The City of Noblesville recently won the 2015 Exemplary White River Festival Event Award from the White River Alliance. This award recognizes the creative efforts and/or commitment displayed by one of the 2014 White River Festival partners, including the display of creativity and unique experiences for participants, notable participant attendance, and/or integration of festival messages into the programming.
“Our community is a good steward of the environment and this award exemplifies the impact we are having on our largest natural amenity. The collaboration to create the White River Celebration has infused new energy for the waterway and combined education, arts and culture, the environment and fun,” Mayor John Ditslear said.
The city and its partners started the process of reinventing the 20-year-old Hamilton County White River Cleanup with the inaugural Noblesville White River Celebration in 2014. Thanks to the cleanup, 409.10 tons of debris have been removed from the river since 1995. The cleanup has been so successful in its history that local leaders needed to find other ways to engage citizens and volunteers due to less trash.
“With this success came an expanded opportunity for celebrating the river and sharing its value as a major resource for the community. The vision of an annual Noblesville White River Celebration on a downtown bridge now has a firm foothold from several committed influential partners,” said Tim Stottlemyer, Noblesville storm water coordinator.
In addition to the cleanup, attendees also participated in education stations about the river and water works, “Fun in the River” with canoeing and kayaking at various points on the river and fishing at Schwartz’s Bait and Tackle. Nickel Plate Arts featured an artist colony and bridge fair and Logan Street Bridge highlighted environmentally-themed art. Noblesville Main Street held its annual Rubber Duck Race before the festival ended with live music.
“This award is a great example of the collective efforts of many in our community to use the White River as an opportunity for connection,” said Chris Owens, executive director of Noblesville Main Street. “The recognition received is truly an indicator of a quality team effort of which we are proud to be a part.”
The Noblesville White River Celebration was led by the City of Noblesville Stormwater Department and Sustain Noblesville, Noblesville Main Street, River Clean Up Inc. and Nickel Plate Arts. Partners that supported the event include: Kroger, Keep Noblesville Beautiful, Indiana American Water, Hamilton County Household Hazardous Waste Center, Hamilton County Soil & Water Conservation District, White River Canoe Company, Schwartz Bait & Tackle, Schwartz Trailers, Courtney’s Kitchen, Moose Lodge (Noblesville), Blatchley Nature Study Club, IUPUI, Sierra Club of Indiana and David Heighway.
“Noblesville continues to engage new partners and attempt to expand the event rather than just meet the minimum requirements. The White River and the river corridor is too important to reduce to a check mark on an audit list. The event will continue to grow in size and scope to celebrate past and present accomplishments and to raise awareness of this amazing resource,” Stottlemyer said.
For more information on the White River Alliance Awards, visit http://thewhiteriveralliance.org/awards/.