Thursday, December 13, 2018

Indian River Park Ivy Pull cancelled on Saturday 12/15

Hi everyone - with the forecast of rain Friday night and Saturday morning, we are cancelling the planned Adopt-A-Park Volunteer Work Day (Invasives/English Ivy Removal) on Saturday 12/15.  We are rescheduling this event to Saturday, January 19th.

But please join us for Annual Holiday Party next Thursday, 12/20 at 7 pm.  It's a chance for us to get together and celebrate the year's accomplishments.  Bring a holiday treat (like vege platter, appetizer, or dessert} to share and join us for the fun - including a chance to finish your Christmas shopping at our silent auction.  Even if you have not been to a meeting in a while or if this would be your very first meeting you are invited.  See below for details.

And we are also planning a First Day Hike at Indian River Park on January 1st!. 

Monday, December 3, 2018

December Newsletter and Events



Our Annual Volunteer Appreciation and Holiday Party will be on Thursday, December 20th and we very cordially invite all our members, volunteers, and their guests to come join us at our year end celebration.   We'll recognize our wonderful volunteers and all their great accomplishments, share holiday treats and appetizers, socialize ... and do some shopping!  The party features our big silent auction, always brimming with some quality items donated by our members.  Even if you have not been to a meeting in a while or if this would be your very first meeting, we encourage you to come out and partake in the merriment.   The party is from 7 pm to 9 pm at the Oaklette United Methodist Church.    Please bring a desert or appetizer to share and join the festivities.   Also, the Oaklette United Methodist Church food pantry will be collecting donations of non-perishable food items.

Sincerely,
Rogard Ross
Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator


Adopt-A-Park Volunteer Work Day (Invasives/English Ivy Removal)
Date: Rescheduled to January 19th
9 am to Noon

** New location: Meet at the Indian River Park entrance at Paramont Avenue by the Power Lines (by the Ipswich Sign) ~2151 Paramont Ave

We'll be working on invasive plant removal, particularly English Ivy.   Come help us control this scourge. The more volunteers that come out the more that we can accomplish! 

Please wear closed-toe shoes, a hat and bring work gloves. Bring pruning clippers, loppers, screwdrivers (which are amazingly useful in prying ivy off tree trunks) and/or pruning saws if you have them.  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



Annual Holiday Party and Volunteer Appreciation
Date: Thursday,  December 20,
7:00 pm to 8:30 pm

Location: Oaklette United Methodist Church, 520 Oaklette Dr.

This will be our end of year celebration to recognize our many accomplishments, recognize our volunteers, and socialize. Please bring a desert or appetizer to share and join the festivities. 

We'll have a silent auction, so you can finish some Christmas shopping too. 

Please also consider bringing a donation of non-perishable food items for the Oaklette United Methodist Church food pantry to the meeting this evening. 

Even if you have not been to a meeting in a while or if this would be your very first meeting, we encourage you to come out and partake in the merriment.



First Day Hike

Date: Tuesday, January 1st, 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm
Starting Location: Indian River Park, 2001 Rokeby Ave.

Join us for new New Year's Day tradition to explore Indian River Park and it's century old forest on the Indian River flood plain.  Learn about the history of the park, its native trees, 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

Chesapeake Public Schools have released the Superintendent’s Proposed 2019-2029 Capital Improvement Plan.  For our area, the Plan foresees modest enrollment growth over the next decade, but cites the need to modernize the 54-year old Indian River Middle School.  Chesapeake Public Schools commissioned an architectural firm to conduct a facility condition inspection for Indian River Middle School, along with other older schools, and concluded that the facility is in need of major modernization.  The project is slated early in the proposed modernization queue, with design work scheduled to begin in 2019-20. This project will include a modernization of the main building and provide additional permanent classroom space to house all Indian River Middle School students in the main building. Estimated completion would be in 2023-24.   Projected cost, $48 million.  Another Public Hearing is scheduled for December 10 at the Chesapeake School Administration Building, 312 Cedar Road.  This would be a good opportunity to speak in support of our local schools and the modernization of the Indian River Middle School.   https://cpschools.com/new-construction-and-planning/capital-projects-new-construction-planning/
https://cpschools.com/school-board/schedule/

Thank you to the volunteers who came out last month to help with the Native Plant Garden at Indian River Park and the Adopt-A-Road cleanup along Indian River Road.   The gardening work help us lay down mulch and re-do the irises that were getting way too crowded.  And during the cleanup the following week, volunteers picked up about 8 bags of litter including lots of small stuff - cigarette butts, cigarette filter tips, cigarello wrappers, (see a trend?), ketchup wrappers, bottle caps, straws, food wrappers, etc. 

Please consider the Friends of Indian River in your year-end giving.  You can 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, November 1, 2018

November Newsletter and Events


Adopt-A-Park Volunteer Work Day
Date: Saturday, November 10
10:00 am to 1 pm

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

We'll be doing another round of work around the park entrance,  mainly dividing plants, weeding, and mulching.

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: City Council Member Matt Hamel
Date: Thursday, November 15,
7:00 pm to 8:30 pm

Location: Oaklette United Methodist Church, 520 Oaklette Dr.

Our scheduled guest speaker will be City Council Member Matt Hamel.  This meeting with City Council Members is a great way to learn about how our city functions and ask questions about items of concern.

Please also consider bringing a donation of non-perishable food items for the Oaklette United Methodist Church food pantry to the meeting this evening.

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





Quarterly Cleanup - Indian River Road - 

Date: Saturday, November 17, 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!

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

The first version of Site Plan for the new condos adjacent to Indian River Park was available from the Planning Department last month.  We've submitted comments expressing concern that it does not appear to provide the 25' vegetated buffer to the residences on Miller Avenue required by the proffers on the zoning approval. Nor is it clear how it achieves its 15% tree canopy (2.7 acre) requirement.   We've been told that revisions have been requested from the developer.  Read more at https://www.facebook.com/FriendsofIndianRiver/photos/a.123643934367633/2050961148302559

The natural gas pipeline being built through Georgetown, Campostella, and Berkley has been making headlines this past month.  Here is a link to a fact check done by the Virginian Pilot - https://pilotonline.com/news/local/environment/article_364ffd18-dc52-11e8-aea2-0fec775becee.html

Here is a fun video clip on the importance of scooping the poop. Share it with your kids!  https://youtu.be/COcl8AAWzYs

Photos from last month's Hike and Adopt-A-Park events at Indian River Park. Everyone seemed to have a good time and we got a lot accomplished at the native plant garden, getting it all weeded and mulched.  https://www.facebook.com/FriendsofIndianRiver/posts/2048147518583922 

On a personal note, I wish to personally thank everyone for the outpouring of support we received for the Cox Conserves Heroes nomination. The number of favorable testimonials made by individuals and groups in support of me and Friends of Indian River provides such great encouragement for our combined efforts. Alas, the National winner was the California nominee and I extend my congratulations to him. But we are the Virginia winner, which did come with a generous contribution from Cox Communications and the The Trust for Public Land, and the Friends will be carefully considering how to put these funds to good use; stay tuned for more info as we approach our Annual Meeting in January. - Rogard Ross

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

Friday, October 19, 2018

Adopt-A-Park Volunteer Event Rescheduled to 10/27, 11 AM

Because of the forecast of rain, our Adopt-A-Park volunteer event for Saturday, 10/20 will be RESCHEDULED to next Saturday, 10/27 from 11 AM to 2 PM, starting AFTER the guided hike in the park that morning.  Join us for the hike and then stay to help cleanup the garden.  Or just come out at 11 AM to volunteer.  Or just come out for the hike at 8:30 AM.  We'd love to have you join us any which way!

We will need volunteers to help with 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 need some wheel barrows 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.

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

October 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

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Indian River - Oaklette Meet & Cleanup, Saturday Aug 18


Indian River - Oaklette Meet & Cleanup
Date: Saturday, Aug 18 
Location: Oaklette United Methodist Church, 520 Oaklette Dr.,  in the Pavilion (parking is at Indian River Road and St. Lawrence Dr.)

We've teamed up with the Elizabeth River Project and the Oaklette United Methodist Church to expand the August 18th event.

9 am to Noon Harvest Exchange
As previously scheduled, Oaklette United Methodist Church is holding a harvest exchange!  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. Vegetables, Eggs, Home-baked Goods, Plants.  The exchange is free–no money is involved.

10 am Rain Garden Tour 
Take a tour of the award winning rain gardens and dry wells installed by Oaklette United Methodist Church to reduce stormwater runoff around their building and parsonage.  For these efforts they received River Star Achievement Level, the City's CEIC Business and Industry Award and were recognized by the Methodist Church District level Earthkeepers program. 

10:30 am to 1:00 pm Litter Cleanup
The Elizabeth River Project is helping us organize a cleanup around Indian River Oaklette Bridge, the future Heron Landing Park canoe and fishing access site, and along Indian River Road in 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.


Sunday, July 15, 2018

Summer Newsletter and Events


Harvest Exchange
Dates: Saturday July 21, August 18, September 15, 9:00 am–12:00 pm
Location: Oaklette United Methodist Church, 520 Oaklette Dr.,  in the Pavilion (parking is at Indian River Road and St. Lawrence Dr.)

Oaklette United Methodist Church is organizing a harvest exchange!  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.


National Night Out
Date: Tuesday, August 7, 6 pm - 8 pm
Location: Indian River Baptist Church, 1600 Laurel Avenue 

The Norfolk Highlands Civic League is organizing a local National Night Out event at Indian River Baptist Church.  Plans include a bounce house, food, a fire truck to tour, and more. They'll also be collecting school supply donations.   And stop by the Friends of Indian River information table at the event!


RiverFest Indian River
Date: Saturday, Sept 15, 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)

Clear your calendar and come out to celebrate our community and our river at this year's RiverFest.  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!

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 | Native Plant Sale | Adopt a River Otter | Live Music | Food | NEW Elizabeth River Girl Scout Patch | Scoop the Poop Relay | River Theme Dog Costume Contest



Scoop the Poop Campaign

The Elizabeth River Project will be starting a door to door campaign in our area in the coming weeks to educate residents about the problems caused by dog poop. 

The Indian River gets a failing grade, an "F", on water quality due to bacterial contamination and excessive fertilizer use.  Water sample testing has found that 80% of the water samples are contaminated with bacteria from dog poop. We have about 6,000 to 8,000 dogs living in the Indian River area and the average dog poop has 23 million fecal bacteria - and long after the poop "disappears", the bacteria persist in the soil and gets washed into our waters.   Composting is also not effective; the typical backyard compost pile is not hot enough to destroy this bacteria - it just concentrates it.

Picking up after your dog - even in your backyard and even if you don't live near the river - is critically important to making the river and green spaces of our community a healthy and safe place to play, garden, and fish.  Spread the word - scoop the poop, bag it, and trash it!


Mosquito 101

No one likes mosquitoes.   And prevention is a lot more effective - and less harmful to bees and butterflies - than trying to kill mosquitoes by spraying.  Mosquitoes need three to seven days of standing water to complete their lifecycle from eggs to biting adults.  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.   And since mosquitoes can fly several hundred feet, help pass the word to your neighbors!  To get more tips see http://content.yardmap.org/learn/mosquitoes/


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, also contact us and we'll let you know if anyone has a spot to take an extra person.  We may also do a land based cleanup around the Indian River Oaklette Bridge if there is enough interest.  

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.

Rain Date, October 6 in the afternoon, from 1 pm to 4 pm.


Other News


Aqua Virginia Acquisition: on June 12th, the City Council approved funding for the project "to acquire Water Franchise and to bring the System to appropriate standards"; the estimated cost both to acquire and upgrade the system $6 Million.  As of July 13th, the City and Aqua Virginia continued to negotiate the final sales contract, exchanging revisions to contract language.

The City Council also approved several other projects potentially affecting our community including rehabilitation of the Oaklette Bride on Indian River Road, a study on School Facilities and Redistricting, the development of a Master Plan to potentially build a Multipurpose Stadium (for school-level sport) at a central location in the city, and an ordinance to establish a Land Bank to Address Vacant, Abandoned, and Tax Delinquent Properties.  Read more at in our Facebook post.


This past month, the Elizabeth River Project completed their biggest shoreline restoration project along the Indian River.  Overall 550' of shoreline was improved with 792 oyster castle blocks, 80 bushels of oyster shell, 5 bushels of live oyster collected on the site, 45 coir logs, 115 tons of sand to extend the shoreline, and over 5000 spartina alterniflora marsh grass plants.  Over 100 individuals volunteered on the project over two weeks.  See a 3 minute slideshow on the installation from beginning to end at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JJHrcAE1qA or https://www.facebook.com/RCShoreline/videos/240083940125378/.  



For Clean The Bay Day on June 2, we had 84 volunteers, probably from age 6ish to 76ish. This was the first time we focused on the Ipswich area at the south end of the Indian River Park - the headwaters of the Indian River. The teams scoured the park and brought out 700 lbs of trash, including 4 tires and 2 broken wheel barrows.   See more pics at https://www.facebook.com/FriendsofIndianRiver/posts/1835360729862603

And later in June, 7 volunteers come out for our quarterly cleanup along Indian River Road. We kept it short due to the heat but still collected nearly 100 lbs of trash between the Post Office and Oaklette UMC and around the bridge. And that included lots of plastic - bags, bottles, wrappers, cups - about 7 bags full.  https://www.facebook.com/FriendsofIndianRiver/posts/1862036473861695



Most of the trash we find on our cleanups is plastics.  The world is drowning in nearly indestructible plastics that we use for a few minutes as bags, cups, straws, bottles, and other single use conveniences.   Only 10% of these plastics make it to recycling centers.  Much of what does make it to these facilities then stacks up in huge plastic mountains because we generate more than we can re-use.  Stop throwing away the future ... take the pledge to reduce your use of single use plastics: https://takeaction.oceanconservancy.org/page/25969/petition/1?locale=en-US

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