White River Vision Plan gets key grant to further river presence in Hamilton County


A branding initiative for the White River got a big boost from a $275,000 grant from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust.

The primary purpose of the two-year grant is to fund an initiative to raise awareness of how to access the river at the many parks, boat ramps and cultural attractions along the river’s 58-mile stretch in Hamilton and Marion counties.


The White River Vision Plan is a joint effort between the city of Indianapolis and Hamilton County Tourism, Inc., in partnership with Visit Indy’s philanthropic arm, Tourism Tomorrow, Inc., to develop a comprehensive plan to enhance the river’s presence along those 58 miles. The river passes through Cicero, Noblesville, Fishers and Carmel in Hamilton County.

“This grant is a key component to providing a unifying voice to all the various partners of the White River,” Hamilton County Tourism Destination Development Manager Sarah Buckner said. “The grant will allow for one portal of information, for a calendar of events along the river, for one voice for the river, while also providing links to the experts for specific needs.

“My role with the project will be to be the project manager between whichever branding agency is selected and our various White River-focused entities.”

There will be a new website and print map guide. Buckner said the existing information can now be found in various spots.

“So, one partner may have launch points, one may have this event, one may have a map. All this existing information will be on a new websites and printed materials,” she said.

Buckner, a 1999 Carmel High School graduate who lives in Cicero, has been with Hamilton County Tourism since 2005. She has been in her present position since 2017.

“We want people to become more aware of this amazing asset, and also to help central Indiana residents and visitors learn how to know how to safely engage and connect with the river throughout all four seasons,” Buckner said.

The project begins this fall and is slated for completion by spring 2022.


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