The benefits and challenges of White River are newsworthy.
Join your fellow Friends for a special event!
Did you know 60 percent of all of the drinking water for Indianapolis comes from White River? Or that the suburbs of Atlanta came within 90 days of running out of their supply of this precious resource just three years ago?
Award-winning journalist Charles Fishman will touch on this and other topics as our featured guest at a special event on Monday evening, November 14 in conjunction with the Ann Katz Festival of Books and Arts. Fishman, who is the author of The Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water, will be speaking at the Arthur M. Glick JCC, 6701 Hoover Road in Indianapolis.
Members of Friends of White River, those who have volunteered for our many projects, representatives of governmental organizations and advisory bodies, as well as anyone else who has an interest in what Fishman calls “the secret life of a resource that few people understand or appreciate” are invited to join us for a free 6 p.m. reception preceding the event.
To learn more about Mr. Fishman’s book that tells us we are hopefully entering “a new era of ‘smart water’ that will replace the world of unlimited, inexpensive and unthinking water use,” check out The Big Thirst web site.
You’ll be able to talk with the author in-person at the reception, as well as purchase copies of the book before and after the 7 p.m. presentation. There is no charge for the reception, sponsored by Friends in cooperation with the Hoosier Environmental Council. Admission to Mr. Fishman’s 7 p.m. presentation is $3 for JCC members and $5 for non-members.
We hope you’ll join us for this informative event focused on a resource we all use every day, in so many ways, through our relationship with a river that runs through Central Indiana’s major communities.
A month of river activities
Friends of the White River will be a part of the first annual White River Watershed Festival that gets underway this month as we assist groups and businesses participating in the multi-county cleanups occurring between Muncie and Indianapolis this fall. We’ve also provided input to arts and cultural interests on activities they are conducting.
The event will provide many volunteer opportunities, recreational events, lectures, art exhibits and happenings all focusing on the significance of the White River to the 1.9 million people living in the White River watershed. Something for everyone — young and old, school groups, clubs, families and individuals.
The event is sponsored by the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust.
Thanks for pitching in!
Our eager, hard-working volunteers made the 23rd Annual White River Cleanup a great success, despite high water and wet conditions. Once again, their efforts made all the difference — and they got a free event tee shirt provided by United Water, a delicious pizza lunch courtesy of Heritage Environmental, and a coupon card from Chipotle!
On behalf of all the White River Cleanup sponsors, we now invite you to look for yourselves among the day’s photos:
News story details history of the Friends
Take a trip back in time to the origins of the Friends of the White River in Keeping It Clean (PDF, 251 KB), a story that appeared in a recent edition of the Franklin Daily Journal, written by Amy May.
A new web site is focused on polluted rivers and lakes in Indiana. Using examples from the Tippecanoe River to Turtle Creek Reservoir, IN Our Water examines how Indiana’s political leaders have largely failed in their duties to protect clean water. A combination of weak state policies and lax enforcement have allowed Hoosier rivers and lakes to become fouled by algae blooms, toxins, sedimentation and dangerous pathogens.
The site was produced by the Environmental Law & Policy Center, with a grant from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust. The ELPC is working to increase awareness of the pollution issues facing the state and engage the public in calling for solutions like statewide limits on phosphorus use and better water quality standards for factory farms.
Fishing with family
Family Learn to Fish workshops will be offered on the third Saturday of most months at Fort Harrison State Park in Indianapolis, beginning April 16. The workshops, which run from 9 a.m. to noon, offer families the chance to learn to fish, both in a classroom and while fishing on Delaware Lake, aided by expert instructors. The DNR’s Go FishIN program provides fishing gear and bait. All workshop fishing is catch-and-release. The required advance registration or more information is available by e-mailing nrec@dnr.IN.gov or calling (317) 562-1338.
Good deeds go noticed
The Friends were busy in 2010 and we want to honor our volunteers, and others who join us in learning about and working for the watershed, with a slide show of our activities.
Free water conservation workshop
Join the Indiana Wildlife Federation and local experts for a free workshop on May 10th from 5:30–8:30 p.m. at Minnetrista in Muncie, Indiana.
Do you know what environmental problems jeopardize your watershed? Or how excess nutrients affect wildlife and water quality? How you treat your watershed can affect ecosystems hundreds of miles away!
Take this opportunity to learn about important water quality issues and get the tools you need to help revive healthy streams through conservation practices. Register today at www.indianawildlife.org or call 317-875-9453.
Dirt Day (aka Earth Day)
Be good to your mother and look for the Friends booth when you visit the Earth Day Indiana Festival at White River State Park on Saturday, April 23. Be even better to your mother: Ride your bike to Earth Day and park for free at Pedal & Park.
The man described as “the leading conservationist of the 20th century” grew up along the banks of a Midwestern river.
Friends is proud to host an Indiana premiere of the new documentary film, Green Fire, the first full-length film about legendary conservationist Aldo Leopold and his environmental legacy. During his extraordinary career, Leopold shaped and influenced conservation and the modern environmental movement. The movie also illustrates how Leopold’s vision of a community that cares about people continues to inform and inspire people across the country and around the world.
Our showing of this 72-minute movie takes place in the Holliday Park Nature Center (see map) on Sunday, March 27 at 2 p.m. Admission is free, but seating is limited.
Donations to support efforts to improve the White River watershed through hands-on projects, as well as outreach and education efforts on its behalf, will be accepted at the event. For more information about Leopold and the movie, visit www.greenfiremovie.com.
Pitch in with spring cleanups
Friends of White River will again be helping with the 12th Annual Fall Creek Cleanup on the near-northside of Indianapolis this spring. The event, sponsored by the Youth Outdoor Exploration Academy, is set for Saturday, March 26, from 8 a.m. until noon.
Volunteers will meet in the parking lot of Christ Temple Church, 430 West Fall Creek Parkway and be shuttled to targeted bank segments along Burdsal Parkway and Fall Creek Parkway. Lunch will be provided. Also, this year will feature the first annual kite flying contest following the cleanup.
If you can’t turn out to work that day, please consider making a donation that will allow us to continue to assist with this effort, as well as the Downtown White River Cleanup on Saturday, April 30.
The Indiana House Committee on Natural Resources chairperson, Representative Sean Eberhart, decided not to hear House Bill 1425, which would establish restrictions on the application of fertilizer material that contains phosphorus. HB 1425 now will not come up for a vote in the House.
The bill still has a chance and will be added as a second reading amendment to Senate Bill 202 authored initially by Senator Beverly Gard.
Please contact your legislators to encourage their support in restricting the use of phosphorus in lawn fertilizer.
Annual Meeting kicks off new year!
Special awards, prize drawings and an engaging speaker highlighted our January 27 annual membership meeting.
All property is riverfront property, and Butler University’s Center for Urban Ecology wants to demonstrate that axiom with its project titled “Following the Life of Water,” known simply as FLOW. Backed by a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, CUE is developing a smartphone app called “Raindrop” that will let people trace the path of a raindrop from their homes to the banks of the White.
“We want people to realize that what they do on a house and for their house directly connects with other people and the river,” said Dr. Tim Carter, director of CUE. The Raindrop app is a work-in-progress; you can follow its path at the Indianapps web site.
Also during the meeting, we conducted the business of electing our 2011 Board of Directors and gave two well-earned awards. The meeting was sponsored by Wealthpoint Advisors and Williams Creek Consulting.
Special thanks to Cappuccino Bars for Hire by Zzzestpresso and Harvest Cafe Roast for some outstanding refreshments at the start of the event, as well as to The Kroger Co., whose support in 2010 also included “fueling food power” for volunteers involved with cleanups!
Long-time support by the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust earned our thanks and the 2010 Perseverance Paddle.
Hard work and upbeat attitudes earned Booz Allen Hamilton employees our 2010 Going The Distance Award.
On our calendar
Mark your calendars now for the Fall Creek Cleanup on Saturday, March 26 and the 23rd Annual Downtown White River Cleanup on Saturday, April 30. Come out, volunteer, work hard, have fun — all for a good reason. We’ll be there.
Support a healthy fishery
Just a little more than 10 years ago, the river you care about was devastated by a chemical discharge that killed an estimated five million fish between Anderson and downtown Indianapolis. Since then, concerned people have made great progress in the restoration process by working in cooperation with governmental agencies and other interests.
Now, we need your help once again! The State of Indiana is considering adopting a new set of regulations that would add additional protection for the recovery. The measure would allow for no more than two fish over 15 inches to be part of the daily five-fish bag limit for those who choose to keep their catch, and would be in place for all rivers and streams. Backed by demonstrated success for a similar program on the Blue River, these regulations would protect adult breeding stock, enhance recreational opportunities and provide subsequent economic benefit to the State of Indiana.
Please work with Friends and DNR to create an improved fishery for future generations! Send an e-mail in support of the change, before Tuesday, January 11, 2011, to Executive Director Kevin Hardie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We welcome you in supporting our ongoing efforts to protect, preserve and enhance this waterway.