All posts by tmcCain

White River closings

Construction projects in two locations are closing parts of White River. 

The Lake Indy/Riverside boat ramp is closed while Citizens Energy Group creates a rock dam downstream. The dam will raise the pool level upstream for the water supply station that was disabled by the 2018 breach of the Emrichsville Dam below 16th Street.

A carry-in launch from below the construction area will be available, which will double as a portage. Through on-water traffic will not be allowed. Read more about the Riverside Rock Dam project (PDF, 140 KB).

boat ramp on river
The Riverside Park boat ramp is closed.

Likewise, on-river travel will not be possible from Broad Ripple down to Rocky Ripple while workers rebuild the Kessler Boulevard Bridge at Friedman Park. A large weir has been constructed across the width of White River, making passage by recreational users difficult or dangerous, especially during higher flow.

Friends of the White River advocated for signage to be placed at the Indianapolis Arts Center access point to inform recreational users of the downstream river closure. Previous to our actions, the City only planned to place signage at the Meridian Street Bridge, which could have forced recreational users, unaware of the closing, to paddle back upstream to a take out.

warning sign posted at boat launch on river
The Carvel Avenue boat launch is open, but downstream travel is restricted.

Please alter your summer paddling plans accordingly and avoid these portions of the White River. To learn about other paddling options, download our White River Guide mobile app.

To support our ongoing efforts on behalf of recreational users, please consider a donation to Friends of the White River.

Cover crop insurance program for farmers

The Indiana State Department of Agriculture, The Nature Conservancy and the United State Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency have joined forces to implement the Upper White River Crop Insurance Incentive Program.

Cover cropping has many benefits including increased organic matter, improved soil biology, better water infiltration, and better water-holding capacity. This practice also prevents nutrients and sediment from running off the farm, keeping them out of nearby waterbodies and streams.

Crop insurance is an integral part of the farm safety net that provides financial protection for farmers after bad weather impacts their crops. This project will provide eligible participants with a five dollar per acre premium discount on the following year’s crop insurance for every acre of cover crop enrolled and verified in the program.

Currently, this program is only available to farmers in Delaware, Hamilton, Henry, Madison, Randolph and Tipton Counties.

small stream on a farm
The West Fork of White River begins in a Randolph County farm field. Photo by Ron Weiss.

Conner Prairie and new trails along White River

The Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust, which supports the engagement activities of Friends of the White River, is also working with other organizations focused on enhancing the waterway. One of those is Conner Prairie, the outdoor museum in Hamilton County.

At more than 1,000 acres, Conner Prairie is the largest remaining private landowner along the White River and commands a central role in the White River Vision Plan. The Trust recently committed $1 million for the Prairie Pathways Project, which will add 2.5 miles of River Legacy Trails with hubs and retreats that focus on the White River’s heritage, environmental significance and protection. The project also will improve the river’s health through habitat restoration and protection.

The effort is part of the Prairie’s $15 million Transformational Outdoor Nature Experience campaign, an outcome of the museum’s master plan study aiming to fully embrace the White River and provide greater access to it. The Trust noted it “is pleased to help Conner Prairie grow in ways that support the White River Plan’s vision for a waterway that is a clean, natural, historic, connected and an active asset for Central Indiana residents to enjoy.”

Friends continues to provide input on the Vision Plan, which is looking at opportunities and mechanisms to enhance the river in and along a 58-mile stretch encompassing it through Marion and Hamilton County. Below: White River Vision Plan video.

play video