Environmental Justice

About Environment Justice and FOWR

  • Increase opportunities for racially and ethnically underrepresented communities to participate in paddling, fishing, and boating on the White River
  • Reduce the environmental impact of homelessness along the White River through interventions in solid and human waste management
  • Organize regular River Cleanups while seeking definitive solutions to illegal dumping in neighborhoods adjacent to the White River in Marion County

Busy Roads & Waterways

Contact our partners at KIB for other waterway cleanup volunteer opportunities!

More Information

On the River Today



Art Museum

FOWR Water Connection Camp

FOWR hopes to run two weeks of Water Connection Camp in 2024, on in June and one in July. If we are able to secure funding, registration will open in late February or early March, 2024.

Over five days, students will float four stretches of the river.  Activities include water safety and ecology, Indiana history and geography, and environmental justice, and sessions with environmental advocates.  Students will present what they’ve learned to their families, community members, and environmental advocates.

Every child that attends the Indy Water Connection Camp will establish and build on a connection with Indianapolis’ largest waterway, as well as gain comfortability in various watercraft, and competency in water safety. Participants will explore environmental science while interrogating environmental oppression.

Our goal is to create a fun environment while training young leaders to advocate for the River and consider careers in outdoor recreation fields.

Topics Covered:
Environmental Justice
Water Safety & education
Indiana History & Geography
Environmental Justice

Kay Hawthorne

Environmental Justice Director

Kay (she/they) is a cultural anthropologist born and based in Indianapolis, IN. She graduated from Purdue University with bachelors degrees in Anthropology and Public Health. While at Purdue, she worked in the Archives and Special Collections and was heavily involved in student organizations such as Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences (MANRRS).

Kay got into Environmental Justice work toward the end of college, and dove deeper after graduation, working in the Near Northwest/ Riverside communities as well as EJ and historical projects on the Southeast side, namely in the Norwood and Babe Denny neighborhoods. She has also served as a community outreach consultant for local entities such as the Indiana State Museum and Indy Parks. Connecting with history is her passion and purpose; she loves memories and the people, places, and things that hold them. This led her to start her environmental and historical consulting company, Mapping Purpose, LLC.

In her “spare” time, Kay enjoys quality time with family and friends, good music and books, and triathlon training.

Major Funding