude of amenities for those who enjoy outdoor recreation activities. Visitors to Texoma will find 10 different campgrounds managed by USACE-Tulsa District, with the total number of individual campsites reaching well over 700. Also available are 25 miles of equestrian trails enjoyed by hundreds of riders each year and the scenic Cross Timbers hiking trail, a very popular trail that winds for 14 miles above the lake on rocky ledges and through blackjack woodland.
Lake Texoma currently offers overnight accommodations, boat rentals, slip rentals and supplies, available at many of the 22 commercial concessions located around to the lake.
Lake Texoma was constructed during WWII. German prisoners of war were involved in the construction of the dam and were the first POWs to be used in a labor camp. These prisoners were from Rommel's Afrika Korps and were housed in camps at Tishomingo and Powell, Okla. Later, the Tishomingo POWs were housed in another camp at the Denison Dam spillway. Only non-war related work could be performed by POWs according to the Geneva Convention -- such as clearing trees for the proposed reservoir and light construction. Construction projects performed by the prisoners included mortared stone lining of the drainage ditches around the damsite, which are still present today, and a damsite bathroom facility.
Management of the lands around Lake Texoma was turned over to the National Park Service in 1946 and that continued until 1949, when both agencies decided the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers would once again assume responsibility for the operation and maintenance of the reservoir and its surrounding recreation sites.
Lake Texoma has crested its auxiliary spillway due to historic levels of flooding a total of five times: 1957, 1990, 2007 and twice in 2015.
Construction of the dam was completed in Jan., 1944, at a cost of $54 million. The installation of the two generators was completed in Sept., 1949. Initially Lake Texoma was authorized for flood control, hydropower and water supply. Recreation was not officially added as a project purpose by Congress until 1988.