Thursday, December 1, 2022

December Newsletter and Events

  • Upcoming Events
    • 12/10 - Saturday - Second Saturday Hike at Indian River Park
    • 12/15 - Thursday - Volunteer Recognition and Holiday Party
    • 1/1 - Sunday - First Day Hike at Indian River Park
  • Other News
    • “Main Street” Indian River Holiday Lighting & Decoration Contest
    • Election Results
    • Tidewater Master Naturalist Training Class 
    • Volunteer Updates
    • Volunteer Needs


Upcoming Events

Second Saturday Hike @ Indian River Park

Date: Saturday, December 10, 8:30 am

Location: Indian River Park entrance at Rokeby Ave. and Main St. (2001 Rokeby Ave.)

Learn about the history of the park, the native trees and plants in this century old forest on the Indian River floodplain, and its value to maintaining the health of local butterfly, bird, and wildlife populations. Note: the forest trail has uneven surfaces and minor elevation changes.

Please pre-register at https://forms.gle/7q6rER4rSiq9vEqd7


Annual Volunteer Appreciation and Holiday Party

Date: Thursday, December 15, 7 pm

Location: Oaklette United Methodist Church, 520 Oaklette Drive

Mark the date for the return of the Friends of Indian River Holiday Party!

This will be our end of year celebration to recognize our many accomplishments, recognize our volunteers, and socialize. Please bring a dessert or appetizer to share and join the festivities. 

We'll have a silent auction, so you can finish some Christmas shopping too.   Donations of silent auction items are welcome.

Please also consider bringing a donation of non-perishable food items for the Oaklette United Methodist Church food pantry to the meeting this evening. 

Even if you have not been to a meeting in a while or if this would be your very first meeting, we encourage you to come out and partake in the merriment.


First Day Hike @ Indian River Park

Date: Sunday, January 1, 1 pm

Location: Indian River Park entrance at Rokeby Ave. and Main St. (2001 Rokeby Ave.)

Welcome the new year with our traditional First Day Hike at Indian River Park.

Learn about the history of the park, the native trees and plants in this century old forest on the Indian River floodplain, and its value to maintaining the health of local butterfly, bird, and wildlife populations. Note: the forest trail has uneven surfaces and minor elevation changes.

Please pre-register at https://forms.gle/zDqHrnnJf3hEmB66A



Other News


"Main Street" Indian River Holiday Lights & Decorating Contest

Our 4th Annual “Main Street” Indian River Holiday Lighting & Decoration Contest is now open. To participate, just decorate your storefront! Contest is open to all businesses along Indian River Rd from Oaklette Bridge to Military Highway and along Sparrow Road from Nautilus Ave. to Fontana Ave. 

Judging will be between 4 pm and 7 pm on Thursday, Dec 8, and based on overall appearance, festiveness, and being fresh and appropriate for site.  Top 3 winners will be announced by Thursday, Dec. 16.  Winners will receive $50 prize money and be recognized in our newsletter and social media channels.

Election Results

Congratulations to all the winners in the local elections. The Friends of Indian River look forward to working with all our elected officials to continue to improve the quality of life for all the residents of the Indian River neighborhoods!   In the City Council, Vice Mayor John DeTriquet and Councilmember Ella Ward won reelection and will be joined by Jeff Bunn, Amanda Newins, and Daniel Whitaker.   On the School Board, the winner were Amanda Dean, Michael Lamonea, John McCormick, Norman Pool, Kim Scott, and Brittany Walker.  At the Federal level, Bobby Scott was reelected in the 3rd Congressional District and Jen Kiggans took the 2nd District.  

But there is still one more vote for those in parts of Virginia Beach and Norfolk.  A Special Election is being held on January 10th for Jen Kiggans' old seat in the Virginia 7th Senate District which is just west of the Chesapeake/VB city line.  Early voting is already underway.  On the ballot to fill this seat are Aaron R. Rouse - D and Kevin H. Adams - R. Learn more at Upcoming Elections - Virginia Department of Elections 

Tidewater Master Naturalist Training Class

The Tidewater Master Naturalists are accepting applications for their 2023 training class.  Their mission is “to develop a well-informed corps of volunteers to provide education, outreach, and service dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within local communities for the Commonwealth of Virginia”.  Several Friends of Indian River members are also Master Naturalists.  And the Friends have a special deal for members interested in taking the training program.  Learn more at https://tidewatermn.org/ and/or contact us at info@friendsofindianriver.org

Volunteer Updates

Thank you to all the volunteers who came out in November for work at both the Oaklette Bridge plantings along Indian River Road and the Native Plant Garden at Indian River Park.   Both are looking great!

Volunteers Needs

We need volunteers to help with weeding at the new landscaping at the Oaklette Indian River Bridge and at the native plant garden at Indian River Park.   We also need volunteers to help with removing invasive plants at the Park.  There are also other volunteer opportunities listed on our website at http://www.friendsofindianriver.org/p/volunteer.html.  If you can help out on any of these, please contact us at info@friendsofindianriver.org 

Monday, October 31, 2022

November Newsletter and Events

 View this newsletter online at http://www.friendsofindianriver.org/ 

  • Upcoming Events
    • City and Congressional Elections
    • 11/12 - Saturday - Second Saturday Hike at Indian River Park
    • 11/17 - Thursday - Bi-montly Meeting 
      • 5 pm - 7 pm Eco Maniac Shopping Opportunity
      • 7 pm - Meeting with Guest Speaker Mayor Rick West
    • 11/19 - Saturday - Native Plant Garden Adopt-A-Park Work Day
  • Other News
    • Autumn in your Garden
    • Volunteer Recognition and Holiday Party - 12/15
    • Volunteer Updates
    • Volunteer Needs


Upcoming Events

City and Congressional Elections

Time is running out to decide who will be on the City Council, School Board, and in Congress.  Please Get out and Vote!  

Early voting continues until Saturday, November 5 at the Voter Registrar's Office and satellite locations - Greenbrier Library, Russell Memorial Library, Central Library, Camelot Community Center, Dr. Clarence V. Cuffee Community Center, Indian River Library, and the Voter Registrar’s Office (411 Cedar Rd). The last day to vote is Tuesday, November 8 at your local precincts. See the hours, details, and sample ballots can be seen at https://www.cityofchesapeake.net/government/city-departments/departments/Public-Communications-Department/in-the-know/2022/8/November-2022-Voter-s-Guide.htm

There are five seats up for election in the City Council, five seats on the School Board plus 1 special election for the School Board, and our Congressional Representative. 
Ballotpedia has a summary of all the candidates and links to their website where available. You can find these at https://ballotpedia.org/City_elections_in_Chesapeake,_Virginia_(2022) 
https://ballotpedia.org/Virginia%27s_3rd_Congressional_District_election,_2022 The Friends of Indian River does not endorse any candidates.

Second Saturday Hike @ Indian River Park

Date: Saturday, November 12, 8:30 am

Location: Indian River Park entrance at Rokeby Ave. and Main St. (2001 Rokeby Ave.)

Learn about the history of the park, the native trees and plants in this century old forest on the Indian River flood plain, and its value to maintaining the health of local butterfly, bird, and wildlife populations. Note: the forest trail has uneven surfaces and minor elevation changes.

Please pre-register at https://forms.gle/5ymMG7az6kdXxkCm7

Bi-monthly Meeting: 

Date: Thursday, November 17

Location: Oaklette United Methodist Church, 520 Oaklette Drive

5 pm - 7 pm Eco Maniac Shopping Opportunity

Eco Maniac will be setting up their sales truck in the church parking lot from 5 pm to 7 pm.  They offer many reusable alternatives to single-use plastics, a variety of plastic-free/packaging-free products, and Fair Trade Gifts.  They strive to offer quality products that are affordable, sustainable, ethically made, and all around good for the planet.   Stop by and get an early start to your holiday shopping.  

7 pm Guest Speaker Mayor Rick West

Our meeting will start at 7 pm in the social hall and our guest speaker will be Chesapeake Mayor Rick West who will provide the latest news on the state of the City and take questions from the audience.

We'll also have the latest community news/updates and some light refreshments!

Please also consider bringing a donation of non-perishable food items for the Oaklette United Methodist Church food pantry to the meeting this evening.

Native Plant Garden Adopt-A-Park @ Indian River Park

Date: Saturday, November 19, 9 am to Noon

Meet at the Indian River Park entrance at Rokeby Ave. and Main St. (2001 Rokeby Ave.) which is located just south of Military Highway, i.e. across Military Highway from the Fire Station.

We'll be tending to the native plant garden at the park entrance, including weeding and mulching.  We may also do some trail work, pruning, weeding, and cleanup.
Please wear closed-toe shoes, a hat and bring work gloves. If you can, bring shovels, rakes, pruners, saws and other gardening tools.  We'll have water and snacks available.  We also always encourage folks to bring their own water in reusable bottles to minimize use of plastic bottles and cans.
  
Participants under 18 years of age must have adult supervision.

Please pre-register at https://forms.gle/6YCqgu4eXwxzqRcB9



Other News

Autumn in your Garden

It's autumn and the leaves are starting to turn into all their pretty golds, yellows, orange, reds and will soon be falling.   For gardeners, it's a time to get ready for next year, but this can be a lot less work than you may think.  Here are some great tips for the autumn:

1) Leave those leaves.  You really do not need to make the effort to rake and bag all those leaves.  Mulch mow the leaves on your lawn to break them into smaller pieces that will compost on your lawn and add valuable nutrients to your soil.  Leave the leaves in your garden beds and around your trees - they are free mulch, help build stronger soil, and provide valuable overwinter habitat for overwintering butterflies and moths, turtles, birds, and other wildlife.  Please never blow your leaves into the street or into ditches - this ends up clogging storm drainage and pushing unneeded nutrients into our waterways.

2) Hold off on the garden cleanup.  You don't need to cut down all those past-bloom flower stalks.  The seed heads from those flowers are critical food sources for finches and other birds, and many pollinators use the plants stems and leaves as places to overwinter.  Wait until spring when temperatures are consistently over 50 F before tidying up the gardens.  A little mess is wonderful for nature.  

3) It's not too late to plant more plants.  In the Hampton Roads area, you can generally plant perennials and shrubs in November, December, and even early January.  This will let them get acclimated and give them a tremendous head start in the spring.   And this is the best time to plant trees.  So, this is one thing you should not wait to do!

And if you are ready to plant a tree and also a River Star Home - and you can sign up as a River Star for FREE - the Elizabeth River Project is offering a FREE tree to Chesapeake residents.  Get yours now at Free Tree Program - Elizabeth River Project.

References


Annual Volunteer Appreciation and Holiday Party

Date: Thursday, December 15

Mark the date for the return of the Friends of Indian River Holiday Party!

This will be our end of year celebration to recognize our many accomplishments, recognize our volunteers, and socialize. Please bring a desert or appetizer to share and join the festivities. We'll have a silent auction, so you can finish some Christmas shopping too. 

Volunteer Updates

Thank you to the 10 volunteers who came out in October for our Adopt-A-Road cleanup around the Indian River Oaklette Bridge and the future Blue Heron Landing.   The area needed the TLC.  The volunteers collected about 300 lbs of trash and debris.

Volunteers Needs

We need volunteers to help with weeding at the new landscaping at the Oaklette Indian River Bridge and at the native plant garden at Indian River Park.   We also need volunteers to help with removing invasive plants at the Park.  There are also other volunteer opportunities listed on our website at http://www.friendsofindianriver.org/p/volunteer.html.  If you can help out on any of these, please contact us at info@friendsofindianriver.org


Saturday, October 1, 2022

October Newsletter and Events

 

  • Upcoming Events
    • 10/15 - Saturday - History Walk
    • 10/22 - Saturday - Adopt-A-Road Cleannup along Indian River Road
    • 11/12 - Saturday - Second Saturday Hike at Indian River Park
    • 11/17 - Thursday - Bi-montly Meeting - Guest Speaker Mayor Rick West
  • Other News
    • City and Congressional Elections
    • October is Riparian Buffer Month
    • Indian River Park Update
    • Volunteer Updates
    • Volunteer Needs
    • Thru 10/22 - Linger A While Exhibit at the Cuffee Library


Upcoming Events

History Walk

Date: Saturday, October 15, 1 pm to 3 pm

Location: Meet on Lilac Avenue by Norfolk Highlands Primary School, 1116 Lilac Avenue

Take a stroll into the history of our community on this walk around Norfolk Highlands and Oaklette.  We'll start at Norfolk Highlands Primary School, the core of which was built in 1913, stop by the future Blue Heron Landing Park to talk about the history of settlement along the Indian River, and then cross the bridge to walk around the Oaklette Historic District including a look at the outside of the famous Colonna's Houseboat.

We'll be walking for about 1.25 miles over 2 hours and it will all be standing.  

Recommended age at least 12 and up.

Please pre-register at https://forms.gle/kivrGebAEmQc8J7F8

Adopt-A-Road Cleanup along Indian River Road

Date: 
Saturday, October 22, 9 am to Noon

Location: Meet at Lilac Avenue and Indian River Road.  Park along Lilac Avenue by the Norfolk Highlands Primary School. 

We'll be doing our quarterly cleanup along Indian River Road, around the Indian River Oaklette Bridge, and the future Blue Heron Landing Park.   We'll also have a team doing any necessary gardening around the new landscaping at the bridge.   

For our main cleanup on Indian River Road, the city will provide garbage bags and safety vests.  Please wear closed-toe shoes, a hat and bring work gloves and other items that may be useful.  Participants under 18 years of age must have adult supervision.

We are also asking all business owners along Indian River Road - and everywhere really - to make sure they sweep up in front of their storefronts as part of the effort.   And if you can't make it out for our organized cleanup please take 15 minutes and clean up the street and ditches in front of your home; pass the word to your neighbors!

Please pre-register at https://forms.gle/35EHLZ9Hj8zPP65R6

Second Saturday Hike @ Indian River Park

Date: Saturday, November 12, 8:30 am

Location: Indian River Park entrance at Rokeby Ave. and Main St. (2001 Rokeby Ave.)

Learn about the history of the park, the native trees and plants in this century old forest on the Indian River flood plain, and its value to maintaining the health of local butterfly, bird, and wildlife populations. Note: the forest trail has uneven surfaces and minor elevation changes.

Please pre-register at https://forms.gle/5ymMG7az6kdXxkCm7

Bi-monthly Meeting: Guest Speaker Mayor Rick West

Date: Thursday, November 17, 7 pm

Location: Oaklette United Methodist Church, 520 Oaklette Drive

Our guest speaker will be Chesapeake Mayor Rick West who will provide the latest news on the state of the City and take questions from the audience.

We'll also have the latest community news/updates and some light refreshments!



Other News

City and Congressional Elections

Early voting is already underway at the Voter Registrar's Office. Voting at satellite locations - local libraries - starts on October 24 and the last day to vote is November 8. The deadline to register to vote, or update an existing registration is October 17. More details and sample ballots can be seen at https://www.cityofchesapeake.net/government/city-departments/departments/Public-Communications-Department/in-the-know/2022/8/November-2022-Voter-s-Guide.htm

There are five seats up for election in the City Council, five seats on the School Board plus 1 special election for the School Board, and our Congressional Representative.
Ballotpedia has a summary of all the candidates and links to their website where available. You can find these at https://ballotpedia.org/City_elections_in_Chesapeake,_Virginia_(2022) https://ballotpedia.org/Chesapeake_Public_Schools,_Virginia,_elections_(2022) https://ballotpedia.org/Virginia%27s_3rd_Congressional_District_election,_2022 The Friends of Indian River does not endorse any candidates.

October is Riparian Buffer Month

Riparian buffers, or waterside buffers, protect and improve our river and local streams.  A riparian buffer is an area adjacent to a stream, lake, wetland, or coastal area that contains a combination of trees, shrubs, and/or other plants that provide conservation benefits.  These plantings filter nutrients, pesticides, sediment and animal waste from stormwater runoff; reduce erosion; provide wildlife habitat; increase the beauty of the area; and provide recreational space.  

Along the Indian River, riparian buffers are protected under the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act, limiting development in the 100' buffer along the river and its tributaries.  Protecting and improving the buffers along our river is critical to improving the health of our waterway, preparing for sea level rise, and protecting property values.  

We know of at least five shoreline restoration and enhancement projects carried out along the Indian River with the help of the Elizabeth River Project and Chesapeake Bay Foundation.  If you are interested in improving your shoreline, there are several grant programs in our area that can help.  The Virginia Conservation Assistance Program (VCAP) can provide up to 80% cost reimbursement for various projects - available to residential, commercial, and institutional property owners.   And VCAP applicants "may pair VCAP cost share funding with other grant or non-agricultural cost-share programs to fund a particular project".  The Elizabeth River Project also has a cost share project that can provide up to 50% funding for Conservation Landscaping, Shoreline Restoration, Rain Gardens for River Star Homes.  See https://vaswcd.org/vcap and https://elizabethriver.org/river-star-homes/ for more info or contact us for some background info.



Indian River Park Update

Chesapeake Parks, Recreation, and Tourism (PRT) held a public planning meeting in September to gather input regarding trails, signage, and identifying opportunities for improving visitor experience for the many user groups who dearly love and use the park. About 24 citizens came to the meeting.  PRT had a lot of staff present - 6 staffers including PRT Director Mike Barber and 2 rangers.  Director Barber set some baseline expectation that the City needs to be directly involved in managing the park and users can't just build stuff in the park.  Overall, everyone attending the meeting seemed supportive and constructive.  Some of the key comments we heard: What do folks love about the park?   The mature forest, the location nearby, the multiple use options.  What changes would you like to see?  Better trail maintenance and signage, removal of invasives, some requests for more "wooden features" for bikers, better erosion control, port-a-potties, a water station, and more trash cans.

Volunteer Updates

Thank you to the small but determined group that came out on the Indian River for the #InternationalCoastalCleanup in late September.   Unfortunately, it didn't take us too long to collect about 10 bags - 150 lbs - of trash from along the shoreline.    Mostly plastic bottles, bags, and food packaging.   The biggest item was a huge plastic tarp.  The smallest items - hundreds of pieces of plastic and foam - not that we got all of them.

Volunteers Needs

We need volunteers to help with weeding at the new landscaping at the Oaklette Indian River Bridge and at the native plant garden at Indian River Park.   We also need volunteers to help with removing invasive plants at the Park.  There are also other volunteer opportunities listed on our website at http://www.friendsofindianriver.org/p/volunteer.html.  If you can help out on any of these, please contact us at info@friendsofindianriver.org

Linger a While: The Art of Ken Wright

From 9/9 through 10/22, the Cuffee Outreach and Innovation Library at 2726 Border Rd, will have an exhibition by a nationally acclaimed artist whose work hung in the White House under both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.  Learn more at https://chesapeakelibrary.libnet.info/event/7059857