Canoe to Work Day 2019

The eighth annual Canoe to Work Day – set for June 7, 2019 and hosted by Christopher B. Burke Engineering, LLC (Burke) – will be part of a weeklong celebration of the White River including a pop-up public art project as well as free, public showings of locally produced and shot films about the river.

An Indiana firm committed to protecting our water resources through planning and engineering solutions, Burke initially launched the event to highlight the important role our waterways play in shaping the communities where we live, work and play. The event has grown to a community-wide initiative that encourages all Central Indiana, from commuters to families, to explore our waterways.

“Canoeing to work is one of my favorite organized events at Burke,” said Director of Planning, Sheila McKinley. “While it’s certainly not the fastest or easiest commute to work, it’s an incredible opportunity to reconnect, up close, with the river, wildlife habitat and built infrastructure.  It reminds us of the value of our work as water resource planners and engineers and the need to balance the aesthetic, ecology and conveyance function of our waterways.”

The 2019 Canoe to Work Day will highlight the firm’s work with the White River Vision Plan team. During the last several months, numerous community conversations have occurred regarding the 58 miles of the White River in Marion and Hamilton counties and the river’s environmental and recreational value, as well as cultural heritage and history. The resulting White River Vision Plan will be unveiled just days prior to Canoe to Work Day.

In celebration of this momentous occasion, Burke is partnering with the City of Indianapolis, Hamilton County Tourism, Inc., Visit Indy and Indiana Humanities to expand this year’s Canoe to Work festivities to include a drop-in public art project led by Kevin McKelvey, an artist and writer based at University of Indianapolis, along the White River on Tuesday June 4 at Oliver’s Woods Nature Preserve in Indianapolis and a public viewing of three short films about the White River in Fishers on Thursday June 6.

The free film screening will take place at the Nickel Plate District Amphitheater in Fishers from 11:30am-1pm Thursday, June 6; complimentary drinks and snacks will be provided during this lunch-hour event. Visit to learn more and RSVP. The films (between 11 and 15 minutes each) debuted to standing-room-only audiences in Noblesville, Indianapolis and Muncie earlier this year.

Through the films, viewers meet volunteers, artists, activists, farmers, engineers, developers, city officials, hikers and parents. “Shot entirely in Indiana, the films show views of the river and perspectives on the White River watershed you never knew existed,” said Leah Nahmias, director of programs and community engagement at Indiana Humanities. “Individually or collectively, they are a great jumping-off point for discussion about how nature shapes our sense of place, how we connect to one another across the watershed and what our hopes for the future of the White River, and all of Indiana’s natural resources, are.”

Canoe to Work Day kicks off at 7 a.m. in the Indianapolis metro area. Additional groups are slated to enjoy Canoe to Work Day across the state, from St. Joseph’s River in the north to the Wabash River to the south. This year’s organizers are encouraging all of Indiana to get out and enjoy the White River during the first week of June – from a riverfront walk in Strawtown Koteewi Park and a stop at the Conner Prairie Overlook to a stroll of the Efroymson Riverfront Garden and Canoe Launch on the grounds of the Indianapolis Art Center and everything in between.

Burke is proud to acknowledge this year’s Canoe to Work Day partners: The City of Indianapolis, Citizens Energy Group, Hamilton County Tourism, Inc., Visit Indy, Indiana Humanities, White River Canoe Company and Indianapolis Zoo. Visit to learn more.