Sidney and Grace Welch received the Volunteer Excellence Coin and was honored by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Vicksburg District for years of service at Ouachita Lake’s Denby Point Recreation Area. The award recognizes the contributions and skills shown by volunteers and encourages responsibility and leadership in caring for USACE lands and resources.
“It’s rare to drive through Denby Point and not see the Welches working,” said Lake Ouachita Park Manager Stacy Sigman. “The pride they take in keeping Denby Point clean is apparent, and the USACE Vicksburg District and Lake Ouachita staff greatly appreciate their continuous hard work and dedication.”
USACE volunteers only have to meet a 20 hour a week requirement as a volunteer, in which the Welches have always exceeded. Since October 2020, the Welches have given 670 hours of service and 9,296 hours of service since October 2010. Their persistence allowed personnel to focus on amenity upgrades to the campsites and renovations to the area.
The Welches are highly involved with the area, serving as contract-fee hosts during peak seasons and Denby Point volunteers in the off-season. They are known to help campers, lend supplies, and in assisting others navigate the recreation.gov website. Their dedication is not just recognized by the USACE Vicksburg District, as many campers and tourists have given great compliments on their knowledge and willingness to help.
Among their already long list of accomplishments, the Welches have also partnered with park rangers to host a water safety information table. They distribute coloring books, ensure each visitor is informed of wearing a life jacket, and maintain the life jacket loaner board at the beach.
Sidney and Grace Welch have earned their recognition and serve as an example of how much can be accomplished by such few people.