Planners unveil draft plan to revitalize White River

The largely underused waterfront by the White River could be revitalized into a central Indiana haven for recreational activities with a rock climbing wall at a quarry, a floating stage where bands play and a zip line, according to a draft plan.

Posted: Feb 18, 2019 1:49 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The largely underused waterfront by the White River could be revitalized into a central Indiana haven for recreational activities with a rock climbing wall at a quarry, a floating stage where bands play and a zip line, according to a draft plan.

Agency Landscaping and Planning recently unveiled its draft plan for transforming 58 miles (93 kilometers) of the White River that runs through Hamilton and Marion counties, the Indianapolis Business Journal reported. The company presented concepts that would offer experiences for all types of adventure seekers, from bird watching to zip lining.

"This is a big plan," said Emily Mack, director of the Indianapolis Department of Metropolitan Development. "It's a large geographic area, but under no circumstances is this a plan to sit on the shelf."

The city of Indianapolis and Hamilton County Tourism Inc. launched the efforts last year to turn the White River into "central Indiana's next frontier," according to its draft vision statement.

Development along the riverfront in Marion and Hamilton counties is scattered, and there are only a few recreational opportunities.

Agency Landscaping and Planning's draft proposal targets six specific areas in the two counties along the river. Near Strawtown Koteewi Park, planners want to bring more bison to graze in the area, and build new overlooks and bird watching areas.

In Noblesville, the plan calls for creating more space for activities, such as yoga, as well as an extreme recreation park, where visitors could rock climb, swim, compete on a ropes course and zip line.

In Indianapolis, planners are looking to bring biking, kayaking and more public gathering spaces to the waterfront.

The draft plan proposes developing a waterfront district in Broad Ripple that would feature public art, walkways and dining along the river.

The concepts are still being developed, and planners have been seeking public input before presenting a finalized plan this spring. Those involved in the project will now need to decide will manage the plan, how much projects cost and who will pay for them, as well as a timeline for implementation.

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