By Lisa Gauthier Mitchison
After more than a year of collaboration, officials from Hamilton and Marion counties unveiled the White River Vision Plan at a June 3 press conference in Indianapolis.
“It’s not every day that Indianapolis partners with Hamilton County, but it’s been an absolute pleasure,” said Emily Mack, director of the Indianapolis Dept. of Metropolitan Development. “It’s been a wonderful collaboration.”
The plan divides 58 miles of the White River into zones intended to reflect the character of the surrounding community and identifies seven anchor areas for exploration. Proposals within the anchor areas include a new trail from Noblesville’s Potter’s Bridge Park to Cicero; a viewing tower at Strawtown Koteewi Park; enhanced river access in downtown Noblesville; improved pedestrian crossings at Allisonville Stretch near Conner Prairie; and outdoor adventure activities at Oliver’s Crossing near I-465.
“Partners of the White River has three goals: Improving water quality, increasing public access and fostering a better appreciation of the value of the White River, all of which are embedded in the White River Plan,” said Gene D’Adamo, CEO and president of the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust, which provided grant money to Partners of the White River.
Hamilton County Tourism President/CEO Brenda Myers said it’s time to put the many months of planning into action.
“When we embarked 13 months ago, we had three phases to this endeavor: discover, envision and action. And I think I would rename action to activate because now we are at the point where we need to think about activating all this planning,” Myers said. “(The planning team) respected community and they respected ownership, and I think they’ve formulated a plan that works for everyone and anyone. This is a river that is an asset for everyone to enjoy.”
Hamilton County activities corresponding with the unveiling of the plan include a White River films screening from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 6 at the Nickel Plate District Pavilion Conference Room at 6 Municipal Drive in Fishers, and June 7 is the eighth annual Canoe to Work Day plus yoga in the park at 4 p.m. at Federal Hills Commons, 175 Logan St. in Noblesville.