Monday, October 1, 2018

Vote for us as Cox Conserve Heroes


We need your vote!  The Friends of Indian River are extraordinarily honored to announce that our founder, Rogard Ross, is the Virginia Nominee for the Cox Conserves Heroes program created by Cox Enterprises and The Trust for Public Land (TPL).   Now you can vote for the national winner of the program.  Winning would result in the Friends of Indian River receiving an award of up to $50,000.  Rogard has said that if we win such an award, he would like see our group use the money to leverage partnerships with the City, local businesses, and other civic and environmental organizations to multiply its impact, such as by implementing pilot projects and matching grants for projects to improve the environment and the quality of life for our community. Vote for Rogard - and the Friends of Indian River - now at https://www.coxconservesheroes.com/vote



Sunday, September 30, 2018

September Newsletter and Events

We are so excited!  We're less than a week away from the biggest festival we've had in Indian River in ages and it's going to be a blast...


RiverFest Indian River
Date: Saturday, October 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)

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 by the Chesapeake Master Gardeners. Adopt a River Otter. Live Music. Earn a NEW Elizabeth River Girl Scout Patch. Face Painting. Bounce House. See the Scoop the Poop Relay with a River Theme Dog Costume Contest.  Win a Stand-Up Paddle Board.  Meet a Real Live Mermaid.   Tasty bites from Wicker's Crabpot Seafood, Your Pie pizza, Kona Ice and Smartmouth Brewing.  And More!

Monthly Meeting: Lasagna Gardening 
Date: Thursday, October 18,
7:00 pm to 8:30 pm


Our guest speaker will be Pauline Hundley at Four Seasons Nursery who will talk to us about "Lasagna Gardening" - a low maintenance gardening technique to build rich, fluffy soil in your garden.

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



Adopt-A-Park Volunteer Work Day
Date: Saturday, October 20
9:00 am to Noon

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

We'll be doing work around the park entrance, trailhead, and along the trails including some trail work, pruning, weeding, and cleanup.

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 

Discover Indian River Park on a Guided Hike 
Date: Saturday, October 27
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.


Other News


The Elizabeth River Project is working on their next oyster castle installation along the Indian River and needs some help.  Volunteer days are currently Wednesday, October 3 through Friday, October 5.  Find more info at https://www.facebook.com/events/299320214189048/

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. Deadline was extended to October 7. 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 

The next Chesapeake Recycles Day will be on Saturday, October 13 at Greenbrier Mall, 9 to Noon. Bring your household hazardous materials, old electronics, Goodwill items, plastic bags, regular recyclables, and such. No tube TVs, no tires, personal items only. We are also collecting non-perishable canned goods for donation to a local food pantry. http://www.cityofchesapeake.net/government/City-Departments/Departments/Public-Works-Department/wastemanagement-recycling/chesapeake-recycles-day.htm



Are you registered to vote in the big Federal elections for the House and Senate on November 6th?  The deadline to register is October 15th.  Learn more at https://vote.elections.virginia.gov/VoterInformation 





The City will soon be starting a Study and Small Area Plan for Indian River area.  The goal is to address economic revitalization, transportation and mobility options, safety, aesthetics, and environmental sustainability.  One of the first steps is to identify the communities strengths and weaknesses.  Please help us by answering the following the survey at https://goo.gl/forms/nNgKbNdzmVElGn3M2







Join us and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation at the Sandler Center for the premiere of film THE HUMAN ELEMENT on Wednesday, October 24th.  Renowned photographer James Balog (CHASING ICE) uses his camera to reveal how environmental change is affecting the lives of everyday Americans. Following the four classical elements— air, earth, fire and water— to frame his journey, Balog explores wildfires, hurricanes, sea level rise, coal mining, and the changes in the air we breathe. With compassion and heart, THE HUMAN ELEMENT tells an urgent story while giving inspiration for a more balanced relationship between humanity and nature. The move will be followed by a discussion on sea-level rise and climate change with James Balog and CBF President Will Baker.

October 24th, doors open at 5 pm.  This is a free event, but registration is required at www.cbf.org/film



Aqua Virginia Acquisition: We are very happy to report that, by a vote of 8-0, the City Council has authorized the the City Manager to sign the contract to purchase the Aqua Virginia Water System in Indian River. That moves us one big step closer to getting that part of the neighborhood on clean, safe, City water. We wish to thank City Manager James Baker, Public Utilities Director David Jurgens, City Attorney Jacob Stroman, and their staff for the diligent work to bring this contract together. Engineering design work should begin quickly, although there are still several steps - and probably months - to go before the deal goes to Closing and the acquisition is completed.

We had a big success with doing our part for the International Coastal Cleanup on the Indian River last month. 13 volunteers on flotilla including 4 kayaks, 3 canoes, and a skiff pulled out over 800 pounds of trash including 3 tires, 3 ghost crab pots, a huge plastic tarp, plywood, hundreds of bottles, cans, and plastic bags, and a surprising assortment of kids toys including a baby walker. Thank you to all who participated and we'll be planning to do this again next September, so start planning to participate now!

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 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