Monday, May 28, 2018

June Newsletter and Events


It's not too late to join us on Saturday!

Clean the Bay Day
Date: Saturday, June 2, 9:00 am to Noon
New Location: Indian River Park, Ipswich Entrance, 1999 Paramont Ave.
(if coming from Greenbrier on Military Hwy, turn right at the light by the Volkswagon dealership and go 1 mile to the park's south entrance).


Volunteers needed!  We are doing our annual Clean the Bay Day cleanup at the south end of Indian River Park this year.  Please wear closed-toe shoes, a hat and bring work gloves, and if you wish to work in the flood plain of the creeks, rubber boots.  Participants under 18 years of age must have adult supervision.   Please RSVP to info@friendsofindianriver.org.   (Last minute volunteers are still always welcome). 

Monthly Meeting - 
Date: Thursday, June 21, 7 pm
Location: Oaklette United Methodist Church, 520 Oaklette Dr.

Our guest speaker will be Robert Hitchings, local historian and archivist at the Wallace Room at the Central Library of Chesapeake, who will tell us about Rev. Richard B. Garrett (1854-1920) and the John Wilkes Booth Conspiracy ... the Hampton Roads Connection.  There will be light refreshments and door prizes after the meeting.



Quarterly Cleanup - Indian River Road - 
Date: Saturday, June 23, 9 AM to Noon
Starting 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 we'll be focusing on the area around the bridge and into 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.


Other News


Chesapeake Notable Yards Contest is now accepting nominations.   They are looking for "Yards That Look Good and Are Good For Nature".   Criteria include 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 a bonus category of being Active in the Community!  Submit nominations by May 31 at http://www.cityofchesapeake.net/government/Boards-Commissions/full-listing/ceic/award-programs-contest/Chesapeake-s-Notable-Yards-Contest/Notable-Yards-Nomination-form.htm
Volunteers are needed for a shoreline improvement project along the Indian River in May.   Help to install oyster castles to build a new oyster reef and coir logs and native marsh grasses to protect the shore from erosion.  Learn more from the Elizabeth River Project and how to sign up at https://www.facebook.com/events/200530300557832/
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.  Watch this one minute video to learn more and sign up here for orientation classes in June

Our Business Sub-committee has been working on outreach to businesses in downtown Indian River and working with them on  beautification along our "Main Street".   Thanks to generous support from local commercial property owners Larry Barlow and Bettina Colonna Essert, we've placed flower pots at the Irwin's Shopping Center, the Trade Team Business Center, and at Lulu's Hot Dogs.

Huge thank you to Daisy Troop 29 for coming out and planting flowers around the sign at Plymouth Park in early May. This was a big project for them including doing learning about vermicomposting and growing these cone flowers from seed. We had help from the Chesapeake Master Gardeners to provide some planting instruction!
Fall Events - click to enlarge: 


Sunday, May 6, 2018

May Newsletter and Events


Clean the Bay Day
Date: Saturday, June 2, 9:00 am to Noon
New Location: Indian River Park, Ipswich Entrance, 1999 Paramont Ave.
(if coming from Greenbrier on Military Hwy, turn right at the light by the Volkswagon dealership and go 1 mile to the park's south entrance).


Volunteers needed!  We are doing our annual Clean the Bay Day cleanup at the south end of Indian River Park this year.  Please wear closed-toe shoes, a hat and bring work gloves, and if you wish to work in the flood plain of the creeks, rubber boots.  Participants under 18 years of age must have adult supervision.   Please RSVP to info@friendsofindianriver.org.   (Last minute volunteers are still always welcome). 

Monthly Meeting - Buy Fresh Buy Local
Date: Thursday, May 17, 7 pm
Location: Oaklette United Methodist Church, 520 Oaklette Dr.

Our guest speaker will be from Buy Fresh, Buy Local working to connect farms to people and make it easy to find Hampton Roads'​fresh and delicious locally grown and produced food.​ 
There will be light refreshments and door prizes after the meeting.

City Council Election Results

The City Council elections results are in - returning for another term will be Rick West Chesapeake Mayor and Council Members Ella Ward, John de Triquet, and Dwight Parker. Newly elected are Council Members-Elect R Stephen Best Sr, Susan Vitale, and Matt Hamel.  Debbie Ritter and Robert Ike will continue with their terms in office.  The new council will be take their seats on July 1st.

We congratulate the winners and also wish to thank outgoing members Roland Davis, Lonnie Craig, and Suzy Kelly for their service.


Other News

Chesapeake Notable Yards Contest is now accepting nominations.   They are looking for "Yards That Look Good and Are Good For Nature".   Criteria include 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 a bonus category of being Active in the Community!  Submit nominations by May 31 at http://www.cityofchesapeake.net/government/Boards-Commissions/full-listing/ceic/award-programs-contest/Notable-Yards-Nomination-form.htm


The Comp Plan Review for the Aqua Virginia acquisition passed unanimously at the Planning Commission in April. This was the first of several steps in completing the takeover of the system.   Hopefully, we'll have more good news soon!
We had a fun time at our Earth Day Celebration at Plymouth Park. We had a service event collecting trash and then we planted shrubs at the park entrance.  See pictures at https://www.facebook.com/FriendsofIndianRiver/posts/1792957800769563
Meetings continue with Parks, Recreation and Tourism to draft site plans for a future canoe/kayak launch site along the Indian River.   We had a briefing on the draft plans from Kristina Bezanson at our April monthly meeting.
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.  Watch this one minute video to learn more and sign up here for orientation classes in June


Mark your calendar with these upcoming dates
June 21 Monthly Meeting with guest speaker Robert Hithings discussing local area history
June 23 Adopt-A-Road Cleanup along Indian River Road and at the Bridge 
September 15 RiverFest right here in Indian River
September 22 International Coastal Cleanup - canoe/kayak cleanup of the Indian River
September 29 Rain date for canoe/kayak cleanup of the Indian River

Monday, April 2, 2018

April Newsletter


April is going to be a busy month.  The first procedural step to purchase the Aqua Virginia's Indian River Water System - and eventually bring clean, safe water to our neighbors and enable the redevelopment of the Indian River Shopping Center - is going to the Planning Commission on April 11th. Look for our separate Action Alert e-mail for information on what we need you to do to help make this a reality.

We are also only 1 month away from the City Council and School Board elections on May 1st.  Turnout for these May elections is terribly low, which is a shame since practically all of our local zoning, planning, and school issues are decided by the folks we elect in May.   Your vote really does matter, so please get out and vote!   Voter Registration deadline is April 9th.   There are candidate forums where you can ask questions and learn about the candidates; on April 5th (Chesapeake Conference Center), April 9th (South Norfolk), April 11th (Norfolk Highlands), April 18th (Deep Creek), and April 19th (Western Branch).  See below for more info.

And we have our regular monthly meeting on April 19th - our guest speaker will be Landscape Architect Mike Fox discussing Watershed Preservation and Landscape Planning.  On Saturday, April 21st we will celebrate Earth Day at Plymouth "Community" Park from 9 am to Noon. 

Sincerely,
Rogard Ross
Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator


Candidate Forums

Local elections for Mayor, City Council, and School Board are on May 1. There are a half dozen candidate forums coming up where you hear the candidates respond to voter questions; the April 5th forum will be televised by the City TV station.

- Apr 5 - Women's Division Hampton Roads Chamber of - Commerce Chesapeake, 4 PM School Board, 6 PM Council  @ Chesapeake Conference Center 
https://www.facebook.com/events/1944363519207862/
- Apr 9 - South Norfolk Civic League, 6 pm @ South Norfolk Community Center
https://www.facebook.com/events/2121621221401441/
- Apr 11 - Norfolk Highlands Civic League, 7 pm @ Laurel Avenue Church of Christ
https://www.facebook.com/events/1662654410449354/
- Apr 18 - Deep Creek Ruritan Club, 7 pm
- Apr 19 - Western Branch Forum, TBA

Voter Registration Deadline
Date: Monday, April 9
https://vote.elections.virginia.gov/VoterInformation


Planning Commission votes on Aqua Virginia Acquisition
Date: Wednesday, April 11, 7 pm
Location: City Hall, City Council Chamber, 306 Cedar Road, Chesapeake, VA 23322

Let's make sure the first step in acquiring the Aqua Virginia water system goes through smoothly.   Please e-mail the Planning Commission at planning@cityofchesapeake.net and tell them you support the acquisition.  Come to City Hall on Wednesday evening, 4/11, and speak in support; you need to fill out a speaker card, located at the entrance of the Council Chambers, and submit it prior to the 7 p.m.


Monthly Meeting - Watershed Preservation Planning
Date: Thursday, April 19, 7 pm
Location: Oaklette United Methodist Church, 520 Oaklette Dr.

Planning any landscaping work on your property?  Landscape Architect Mike Fox will talk to us about protecting our watershed, conservation practices and incentives, and how homeowners and businesses can work with a landscaping contractor to ensure conservation practices are followed.  There will be light refreshments and door prizes after the meeting.


Earth Day Celebration
Date: Saturday, April 21, 9:00 am to Noon
Location: Plymouth Community Park at 605 Pond Lane (two blocks north of Border Rd)

Join us for an Earth Day event at the newly renovated Plymouth "Community" Park. We'll be doing a service event including a litter cleanup, planting some blueberry bushes, and information tables. Kids can come and create some Earth Day themed sidewalk art that we'll post to our Facebook page and website.

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. Participants under 18 years of age must have adult supervision.




City Council and School Board Elections
Date: Tuesday, May 1, 6:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m

Sample Ballots
http://www.cityofchesapeake.net/government/City-Departments/Departments/Voter-Registrar/election-info.htm
 




Other News
  • Norfolk Highlands is sponsoring a neighborhood Great American Cleanup on Saturday, April 21, starting at 9 am at the Laurel Avenue Church of Christ. For more info https://www.facebook.com/events/172256060094987/
  • We've got 170 River Star Homes in the Indian River watershed. This is great progress! But with 10,000 homes this side of I-64 alone, we think we can do better!! We'd love to see at least 500 homes become River Stars by pledging to take 7 easy steps to cleanup our community. It's free to join, easy to do, and helps nature a whole lot. To sign up today, visit http://www.elizabethriver.org/river-star-homes
  • Thank you to the volunteers who came out for our Adopt-A-Road Cleanup on Saturday 3/17 and an Adopt-A-Park effort at Plymouth Park on Saturday 3/24
  • Chesapeake Parks, Recreation and Tourism are nearly done with the next phase of improvements at Plymouth Park. They've installed a walking path around at the park and planted native trees along that path. A new wooden vehicle guardrail will be added soon. 
  • Congratulations to the Oaklette United Methodist Church for winning the "Business and Industry" Award from the Chesapeake Environmental Improvement Council for, among other accomplishments, installing rain gardens and other conservation landscaping at their church and parsonage. These efforts help keep storm water runoff from washing pollutants into the Indian River, provides wildlife habitat, and looks great too. 
  • We have to report that the planned condos on the 17 acre wooded lot at the end of Miller Avenue adjacent to Indian River Park moved a step closer to fruition.  Learn more at https://www.facebook.com/FriendsofIndianRiver/photos/a.123643934367633.22838.115427591855934/1760415697357107 
  • 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