Thursday, June 8, 2017

June Newsletter

Summer is almost here -  Barbecues, trips to the beach, and 4th of July fireworks.  But before everyone takes off, we do have one more monthly meeting on Thursday, June 15th, where we'll learn how to prevent mosquitoes from ruining your summer fun.  And we'll also get an update on the oyster reefs established in the Indian River last year.   On Saturday, June 17th we have an Adopt-A-Road cleanup along Indian River Road and a key focus will be cleaning up under and around the Indian River Bridge and at the site of the future canoe/kayak launch site.

And on Saturday, June 24th, from 9 am to 1 pm there will be Sneak Preview of the renovated Rokeby Center in the park.  This is located at the corner of Rokeby Ave. and Providence Rd.   The Parks Department will be showing off the newly renovated center and give a preview of the many activities that will be scheduled there, focusing on the folks "55 and Better".    Stay tuned for more details.

The Chesapeake Town Meeting at Indian River High School on June 6th was very informative. It had a very environmental theme with practically every speaker raising an environmental concern, and they weren't just from the Friends of Indian River! There was a detailed update on the status of the Aqua Virginia negotiations; please see below for more info.  

We can also report a very successful Clean the Bay Day.   Over 100 volunteers came out to Indian River Park and Plymouth Park.  We hauled out almost 3000 lbs of trash, mostly from the flood plain behind the little league baseball field, which has probably never been the target of a cleanup.

Sincerely,
Rogard Ross
Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator


Monthly Meeting - Mosquito Prevention and Oyster Restoration
Date: Thursday, June 15th, 7 pm
Location: Oaklette United Methodist Church, 520 Oaklette Dr.

Dreda Symonds, Director of Chesapeake Mosquito Control Commission, will give a presentation and talk about mosquitoes, what the city is doing to control them, and what you can do to control them in your yard.

We'll also have a short presentation on local Oyster Restoration efforts along the Indian River.   Hear from 3 of our members and local homeowners who worked with the Elizabeth River Project and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation to install oyster reefs along their waterfronts.   What planning and permitting was involved?   How are the reefs doing a year later?

There will be light refreshments and door prizes after the meeting.


Adopt-A-Road/Bridge Cleanup along Indian River Road 
Date: Saturday, June 17th, 9:30 am to Noon
Starting Location: Oaklette United Methodist Church, 520 Oaklette Dr.

Join us for our quarterly cleanup.  The more volunteers who come out, the more territory we can cover!  We'll be cleaning up 1 mile of Indian River Road from the city limits at Wingfield Avenue all the way to MacDonald Road. This will help to spruce up the area, collect trash that will otherwise get washed into the river and impact wildlife, and give us the opportunity to interact with residents and businesses along Indian River Road. We'll also be cleaning up under and around the Indian River Bridge and at the future canoe/kayak launch site.

The city will provide garbage bags and orange safety vests. We'll have water and snacks available. 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.


Preview Opening of the Rokeby Center 
Date: Saturday, June 24th, 9:00 am to 1 PM
Location: Rokeby Center, 1709 Rokeby Avenue


Join us on Saturday, June 24th, from 9 am to 1 pm for a Sneak Preview of the renovated Rokeby Center in the park at the corner of Rokeby Ave. and Providence Rd.  The Parks Department will be showing off the newly renovated center and give a preview of the many activities that will be scheduled there, focusing on the folks "55 and Better".    



Other News
  • One of our partner organizations, the Norfolk Highlands Civic League, is looking for a new President.   Adam Aborgast, who has done an absolutely terrific job since helping to found the current Civic League in 2011, is sadly leaving the area.   The League is looking for someone to step in and fill those shoes.   Adam is ready to provide a full overview of the responsibilities and provide guidance to help keep things going.   This is an important opportunity for the community.   For more information, please visit their Facebook site.
  • The Campostella Square Plymouth Park Civic League has their monthly meeting this Thursday, June 8, 6:30 pm at the Cuffee Center
  • Saturday, June 10th, 9 am to Noon, is the next Chesapeake Recycles Day at New Galilee Baptist Church, 1765 S Military Hwy (across from Southern States).  Bring your hazardous waste (5 gallons of liquid or 75 pounds of solid waste) and shredding (3 copy paper boxes or 3 paper grocery bags - no plastic bags or large boxes), electronics, Goodwill, and regular recyclables.  They are also collecting non-perishable canned goods for donation to a local food pantry. Please note that this year shredding will not be done on-site. For all the details, visit www.CityofChesapeake.net/RecyclesDay.
  • There is still time to Register for the Oyster Gardening orientation offered by Chesapeake Bay Foundation.   Help raise baby oysters off your shoreline, especially if you have a pier or other easy access to the water. And best of all, we will likely be able to keep many of the oysters raised on newly established reefs along the mouth of the Indian River. Chesapeake Bay Foundation led Training classes start in June. See Lynn in this 1 minute video explain how easy it is and learn how you can sign up.
  • The Campostella Square Plymouth Park Civic League will be hosting a Community Spirit Basketball Tournament (Ages 10-17) at the Cuffee Center on June 27th.
  • For a full update on the Town Meeting results and the status of the Aqua Virginia negotiation, please see
    https://www.facebook.com/FriendsofIndianRiver/posts/1479061995492480
  • The Friends of Indian River worked with local businesses to install flowers along our 'Main Street'. Check out the geranium planters placed at several locations along Indian River Road. If you have a business in the area and want to participate in this effort, reach out to us and we'll put you on the list of potential locations to be added as funds become available.
  • Over 100 volunteers came out on June 3rd for Clean the Bay Day cleanups at Indian River Park, Plymouth Community Park, and a neighborhood cleanup in Norfolk Highlands.   All together we removed about 3000 pounds of trash and litter.   A big thank you to all the volunteers that came out from multiple groups including, but not limited to Cub Scout Pack 42, Boy Scout Troop 6, Cox Communications, Burns & McDonnell, the US Navy, Norfolk Highlands Civic League, of course our dedicated volunteers from the Friends of Indian River.   You can find pics at herehere, and here.
  • You can now also become a member of the Friends of Indian River, renew your membership, or make a donation online at http://www.friendsofindianriver.org/p/membership.html

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

May Newsletter


In the latest State of the Bay Report, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation gives the overall Chesapeake Bay a rating of C-.  Unfortunately the Indian River doesn't score anywhere near that good.  June 3rd is Clean the Bay Day and your opportunity to make a hands-on impact and help remove trash from around our waterways.   The Friends of Indian River is sponsoring cleanups at two sites: Indian River Park - this year in the stream bed below the Pony Baseball Field on Paramont; and at Plymouth Park on the west side of the river. We need your help. See below for more info and on how to RSVP.

Our speaker this month on May 18th will be Laurie Fox who will discuss how to create a sustainable garden from beginning to end.

Also don't forget to submit nominations for the Chesapeake Notable Yards Contest at http://www.cityofchesapeake.net/government/Boards-Commissions/full-listing/ceic/award-programs-contest/Notable-Yards-Nomination-form.htm

Sincerely,
Rogard Ross
Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator



Monthly Meeting - Creating A Sustainable Garden from Beginning to Completion
Date: Thursday, May 18th, 7 pm
Location: Oaklette United Methodist Church, 520 Oaklette Dr.

Dr. Laurie Fox, Horticulture Associate Virginia Tech Hampton Roads Agricultural Research and Extension Center, will talk about sustainable gardening practices and the creation of a teaching garden at the research center.  Learn about the design, planning, and installation of the garden from beginning to end and how you can apply these techniques to your backyard garden.   We'll also have the latest area news.  There will be light refreshments and door prizes.


Clean The Bay Day
Date: Saturday, June 3rd, 9:00 am to Noon
Two Sites  
New Location: Indian River Park at the Little League Ball Field on Military Hwy and Paramont Ave - 2305 Paramount Ave.
- Plymouth Community Park at 701 Pond Lane (two blocks north of Border Rd).


The Friends of Indian River's will be doing our big annual cleanup at two sites again this year.   For the second year we'll be at Plymouth Community park on the west side of the river.  And this year we're moving our Indian River Park cleanup to the Little League Ball on Military Hwy and Paramount Ave.   The river flows just below the ball field and we've never done a cleanup here - and it needs one!   We'll also send teams around to the Rokeby Playground and up along the Paramount Avenue side of the park. The city will provide garbage bags. We'll have water and snacks available. 

Please wear closed-toe shoes, a hat and bring work gloves and other items that may be useful.   There is also trash to be collected from the flood plain of the creek, which is wet; bring rubber boots if you can help in this area.   Participants under 18 years of age must have adult supervision. 

To help our planning, please RSVP to info@friendsofindianriver.org, tell us which site you want to support.   (Last minute volunteers are still always welcome).




Other News

Monday, April 10, 2017

April Newsletter

While we need every day to be Earth Day, the "official" day is Saturday, April 22nd.   This day will also be the March for Science - a day to celebrate science, the role it plays in each of our lives, and the need to encourage research that gives us insight into the world around us.

At our next monthly meeting on April 20th, we'll have Vicki Roberts from the Beekeepers Guild of Southeast Virginia talk to us about How Bees are Important to the Ecosystem.   And on Earth Day, April 22nd, we'll have an event at Indian River Park to explore the critical role of native plants in supporting the bees, and the birds, and keeping the entire natural ecosystem working.

We also urge our members to keep informed on the federal budgeting process.   Budget proposals on the table threaten funding for the Chesapeake Bay Cleanup, the Eastern Branch Restoration, and a broad swath of scientific research, educational, and environmental protection programs.   We all need to be ready to reach out to our elected representatives.

Sincerely,
Rogard Ross
Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator



Monthly Meeting - How Bees are Important to the Ecosystem
Date: Thursday, April 20th, 7 pm
Location: Oaklette United Methodist Church, 520 Oaklette Dr.

Join us for a discussion with Vicki Roberts from the Beekeepers Guild of Southeast Virginia on How Bees are Important to the Ecosystem.  We'll also have the latest area news.  There will be light refreshments and door prizes.


Earth Day at Indian River Park
Date: Saturday, April 22nd, 9:00 am to Noon
Location: Indian River Park, 2001 Rokeby Ave. (south of Military Highway)

Join us for our Earth Day event at Indian River Park. Plans include a guided tour of our native plant garden followed by a hike along the nature trail. After that we'll hold a service event from 11 to 12 to do some trash pickup and weeding. There will also be information tables from groups such as the Friends of Indian River, the Chesapeake Master Gardeners, the Cape Henry Audubon, and the Virginia Native Plant Society. 

If you want to help with the cleanup or gardening, please wear closed-toe shoes, a hat and bring work gloves. If you can, bring shovels, rakes, pruners, saws and other gardening tools. We will have water and lots of snacks. (We also always encourage folks to bring their own water in reusable bottles to minimize use of plastic bottles). Volunteers under 18 years of age must have adult supervision.




Other News


  • The Campostella Square/Plymouth Park Civic League is meeting on Thursday, April 13th at the Cuffee Center at 6:30 pm.
  • The Elizabeth River Project is hosting a screening of "Before the Flood," a National Geographic documentary featuring Leonardo DiCaprio at the historic Commodore Theatre in Portsmouth on Thursday, April 20th, from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm.   The screening is free but the Commodore Theater asks that you consider purchasing lunch from their tasty menu while you're there.  For details, see https://www.facebook.com/events/271551879962268/
  • The Norfolk Highlands Civic League is organizing a community wide yard sale for Saturday May 6th.   
  • Seven volunteers came out for our rescheduled Adopt-A-Road cleanup on April 1st. We picked up about seven bags of litter - there was lots of small stuff: an uncountable number of cigarette butts, lots of candy wrappers, shreds of food wrappers and other stuff from convenience stores and fast food places, and a fair number of plastic bottles and cups. 
  • Do you live along the tidal waterway? Well, you can help the river by becoming an Oyster Gardener. Help raise baby oysters off your shoreline, especially if you have a pier or other easy access to the water. And best of all, we will likely be able to keep many of the oysters raised on newly established reefs along the mouth of the Indian River. Chesapeake Bay Foundation led Training classes start in June. Click here for more information and let us know if you sign up!
  • You can start submitting nominations for the Chesapeake Notable Yards Contest.   Judges are looking for visual appeal and garden design, healthy lawn practices, native trees, shrubs and flowers, food gardens and/or wildlife habitat, rainwater harvesting and runoff control, and as a new bonus category, homeowner who are active in the community.   Nominations are open through May 31st and judging will be in June. http://www.cityofchesapeake.net/government/Boards-Commissions/full-listing/ceic/award-programs-contest/Notable-Yards-Nomination-form.htm
  • There was a question the other day on Facebook: why do we have a neighborhood named "Norfolk Highlands" if we are in Chesapeake?   Read the answer here.
  • You can now also become a member of the Friends of Indian River, renew your membership, or make a donation online at http://www.friendsofindianriver.org/p/membership.html