White River Conversations

White River Conversations

-, Noblesville, Carmel, IN

From Varies by day

At Various Locations

-, Noblesville, Carmel, IN



Enjoy a series of casual free fall community conversations at seven park destinations along the White River in Marion and Hamilton counties and learn how the river connects to nearby places and people with an historical lens.

Historian Jordan Ryan, principal at The History Concierge, Indianapolis, will lead these one-hour informal programs as the conversation explores how the river either was im- pacted or sometimes ignored by the surrounding community as it grew over time. Here are summaries, along with the dates and locations of each community conversation. 

North Reach, Sept. 12, 1 p.m.

Taylor Center for Natural History at Strawtown Koteewi Park, 12308 Strawtown Ave., Noblesville, Ind. (rain or shine)

Note: Go into the Taylor Center for exact location.

A crossing point over the White River by the Lafayette Trace, once the pathway for Native American migration from southeast to northwest, this area is steeped in the early history of indigenous people. Ryan will discuss the early role this important crossroads played in Hamilton County history.

Noblesville Reach, Sept. 12, 4 p.m.

Potter’s Bridge Park, Potter’s Bridge, 19401 N. Allisonville Rd., Noblesville, Ind. (rain or shine)

Near Potter’s Bridge or on the bridge if inclement weather.

Manufacturing was key to the rapid development of Noblesville in the latter part of the 19th century, and the White River allowed for both recreational and industrial development in this town, platted in 1823 by William Conner and Josiah F. Polk. 

Meadow Reach, Sept. 26, 1 p.m.

River Road Park, 12575 River Rd., Carmel, Ind. (weather dependent)

Note: Enter the park off of River Road on the south end toward the canoe launch

It was nearby that William Conner set up his trading post, settling among the Lenape Indians, and ushered in white settlement in this area which was home to many Great Lakes tribes for hundreds of years. This area is where the White River twists and turns, with high banks contrasted with by lower flood plains and wetlands that make for rich farmland.

Quarry Reach, Sept. 26, 4 p.m.

Hazel Landing Park, 10601 Hazel Dell Pkwy., Carmel, Ind. (weather dependent)

Note: Meet at the end of the parking lot near where the river observation point is.

Quarrying began in this area during the 1940s as post-war populations boomed and homes were being built at a rapid pace in Indianapolis. Now a booming suburban area, it did not develop until the 1960s as the nearby town of Allisonville expanded. Rapid change came in 1978 with the introduction of the I-465 highway system and businesses turned their backs to the river to face outward to the streets.

Village Lakes Reach, Oct. 10, 1 p.m.

Broad Ripple Park, 1500 Broad Ripple Ave., Indianapolis, Ind. (weather dependent)

Note: Enter off of Broadripple Avenue. Near the shelter by the pool. The shelter is ahead on the left across from the parking lot.

Protected Reach, Oct. 10, 4 p.m.

Riverside Park, 3702 N. White River Parkway W Dr., Indianapolis, Ind. (weather dependent)

Note: Enter the park off of 30th Street. Near the shelter across from the finish line at Soap Box Derby Hill.

South Bluffs Reach, Oct. 24, 1 p.m.

Southwestway Park, 3400 Mann Rd., Indianapolis, Ind. (weather dependent)

Note: Enter off of Mann Road. Near shelter net to the baseball fields and across from the playground.

Participants should bring a comfortable chair or blanket and note that all conversations will be held outside, as close to the river as possible. Exact directions to the conversation site will be marked at the entrance to each of the parks. In case of very inclement weather, participants should check the White River Alliance Facebook page for updates. The Taylor Center does have indoor capacity and will run rain or shine.

Every one of these parks also features seven of the ten art canoes created by local artists to raise awareness about the White River. The project was sponsored by the White River Alliance to raise awareness about water quality and also supported by the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust and MIBOR. 

For more information and a map of the art canoe locations, visit WhiteRiverAlliance.com.

No reservations are required.

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