VIGO Co., Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Vigo County Commissioner Brendan Kearns said the Wabash River and its purpose is evolving.
“Terre Haute was built on the Wabash River, as many river towns were. They went to the river because of resources, transportation, water. Just good infrastructure. Over the years, I don’t want to say it’s been neglected, but it kind of transformed. Our new transformation is trying to figure out how we can make it good for everybody to enjoy,” he said.
Wabash Valley Riverscape is doing that by planning for big attractions to surround the Wabash River.
“We’re in the process of trying to develop a trail along the river there that would look over Fairbanks Park,” said Riverscape President Michael Shaw.
One important element to their vision is building a safe and scenic route along U.S. 40, for pedestrians crossing from West Terre Haute into Terre Haute.
“It will have a way to get people out into the wetlands where they can see the eagles, the otters. And just be part of the wetlands in an elevated area,” said Kearns.
The Wabash Riverfront has been an important focus in the community plan for Terre Haute’s future.
With some features that are nearby, like Riverfront Lofts and Gibson Track and Field Complex, Riverscape believes the Wabash can draw in a new crowd.
“If a runner’s coming to train for a national championship course it gives them a variety. We’re already seeing that ahead of some of the national meets. It’s also going to help attract talent. We want to make this a place to live,” Shaw said.
New trails are expected in the area in the next years.