Friday, February 10, 2012

Successful first meeting

We had a great first meeting of the Friends of Indian River last night.   Sixteen neighbors from points up and down the river gathered at the library to share their stories and their interests.   Long time residents remembered how the river was once much clearer, and then became much muddier as development swept through the upper watershed in the 70's and 80's.     The attendees expressed great interest in doing good for the community, and hoping to get improvements for the community in return.

Areas of interest identified by the group included the state of the business district along Indian River Road - especially the empty supermarket in Indian River Shopping Center; the state of the river, its grasses and oysters; the over abundance of non-migrating Canada Geese and their negative impact on the environment; and the impact of wakes from fast moving boats.   We discussed the Indian River Park, piecing together stories of its acquisition from the city of Norfolk, and the work done by the local chapter of the Eastern Virginia Mountainbike Association (EVMA) in keeping the park accessible.    We talked about the possibilities of locating a canoe/kayak launch site somewhere along the river.    Several members expressed interest in doing outreach and education in the community.

The consensus was that we should work with the city and other organizations like the Norfolk Highlands Civic League,  EVMA, Chesapeake Master Gardeners,  Elizabeth River Project, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and even local Scout groups to improve the community.   By getting organized we can use our numbers - and our connections - to take action, get attention, influence, and results.

The group agreed to meet again in early March to continue organizing and planning.    The date is TBD until we nail down a meeting room.   In the meantime we'll share more information by e-mail and organize a "Walk in the Park" to explore some of the high points, and some of the low points, of the park.    We'll also look into coordinating with the Chesapeake Environmental Improvement Council to see if we can help tree planting efforts on Arbor Day, March 31st.

If you are interested in getting involved and getting on our mailing list, please contact rogard@yahoo.com

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