Thursday, August 23, 2018

September News and Events

We're cancelling the land side of our big cleanup this Saturday but the water borne cleanup WILL GO ON AS PLANNED. Cleanup starts, Saturday, 9/22, 9 am, along the Indian River. We're expecting about a dozen boats on the water.

There are still a few opportunities to join us on the water even if you don't have a boat. If you are interested in participating, please contact info@friendsofindianriver.org

River Cleanup by Canoe/Kayak 
Date: Saturday, Sept 22,  9 AM to Noon

This is a "Bring Your Own Boat" event.  If you have a boat but no where to put in along the river, contact us to make arrangements on where to put in.  If you'd like to participate but have no boat, contact us as we expect a few opportunities for someone to take an extra person.

***** If you plan to participate, it is important to let us know so that we can plan appropriately and provide additional information on where we will gather.  Please RSVP to info@friendsofindianriver.org ******

Please also review safety information including the Safety Plan and Canoe/Kayak Safety.



Riverfest has been rescheduled to October 6th!


RiverFest Indian River
Date: Saturday, Oct 6, 11 am to 4 pm
Location: Tanglewood Neighborhood in Indian River, on the grounds of St. Brides Episcopal Church, 621 Sparrow Road, Chesapeake (3 blocks north from Irwin's) (Rain Date: October 6)

It's almost here and it's going to be a blast. The annual event organized by the Elizabeth River Project will be in our area this year and promises loads of fun and lots of great information.   This will be a dog friendly event and there'll be a bicycle valet.

Visit the Science Dome and learn what’s in our river.  Tons of cool FREE Kids Activities. Bring Your Dog. Earn Your FREE River Star Home Garden Flag. Visit the Native Plant Sale. Adopt a River Otter. Live Music and food. Earn a NEW Elizabeth River Girl Scout Patch. See the Scoop the Poop Relay with a River Theme Dog Costume Contest.


Monthly Meeting: How the City of Nofolk handles Resiliency and Development Standards
Date: Thursday, Sept 20,  7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Location: Oaklette United Methodist Church, 520 Oaklette Dr.

From our neighbor city Norfolk, Zoning Administrator Bobby Tajan will talk to us about Norfolk's new zoning ordinance with an emphasis on the resiliency and development standards for new construction.  This will give us some useful insights on how other cities are approaching infill development and dealing with flooding; information that we can use as we start to talk with Chesapeake about the Indian River Small Area Plan in the next year.   

We'll also have updates on the work of Chesapeake's Mayor's Advisory Committee on the Comprehensive Plan, the latest on Aqua Virginia, and other local news.

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


Other News


A big thank you to the sailors from the USS George Washington (CVN 73) and the Elizabeth River Project for coming out on August 18th to help with our Adopt-A-Road cleanup along Indian River Road. The Navy made quick work of cleaning up from the Post Office out to Wingfield Avenue, including under and around the bridge and the site of the future Heron Landing Park. All together about 160 lbs of litter were collected including several lbs of aluminum cans that we took over to the Chesapeake Animal Services shelter. (Proceeds from the aluminum recycling there helps provide medical care for animals at the shelter).


Just a nice picture from the Native Plant Garden at Indian River Park.  Thank you to our volunteer gardeners who maintain the site.  If you'd like to help, reply back to this e-mail.
The City is holding its first ever Keep Chesapeake Beautiful Photo Calendar Contest! Submit up to three photographs that highlight the beauty and splendor of the City of Chesapeake. Photographs of Chesapeake parks, recreation centers, events, trails, athletic facilities, public spaces, and waterways, in all four seasons, will be strongly considered. All photographs must be taken in the City of Chesapeake. Open to both professional and amateur photographers. Entries due by September 7th. Each winning photographer will receive $100 prize plus a copy of the 2019 Keep Chesapeake Beautiful Calendar. http://www.cityofchesapeake.net/government/Boards-Commissions/full-listing/ceic/award-programs-contest/keep-chesapeake-beautiful-photo-contest.htm


Aqua Virginia Acquisition: As of August 23rd, we still waiting to hear that the sales contract between Aqua Virginia and the City has been signed.  The word is that they are close ....

Oaklette United Methodist Church has one more Harvest Exchange scheduled for  September 15, 9:00 am–12:00 pm. If you have some extra garden produce from your garden but are lacking something else, this is your chance to make an exchange. You can bring something/take something. The exchange is free–no money is involved.

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

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Indian River - Oaklette Meet & Cleanup, Saturday Aug 18


Indian River - Oaklette Meet & Cleanup
Date: Saturday, Aug 18 
Location: Oaklette United Methodist Church, 520 Oaklette Dr.,  in the Pavilion (parking is at Indian River Road and St. Lawrence Dr.)

We've teamed up with the Elizabeth River Project and the Oaklette United Methodist Church to expand the August 18th event.

9 am to Noon Harvest Exchange
As previously scheduled, Oaklette United Methodist Church is holding a harvest exchange!  If you have some extra garden produce from your garden but are lacking something else, this is your chance to make an exchange. You can bring something/take something. Vegetables, Eggs, Home-baked Goods, Plants.  The exchange is free–no money is involved.

10 am Rain Garden Tour 
Take a tour of the award winning rain gardens and dry wells installed by Oaklette United Methodist Church to reduce stormwater runoff around their building and parsonage.  For these efforts they received River Star Achievement Level, the City's CEIC Business and Industry Award and were recognized by the Methodist Church District level Earthkeepers program. 

10:30 am to 1:00 pm Litter Cleanup
The Elizabeth River Project is helping us organize a cleanup around Indian River Oaklette Bridge, the future Heron Landing Park canoe and fishing access site, and along Indian River Road in Oaklette.   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.


Sunday, July 15, 2018

Summer Newsletter and Events


Harvest Exchange
Dates: Saturday July 21, August 18, September 15, 9:00 am–12:00 pm
Location: Oaklette United Methodist Church, 520 Oaklette Dr.,  in the Pavilion (parking is at Indian River Road and St. Lawrence Dr.)

Oaklette United Methodist Church is organizing a harvest exchange!  If you have some extra garden produce from your garden but are lacking something else, this is your chance to make an exchange. You can bring something/take something. The exchange is free–no money is involved.


National Night Out
Date: Tuesday, August 7, 6 pm - 8 pm
Location: Indian River Baptist Church, 1600 Laurel Avenue 

The Norfolk Highlands Civic League is organizing a local National Night Out event at Indian River Baptist Church.  Plans include a bounce house, food, a fire truck to tour, and more. They'll also be collecting school supply donations.   And stop by the Friends of Indian River information table at the event!


RiverFest Indian River
Date: Saturday, Sept 15, 11 am to 4 pm
Location: Tanglewood Neighborhood in Indian River, on the grounds of St. Brides Episcopal Church, 621 Sparrow Road, Chesapeake (3 blocks north from Irwin's) (Rain Date: October 6)

Clear your calendar and come out to celebrate our community and our river at this year's RiverFest.  The annual event organized by the Elizabeth River Project will be in our area this year and promises loads of fun and lots of great information.   This will be a dog friendly event!

Visit the Science Dome and learn what’s in our river  | Tons of Cool, FREE Kids Activities | Bring Your Dog
Earn Your FREE River Star Home Garden Flag | Native Plant Sale | Adopt a River Otter | Live Music | Food | NEW Elizabeth River Girl Scout Patch | Scoop the Poop Relay | River Theme Dog Costume Contest



Scoop the Poop Campaign

The Elizabeth River Project will be starting a door to door campaign in our area in the coming weeks to educate residents about the problems caused by dog poop. 

The Indian River gets a failing grade, an "F", on water quality due to bacterial contamination and excessive fertilizer use.  Water sample testing has found that 80% of the water samples are contaminated with bacteria from dog poop. We have about 6,000 to 8,000 dogs living in the Indian River area and the average dog poop has 23 million fecal bacteria - and long after the poop "disappears", the bacteria persist in the soil and gets washed into our waters.   Composting is also not effective; the typical backyard compost pile is not hot enough to destroy this bacteria - it just concentrates it.

Picking up after your dog - even in your backyard and even if you don't live near the river - is critically important to making the river and green spaces of our community a healthy and safe place to play, garden, and fish.  Spread the word - scoop the poop, bag it, and trash it!


Mosquito 101

No one likes mosquitoes.   And prevention is a lot more effective - and less harmful to bees and butterflies - than trying to kill mosquitoes by spraying.  Mosquitoes need three to seven days of standing water to complete their lifecycle from eggs to biting adults.  Perform regular scans of your yard to make sure there is NO standing water. This includes tarps where rainwater has collected, clogged rain gutters, buckets, unmanaged birdbaths, old tires, planters, pet dishes, kiddy pools, cans or bottles.   And since mosquitoes can fly several hundred feet, help pass the word to your neighbors!  To get more tips see http://content.yardmap.org/learn/mosquitoes/


River Cleanup by Canoe/Kayak 
Date: Saturday, Sept 22,  9 AM to Noon

This is a "Bring Your Own Boat" event.  If you have a boat but no where to put in along the river, contact us to make arrangements on where to put in.  If you'd like to participate but have no boat, also contact us and we'll let you know if anyone has a spot to take an extra person.  We may also do a land based cleanup around the Indian River Oaklette Bridge if there is enough interest.  

If you plan to participate, it is important to let us know so that we can plan appropriately and provide additional information on where we will gather.  Please RSVP to info@friendsofindianriver.org 

Please also review safety information including the Safety Plan and Canoe/Kayak Safety.

Rain Date, October 6 in the afternoon, from 1 pm to 4 pm.


Other News


Aqua Virginia Acquisition: on June 12th, the City Council approved funding for the project "to acquire Water Franchise and to bring the System to appropriate standards"; the estimated cost both to acquire and upgrade the system $6 Million.  As of July 13th, the City and Aqua Virginia continued to negotiate the final sales contract, exchanging revisions to contract language.

The City Council also approved several other projects potentially affecting our community including rehabilitation of the Oaklette Bride on Indian River Road, a study on School Facilities and Redistricting, the development of a Master Plan to potentially build a Multipurpose Stadium (for school-level sport) at a central location in the city, and an ordinance to establish a Land Bank to Address Vacant, Abandoned, and Tax Delinquent Properties.  Read more at in our Facebook post.


This past month, the Elizabeth River Project completed their biggest shoreline restoration project along the Indian River.  Overall 550' of shoreline was improved with 792 oyster castle blocks, 80 bushels of oyster shell, 5 bushels of live oyster collected on the site, 45 coir logs, 115 tons of sand to extend the shoreline, and over 5000 spartina alterniflora marsh grass plants.  Over 100 individuals volunteered on the project over two weeks.  See a 3 minute slideshow on the installation from beginning to end at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JJHrcAE1qA or https://www.facebook.com/RCShoreline/videos/240083940125378/.  



For Clean The Bay Day on June 2, we had 84 volunteers, probably from age 6ish to 76ish. This was the first time we focused on the Ipswich area at the south end of the Indian River Park - the headwaters of the Indian River. The teams scoured the park and brought out 700 lbs of trash, including 4 tires and 2 broken wheel barrows.   See more pics at https://www.facebook.com/FriendsofIndianRiver/posts/1835360729862603

And later in June, 7 volunteers come out for our quarterly cleanup along Indian River Road. We kept it short due to the heat but still collected nearly 100 lbs of trash between the Post Office and Oaklette UMC and around the bridge. And that included lots of plastic - bags, bottles, wrappers, cups - about 7 bags full.  https://www.facebook.com/FriendsofIndianRiver/posts/1862036473861695



Most of the trash we find on our cleanups is plastics.  The world is drowning in nearly indestructible plastics that we use for a few minutes as bags, cups, straws, bottles, and other single use conveniences.   Only 10% of these plastics make it to recycling centers.  Much of what does make it to these facilities then stacks up in huge plastic mountains because we generate more than we can re-use.  Stop throwing away the future ... take the pledge to reduce your use of single use plastics: https://takeaction.oceanconservancy.org/page/25969/petition/1?locale=en-US

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