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

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

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Letter to the Chesapeake Planning Commission Regarding Aqua Virginia

Dear Planning Commissioners,

We are writing to ask you to approve the 2232 Review of the plans for the acquisition of Aqua Virginia's Indian River Water System and incorporating it into the City's water system.  We believe this is wholly consistent with the City's Comprehensive Plan and an urgent necessity for health, quality of life, and economic well-being of residents of the Indian River area.

The Aqua Virginia Indian River Water System has been a long running issue for our community and the focus of a persistent effort - and anger - from local residents.  This Water System was initially built in the 1950's and is effectively beyond its design life.   Nearly 20 years ago, the City of Chesapeake missed the opportunity to purchase the water system and since then the system and the water quality has continued to deteriorate.  As highlighted in the newspaper article below, residents have been plagued by practically undrinkable water.  This community in the City's "urban overlay" lacks fire hydrants.  And it is not possible to redevelop the blighted Indian River Shopping Center because water pressure is inadequate to install fire sprinklers in any new construction.

The Friends of Indian River have been working with the City to resolve this issue since our founding 6 years ago.  When the City announced Agreement in Principle to purchase the Aqua Virginia's Indian River Water System at a Public Meeting in the community on February 22, there were literally cheers from the audience.  Residents who never believed they would get safe, clean water from their taps now had hope.  This acquisition is strongly and broadly supported in the community and we have urged the City to move forward diligently and expeditiously.

We believe the acquisition of the water system directly supports the Comprehensive Plan Objective to "Extend public water and sewer services to existing development in the Public Utilities Franchise Area." (page 116).   It also supports the strategy to "foster the revitalization, preservation, and redevelopment of older neighborhoods and commercial corridors" (page 83) and "proactively support appropriate redevelopment and infill development opportunities, particularly in areas of the City that are un-served or under-served for retail services such as grocery stores, restaurants and other shopping amenities" (page 24).   

We need this acquisition and ask you to approve this review of the plan.  Otherwise we are abandoning the community to brown tap water, higher fire risk, and a blighted shopping center.

Thank you,
Rogard Ross
Friends of Indian River


""We don't drink the water": Chesapeake homeowners billed for water they're afraid to use", By Katherine Hafner, The Virginian-Pilot, Apr 2, 2016
"Chesapeake officials deserve kudos for digging deep to improve water service", by Roger Chesley, The Virginian-Pilot, Feb 26, 2018

Friday, March 9, 2018

March Newsletter and Events


The big news this month is that the City has reached an agreement in principle to purchase the Aqua Virginia water system that serves part of the Indian River area.  While the deal still needs to be finalized and go through various approvals, once completed this would enable the City to provide much needed upgrades to the residents currently on the Aqua Virginia water system and will allow the City to provide water for fire suppression to the Indian River Shopping Center.  We say thank you to Chesapeake Public Utilities Director David Jurgens, City of Chesapeake, Virginia Government City Manager James Baker, Deputy City Manager Robert Geis, Aqua Virginia President John Aulbach, and their staff for getting us to this important milestone.  But we ask everyone to be on the lookout for updates and calls to action as this deal moves toward closure.  See below for more details on the announcement.

Parks, Recreation, and Tourism are also 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.  Stay tuned for details about our Earth Day event Plymouth Park on April 21st.   

Site planning as also begun for the new public access park along the Indian River just off Indian River Road which will provide fishing and canoe launch access to the river; we hope to have details to share in the next couple of months! 

Also join us for our March meeting to get the latest scoop on recyclables and please join us for our community cleanup on March 17th.

Finally, it is not too early to start thinking about the elections for Chesapeake City Council and School Board on May 1st.  Seven of the nine positions on the City Council are up for election, including for the Mayor.   Sixteen candidates have declared for those seats including five incumbents.   Want to sort it all out?   The Norfolk Highlands Civic League is inviting all the candidates to a candidate forum on Wednesday, April 11th, 7 PM at the Laurel Avenue Church.  It's your chance to ask the candidates your questions about your concerns.  Deadline to register to vote is April 9th!

Sincerely,
Rogard Ross
Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator



March Meeting
Date: Thursday, March 15, 7 pm
Location: Oaklette United Methodist Church, 520 Oaklette Dr.

Been hearing a lot about what is and what is not recyclable? Join us at our monthly meeting to get the scoop of what to put in your blue bin from the folks at TFC Recycling. 

We will also have a short business meeting to approve our 2018-2019 budget. There will be light refreshments and door prizes after the meeting.


Adopt-A-Road Cleanup along Indian River Road /Community Cleanup

Date: Saturday, March 17, 9:00 am to 11:00 am
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 on Indian River Road, 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
  • At a Public Meeting on 2/23, the City Staff released a prepared statement and discussed the agreement in principle for the City to purchase the Aqua Virginia water service in Chesapeake. There are still several steps that have to be approved to close this deal, including votes at the Planning Commission and City Council, and various regulatory reviews, so stay tuned for updates and requests for action. This deal should provide a major improvement in water quality and cost savings to Aqua Virginia customers in our area and hopefully herald a renaissance for Indian River's "Main St." Indian River Road.   Read the prepared statement at https://www.facebook.com/FriendsofIndianRiver/photos/a.123643934367633.22838.115427591855934/1732303546834989/
  • Congratulations to Oaklette United Methodist Church for winning this year's Chesapeake Environmental Improvement Council's Business and Industry Award for their work to create native plant rain gardens and dry wells on the grounds of the church and parsonage to better handle storm water and provide beautiful wildlife habitat. They were also recognized as Chesapeake Recycle Day partners and for their work with Earth Keepers to encourage other church congregations to follow environmentally friendly practices
  • Action by the City Council on the proffer change for the proposed condos next to Indian River Park at the south end of Miller Avenue was delayed again, now to the March 20th City Council Meeting. While we have no position on the proposed technical change on these proffers, the Friends raised the fact that this development would require various mitigation actions in Indian River Park. 
  • Who is running for City Council and Mayor?  Here is some info from the Pilot: https://pilotonline.com/news/government/politics/local/article_57730b23-c265-5992-8f37-c2e91ebe0f70.html
  • Thank you to the 9 volunteers who came out to work on ivy removal at Indian River Park in February. We finished cutting off the ivy on trees at the south end of Rokeby Avenue. This was the last major area of infestation that we had not yet worked north of the power lines. 
  • See some photos from the Great Backyard Bird Count at https://www.facebook.com/FriendsofIndianRiver/posts/1726235714108439
  • See some photos from the group's field trip to Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge and False Cape State Park at https://www.facebook.com/FriendsofIndianRiver/posts/1742863262445684
  • The Friends got a great write up in the February 22nd edition of the Clipper: https://pilotonline.com/news/local/article_4f0644fb-60a4-5200-ae9a-bc843b5945ff.html
  • 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