Monday, June 27, 2016

July Newsletter

Summer is here and our next meeting is not until September, but we wanted to thank everyone for a successful first half of the year.   We had volunteer events to remove invasive English Ivy at the park, cleanup along Indian River Road, and garden at the Indian River Oaklette Bridge.   Over 110 volunteers came out for Clean the Bay Day at Indian River Park and Plymouth Community Park collecting over 1500 lbs of trash.   And our BioBlitz was a big success documenting over 300 species of plants and animals in the park, 121 of which were recording on the day of the event.


Three of our members have now worked with the Elizabeth River Project to install oyster reefs off their property on the Indian River.   Over 180 cubic yards of oyster shell were strategically placed to provide the foundation to accelerate the recovery of oysters in the river.   The reefs will also provide homes to other river life including blue crabs, mussels, snails and juvenile fish.   At this point several other waterfront property owners have approached us to learn how they too can participate in river restoration efforts, like oyster reefs, living shorelines, and rain gardens.   If you are interested, reply back to this e-mail.

Upcoming events include
- Chesapeake Recycles Day at Greenbrier Mall on Saturday, July 23 from 9 am to Noon
- Rain Barrel Workshop at Indian River Community center on Saturday, Sept 10 at 10 am ($55, registration required)
- International Coastal Cleanup at Plymouth Community Park, Saturday, September 17, 9:30 am to Noon
For more information and our full fall calendar, please visit http://www.friendsofindianriver.org/p/calendar.html

Our next regular meeting will be Thursday, September 15, 7 pm at Oaklette United Methodist Church.   Jim Cahoon of Bay Environmental will present on Living Shorelines and Rain Gardens. We'll also have information from the Elizabeth River Project on how you can get help in doing your own living shoreline or rain garden installation.

A few other items of interest
  • Would you like to have a healthier, river-friendly lawn?  The non-profit Elizabeth River Project can help you plan your organic lawn makeover and provide up to $500 in funding. One of their lawn expert will schedule a time to meet with you to go your over lawn concerns and goals and conduct a soil test to see what your soil needs. Often in this area, aeration, to deal with compacted soils, and top-dressing with organic leaf compost will add beneficial microbes to the soil. And, they can provide up to $500 to help Chesapeake homes in our Elizabeth River watershed with these lawn makeovers that are not only river-friendly, but safe for pets and kids as well. Sign up to have our lawn expert contact you at http://www.elizabethriver.org/organic-lawn-care-makeovers or call 757-399-7487.
  • Also, the Virginia Conservation Assistance Program (VCAP) is another new program that provides financial reimbursement to property owners installing specific conservation practices like living shorelines, rain gardens, permeable pavement, and more.  The program is open to residential, commercial, industrial, recreational applicants, both private and public, and may reimburse up to 75% of the cost of some projects. Contact us for more information or see http://vaswcd.org/vcap
  • Mosquito Control 101. Perform regular scans of your yard to make sure there is NO standing water. This includes tarps where rainwater has collected, clogged rain gutters, buckets, unmanaged birdbaths, old tires, planters, pet dishes, kiddy pools, cans or bottles. Mosquitoes need about one week to complete their lifecycle From eggs to biting adult.     For more info see http://content.yardmap.org/learn/mosquitoes/

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