Central Indiana leaders gathered Monday to reveal their plans to enhance 58 miles of the White River across Marion and Hamilton counties.
The goals of these efforts are to improve water quality, increase public access, and foster a greater appreciation for the White River. This plan is led by a team at Agency Landscape and Planning.
Co-founders of the agency, Gina Ford and Brie Hensold, say that they want people to fall in love with the river like many of those who spend their time on it. During the presentation at the Indianapolis Art Center, Brie Hensold read a comment they received at their thirst public meeting.
“Someone wrote down, ‘My daddy fished in the White River in the '30s and '40s. We’d catch fish and fry them and eat them on the bank. He requested his ashes be left at his favorite fishing spot.’ So, this is a place that is timeless,” Hensold says. “This is a place that endures and this is a place that we want to continue to invest in, so it can create more memories for more generations in the future.”
There are nine principles that the White River Vision Plan works under. They are restoring and adapting the river’s surrounding environment, enhancing community stewardship of the river’s health, increasing year-round activities, drawing people to the river, building on the river’s history, expanding the river’s role to build regional economic strength, celebrating the diversity of the region’s communities, balance community sentiments with existing owners and residents, and creating partnerships to collaboratively manage the White River system.
Agency has been collaborating with groups already doing work along the river such as Friends of the White River and the White River Alliance. Some of the recommendations include connecting the river to existing trails and incorporating green infrastructure to manage storm runoff.
Several events are being held this week to celebrate the plan including river cleanup, the annual Canoe to Work Day, and the New York Street Bridge Lighting.