Friends of the White River Seeks to Preserve Indiana’s Precious Natural Resource
A few years ago, I bought my first kayak. I had rented kayaks enough in the past to know that having my own would be worth it. However, at the time I didn’t realize how much of an impact that decision would have. With my own kayak, new areas of our local waterways opened up to me for exploration. I was amazed with the natural beauty I discovered along the White River, and the creeks that fed it, near my home in Indianapolis. It also became painfully clear that parts of the river needed some help.
Fast-forward to earlier this year, and a friend told me about a river cleanup event hosted by Friends of the White River. This sounded like a perfect opportunity to volunteer and give back to the river I had come to love. I showed up to a group of over 100 volunteers and we cleaned numerous areas along the river in downtown Indianapolis. It was incredible. For the first time, I was introduced to the larger river community and the organizations involved in protecting Indy’s primary natural resource.
I had no idea the White River had so many “friends,” but I immediately felt like my own friend network had exploded. Friends of the White River hosted numerous events throughout the year such as river cleanups, Stream Steward workshops for riparian landowners, River School raft trips, and a Water Connection Camp for Indy’s youth. I volunteered at as many as I could, but the cleanup events were where I felt everyone’s passion for preserving and protecting the White River the most.
Friends of the White River offered three cleanup events in 2023, and removed over 50 tons of illegally dumped solid waste. They didn’t do that alone, though. They’ve partnered with the Indianapolis Department of Public Works, Citizens Energy Group, and Frank’s Livery throughout the year, but that level of waste removal would never have been possible without all the volunteers who showed up to help. As someone who loves the river, I’d like to thank everyone who volunteered, and I’d like to encourage others to get involved going forward.
There will be numerous opportunities to get involved as we move into 2024. The easiest way to make a difference would be to become a member of Friends of the White River. You can join and make a tax-deductible donation online at friendsofwhiteriver.org.
Your memberships and donations help support their volunteer events, educational programming, and their advocacy for public policy decisions that improve water quality in, and recreational access to, the White River. Whether you decide to become a member or not, you’re always welcome to volunteer. To stay informed about volunteer opportunities, please visit the official website at friendsofwhiteriver.org.