WACF was grateful, and relieved, when the opportunity came along to acquire the 40 acre property now known as the Levinson-LaBrosse Lakes and Wetlands Education Center. The property met WACF’s acquisition criteria being a filled wetland area contiguous with the lake and in need of restoration to function properly as a wetland. The property had been utilized as a landfill for highway, wood, and other debris.
Since acquisition in 2008, neighbors have donated portions of abutting properties to WACF increasing the Education Center property size to 40 acres. The USFWS, IDNR, and Kosciusko County Community Foundation (KCCF) have worked hand in hand with WACF to restore the property. Restoration included invasive plant removal, debris removal, and native planting for habitat restoration.
Work on the Levinson-LaBrosse Lakes and Wetlands Education Center has included: in 2015, WACF received a $15,000 grant from the USFWS along with $1,500 from the IDNR for invasive plants and debris removal at the Education Center This grant was used in the restoration of Trail 1 from the Education Center Building to, and including, the Wawasee Lakefront Shoreline. In 2014, WACF received a $10,000 grant from the USFWS for invasive plants and debris removal at Trail 2. In 2013, WACF
received a $10,000 grant from the USFWS along with $1,500 from the IDNR, and $2,500 from the KCCF for invasive plant removal at Trail 1 (behind the Education Center building). In 2011, WACF received a $5,000 grant from the KCCF for a wetland enhancement behind the Education Center building. And in 2009, WACF received a $9,000 grant from the KCCF for a Master Plan of the WACF Education Center.
The restoration is nearly complete and the beautiful WACF Center property now includes approximately three miles of trails.