White River Vision Plan releases 7 areas to enhance along water

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A community-driven group working to promote activity along the White River has seven areas it believes would best enrich the region.

The White River Vision Plan unveiled opportunity areas Thursday after spending most of 2018 gathering input from Hoosiers about what they'd like to see along the 58 miles of river in Marion and Hamilton counties.

The areas targeted are Strawtown Koteewi Park, Noblesville, Conner Prairie, Clearwater at I-465, Broad Ripple, downtown Indianapolis at the Emerichsville Dame, and Southwestway Park.

"Three of the study areas are high economic development zones and the other four are sort of nature access zones," said Brenda Myers, president at Visit Hamilton County Indiana.

The consulting team working with the group, Agency Landscape and Planning, released renderings of each area as a concept to help visually help the community picture what could eventually get developed.

The group came up with the ideas after gathering input from 13,000 people. It's continuing to accept feedback at its website, mywhiteriver.com, where leaders want the region's thoughts on the concepts. It's also planning two public input meetings on Wednesday, Feb. 13, with one scheduled for noon and the other at 6 p.m. A location has not been chosen.

"Did we get some of these ideas right," said lead consultant, Gina Ford, the principal and co-founder of Agency Landscape and Planning. "Did these feel like the kind of improvements they want to see, and very importantly, what are their priorities.

They will continue to take community feedback in the upcoming months before unveiling their final plan this spring and move into implementation and governance.

"It's unrealistic to think that you can achieve all 58 miles of it at once," said Ford. "Some things will start happening this year, I’m sure. Others will take 20, 30 years to realize."

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