Pulaski County is finding that with more visitors comes more responsibility.
Tourism efforts were increased earlier this year, including a television advertising campaign airing in Chicagoland in April during the local news and the Country Music Awards.
Community Development Commission Executive Director Nathan Origer says he believes anecdotal evidence suggests there has been an increase in traffic on the Tippecanoe River as a result. Local businesses and residents have since expressed concerns about increased noise and traffic in the area. Origer says they have a solution.
“We’re going to buy or get donated trash receptacles for these and then we’re going to find local residents and businesses along the river to adopt them,” says Origer.
Pulaski County’s tourism efforts were designed to pitch the area as an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
The CDC is calling the effort an “Adopt a River” program, similar to the more common “Adopt a Highway” initiative around the country.
In Pulaski County, there are nine public access points along the river. Interns at the CDC offices have developed signs that will be posted at the access points explaining river etiquette. Points include avoiding litter, and requesting visitors to reduce their noise levels.
Origer says this should provide some balance.
“We’re hoping that this will help to encourage people still to keep coming, but give a little sense of comfort to people whose lives are disrupted when a couple of 25-year-old guys who just graduated come floating down the river with more beer than common sense,” says Origer.
Pulaski County bolstered its tourism efforts as a way to promote itself to the region and to increase business activity.
The CDC says it already has volunteers ready to participate in the program, but are now searching for additional help to see the program through.