White River: Among Indiana's greatest natural resource
By Rick Yencer
MUNCIE, IN - Hundreds of people showed up along the banks of the White River Saturday to pick up what others throw away and admire the beauty of that natural resource.
About 500 people came up at dawn in Westside Park, ready to walk, wade and canoe on 15 miles of river in Delaware County to clean up tires, cans, and other trash. In Madison County, White River Watchers got hundreds more to clean up in Madison County.
Jason Donati, Delaware County stormwater educator, believed it was the largest turnout in the seven year history of the cleanup. Besides that, September is the month recognizing the White River and its water supply. A website at www.whiteriverfestival.org details even more activities.
The volunteers included high school and college students, river watchers and environmentalists besides crews from the Muncie Sanitary District and Delaware County Highway Department to haul away tons of debris.
Conner Snare, a Ball State University student, was volunteering again to do his part for water quality and the environment. He walked the tree and brush covered south end of the river, making sure it was spotless of trash and debris.
Other groups like Muncie Clean and Beautiful provided volunteers and awareness while the local ham radio group EMCOMM kept in contact with the hundreds of volunteers.
Many of the canoe volunteers near Yorktown and Daleville brought in the most debris, including tires, pieces of old appliances and even vehicles.Piles of trash at pickup stations include housing material, wading pools and furniture.
The river between Muncie and Anderson will see a big change in the next decade when a new reservoir is built at Mounds Park. That $400 million development is expected to redevelop midtown Anderson and provide more recreational opportunity to the park and surrounding communities like Daleville and Chesterfield.