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“I designed the first trail here.” Inside the homespun, mid-19th century farmhouse that serves as the center’s headquarters, walls are decorated with the work of local artists and artisans.

There’s a modest bookstore and equally modest museum, a mini-menagerie of taxidermy — mostly bird specimens, some believed to be a century old — on display, plus a turtle and a wood snake who are very much alive.

The most severe of the floods came in 2004, when clay dams broke upstream and a wall of water rose from the usually lazy creek.

The Rancocas spilled over onto miles of Burlington County — including areas not considered in a flood zone — damaging houses and washing away bridges and roads.

One of the projects, located along a lane called Ed Brown’s Meadow, is completed.

The two others, both along Church Street — another narrow lane between the meandering Rancocas Creek and Main Street in this rural Burlington County town — are in varying stages of completion.

It took about two work days for the seven-room house to be lifted about four feet.

Another contractor, Penn Smith LLC of Langhorne, will build a new concrete foundation and finish the other structural work on the property before the couple and their daughter can move back. While public infrastructure was repaired quickly following the floods, many homeowners found it challenging to obtain grants and loans to repair their houses through the National Flood Insurance Program, administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.As her two-story, 18th-century house rose skyward, lifted up inch-by-inch out of the floodplain along the Rancocas Creek, Lisa Liebehenz reflected on just how long it had taken to get the wood-frame structure that once served as a parsonage out of harm’s way.“It’s going to be a relief when this is finally finished,” said Liebehenz, 54, who bought the Lumberton Township home in 1996 with her husband, Glenn.Some homeowners, including a couple of Liebehenz’s neighbors, themselves paid to lift their houses.Others, including the Liebehenzes and their neighbor, Cheyenne Di Enno, spent years plowing through local, state, and federal red tape to obtain what they contend is their due for paying years of flood insurance premiums.She’s not exaggerating: The fall schedule offers page after page of activities, including guided hikes, a photography club, and “Yoga With Mother Nature.” Burlington County County park ranger Kathy Ragauckus (center) speaks with visitors as the Rancocas Nature Center celebrated its 40th anniversary Sunday.The Burlington County facility has been managed by a nonprofit that fought to survive after NJ Audubon stepped back in 2012.. Little high-tech razzmatazz and no corporate come-ons intrude into the bucolic atmosphere of the center, which leases its site from the adjacent Rancocas State Park.Long divorced, they were the center’s founding family.They worked for New Jersey Audubon and were raising three three children when they were assigned to oversee the center in 1977.Liebehenz remembers a subsequent storm-driven flood that seemed to rise up from the earth, filling her basement and covering the first floor in a couple of feet of water.“It’s been a really long road for all of us living along this creek,” Liebehenz said one recent afternoon as she watched workmen from Wolfe House & Building Movers, a Bernville, Berks County, contractor, begin hoisting her circa 1784 house off its foundation.

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