“Chances are, your own life and the history of your place are braided with the current of a river,” Indiana writer Scott Russell Sanders once wrote. And to that, we might add, “or suffused with the waters of a lake or pond, or urged along like leaves in the ephemeral streams that form after drenching Indiana storms.”
Because it’s true. Even though Indiana technically is landlocked, the stories and fortunes of communities across the state have been shaped and defined by bodies of water that border, surround, pass through or in other ways connect to them. Certainly, North Webster is no exception. Its history, culture, vitality and prosperity can in many ways be tied directly to the more than 60 lakes and streams in the Upper Tippecanoe River Watersheds.
That’s why we’re so excited that North Webster has been chosen as one of only six Indiana communities to host Water/Ways, a national touring exhibition created by the world-famous Smithsonian Institution. With two perspectives on water — a national view created by the Smithsonian, and a local view created by some of your neighbors — Water/Ways will help the community celebrate and learn more about how our past, present, and future is tied to water.
A number of Indiana cities and towns applied to Indiana Humanities to host Water/Ways, but North Webster was chosen thanks to the team of residents who created a plan for showcasing the Smithsonian exhibit and complementing it with locally focused content and programming. We’re certain everyone who sees the exhibit will walk away with a new appreciation for our “Land of Lakes” and how they shape our lives.
We also believe that this experience will inspire residents and visitors to explore their connections to the broader natural world – a process we’re supporting over the next few years with our Unearthed programming. Urging Hoosiers to explore how we shape the environment and how the environment shapes us, Unearthed will provide opportunities and tools for discovering and discussing the intersection between humanity and nature.
I hope everyone around North Webster will plan to visit the Water/Ways display and participate in activities surrounding it through Aug. 7 at the North Webster Community Public Library. You can find a full schedule of activities and information about opportunities to participate at https://watershedfoundation.org/waterways/.