Monday, May 27, 2019

June Newsletter and Events

In this month's issue:
- Trouble at Indian River Park
- Clean the Bay Day, June 1
Monthly Meeting - Brent James on Notable Trees, June 20
- Adopt-A-Road Cleanup along Indian River Road /Community Cleanup, June 22
- RiverFest, June 23
- Other News - BioBlitz, Oyster Gardening, Business Beatification Program


Indian River Park: In the past few weeks the Friends of Indian River were distressed to learn that the City is planning to run water and sewer lines across Indian River Park to enable the construction of the Fieldstone Condo Development adjacent to the park.  The alignment, which has been approved by Development and Permits, would clear cut a 40' wide, 800' long easement through the middle of the park, destroying approximately 32,000 square feet of mature forest.  This section of the park is also in the designated Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area (CBPA) and the construction easement crosses the Indian River.  In response we have sent the letter below to the City Manager and City Council and addressed the City Council at their meeting on 5/14.  City staff met on 5/20 to review the issue and is now actively considering possible alternatives including running the water and sewer lines within the existing power line easement.  

We have precious little woodland left in the Indian River area and we are fighting to save every square foot of forest and every tree that we can.  The City and the State both have ambitious plans to increase canopy coverage to deal with pollution and flooding issues, efforts that we support.  To discover that 32,000 square feet of irreplaceable, century old forest has been approved to be clear cut - on public land, in our park, in the CBPA - is devastating.    We are awaiting the outcome of the City staff review of alternatives and ask everyone to stay tuned as we may need folks to make additional outreach to the City Council.   

Learn more at https://www.facebook.com/FriendsofIndianRiver/posts/2366803393384998




Clean the Bay Day
Date: Saturday, June 1, 9:00 am to Noon
New Location: Lake at the Indian River High School Lake/Chesapeake Alternative School, 605 Providence Road (just past Indian River Library on Providence).

This year's location for Clean the Bay Day will be around the 20 acre lake nestled between Indian River High School and Indian River Middle School.  This is a location that needs some TLC.  Come discover this new site and help us get it cleaned up.  Meet at the side parking lot of the Chesapeake Alternative School (the old Indian River School Annex) at 605 Providence Road.  Please wear closed-toe shoes, a hat and bring work gloves. 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.   Please RSVP to info@friendsofindianriver.org.  


Monthly Meeting - Brent James on Notable Trees
Date: Thursday, June 20, 7 pm 
Location: Oaklette United Methodist Church, 520 Oaklette Drive, Chesapeake, VA


Brent James, with Lynnhaven River Now, founded the Notable Trees program to identify those large Old Growth trees -  trees that may be huge, beautiful, interesting or have a rare story to tell in their own right - that pre-date the waves of development of our cities.  Learn about the program, the value of trees, and how trees qualify for Notable Tree program.


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


Adopt-A-Road Cleanup along Indian River Road /Community Cleanup
Date: Saturday, June 22, 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.



RiverFest 2019
Date: Sunday, June 23, 11 am - 4 pm
Location: Back Bay's Farmhouse Brewing Co.
1805 Kempsville Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23464


This year's RiverFest is happening in June and in Kempsville.  Come out to celebrate the Elizabeth River with activities including the Science Dome & Aquariums, Free Children’s Activities & Games, Live Music, the Chesapeake Mermaid, and Food Trucks.  Visit the many information tables including ours, and learn about efforts to restore the Eastern Branch. Earn your free River Star Home Flag.

Other News



Indian River Park BioBlitz: About 65 volunteers and guests spent the day exploring Indian River Park and learning about the local flora and fauna. Thank you to our expert guides, volunteers, and everyone who came out. Thank you to Chesapeake Parks, Recreation and Tourism for supporting this event and to the Chesapeake Master Gardeners, Tidewater Master Naturalist, Elizabeth River Project, and Boy Scout Troop 320 for tabling at the event. We'll be putting together of full report of what we found over the next few weeks!

Oyster Gardening: Live along the river?  You can help restore oysters and clean up our waters by becoming an oyster gardener with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Orientation sessions start in June, for more info see https://www.cbf.org/how-we-save-the-bay/programs-initiatives/virginia/oyster-restoration/oyster-gardening/hampton-roads-oyster-gardening-seminars-new-gardeners.html


Business Beautification Program: 
The objective of the Friends of Indian River Business Beautification Program is to beautify our community, promote attractive streetscapes that encourage increased patronage of local businesses, energize local business development, and ultimately provide local residents with more and better choices for shopping, entertainment, and services.   One program that we have implemented is installing planters at local businesses to enhance to the visual appeal of the street and break up areas of hardscaping.  There is a limited number of planters and plants avaialble; to learn more about eligibility, terms and conditions on how to participate, visit http://www.friendsofindianriver.org/p/business-beautification-program.html or contact us at info@friendsofindianriver.org

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

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

May Newsletter and Events

In this month's issue:
- BioBlitz at Indian River Park, Saturday, May 18 - Register now!
- Monthly Meeting: Ellen Comstock – Earth Keepers and the faith-based community, Thursday, May 16
- Clean the Bay Day, Saturday, June 1
- Other News including Aqua Virginia, Fieldstone Condos, Plymouth Park, Oyster Gardening, and more


BioBlitz at Indian River Park
Date: Saturday, May 18, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm
Location: Indian River Park, 2001 Rokeby Ave.

Register now for a day of free nature and wildlife programs at Indian River Park.  This will be a fun event for the whole family.  Sign up  at  http://www.friendsofindianriver.org/p/bioblitz.html or by e-mailing info@friendsofindianriver.org.  

Expert guides will lead a variety of hikes to explore the park and identify as much of the plant and animal life as we can.  All ages are welcome, children must be accompanied by an adult. Walking required, trails have uneven surfaces and minor elevation changes. Strollers are not recommended.

Schedule:
  • Information Tables and Park Rangers at trailhead all day.
  • 8:00am Birding Hike with Tony Wood, Cape Henry Audubon
  • 9:30am Amphibians & Reptiles Hike with Dean Bohon and Mark Crofford, PR&T Volunteer Naturalists
  • 11:00am Insects & Butterflies Hike with Dr. Deborah Waller and Jessie Beard, ODU
  • 1:00pm Tree Hike with Byron Carmean, Virginia Big Trees
  • 2:30pm Wildflower & Plants Hike with Jim Hartle, Tidewater Master Naturalists
Co-sponsored by the Friends of Indian River and the Chesapeake Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism.  Activities start at the park trailhead entrance at Rokeby Ave. and Main St. (2001 Rokeby Ave.) which is located just south of Military Highway.

Want to help out?   We need volunteers to help at the welcome station, help with the hikes, and to keep track of our wildlife sightings.    Contact us at info@friendsofindianriver.org



Monthly Meeting - Ellen Comstock – Earth Keepers and the faith-based community
Date: Thursday, May 16, 7 pm 
Location: Oaklette United Methodist Church, 520 Oaklette Drive, Chesapeake, VA


Reverend Ellen Comstock, a retired pastor of the United Methodist Church is one of first "Earthkeepers" in Virginia.  The Earthkeepers program works with the faith-based community to implement Caring for Creation projects such as native landscaping, creating community gardens, advocating for renewable energy, and working for environmental justice.  Come learn more about the program and its accomplishments.

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


Clean the Bay Day
Date: Saturday, June 1, 9:00 am to Noon
New Location: Lake at the Indian River High School Lake/Chesapeake Alternative School, 605 Providence Road (just past Indian River Library on Providence).

This year's location for Clean the Bay Day will be around the 20 acre lake nestled between Indian River High School and Indian River Middle School.  This is a location that needs some TLC.  Come discover this new site and help us get it cleaned up.  Meet at the side parking lot of the Chesapeake Alternative School (the old Indian River School Annex) at 605 Providence Road.  Please wear closed-toe shoes, a hat and bring work gloves.  Participants under 18 years of age must have adult supervision.   Please RSVP to info@friendsofindianriver.org.  

Other News

Aqua Virginia: This will be our last update about Aqua Virginia because they are no longer in Indian River.  The water system was turned over to the City of Chesapeake on April 18th and that evening the City flushed the system and put the residents on City water.  Now we shift our focus to pushing for the revitalization of the Indian River Shopping Center

Fieldstone Condos at Indian River Park: The preliminary site plan for the condos on the 18 acres next to Indian River Park has been approved.  This is for the condo development that was approved back in 2008 and is now moving forward.  The approval includes various conditions including modeling the stormwater runoff to make sure the site meets the 2014 stormwater regs, including a 20% tree canopy, and protecting the buffer along the existing residences and the perimeter of the property.  The Final Site Plan is under review the the Development and Permits department. Read more at  https://www.facebook.com/FriendsofIndianRiver/photos/a.123643934367633/2298306163568055/

New Playground at Plymouth Park: The new playground at Plymouth Park was completed and opened just after Easter.  Check it out at 701 Pond Lane.

Oyster Gardening: Live along the river?  You can help restore oysters and clean up our waters by becoming an oyster gardener with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Orientation sessions start in June, for more info see https://www.cbf.org/how-we-save-the-bay/programs-initiatives/virginia/oyster-restoration/oyster-gardening/hampton-roads-oyster-gardening-seminars-new-gardeners.html

Thank you to the half dozen volunteers who came to tend to the native plant garden at the Rokeby Trailhead in Indian River Park in early April.   

Just before Earth Day, the Friends of Indian River were featured in a "Making the Mark" interview on 13 News Now.  If you missed it, you can see the interview at https://www.13newsnow.com/video/news/local/mycity/chesapeake/making-a-mark-chesapeake-group-preserves-the-environment-in-the-community/291-439b2fe8-b001-443e-a789-8a4d9b6f41f5

Check out our new infographic about Main Street, Indian River:

PDF version - https://drive.google.com/open?id=1t-Z_jnGPLeAg_QeyWzW1_b6gb17S8qrG

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

Friday, March 29, 2019

April Newsletter


Friends of Indian River
Volunteer | Calendar | Community Guide | About Us | Support | Facebook


In this month's issue:
- Adopt-A-Park at Indian River Park, Saturday, April 6
- Monthly Meeting - Ross Weaver on Wetlands Watch Resilience Research and Design Collaborative -  Thursday, April 18
- Nature HIke at Indian River Park, Saturday, April 20
- BioBlitz at Indian River Park, Saturday, May 18 - Registration is open
- Aqua Virginia update
- More Events and Updates
     - Norfolk Highlands Civic League, Thursday, April 4
     - Rokeby Garden Club, Thursday, April 25
     - CVUU screening of “Wasted! The Story of Food Waste”, April 26





Adopt-A-Park Cleanup at Indian River Park
Date: Saturday, April 6, 9 am to Noon
Location: Indian River Park, 2001 Rokeby Ave.

We'll be tending to the native plant garden at the park entrance.  Please wear closed-toe shoes, a hat and bring work gloves. If you can, bring shovels, rakes, pruners, saws and other gardening tools. We can use some wheel barrows to move mulch if you can bring one.  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.


Monthly Meeting - Ross Weaver discusses the Wetlands Watch Resilience Research and Design Collaborative
Date: Thursday, April 18, 7 pm 
Location: Oaklette United Methodist Church, 520 Oaklette Drive, Chesapeake, VA


Wetlands Watch, Virginia Sea Grant, and the Green Building Council, Hampton Roads Chapter have joined forces to link research and education programs at Virginia universities with local governments. Their goal is to produce innovative solutions to make communities stronger and more resilient in the face of environmental and economic change. Learn about these projects and how we may participate in them in Indian River. http://wetlandswatch.org/design-collaboratory/

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


Nature Hike at Indian River Park
Date: Saturday, April 20, 8:30 am to 10:30 am
Location: Indian River Park, 2001 Rokeby Ave.

In celebration of Earth Day, 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.

BioBlitz at Indian River Park
Date: Saturday, May 18, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm
Location: Indian River Park, 2001 Rokeby Ave.

Registration is open for a day of free nature and wildlife programs for the whole family at Indian River Park. Join expert guides on a variety of hikes to explore the park and document as much of the plant and animal life present.

  • Information Tables and Park Rangers at trailhead all day.
  • 8:00am Birding Hike with Tony Wood, Cape Henry Audubon
  • 9:30am Amphibians & Reptiles Hike with Dean Bohon and Mark Crofford, PR&T Volunteer Naturalists
  • 11:00am Insects & Butterflies Hike with Dr. Deborah Waller and Jessie Beard, ODU
  • 1:00pm Tree Hike with Byron Carmean, Virginia Big Trees
  • 2:30pm Wildflower & Plants Hike with Jim Hartle, Tidewater Master Naturalists
Co-sponsored by the Friends of Indian River and the Chesapeake Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism.  Activities start at the park trailhead entrance at Rokeby Ave. and Main St. (2001 Rokeby Ave.) which is located just south of Military Highway.

All ages are welcome, children must be accompanied by an adult. Walking required, trails have uneven surfaces and minor elevation changes. Strollers are not recommended.

Register for hikes by e-mailing info@friendsofindianriver.org or online at http://www.friendsofindianriver.org/p/bioblitz.html

Want to help out?   We need volunteers to help at the welcome station, help with the hikes, and to keep track of our wildlife sightings.    Contact us at info@friendsofindianriver.org

Other News


Aqua Virginia: The Virginia State Corporation Commission has approved the transfer of the Aqua Virginia water system in Indian River to the City of Chesapeake. The City and Aqua are ironing out the last few details of the transfer and plan to close the sale on or around April 18th!

The City reports they have already begun two projects to make the initial connections between the City’s water system and Aqua’s water system. One project begins at the intersection of Laurel Avenue and Davis Avenue and connects to the Aqua system at the near Sparrow Road and Santeelah Avenue. The second project begins at the intersection of McNeal Avenue and Rokeby Avenue and connects to the Aqua system at McNeal Avenue and Linden Avenue. They urge caution when traveling in these areas under construction.  

Norfolk Highlands Civic League: After a brief hiatus, the NH Civic League is reforming.  They will once again meet on the first Thursday of the month, April 4th, at 7 pm.  The location is still TBD; for more info, see https://www.facebook.com/events/1280397155458162/ 

Rokeby Garden Club: will hold an Herb and mini-Pizza Party at the Rokeby Center on Thursday, April 25th, from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm for residents "55 and better".  They'll be discussing growing herbs and preparing foods made with herbs.  Come and enjoy foods made with fresh herbs including dips, salads, mini-Pizzas and Tapas. Optional: Feel free to bring a dish using a fresh herb to share, if you wish; please bring the recipe too.  RSVP Required, Call 757-822-6259

Coastal Virginia Unitarian Universalists: will be screening the documentary, “Wasted! The Story of Food Waste” on April 26 at 7:00 PM.  Karen Forget of Lynnhaven River NOW will lead a discussion of the film following the showing.  They are located at 809 South Military Highway, Virginia Beach, VA 23464 (just north of the Indian River Road, Military Highway intersection).

Oyster Gardening: Do you live along the river?  The Chesapeake Bay Foundation is holding orientation sessions on how you can help grow baby oysters off your shore.  Sessions start in June, for more info see https://www.cbf.org/how-we-save-the-bay/programs-initiatives/virginia/oyster-restoration/oyster-gardening/hampton-roads-oyster-gardening-seminars-new-gardeners.html

Thank you to the 13 volunteers who came out for our Adopt-A-Road cleanup along Indian River Road on March 23.  We removed nearly 500 lbs of litter along the road, around and under the Oaklette Bridge.  See pics https://www.facebook.com/FriendsofIndianRiver/posts/2263666420365363

Congratulations to our own Amy Weber for winning the Chesapeake Environmental Improvement Council's Pioneer Award for all her continuing good work.   https://www.facebook.com/ChesapeakeEnvironmentalImprovementCouncil/photos/a.693578610718812/2176456275764364

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

    Striving to improve the quality of life for all the residents of the Indian River neighborhoods of Chesapeake, Virginia, by promoting and preserving a healthy and clean river, shorelines, parks, and green spaces connected to the surrounding community.

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