Friday, November 29, 2019

December Newsletter and Events

In this month's issue, we have:

  • “Main Street” Indian River Holiday Lighting and Decoration Contest
  • Adopt-A-Park Volunteer Work Day (Invasives/English Ivy Removal), Saturday, 12/14
  • Annual Holiday Party and Volunteer Appreciation, Thursday, 12/19
  • Other News
    •     Chesapeake Town Meeting, Tuesday, 12/3
    •     Norfolk Highlands Civic League, Thursday, 12/5
    •     Rokeby Garden Club Cookie Exchange, Wednesday, 12/18
    •     Conservation Landscaping Funding
    •     Indian River Small Area Plan Kickoff
    •     and more ....



“Main Street” Indian River Holiday Lighting and Decoration Contest

The Friends of Indian River are sponsoring a "Main Street" Indian River Holiday Lighting and Decoration Contest. 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. To participate, just decorate your storefront!

Judging will be between 3 pm and 7 pm on Monday, Dec 9 and based on overall appearance, festiveness, and appropriateness for site. Top 3 winners will be announced at the Friends of Indian River Volunteer Recognition and Holiday Party on Thursday, Dec 19. Winners will receive $50 prize money and be recognized in our newsletter and social media channels.


Adopt-A-Park Volunteer Work Day (Invasives/English Ivy Removal)

Date: Saturday, December 14
9 am to Noon
Meet at the park entrance at Rokeby Ave. and Main St. (2001 Rokeby Ave.)

We'll be working on invasive plant removal, particularly English Ivy.   Come help us control this scourge. The more volunteers that come out, the more that we can accomplish! 

Please wear closed-toe shoes, a hat and bring work gloves. Bring pruning clippers, loppers, screwdrivers (which are amazingly useful in prying ivy off tree trunks) and/or pruning saws if you have them.  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). Participants under 18 years of age must have adult supervision


Annual Holiday Party and Volunteer Appreciation

Date: Thursday, December 19, 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Location: Oaklette United Methodist Church, 520 Oaklette Dr.

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. 

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

Date: Tuesday, January 1st, 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm
Meet at the park entrance at Rokeby Ave. and Main St. (2001 Rokeby Ave.)

Join us for our New Year's Day tradition to explore Indian River Park and its century old forest on the Indian River flood plain.  Learn about the history of the park, its native trees, 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. 



Other News

The next Chesapeake Town Meeting will be on Tuesday, December 3, 7 PM to 8:30 pm at Indian River High School, 1969 Braves Trail.  Town meetings are an opportunity for residents to meet and discuss topics with City Council members and City Staff.  City Staff will set up different stations and citizens can meet and discuss whatever areas they wish to touch upon. They will either directly answer questions or gather information for a follow-up response.  City Council members will also be in attendance to answer questions and discuss concerns one-to-one with citizens.  Meetings last for 90 minutes and citizens may come at any point during that time that is convenient for their schedule.   All topics discussed at the Town Meetings will be logged and a summary of issues and responses posted to the City website following the meeting.  Learn more at http://www.cityofchesapeake.net/government/council/town-meetings.htm

Norfolk Highlands Civic League will meet on Thursday, December 5, 7 pm at the Indian River Baptist Church.  Key topic will be elections and approval of updated bylaws.


 Rokeby Garden Club is celebrating the holidays with an old fashioned cookie exchange on Wednesday, Dec 18, 1 pm.  Bring one or two dozen cookies or another desert with the recipe written on an index card.  Sample or take home the same number of cookies you bring. Other healthy refreshments will be provided by the Rokeby Center. Boxes for take home cookies will be provided.   They will also have mini make and take class on bow making, scented pinecones, and seed balls (to plant in spring).  No registration is required to attend; for residents "55 and better" who love plants and gardening. For more information call or visit the Rokeby Center at 757-822-6259.  
https://www.facebook.com/events/2706486992695804/



The Elizabeth River Project has several programs to help home owners upgrade their yards to become better stewards of a healthy environment. And now in the Indian River area of Chesapeake, the Friends of Indian River is stepping up to provide a little extra funding support for such projects to create rain gardens, vegetated shoreline buffers, and living shorelines. See the flier below for more info, visit https://elizabethriver.org/river-star-homes
or contact us at info@friendsofindianriver.org

In November, representatives from the Friends of Indian River and the Norfolk Highlands Civic League met with the Chesapeake Planning Department to kickoff work to create and Indian River Small Area Plan.  This will create a detailed planning document to define the vision for what we want our community to look like over the next 5 to 20 years.  This information will factor into the City's Comprehensive Plan and impact spending and development decisions.  In these initial meetings with the consultants who will be working on the plan, we provided them with a tour of the community - the good, the bad, and the ugly - and shared our vision for building a stronger community including a revitalized "Downtown Indian River", more connectivity to park and green spaces, and a healthier, cleaner environment for everyone.  They are now preparing a public engagement plan that we expect will include public input meetings starting in January.  We will share more information as we get it.

Thank you to the 8 volunteers who came out in November for the Adopt-A-Road cleanup along Indian River Road. In a couple of hours they collected about 8 medium sized bags along the street from the bridge to MacDonald Road, and then another 8 big bags under and around the bridge - about 300 lbs total.



Now is a great time to become a member or renew your membership, or just make a donation online at http://www.friendsofindianriver.org/p/membership.html

Sunday, October 27, 2019

November Newsletter and Events

In this month's issue, we have:
- Indian River Park Guided Hike - Saturday, 11/2
- Monthly Meeting with Guest Speaker Council Member Stephen Best, Thursday, 11/21
Adopt-A-Road Cleanup along Indian River Road, Saturday, 11/23
- Other News
    - Election Day, Tuesday, 11/5
    - Norfolk Highlands Civic League, Thursday, 11/7
    - Rokeby Garden Club, Wednesay, 11/20
    - and more ....



Indian River Park Guided Hike
Date: Saturday, November 2
8:30 am to 10:30 am
Meet at the park entrance at Rokeby Ave. and Main St. (2001 Rokeby Ave.)

Join us for a hike along the nature trail and through the park. 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.



Monthly Meeting - Guest Speaker Council Member Stephen Best
Date: Thursday, November 21, 7 pm
Location: Oaklette United Methodist Church, 520 Oaklette Drive, Chesapeake, VA

Our guest will be City Council Member Stephen Best to speak to use about affairs of the city.

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

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



Adopt-A-Road Cleanup along Indian River Road /Community Cleanup
Date: Saturday, November 23, 9 am to 11 am
Location: Post Office side parking lot at 3810 Indian River Rd

We need your help for our quarterly cleanup.   Join us for a few hours to clean up the mile of Indian River Road from the city limits at Wingfield Avenue all the way to MacDonald Road. 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!

For our main cleanup on Indian River Road, the city will provide garbage bags and orange safety vests. 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.  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.


Election Day is on Tuesday, November 5 from 6 am to 7 pm.  We're voting for Virginia State Delegate, Senator, Clerk of the Court, and the local Soil and Water Conservation District Directors    For more information and sample ballots (locally, most of us will be voting using Ballot Style 5), visit http://www.cityofchesapeake.net/government/city-departments/departments/Voter-Registrar/election-info/sample-ballot.htm

Norfolk Highlands Civic League will meet on Thursday, November 7, 7 pm at the Indian River Baptist Church.  Key topic will be a review of the updated bylaws. 

Rokeby Garden Club, is meets on Wednesday, November 20 from 1 pm to 3 pm at the Rokeby Center. This month's topic is Fall and Winter Container Plants.  Parks, Recreation and Tourism will also present this quarter's Volunteer Award to Sharon Komenda for her efforts on the continued beautification and maintenance of the Robeby Gardens.  No registration is required to attend; for residents "55 and better" who love plants and gardening. For more information call or visit the Rokeby Center at 757-822-6259.  
https://www.facebook.com/events/2444151535871640/

Thank you to the 9 volunteers who came to Indian River Park earlier in October to help us cleanup, weed, and mulch around the trailhead. We weeded, pruned, and moved about 10 cubic yards of mulch over 3 hours.

See some great photos from our owl talk at the October monthly meeting at https://www.facebook.com/FriendsofIndianRiver/posts/2646239105441424




Now is a great time to become a member or renew your membership, or just make a donation online at http://www.friendsofindianriver.org/p/membership.html

    Sunday, October 6, 2019

    October Newsletter and Events


    In this month's issue, we have:
    - Monthly Meeting -  Living Harmoniously with Owls, Thursday, October 17
         - Dana Lusher of Nature's Nanny Wildlife Rehabilitation will talking to us about owls and  bring one or more rescue owls to the meeting for us to meet!  Great opportunity for all ages.
    - Adopt-A-Park @ Indian River Park, Saturday, October 19
    - Indian River Park Guide Hike, Saturday, November 2
    - Other News






    Monthly Meeting - Living Harmoniously with Owls
    Date: Thursday, October 17, 7 pm
    Location: Oaklette United Methodist Church, 520 Oaklette Drive, Chesapeake, VA

    Dana Lusher of Nature's Nanny Wildlife Rehabilitation will talking to us about owls and their important role in the ecosystem.  Plans are for her and her assistants to bring one or more rescue owls to the meeting for us to meet and learn about these unique creatures.  A great opportunity for all ages.  

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




    Adopt-A-Park Volunteer Work Day
    Date: Saturday, October 19
    9:00 am to Noon

    Meet at the park entrance at Rokeby Ave. and Main St. (2001 Rokeby Ave.)

    We'll be tending to the native plant garden at the park entrance.  We also have a lot of mulch to spread, so we need some strong backs, wheelbarrows, and pitch forks!  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).  Participants under 18 years of age must have adult supervision.




    Indian River Park Guided Hike
    Date: Saturday, November 2
    8:30 am to 10:30 am
    Meet at the park entrance at Rokeby Ave. and Main St. (2001 Rokeby Ave.)

    Join us for a hike along the nature trail and through the park. 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.



    Chesapeake Recycles Day is on Saturday, October 12th, 9 am to noon, at Greenbrier Mall.  Learn more at http://www.cityofchesapeake.net/government/city-departments/departments/public-works-department/wastemanagement-recycling/chesapeake-recycles-day.htm


    Rokeby Garden Club, is holding their next monthly meeting on Wednesday, October 16 from 1 pm to 3 pm at the Rokeby Center. This month learn what it takes to prepare your fall gardens for spring, including info on soil preparation, bulbs, annuals and perennials that grow in Hampton Roads.  This is for residents "55 and better" who love plants and gardening. FREE plant giveway.  No registration is required. For more information call or visit the Rokeby Center at 757-822-6259.   https://www.facebook.com/events/361693158095184/

    Chesapeake Bay Foundation VoiCeS class starts on October 16.  Want to learn how our ecosystem works, how to help take on the many challenges confronting it, and meet some great people with similar interests? If so, we recommend that you take the Chesapeake Bay Foundation—Hampton Roads Office VoiCeS class. Classes meet six consecutive Wednesdays, October 16th through November 20th, 5:45pm – 7:45pm each night at the Jordan-Newby Anchor Branch Library at Broad Creek.  For more info and to register, visit http://www.cbf.org/voices-hr

    Thank you to the 10 volunteers who joined us for our 2nd Annual River Cleanup, part of the International Coastal Cleanup. Over 3 hours, we collected over 1000 bottles, cans, food wrappers, plastic bags, and other pieces of litter - filling 15 bags and weighing about 250 lbs. And most of it was plastic - we really need to shift away from our disposable, single use culture.   Please visit our website for an excellent write-up on the event by Gary Ball. 


    Water and Sewer Lines at Indian River Park


    We've got a mostly positive update when we met with City officials in mid-September about the water and sewer lines to be run through Indian River Park for the new condo development. The good news is that all parties have agreed to move the proposed water and sewer lines to the south edge of the Dominion power line corridor. The easement was originally planned to be 40' wide and run through the forest on the north side of the power lines. Now it will now only be 16' wide and about half of this is land already keep cleared for the power lines. So we're still going to lose some trees along the edge, but only about 1/5th of what we would have originally been cut; and very likely no really old trees are in the path.  

    We also asked that the area be replanted with a conservation native wildflower mix after construction. And we're waiting to see the final site plan. The timing for the work is not yet known, but it construction will likely take several weeks, perhaps more than a month, once it starts. Unfortunately all the north-south trails will effectively be severed during the construction, so stay tuned for updates on all of this.