Invest in the banks of the White River

Help the Friends as we continue to invest in the banks of the White River!

We are asking for your financial support for our ongoing efforts to make the waterway better. With the help of volunteers — people just like you who care about the river — we collected more than 50,000 pounds of trash and illegally dumped debris during the course of this year!

During the spring, summer and fall, more than 200 volunteers worked nearly 600 hours to accomplish that at three targeted river sites near the downtown. And there is still more work to do as we explore strategies to work with the City of Indianapolis and other governmental entities to bring this ongoing abuse to an end.

A tax-deductible donation made now will allow us to continue the work during 2022. Thanks for your ongoing support! it is making a difference for the future of White River and for those who appreciate its potential to be a steadily improving resource!

cleanup volunteers

cleanup volunteers

cleanup volunteers

cleanup volunteers

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.