To preserve, protect & enhance the White River of Indiana

Cleanup volunteers

Cleanup volunteers

Protest Paddle, May 30

Friends of the White River invites its members and all interested parties to take part in a a White River float to protest the proposed Mounds Lake dam and reservoir. This project would destroy a free-flowing, natural stream and cause irreparable environmental, economic, historical and cultural damage to miles of river corridor. We encourage paddlers who participate to wear any Friends tee shirts or hats they may have.

The Heart of the River Coalition is hosting the protest paddle Saturday, May 30, beginning at the Canoe Country livery in Daleville, Indiana and ending at the 8th Street Bridge in Anderson. Canoe Country buses will assist with the shuttle. Paddlers are advised to be at Canoe Country by 9 a.m. in order to take part in the shuttle; launch will be at 10 a.m. Organizers hope to see 200 boats on the water.

Visit May 30 Protest Paddle for more trip information, or Canoe Country if you wish to rent a canoe or kayak.

If you plan to paddle, please RSVP to the trip organizer, Garry Hill, at, so that he can plan the shuttle.

canoes and kayaks on the river

Some of the Protest Paddle participants at the site of the proposed dam during the May 2014 event.


Mounds Dam

Friends of the White River oppose the proposed Mounds/Anderson Dam.

We consider the loss of a free flowing stream near our area to be a huge cost to pay for a reservoir with unknown/questionable water quality. Fishing and recreational opportunities will degrade. As the river exists now, there are fine canoeing and kayaking opportunities. Our White River is presently teeming with small mouth bass and other game fish, and many people enjoy fishing there.

Agricultural and residential run off make this a poor solution to store water for urban uses. Unknown and non-verifiable industrial dumps located in the area will further degrade water quality. Citizens Water has studied future needs for Indianapolis, and announced that present sources and strategies will stand in good stead for at least the next 25 years. Evaporative losses of a reservoir with such a large surface area also negatively impact feasibility.

We believe the dam will provide little flood control benefit to Indianapolis. Much of our natural flow presently comes from streams that are downstream of the proposed dam site.

Board of Directors, Friends of the White River, May 21, 2014

riparian river corridor

Free-flowing White River


Greenway vs. dam: There is another option

An alternative to damming the White River at Anderson would provide for preservation of the waterway’s natural character while creating opportunities for both recreation and economic development. The proposed Mounds Greenway is the featured topic of an upcoming meeting of the Friends of the White River.

Please join us Thursday, February 12 at 7 p.m. at the White River Yacht Club, 1400 East 74th Street, Indianapolis, for a presentation detailing the Mounds Greenway proposal, delivered by Tim Maloney of the Hoosier Environmental Council. This trail system has been offered as a more sensible and sustainable approach to enhancing the Central Indiana resource.

This will be a “free-flowing” discussion of why this approach, suggested by a coalition of river advocates, provides for protecting and enhancing the river in a far less costly manner than the controversial dam project now being considered. The proposed reservoir would flood many miles of a natural river, much of it prime riparian habitat, including a portion of an Indiana state park and a dedicated nature preserve.

The session is being held in conjunction with the 2015 Friends’ member meeting, where a board of directors will be elected. Food and beverage will be available for purchase beginning at 6 p.m.


Proposed tree clearing along White River

Portions of the tree-lined banks of White River from the Westfield Boulevard bridge to the Kessler Avenue bridge will be cleared of many of the mature hardwood species that provide some of the best wildlife habitat in the city, under a plan proposed by the Indianapolis Department of Public Works and the U.S Army Corps of Engineers.

The work is part of the much-debated flood control measures for the city’s northside but is much more extensive in terms of clearing large numbers of trees than was the case with an earlier part of the city/federal project below the Kessler Avenue bridge. Concerns about the project include removing trees and vegetation in some areas along the east-bank levee all the way to the waterline. Questions are also being raised on exactly what is needed to meet FEMA requirements for revising flood insurance coverage maps for the Broad Ripple Village and Warfleigh neighborhoods, and which areas will actually benefit.

A follow-up meeting to ask questions and learn more is set for Thursday, March 19, at 5:30 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 6050 North Meridian Street, Indianapolis.

Friends of White River encourages anyone interested in the river and how we use and treat it as a resource to attend this important meeting! Public input in the past in this area was a key factor in determining the approach to levee restoration work.

trees to be cut down

City and Corps plan would remove mature trees along more than two miles of high-quality riparian habitat.