Pictured at the Wawasee Conservancy are (seated) Dr. Nathan Bosch, Executive Director Center for Lakes & Streams at Grace College; Heather Harwood, Executive Director, Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation; Judy Shoemaker, Development Officer Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation; (standing) KLA Moderator Allyn Decker; Nicole Sherrill, Zimmer; and Zack Harding, Symmetry Medical.
Kosciusko Leadership Academy (KLA) met at the Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation (WACF) to learn about Aquatic Ecology in Kosciusko County. Nathan Bosch, Ph.D., Director of Center for Lakes and Streams, explained the far reaching effect of the lakes. The Center for Lakes and Streams offers educational opportunities for schools through the Lakes in the Classroom program; art contests; and the Day at the Lake. The Lakes Festival provides an opportunity for Kosciusko County residents and visitors to learn about the lakes and experience the lakes through interaction. In addition to eduction, the Center for Lakes and Streams conducts important research on lake conditions, including studies on blue algae and E. coli.
The lakes are a valuable resource for Kosciusko County, requiring preservation and protection. The Tippecanoe River is one of the eighth most valuable rivers in biodiversity according to conservancy agencies. Recently, the middle section of the Tippecanoe River has undergone partial clearing and the work continues. Dr. Bosch explained Kosciusko County is also home to the Continental divide, located by the NOAA Weather center. This is the dividing line where water flows north (to the Great Lakes) and the other side flows south.
Heather Harwood, Executive Director, Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation, spoke to the KLA cadets about WACF’s role in protecting the watershed’s 820 plus acres. This organization is 100 percent donor funded. Partnering with other organizations and administering grant funds received, the WACF strives to maintain water quality for today and for future generations. The WACF also offers Saturday morning lake talks; canoe trips; and have just completed a new overlook on the east end of Lake Wawasee.
KLA is a not for profit organization devoted to serving Kosciusko County by encouraging leaders and future leaders to dream and create a better community through white paper projects.