header photo

Save Greers Ferry Lake

Greers Ferry Lake Needs Your Help!

A Tribute To William Carl Garner

 Save Greers Ferry Lake, Inc is so very proud and honored

Mr. William 'Carl' Garner served as a Director for our organization


Carl Garner (born William Garner, 1915) was raised on a farm near Sulphur Rock, Arkansas.  Carl Garner began his career with the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers on June 16, 1938, following his graduation from Arkansas College ( now Lyon College ).  His early career placed him at Bull Shoals Lake in northern Arkansas.  On March 15, 1959, he was assigned to the new project at Greers Ferry Lake as a supervisor for Construction Management Engineering.


In over 57 years of public service working for the Army Corps of Engineers in Arkansas, Mr. Gardner headed preparations for the

Dedication of Greers Ferry Dam by president John F. Kennedy and introduced innumerable families to the outdoors.  He served as resident engineer of Greers Ferry Lake since its construction in 1959, and in that capacity, organized a citizen cleanup of the area which expanded to Carl Garner Federal Lands Cleanup Day.  The attention the program has received has made people considerably aware of the year round problem of litter and preservation of the environment.



Mr. Garner received the Department of the Army Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service award, the highest civilian award the service can bestow, as well as being named Employee of the Year in the Little Rock District and Employee of the Year in Federal Service in Arkansas.

Carl Garner has been so honored,  the William Carl Garner Visitor Center for Greers Ferry Lake was commemorated in his name. The Center is located on Hwy 25 North just west of Greers Ferry Dam near Heber Springs, Arkansas.

Carl Garner, of Tumbling Shoals, AR., retired in 1996 after 58 years as an employee of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  He was one of the longest consecutive serving federal employees in our nation's history.

He has served on the boards for the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission and Keep America Beautiful.

"Greers Ferry Lake would become Carl Garner's life's work, and today you cannot mention one without mentioning the other," said then-Sen. David Pryor upon Garner's retirement.  "On October 14, 1962, Carl was named Resident Engineer for Greers Ferry Lake, and has held that title for 34 years.  On October 3, 1963, President John F. Kennedy dedicated the last public works project of his life and short presidency on a hillside overlooking the dam at Greers Ferry Lake.  Carl Garner stood on the podium with the President on that occasion."

Carl Garner had a vision," Sen. Pryor said.  "He was an environmentalist long before the word became common in our vernacular. Carl's vision was that Greers Ferry Lake should be pollution free and should reflect the natural beauty and landscape of the region.  Greers Ferry Lake should be a model for the nation, and today, it is the pearl in our nation's inventory of multiple purpose man-made lakes."