Pleasant Run Waterway Project

Improving waterway conditions

Researchers in a field digging up small samples of soil
researchers collecting water samples

With harmful contaminants, bacteria, and metals in the waterway, researchers are collecting samples in the soil and water. Images by Gabe Filippelli

Partnering with the City of Indianapolis, Citizens Utilities, and a range of Indianapolis non-profit and corporate organizations, a team led by IU and IUPUI researchers are examining the socio-environmental framework of an urban waterway under transition. Initially focusing on Pleasant Run, a 27-mile watershed on the east side of Indianapolis, this study will inform strategies to measure the environmental, social, and health impacts of changes along the waterway.

The research team is developing and piloting measurement systems of social-environmental resiliency to climate change and quantifying impacts of urban greening on human and environmental health (e.g. trail use, air, and water quality). It is also testing for positive feedbacks between urban biodiversity restoration, citizen engagement, and ecosystem resiliency. The researchers have developed a system of air, water, and soil monitoring networks at the microspatial scale to reflect community environmental conditions.

The researchers have been conducting community and partner conversations revolving around engaging stakeholders, acquiring and deploying analytical tools, and developing citizen-science frameworks to conduct this work. Ultimately, this project will expand its research network to a city-wide program to determine how community-scale environmental parameters can inform city-scale approaches to environmental monitoring.

View air quality data