About the Wabash River Enhancement Corporation
The Wabash River Enhancement Corporation, WREC, is a 501c3 nonprofit agency. We lead community efforts to develop long range plans to improve the riverfront, the river corridor, and water quality; and then we engage the community in their implementation.
Our mission is to enhance the quality of life in the Wabash River Corridor by creating sustainable opportunities to improve health, recreation, education, economic development, and environmental management.
WREC benefits from deeply entrenched local support and strong community partnerships. The formation of WREC in 2004 was the direct result of the “1999-2001 Lafayette-West Lafayette/Tippecanoe County Vision 2020” which identified enhancement of the Wabash River Corridor as a top priority, and early formational leadership was provided by North Central Health Services. WREC actively partners with the Cities of Lafayette and West Lafayette, Tippecanoe County, and Purdue University and through these well-established partnerships accomplish great things on behalf of the Wabash River.
In Brief: What WREC Does
WREC has raised over $1 million for the completion of long range plans for the entire 31 miles of river corridor in Tippecanoe County. These plans call for trail improvements, additional bicycle and pedestrian bridges, and green spaces to connect communities to each other and to the river. Ultimately, these plans will spur new economic development and improved environmental management along the corridor. Early implementation accomplishments include designation of River Road in West Lafayette as a State Scenic Byway, the acquisition of over 17 strategic corridor properties, valued at $7.5 million, and environmental assessment and cleanup work.
WREC also works in local watersheds to directly improve water quality in the Wabash River implementing more than $1 million in on-the-ground water quality improvement projects. WREC and its local partners have sparked water quality improvement projects in the Greater Lafayette community, such as the installation of rain barrels, rain gardens, native plantings, stormwater management alternatives, and agricultural best management practices.
Structure and Finances
WREC is governed by a nine-member board of directors. Daily operations are maintained by four staff members. WRECs first five years of operation were funded through a $500,000 North Central Health Services grant, and since 2011, operations have been funded through a dedicated allocation from the Tippecanoe County Innkeepers Tax revenue. Operations and programming are also funded through grants generously provided by North Central Health Services and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. In order to expand our efforts, WREC continues to seek funding for planning, land acquisition, environmental work, and development projects through public and private sector funding sources.