The benefits and challenges of White River are newsworthy.
Looking back: 2009
2009 in review
For a quick look back upstream, we have posted an annual report of our 2009 activities (PDF, 913 KB).
Adopt-A-River maps posted
The Friends have completed a web-based mapping project that highlights Adopt-A-River groups in Madison, Hamilton and Marion Counties. Each of these groups has committed to twice-a-year cleanups of a section of White River, and several were recruited and assisted by Friends of the White River.
Our new Adopt-A-River site includes an overview map showing all the AAR segments at a glance. Each river section is then linked to a page that gives contact information for that group, plus access to a detailed PDF map file showing that section of the river.
Volunteers looking for an opportunity to serve the river and their community can locate a nearby cleanup and contact the group directly. Visit our Adopt-A-River site today!
Friends among early responders
An algae bloom in Hamilton and Marion counties, first reported on July 12 by members of Friends, is thought to be the reason as many as 1,000 dead fish have been reported since July 17. Bottom-feeders — suckers, carp and catfish — are the species affected at this point, with the heaviest concentration of carcasses downstream from Broad Ripple to Rocky Ripple and 30th Street.
The algae problem is a stark reminder of how fragile a river ecosystem is. Friends continues to advocate for a reduction in non-point pollution, such as fertilizer run-off from lawns and farms alike, which can create conditions leading to algae blooms and otherwise degrade water quality.
This bloom and kill, coming 10 years after a chemical discharge killed millions of fish between Anderson and Indianapolis, again illustrates the role advocates for the waterway can play in sounding an alert.
Friends encourages those who observe conditions on the river that are out of the ordinary to call the state’s “Spills and Kills” line at 888-233-7745. Calls are answered 24/7 and automatically logged into an emergency response system that tracks their number and area of origin.
For more on this story, see
River School in the news
Indianapolis Star reporter Will Higgins accompanied us on a recent River School trek and filed this account of the experience: White River group gains friends by leading float trips, June 20, 2009.
The Friends led a river tour for local cultural and arts leaders as part of its “RiversmARTS” initiative, a campaign that highlights how many cultural institutions are interconnected by White River, as shown on our downloadable RiversmARTS Map (PDF, 231 KB).
Joining us on the river were representatives from the Indianapolis Art Center (which hosted the event), Indianapolis Downtown, Indianapolis Museum of Art, White River State Park, and Spirit & Place Festival. Our 5-mile float began at the public launch at the Indianapolis Art Center and ended on the grounds of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, and we have posted a slide show. Enjoy!
Schoolchildren, college students and young families were among the hundreds of eager volunteers who came out for the 21st Annual White River Cleanup on Saturday, April 11. It was a sunny, if brisk, morning of satisfying fun/work cleaning the banks of White River in downtown Indianapolis, with support from these sponsors.
To get the whole picture, view this slide show of the 2009 White River Cleanup.
You also can view a follow-up media story, Students clean up along White River, by Daniel Miller, WISH-TV, April 11, 2009.
More than a motto, it’s a good idea. Whether a weather event is a flood or a tornado or whatever else, some simple steps are good: