Land trust receiving $645,000 for preservation, improvements along White River

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Thanks to a $645,000 grant from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust, the Central Indiana Land Trust (CILTI) is progressing on three projects designed to increase access to and appreciation for the White River.

The money comes from the $4.9 million the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust announced would go to nine organizations last month.

The money will be used on three properties owned by the CILTI:

  • Oliver's Woods located off River Road, near Keystone at the Crossing.
  • White Owl Conservation Area, located a little further south near East 86th Street.
  • White River Bluffs, located east of Michigan Road between 52nd and 56th streets.

“The stars aligned for us." said Cliff Chapman, the executive director at the Central Indiana Land Trust. "The Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust really wanted to do something for the White River, for all of central Indiana and this property. We really wanted to open it to the public, and connect the dots, so this is something we want to do and they’re really excited to fund.”

The three properties are currently closed to the public, but the CILTI hopes that will change by July of 2019. At Oliver's Woods, the 53-acre preserve will get a new canoe launch, a parking lot to accommodate visitors, trails and signage. The popular Town Run Trail Park is also part of the property, and the improvements include a connection to the mountain bike trails from River Road.

At White Owl, another canoe launch will be put in.

“This is really one of the cleanest stretches of the White River in Indianapolis," said Chapman. Right now, paddlers can launch at 106th Street or at Broad Ripple Park, which makes for long trips on the river.

"We thought it was a shame to not get more access here for people.”

White River Bluffs will benefit from the grant by seeing restoration and improvements. The bluffs provide stunning views 85 feet above the river.

The Central Indiana Land Trust owns and protects more than 50 properties across central Indiana, totaling more than 5,200 acres.