Noblesville receives grant from Duke to restore parts of White River


The City of Noblesville has received a $25,000 Powerful Communities Grant from Duke Energy for habitat and forest restoration and conservation along the White River.

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Mark LaBarr, left, presents a replica check to Mayor Chris Jensen. (Submitted photo)

“We are grateful for Duke Energy’s conservation efforts and funding to help preserve one of our city’s amenities and open it both visually and physically to more resident interaction,” Mayor Chris Jensen stated.

This month, the project – which is expected to take a year to complete — targets the east bank of White River between Maple Street and Division Street for invasive species removal, native species planting and habitat restoration.

“The White River Trail Riparian Restoration seeks to create accessible pedestrian approaches to White River in order to enable residents to interact with and appreciate the river. The density of invasive overgrowth has literally become a barrier to residents’ access to long stretches of the riverbank,” Noblesville’s MS4 Coordinator Tim Stottlemyer stated.

In addition to the Duke grant, the city has received $26,630 of in-kind donations in man-hours, technical expertise, equipment, education and public outreach from the Boy Scouts of America, Hamilton County Soil & Water Conservation District, local Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area chapter and the White River Alliance.

“The template we create of sequential actions for returning an area to native growth will outline monitoring protocols for measuring effectiveness and serve as a guide for similar efforts on other city-owned land,” Stottlemyer stated. “We are certain that year after year, more residents will discover that they can walk right down to the river without fighting through overgrowth to enjoy a long under-realized amenity.”

The White River Trail Riparian Restoration goals include:

  • Clear Asian bush honeysuckle and garlic mustard species from 850 feet of the east riverbank to an average depth of 75 feet from the water’s edge and enable new microclimates by planting sycamore trees and other native species.
  • Make the White River more visually accessible and make it physically accessible to individuals or groups to interact with the river by clearing route impediments caused by overgrowth.
  • Utilize created tools such as a written management plan and a work plan template to enable easier replication along other stretches of riverbank, thereby increasing community support stemming from scheduled projects.