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Thursday, April 22, 2021

Take an exploration along our waterways

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As autumn arrives in Indianapolis, it brings cool breezes and a blast of yellows, oranges and reds throughout our neighborhoods and our natural spaces. The lack of rain might mean that the colors are less spectacular than normal, and our waterways are carrying very little water these days unless October brings some fall showers. It’s important to remember that when the waterways flow, it not only adds beauty to our natural experiences along the trails, greenways and spaces, but it also provides critical drinking water for us and for the wildlife nearby. How can you connect and find appreciation for these life-giving waterways?

Explore Our Waterways

During these days of sunshine, breezes and autumn colors, it’s the perfect time to get outside and explore along the White River and its five tributary waterways that run along dozens of neighborhoods across Indy. ROW has just launched an exciting new Exploratory Guide to help you find hidden gems and special spaces throughout the watershed in Marion County. In addition to the Exploration Guide, you can also link to an interactive map to create your own exciting outing. Try a different route each week and find new little-known spaces.

Your Exploration Awaits 

What adventures will you find using ROW’s new Exploration Guide? Over the past year, ROW waterway committees identified historical, ecological and educational messages, captured in near 20 new signs installed along each waterway. In addition to signage, Pleasant Run waterway unveiled two new, beautiful destination sites at Prospect Falls and Spruce Bridge. The new Exploratory Guide takes you through business districts with breweries and restaurants; to natural spaces like butterfly trails and bird sanctuaries; and offers new places to picnic, read a book, take a walk, reflect or watch a spectacular sunset. 

Connection Leads to Care

In addition to these unique spaces, the new guide provides links to even more places to explore and ways to engage with and improve our waterways, such as Keep Indianapolis Beautiful’s Art & Seek interventions, White River Alliance’s Clear Choices Clean Water pledges (like clearing fall leaves from stormwater grates) and the latest developments on the White River Vision Plan. However you choose to connect with our waterways, it can lead to a greater appreciation and to learning about ways that your actions can lead to greater care. 

Over the coming weeks, we encourage you to get outside and find your own adventure along our waterways using ROW’s new Exploratory Guide at www.ourwaterways/explore, find a new way to connect, and share your experience with a photo and hashtag #ExploreOurWaterways.

Julie L Rhodes is collective impact director at Reconnecting to Our Waterways (ROW).

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