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

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

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