As a difficult year comes closer to its end, we hope you’ve had opportunities to enjoy and appreciate both the presence of and the promise of our White River here in Central Indiana. During these times, Friends, like other not-for-profit organizations, has had to adapt the ways we work to engage people with the waterway.
We have been unable to share some of these in-person with you at the usual format of an annual meeting in the spring but want you to know how we worked to protect, preserve and enhance White River during 2020, and on into 2021.
A three-year grant with the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust was completed this fall. Since it began in 2017, we conducted 61 on-water tours, involving 1,305 people, and organized 23 cleanups and restoration efforts involving 380 participants. Those numbers would have been even larger had we been able to conduct activities this past spring and summer.
We have also begun a new effort the Trust is helping to support called “Stream Stewards” that will help property owners make good choices for planting native habitat. Friends is also focusing on illegal dumping enforcement and conducting “virtual cleanups,” with individuals and small groups who can maintain social distancing practices while picking up litter and trash in and along the river and its tributary streams.
We’re continuing to monitor the direction of what’s called the “White River Vision Plan,” a study focusing on a 58-mile stretch of riparian corridor throughout Marion and Hamilton Counties. Our input has emphasized the need for continuing efforts to improve water quality and for making sure all interests involved with the river are recognized when it comes to having a voice about its future.
Your financial support has made this and other work possible. The tax-deductible contribution you have made goes towards our ongoing efforts on behalf of the waterway and is, as always, appreciated.
Thank you for your ongoing support. It’s a gift to and for White River not only now, but for future generations.