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White River Fest raises awareness about how we interact with our water

It’s a 19-day celebration of the White River, its tributaries and the surrounding watershed, all highlighting the theme of history, with events throughout central Indiana. The White River Festival, which runs  Sept. 9-27 in various places throughout Central Indiana, will feature dozens of events, many FREE, designed to raise awareness and change the way we interact with our water.ABOUT THE WHITE RIVER FESTIVAL

The White River Festival is the highpoint of a year-round focus on “Clear Choices Clean Water,” an initiative started in 2010 by the White River Alliance to increase awareness about the choices we make and the subsequent impact on our lakes and streams.

“As this year’s Festival focuses on the importance of the river to our history, we are reminded every time we turn on the faucet that it is also critical to our everyday life and our future,” says Jill Hoffmann, Executive Director of the White River Alliance. “The Festival is a great way to rally attention around our most valuable community asset, but widespread, year-round participation by individuals in the Clear Choices Clean Water ‘call to action’ program is what really protects the river’s future.”

While the focus of “Clear Choices Clean Water” began in Indiana, the initiative is now a nationally award-winning program spreading across the country. Designed to educate individuals about water-friendly practices (using less fertilizer, landscaping with native plants, growing soil health, using less water, etc.) and important behavior changes needed around their homes, the program is supported by sponsorships from a variety of businesses, individuals, and municipalities. Multiple action pledge choices continue to foster the growth of the program, recently highlighted by actor and activist Mark Ruffalo in his own community through the Delaware Highlands Conservancy (short video: As Clear Choices Clean Water continues to expand and impact communities nationwide, the start of the annual White River Festival provides the central Indiana community an additional resource and platform surrounding water conservation and civic education.

Festival Highlight:

Tuesday, September 27 (Festival Capstone Event!)

6th Annual White River Celebration and Stewardship Fundraiser

Sponsored by the White River Alliance and the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust

5:30 – 8:30 PM

The Crane Bay, Indianapolis

Corporate or Organization Table $1,200

Individuals $75

A creative, interactive event to recognize exceptional river stewards and support efforts to promote and protect water resources. This year’s event will again feature the “Trash to Treasure” live auction, where teams work together to build a masterpiece inspired by the treasures discovered during the White River Festival’s annual river clean-ups. The Annual White River Stewardship Awards (nomination details at will also be presented during the event. These awards recognize leadership, creativity, and innovation in water resource protection along the White River, its tributaries, and throughout its watershed. Come for food, drinks, and a chance to network with others who take an interest in local waterways.Additional Events:

Tuesday, September 13

Monarch Tagging

Sponsored by the Indiana Wildlife Federation

6:30-7:30 PM

Urban Wilderness Trail


Be inspired by the journey of the monarch butterfly! Net and tag the butterfly’s before releasing them on their way!

Friday, September 16

• BioBlitz in the Nina Mason Pulliam EcoLab

Sponsored by Marian University

4-7 PM

Nina Mason Pulliam EcoLab at Marian University


Join us in the 55-acre wildlife oasis, EcoLab. Take part in a survey of the native wildlife through photos, and learn how to use the iNaturalist app for the project.

Saturday, September 17

Interpretive Walk at Mounds State Park

Sponsored by the Heart of the River and Redtail Conservancy Land Trust

10 AM-12 PM

Mounds State Park Visitors Center, Anderson IN

FREE (but Entry Fee to park)

Join botanist and author of a floral inventory of the park, Kevin Tungesvick, for a walk to see the woodlands, wetlands, and riparian habitats that all contribute to this impressive diversity.About the White River Festival

Funded in large part by the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust, the White River Festival is coordinated by the White River Alliance in partnership with more than a dozen conservation-minded organizations and community arts and education institutions. The Festival is a project of the White River Alliance, a non-profit coalition of local governments, educators, allied organizations, industries and citizens working together to improve and protect water resources throughout central Indiana. The watershed of the upper White River extends from the river’s source in a farmer’s field in Randolph County across 16 counties into the tips of Brown, Owen and Monroe. Whether you live, work, or play near it, the White River impacts central Indiana. It matters! The 2016 White River Festival is September 9-27. To learn more, visit Clear Choices Clean Water

Clear Choices Clean Water is a campaign to increase awareness about choices we make and the impacts they have on our streams and lakes. Water friendly practices such as landscaping with native plants, using less fertilizer, managing yard and pet wastes, maintaining septic systems, fostering soil health, and using less water all help to protect our precious water resources. By educating individuals on these and other important actions and giving them the tools needed to make behavior changes, Clear Choices Clean Water empowers everyone to do their part for water quality and conservation. The White River Alliance and the Tippecanoe Watershed Foundation teamed up in 2010 to implement this unique social marketing strategy to increase awareness and knowledge about household choices and their impacts on water quality in our watersheds. The focus of this effort began in Indiana but is now spreading across the country. The variety of pledge choices also continues to grow as new partners help expand the range of actions that can protect our water. For more information, visit