The benefits and challenges of White River are newsworthy.
Looking back: 2007
Cross-cultural program launch
Friends of the White River has begun work on Riverwise, a program for African American and Latino children and adults that focuses on health and safety issues related to recreational uses of the waterway, especially in downtown Indianapolis.
Initial work on the project has been made possible with the generous support of the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust, which has provided a $60,000 grant over a two-year period. The funding will allow Friends to begin recruiting partners from city, county and state government, as well as from the private sector, to work together to inform the target audience about considerations such as fish consumption advisories, regulations, and how to avoid heavily-polluted areas.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for our organization to reach out to people who may not be aware that there are some areas that are better suited for recreation than others,” noted Kevin Hardie, Executive Director. “In many ways, it ties in with efforts that began when the group was founded more than 20 years ago, and we established the Kids Fishing Invitational, an annual event focusing on the river as a resource right in the midst of an urban area.” That event celebrates its 22nd anniversary this fall.
The Trust has supported Friends efforts to reach out to new and changing audiences in the past. A grant they made two years ago for River School, an interactive learning program for students, has led to development of an ongoing program that has enabled several hundred teens, young adults, educators, community leaders and volunteers to have a day-long experience on the waterway that runs through the heart of the city. More information on that program can be found at www.river-school.org.
A Busy Season of Service
The list is long: During 2007, the Friends led or supported several river cleanups, the DNR program “Families Stepping Out,” Earth Day Indiana Festival, the City of Indianapolis Water Festival, the DNR State Fair Fishing Pond and our 22nd Annual Kids Fishing Invitational. We also published the first edition of our West Fork River Maps, served on multiple river-related committees and hosted several River School trips.
For the full story about our activities during 2007, download and enjoy A Busy Season of Service (PDF, 3.2 MB).
Indiana River Heroes award
Friends Board member John Winters was named a River Hero this summer at the first Indiana Rivers’ Rally, held in West Lafayette. The long-time Friends member, who has served on the board of directors for the past 10 years, was recognized for his efforts to protect Indiana waterways during his long career at the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, as well as for his ongoing volunteer commitment to our group and other organizations.
Check out our full-color maps showing White River boat ramps, canoe launches, overlooks, trails and other landmarks. The first set of 13 maps begins at the Madison / Hamilton County line and follows the river south to 16th Street in Marion County. Downloadable as Acrobat PDF files, the maps print to either color or grayscale printers. Select the following links to download files. Enjoy!
The first-ever Indiana Rivers Rally took place on the Purdue University Campus and nearby rivers. Programs and sessions included hands-on workshops, field trips, presentations on cultural, economic, and scientific topics, and strategies for enhancing the capacity of organizations or volunteer groups.
Candid cleanup shots, 2007
We have a photo slide show of the 19th Annual White River Cleanup. Despite drizzly, wet weather, lots of you turned out — about 125 of you downtown and 40 at Rocky Ripple. Thanks to all the families, scouts, church groups, students and individuals who pitched in and picked up under tough conditions!
Mountainfilm on Tour
Our thanks go to the Mountainfilm in Telluride folks who presented a remarkable film festival, with proceeds to benefit the Friends. From exhilarating stories about personal achievement to provocative looks at conservation issues to silly fun, this was an evening to remember and appreciate.
Many residents along and near White River are watching with worry about heightened flood levels as developers push projects at Keystone Avenue, where condominiums may replace the Landings Apartments, and at 96th Street, where a developer already has filled 15 acres of flood plain.
Dozens of you braved cold, wet weather to pitch in for our White River Cleanup in November. Thank you all for investing in the banks of White River!
About 30 volunteers, many from Alcoa Closure Systems International and Butler University, enjoyed a sunny, chilly morning of hard work during our annual autumn Adopt-A-River Cleanup. We scoured the riverbank from 106th to 86th Streets and shared a dumpster with the residents of Sandy Point Condominiums. Thanks to all who helped! And now you can enjoy a photo album!
Hooked on fun!
We had great turnouts for our September 2007 events, Fishing with PRIDE at Bradford Woods and the Kids Fishing Invitational on the Lake Indy section of White River at Riverside Park. Check out this photo album!
We also hosted one of the DNR fishing days at the State Fair in August 2007. Thanks to all the volunteers and supporters who helped out!