A hopeful outlook on the new year

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.

cleanup volunteers
Riverbank cleanup volunteers

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.

Kevin Hardie
Executive Director

kayak on wooded river


White River & its Friends

Friends of the White River is thankful people like you care about the waterway and its future. When our not-for-profit organization was established 35 years ago, White River’s promise and potential was not something that was the focus of public attention. That’s gradually changed over time.

volunteers picking up trashWe’re proud that you and so many others helped us make a difference. Problems ranging from raw sewage in the waterway to illegal dumping along the river’s banks are being addressed. Your past support helped us show that the public wanted the river’s challenges to be recognized and solutions to them implemented. Your support is still needed today, as we continue to advocate for ongoing restoration.

In these times when we assess what’s important to our quality of life locally, additional progress depends on the public staying aware of and involved with the White River. Your contribution allows us to be a voice in that regard. Please show your gratitude for the waterway with a tax-deductible contribution as we approach the end of the year.

Thanks again for your past support.

Kevin Hardie
Executive Director

Take charge of your own cleanup!

Clean Our WatershedWe think you miss cleanup events as much as we do and now we can do something about it — together! We are calling it #CleanOurWatershed.

While supplies last, you can stop by either of two locations to pick up a packet of supplies that help you to launch your personal #CleanOurWatershed effort along the river or a tributary, or in a park or school ground, or even the street where you live! You choose where and when you pick up litter and whether to make it a family and/or friends event. We ask only that you let us know what you collected, where and when. We will compile that information into a database that tracks the amount of trash collected, as well as its location. It’s fun, easy, and allows you to help your community while practicing social distancing.

volunteers picking up trashThe packets will include a trash bag, a pair of gloves, and a tally sheet to record the items you collect. Mail the finished tally sheet using the pre-addressed envelope included or scan the sheet and email to tom@friendsofwhiteriver.org. If possible, please photograph your event and litter and send those along by email to the same address.

Or download the tally sheet (PDF, 64 KB) & supply your own bag and gloves.

download tally



The two locations are:

Citizens Energy GroupThis event is made possible with generous support by Citizens Energy Group. For more information or if you have questions, please email friendsofwhiteriver@yahoo.com.

bucket of litter