By Louise Marum, Naturalist Supervisor, Ledge View Nature Center
Ledge View Nature Center is a 105 acre park and interpretive center that is part of the Calumet County Parks system. While the park is most famous for the caves, visitors can also enjoy an educational interpretive center, 3 miles of hiking trails, a 60-foot observation tower, a woodland fun trail for kids, and a native plants arboretum.
There are many projects that the Chilton Area Community Foundation (CACF) has funded here at Ledge View over the years. These generous contributions have helped to enhance visitor experience and education for the public and tens of thousands of school children. We sincerely thank all those who helped to facilitate these grants, and would like to take some time to share their impact as CACF celebrates 20 years. I’ll mention just some of the many projects that would not have been possible without CACF.
At the trail head a large stone kiosk welcomes visitors. It contains a map of the trails and interpretation highlighting features of the park. Along the trails, interpretive panels describe different unique points of interest within the park.
Inside the nature center building the ‘Snakes of Wisconsin’ display is always popular with the kids. Live snakes, which we also use for hands-on programing, have large attractive enclosures with information on each species. The CACF has also contributed to the care of many of the other animals we use for programing.
Kids especially love to visit the Fun Trail in the park. Parents are able to let children climb, swing, and balance on play equipment in the woods. The foundation-funded Nature Viewing Fort, with attached rock climbing wall and slide, is always the favorite!
Without grants from CACF, some of our larger projects would not have met funding goals. When school children eat lunch, they enjoy using the picnic pavilion and it is also often used as an outdoor classroom. The solar electric panel tracks sunlight to create energy that offsets the cost of energy use in the building.
Ledge View Nature Center would not be what it is today without the support of the Chilton Area Community Foundation. It is with sincere gratitude that we congratulate the Chilton Area Community Foundation on 20 years of exemplary community service.
The Chilton Area Community Foundation is one of five geographic affiliates we partner with in the Fox Valley. Our other partners include Brillion Area Family of Funds, Clintonville Area Foundation , Shawano Area Community Foundation and Waupaca Area Community Foundation.