Proposed Greenway Could Make Its Way Through Ball State, Muncie

In the Muncie area, an estimated 250,000 people use the Cardinal Greenway each year for biking, walking, running and immersing themselves in nature.

Now, Anderson and Chesterfield could be next up for a highly anticipated greenway if a plan by the Hoosier Environmental Council (HEC) goes through.

“The damming of the West Fork White River would cause major environmental damage, replacing a high-quality, free-flowing river ecosystem with an artificial reservoir, in the process drowning unique natural areas in Mounds State Park, destroying healthy bottomland hardwood forest along the river, as well as working class neighborhoods in the city of Anderson,” said Tim Maloney, senior policy director for HEC. “Man-made reservoirs are also vulnerable to siltation and blue-green algae contamination which seriously reduce their prospective benefits to anglers, boaters, lakefront property owners, and tourists.”

The HEC is partnering with Friends of the White River to lobby against the proposed Mounds Lake Reservoir, which is currently stalled after town councils in Daleville and Yorktown voted in September not to join a commission to guide the project into a third phase of study.

Comparing the Mounds Greenway to the Mounds reservoir: 

Greenway: 

  • Cost: $15-$40 million proposed
  • Forests and wetlands protected
  • River's natural functions protected
  • No condemned land
  • Gives public access via trails and river access sites

Mounds reservoir: 

  • Cost: $440 million estimated
  • 980 aces of forest lost, more than 600 acres of wetlands filled
  • Nutrients and sediment collected by reservoir
  • Land condemned 
  • Gives public access via trails and boat ramps

In a rebuttal against the $450 million proposed reservoir project, the HEC brought back a proposal for a greenway to be constructed to follow the White River, linking Anderson to the Cardinal Greenway network in Delaware County.