Sunday, October 27, 2019

November Newsletter and Events

In this month's issue, we have:
- Indian River Park Guided Hike - Saturday, 11/2
- Monthly Meeting with Guest Speaker Council Member Stephen Best, Thursday, 11/21
Adopt-A-Road Cleanup along Indian River Road, Saturday, 11/23
- Other News
    - Election Day, Tuesday, 11/5
    - Norfolk Highlands Civic League, Thursday, 11/7
    - Rokeby Garden Club, Wednesay, 11/20
    - and more ....



Indian River Park Guided Hike
Date: Saturday, November 2
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.



Monthly Meeting - Guest Speaker Council Member Stephen Best
Date: Thursday, November 21, 7 pm
Location: Oaklette United Methodist Church, 520 Oaklette Drive, Chesapeake, VA

Our guest will be City Council Member Stephen Best to speak to use about affairs of the city.

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.



Adopt-A-Road Cleanup along Indian River Road /Community Cleanup
Date: Saturday, November 23, 9 am to 11 am
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. We also always encourage folks to bring their own water in reusable bottles to minimize use of plastic bottles.  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.


Election Day is on Tuesday, November 5 from 6 am to 7 pm.  We're voting for Virginia State Delegate, Senator, Clerk of the Court, and the local Soil and Water Conservation District Directors    For more information and sample ballots (locally, most of us will be voting using Ballot Style 5), visit http://www.cityofchesapeake.net/government/city-departments/departments/Voter-Registrar/election-info/sample-ballot.htm

Norfolk Highlands Civic League will meet on Thursday, November 7, 7 pm at the Indian River Baptist Church.  Key topic will be a review of the updated bylaws. 

Rokeby Garden Club, is meets on Wednesday, November 20 from 1 pm to 3 pm at the Rokeby Center. This month's topic is Fall and Winter Container Plants.  Parks, Recreation and Tourism will also present this quarter's Volunteer Award to Sharon Komenda for her efforts on the continued beautification and maintenance of the Robeby Gardens.  No registration is required to attend; for residents "55 and better" who love plants and gardening. For more information call or visit the Rokeby Center at 757-822-6259.  
https://www.facebook.com/events/2444151535871640/

Thank you to the 9 volunteers who came to Indian River Park earlier in October to help us cleanup, weed, and mulch around the trailhead. We weeded, pruned, and moved about 10 cubic yards of mulch over 3 hours.

See some great photos from our owl talk at the October monthly meeting at https://www.facebook.com/FriendsofIndianRiver/posts/2646239105441424




Now is a great time to become a member or renew your membership, or just make a donation online at http://www.friendsofindianriver.org/p/membership.html

    Sunday, October 6, 2019

    October Newsletter and Events


    In this month's issue, we have:
    - Monthly Meeting -  Living Harmoniously with Owls, Thursday, October 17
         - Dana Lusher of Nature's Nanny Wildlife Rehabilitation will talking to us about owls and  bring one or more rescue owls to the meeting for us to meet!  Great opportunity for all ages.
    - Adopt-A-Park @ Indian River Park, Saturday, October 19
    - Indian River Park Guide Hike, Saturday, November 2
    - Other News






    Monthly Meeting - Living Harmoniously with Owls
    Date: Thursday, October 17, 7 pm
    Location: Oaklette United Methodist Church, 520 Oaklette Drive, Chesapeake, VA

    Dana Lusher of Nature's Nanny Wildlife Rehabilitation will talking to us about owls and their important role in the ecosystem.  Plans are for her and her assistants to bring one or more rescue owls to the meeting for us to meet and learn about these unique creatures.  A great opportunity for all ages.  

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




    Adopt-A-Park Volunteer Work Day
    Date: Saturday, October 19
    9:00 am to Noon

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

    We'll be tending to the native plant garden at the park entrance.  We also have a lot of mulch to spread, so we need some strong backs, wheelbarrows, and pitch forks!  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 supervision.




    Indian River Park Guided Hike
    Date: Saturday, November 2
    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.



    Chesapeake Recycles Day is on Saturday, October 12th, 9 am to noon, at Greenbrier Mall.  Learn more at http://www.cityofchesapeake.net/government/city-departments/departments/public-works-department/wastemanagement-recycling/chesapeake-recycles-day.htm


    Rokeby Garden Club, is holding their next monthly meeting on Wednesday, October 16 from 1 pm to 3 pm at the Rokeby Center. This month learn what it takes to prepare your fall gardens for spring, including info on soil preparation, bulbs, annuals and perennials that grow in Hampton Roads.  This is for residents "55 and better" who love plants and gardening. FREE plant giveway.  No registration is required. For more information call or visit the Rokeby Center at 757-822-6259.   https://www.facebook.com/events/361693158095184/

    Chesapeake Bay Foundation VoiCeS class starts on October 16.  Want to learn how our ecosystem works, how to help take on the many challenges confronting it, and meet some great people with similar interests? If so, we recommend that you take the Chesapeake Bay Foundation—Hampton Roads Office VoiCeS class. Classes meet six consecutive Wednesdays, October 16th through November 20th, 5:45pm – 7:45pm each night at the Jordan-Newby Anchor Branch Library at Broad Creek.  For more info and to register, visit http://www.cbf.org/voices-hr

    Thank you to the 10 volunteers who joined us for our 2nd Annual River Cleanup, part of the International Coastal Cleanup. Over 3 hours, we collected over 1000 bottles, cans, food wrappers, plastic bags, and other pieces of litter - filling 15 bags and weighing about 250 lbs. And most of it was plastic - we really need to shift away from our disposable, single use culture.   Please visit our website for an excellent write-up on the event by Gary Ball. 


    Water and Sewer Lines at Indian River Park


    We've got a mostly positive update when we met with City officials in mid-September about the water and sewer lines to be run through Indian River Park for the new condo development. The good news is that all parties have agreed to move the proposed water and sewer lines to the south edge of the Dominion power line corridor. The easement was originally planned to be 40' wide and run through the forest on the north side of the power lines. Now it will now only be 16' wide and about half of this is land already keep cleared for the power lines. So we're still going to lose some trees along the edge, but only about 1/5th of what we would have originally been cut; and very likely no really old trees are in the path.  

    We also asked that the area be replanted with a conservation native wildflower mix after construction. And we're waiting to see the final site plan. The timing for the work is not yet known, but it construction will likely take several weeks, perhaps more than a month, once it starts. Unfortunately all the north-south trails will effectively be severed during the construction, so stay tuned for updates on all of this.


    Neighbors Collect Trash from the Indian River

    By Guest Contributor and Member Gary Ball

    On a recent bright September Saturday morning, I joined a dedicated group of neighbors in a four-hour effort to reduce the trash littering the banks and water of our beloved Indian River. The volunteers, most of them members of our local neighborhood-advocacy group known as Friends of Indian River, included six canoers, a kayaker, and my friend Glenn and me in Glenn's 21-foot Carolina skiff.This was our second-annual effort to use boats to get at debris on the shoreline and in the water, so we knew we faced a daunting task.

    A branch of the majestic Elizabeth River, Indian River winds through several old neighborhoods in Chesapeake. If you've ever driven down Indian River Road between Military Highway and Campostella Road, you've passed over it.

    Old-timers say the river once had a white sandy bottom and clear water, but its bottom is now covered in many places with deep mud, and the water is dark and murky. Apparently, the mud and murk result from decades of runoff from small farms, suburban yards, and construction sites, seasoned by goose and pet droppings, and, of course, litter.

    Nevertheless, when the sun sets over its dappled surface on an autumn evening or a full moon paints a silver lane across it, all of us who live near the river count ourselves lucky. Egrets, blue herons, eagles, and ospreys love the river, too, and otters have made an occasional appearance recently.

    But the Indian River needs our help. That's why we were out on this sultry Saturday morning, trying to reduce its burden of trash.

    As some of our canoeists paddled upriver toward Plymouth Park, a place we had de-littered several times in the past, Glenn nosed the skiff gently into the edge of a four-acre marsh that dominates the center of the river about a quarter mile south of the Indian River Bridge. Using metal grabbers, a crab net, and our gloved hands, he and I began quickly filling two big trash cans he had brought aboard.

    Plastic bottles, white Tiparillo tips, plastic bags that stuck to the bottom suffocating all life under them, and maybe worst of all, Styrofoam—plates, cups, carry-out containers, and limitless numbes of hard-to-grab fragments--predominated in this hiearchy of debris.We also found a large exercise ball, pens, including a green Sharpie (that still worked!), numerous liquor bottles, a wheel barrow tire, and, oddly, an EZ Pass.

    I thought littering went out of fashion in the Sixties, but apparently a lot of folks, through ignorance or arrogance, still feel fine tossing their garbage anywhere but in a trash can. Maybe they don't realize that litter on the street, especially plastic and Styrofoam, eventually washes into the river during rainstorms. We were witnessing this reality in a very personal way as the marsh and shoreline yielded up hundreds of pounds of wet, muddy garbage.

    Glenn and I worked over only about forty yards of the marsh shore but filled both our large trash cans. The area we covered represented only about fiften percent of the marsh, I estimated, so we left much untouched, even with help form other volunteers. Some trash was out of our reach, and we considered  wading into the marsh, but when Glenn tested the bottom with his boat hook and it sank six feet deep in the mud, we decided we should stay in the boat.

    After about three and half hours, we rendezvoused  with the other waterborne trash collectors beside the Indian River Bridge. Glenn and I took their trash bags into our boat and everybody headed home for much-needed showers and lunch. The total haul filled four city-issued  trash cans.

    Did our morning's work really make a difference? Hard to say, but at least we kept hundreds of pieces of plastic from washing into the bay and on into the ocean. We've also made the river a little more hospitable to the creatures who have to live in it. And maybe next year we'll have more help and be able to do more. Of course, the biggest help would be for everybody to keep trash off the streets and out of the water. It doesn't belong in our beloved, but struggling, Indian River.

    Friday, August 30, 2019

    September Newsletter and Events

    We hope everyone had a great summer.  But cooler weather is approaching and the Friends are ready to get back into full swing.

    In this month's issue, we have:
    - Indian River Cleanup by Canoe/Kayak, Saturday, September 14
    - Monthly Meeting - Hooked on Butterflies and Moths, Thursday, September 19
    - Other News
       - Update on Water and Sewer Lines at Indian River Park
       - Sanitary Sewer Pump Station Upgrade on Providence Road
       - Norfolk Highland Civic League meeting, September 5
       - Rokeby Garden Club meeting, September 18
       - And more


    Indian River Cleanup by Canoe/Kayak
    Date: Saturday, September 14, 9 am to Noon
    Location: Please RSVP to info@friendsofindianriver.org for details

    This is a "Bring Your Own Boat" event.  If you plan to participate, it is important to let us know so that we can plan appropriately and provide additional information on logistics and where we will gather.  

    If you have a boat but nowhere 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 may have a limited number of extra spots on other boats.

    Please see safety information at http://www.longwood.edu/cleanva/SafetyPlan.html and http://www.med.navy.mil/sites/nmcphc/health-promotion/injury-violence-free-living/Documents/Canoeing_Kayak_Safety.pdf

    Rain Date is September 28 



    Monthly Meeting - Hooked on Butterflies and Moths
    Date: Thursday, September 19, 7 pm
    Location: Oaklette United Methodist Church, 520 Oaklette Drive, Chesapeake, VA

    Join us for a wonderful program "Hooked on Butterflies and Moths" to learn about the behavior and traits of these winged marvels - and their caterpillars.  Presented by Karen and Steve McCurdy, co-Presidents of the Butterfly Society of Virginia.

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




    Water and Sewer Lines at Indian River Park

    At this point, the land for the new Fieldstone Condos next to Indian River Park has been fully cleared.  There has been some progress regarding the location of the water and sewer lines for the complex.  The original proposal was to cut a 40' wide easement through the forested area of the park, on the north side of the Dominion Power Lines.  As a result of our urging, the developer and the city have mapped out an alternative, reduced, 16' wide easement on on the south side of the power lines, as close to the power lines as allowed by Dominion Energy.  Although the location of the tree line varies, about half of this easement is on already cleared land, i.e. outside of the existing tree line.  This should reduce the tree loss significantly.  It looks like few, if any, large old trees would need to be cut down along this route.  The Friends have a meeting with the City Manager and staff in September to discuss and we will report the outcome.

    Sanitary Sewer Pump Station Upgrade on Providence Road

    In a separate project in 2020, the City will also be replacing and upgraded the sanitary sewer pump station located along Providence Road between Rokeby Avenue and Paramont Ave. This new pump station will serve about 2000 homes in the area.  The upgraded is much needed to improve safety and reliability of the system.  But construction will disturb about 7000 sq. ft. in Indian River Park and the Friends submitted various comments related to the landscaping and post-construction remediation.  The project will be going to the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area Board for review in the coming months.  Read more about our comments at https://www.facebook.com/FriendsofIndianRiver/posts/2527847230613946

    Rokeby Garden Club, starting on September 18, will be holding monthly meetings at the Rokeby Center on the 3rd Wednesdays of the month from 1 pm to 3 pm. This is for residents "55 and better" who love plants and gardening.  For their September meeting on the 18th, the group will be learning how to make herbal ice cream and sorbet. No registration is required. The group will also help maintain the gardens around the Rokeby Center. For more information call or visit the Rokeby Center at 757-822-6259.   https://www.facebook.com/events/484455069053226/

    Elizabeth River Project has multiple programs to help local homeowners make their yards both more beautiful and better for the local environment.  These includes lawn makeovers, rain gardens, stream side buffers, living shorelines, and rain barrels.  If you become a River Star Home by pledging to be a good steward of the environment, there may even be funding assistance available.  Learn more at https://elizabethriver.org/river-star-homes

    Chesapeake Environmental Improvement Council has two contests running right now.  First is the Keep Chesapeake Beautiful Calendar Photo Contest.  They are  looking for photographs that highlight the beauty and splendor of parks around the City of Chesapeake; entry deadline is this Friday, September 6.   And they are also looking for nominations for their Business Beautification Award which  recognizes a business in Chesapeake that takes pride in the visual impression it leaves on the surrounding neighborhood and shows an awareness of the environment; nominations due by September 30.  Entries for both can be made at http://www.cityofchesapeake.net/government/Boards-Commissions/full-listing/ceic/award-programs-contest.htm

    Norfolk Highlands Civic League is holding their next meeting on Thursday, September 5, 7 pm at the Indian River Baptist Church.

    We posted a map of planned street re-paving in our area between now and June 2020 at https://www.facebook.com/FriendsofIndianRiver/photos/a.123643934367633/2497438993654770/

    Chesapeake Recycles Day is on Saturday, September 7, 9 am to noon, at Sam's Club Western Branch.  Learn more at http://www.cityofchesapeake.net/government/city-departments/departments/public-works-department/wastemanagement-recycling/chesapeake-recycles-day.htm

    Now is a great time to become a member or renew your membership, or just make a donation online at http://www.friendsofindianriver.org/p/membership.html

    Wednesday, July 31, 2019

    August Newsletter and Events

    In this month's issue:
    - National Night Out , Tuesday, August 6
    - Rokeby Garden Club, Monday, August 19
    - Construction starts at Fieldstone Condos 
    - Fall Calendar
    - Other News - Adopt-A-Road Cleanup and Clean the Bay Day results


    National Night Out
    Date: Tuesday, August 6, 6 pm to 8 pm
    Location:Indian River Baptist Church, 1600 Laurel Ave

    The Norfolk Highlands Civic League and Indian River Baptist Church will be hosting their second annual National Night Out.  Circumstance permitting, there should be a Fire Truck from Station 3 and the Chesapeake Police K-9 unit.  There will be a Bounce House for the kids and information tables from the Civic League, Friends of Indian River, the Chesapeake Medical Reserve Corp, and others.  Refreshments available include Hot Dogs, Snow Cones, and Popcorn.  This should be a great family event.  Bring the kids.  Meet your neighbors.


    Rokeby Garden Club
    Date: Monday August 19th, 1 pm to 2 pm
    Location: Rokeby Center, 1709 Rokeby Avenue
    Who:  Residents “55 and better”

    A new gardening club is starting up at the Rokeby Center for area residents "55 and better".  The purpose of the club is to bring plant lovers and gardeners together to learn about indoor and outdoor plants, plant care, and indoor and outdoor gardening techniques. There will be a short discussion about a different topic every month by garden experts.  The first meeting on August 19 will include

    • an overview of the plants in the Rokeby outdoor herb garden and the outdoor shade garden.  
    • discussion of future plans such as a future winter vegetable garden 
    • schedule of future monthly topics 
    • 🍨 samples of herbal ice cream will be served for refreshment
    • door prizes will be given away at every meeting.
    For more information call or visit the Rokeby Center at 757- 822 - 6259


    Construction starts at Fieldstone Condos adjacent to Indian River Park.  Starting on July 19, the developer cleared the trees from the land next to Indian River Park for the construction of the Fieldstone Condo development.While the area cleared is and has always been private property, we're still extremely sad to see the loss of these 17 acres of woods. While the new development of 182 townhomes will plant the required number of trees toward restoring a 20% tree canopy inside the development, that will never replace this lost forest.

    Since then we've had a couple of meetings with Chesapeake Parks, Recreation & Tourism to discuss mitigation steps. The Parks Department has started the process to put new bridges across the creek flowing out of the affected property in order to re-establish the park outer loop trail which was disrupted by the construction. We hope to see those bridges built in the coming month. We also discussed longer range plans which we will report on as they solidify.

    We are still waiting for the final disposition of the water and sewer lines associated with this development.  As mentioned last month, water and sewer pipelines will be run across the park to connect the condo development to the utilities lines on Paramont Avenue.  The initial plan was to run them on the north side of the existing Dominion Power lines, cutting down another 20,000 to 32,000 sq. ft of forest.  We've been fighting this and, as of this writing, Dominion Power is doing an engineering study on whether the pipelines can be run within the existing power line easement.  Results of study are due soon.  If the city and developer can use use the existing easement, at least we'll save these trees in the park.





    Location of Fieldstone Condo development.  Indian River Park is the
    forested area running from the upper left to the lower right of the aerial image


    Fall Calendar

    We've got an exciting calendar starting in September with the International Coastal Cleanup which will include our 2nd annual Bring Your Own Boat canoe/kayak cleanup along the Indian River.  Upcoming guest speakers include the McCurdys from the Butterfly Society in September and Dana Lusher will bring owls to our October meeting.

    Saturday, Sept 14 – International Coastal Cleanup 
    River Cleanup by Canoe/Kayak (“BYOBoat”)
    9 AM to Noon  – contact info@friendsofindianriver.org for more info
    Rain Date: Saturday September 28,  9 AM to Noon

    Thursday, Sept 19 – Monthly Meeting – Karen and Steve McCurdy, Butterfly Society, presenting  “Hooked on Butterflies and Moths”.      
    7 pm at Oaklette United Methodist Church, 520 Oaklette Dr.

    Thursday, Oct 17 – Monthly Meeting – Dana Lusher of Nature's Nanny Wildlife Rehabilitation will present "Living Harmoniously with Owls"  (visit with live owls)
    7 pm at Oaklette United Methodist Church, 520 Oaklette Dr.

    Saturday, Oct 19 – Adopt-A-Park at Indian River Park Trailhead
    9:00 am to Noon at Indian River Park, 2001 Rokeby Avenue

    Oct TBD – Member Field Trip to Cherrystone Aqua Farms, Cape Charles
    Date and details to be announced

    Saturday, Nov 2 – Nature Hike at Indian River Park
    8:30 am to 10:30 am at Indian River Park, 2001 Rokeby Avenue

    Thursday, Nov 21 – Monthly Meeting – Guest City Council Member TBA
    7 pm at Oaklette United Methodist Church, 520 Oaklette Dr.

    Saturday, Nov 23 – Adopt-A-Road Cleanup along Indian River Road
    9:00 am to Noon – starting location TBA

    Tuesday, Dec 3 - City of Chesapeake Town Meeting
          7:00 pm at Indian River High School, 1969 Braves Trail

    Saturday, Dec 14 – Adopt-A-Park Work Day @ Indian River Park
    9:00 am to Noon at Indian River Park, 2001 Rokeby Avenue

    Thursday, Dec 19  - Holiday Party and Silent Auction
    7 pm at Oaklette United Methodist Church, 520 Oaklette Dr.

    Wednesday, Jan 1  - First Day Hike @ Indian River Park
    1 pm to 3 pm at Indian River Park, 2001 Rokeby Avenue

    Thursday, January 16 – Annual Meeting

    7 pm at Oaklette United Methodist Church, 520 Oaklette Dr.



    Other News

    Adopt A Road Cleanup: We had perfect weather for our cleanup on JUne 22. Eight volunteers came out and removed 13 bags of litter from along Indian River Road and around Oaklette Bridge. If you're out fishing, please have some respect and carry out your trash! We found a mess of fishing line, raw chicken packaging (from trotline bait), and other litter along the waterfront.

    And we have to send some love to Papa John's Pizza on Indian River Road. They saw us working hard at our cleanup and to say thank you, they treated our volunteers to free fresh pizza after we were done. If was very much appreciated - and tasty!

    Clean the Bay Day: The weather was less ideal for Clean the Bay Day on June 1st.  Nonetheless, we had about 20 volunteers brave the rain to come to our cleanup around the lake at the Indian River School Complex. Our start was delayed about 30 minutes as we waited for the rain to abate.  We also took a moment to remember those lost the Virginia Beach shooting the prior day. But everyone was also motivated to get out there and make a positive impact. Overall we removed about 550 lbs of trash including a terrible quantity of plastic bottles. And by the end of the morning, the sun came out and we were treated to a fishing demonstration from the osprey nesting above the ballfields. We extend a huge thank you to everyone who came out to help.



    Now is a great time to become a member or renew your membership, or just make a donation online at http://www.friendsofindianriver.org/p/membership.html

    Monday, May 27, 2019

    June Newsletter and Events

    In this month's issue:
    - Trouble at Indian River Park
    - Clean the Bay Day, June 1
    Monthly Meeting - Brent James on Notable Trees, June 20
    - Adopt-A-Road Cleanup along Indian River Road /Community Cleanup, June 22
    - RiverFest, June 23
    - Other News - BioBlitz, Oyster Gardening, Business Beatification Program


    Indian River Park: In the past few weeks the Friends of Indian River were distressed to learn that the City is planning to run water and sewer lines across Indian River Park to enable the construction of the Fieldstone Condo Development adjacent to the park.  The alignment, which has been approved by Development and Permits, would clear cut a 40' wide, 800' long easement through the middle of the park, destroying approximately 32,000 square feet of mature forest.  This section of the park is also in the designated Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area (CBPA) and the construction easement crosses the Indian River.  In response we have sent the letter below to the City Manager and City Council and addressed the City Council at their meeting on 5/14.  City staff met on 5/20 to review the issue and is now actively considering possible alternatives including running the water and sewer lines within the existing power line easement.  

    We have precious little woodland left in the Indian River area and we are fighting to save every square foot of forest and every tree that we can.  The City and the State both have ambitious plans to increase canopy coverage to deal with pollution and flooding issues, efforts that we support.  To discover that 32,000 square feet of irreplaceable, century old forest has been approved to be clear cut - on public land, in our park, in the CBPA - is devastating.    We are awaiting the outcome of the City staff review of alternatives and ask everyone to stay tuned as we may need folks to make additional outreach to the City Council.   

    Learn more at https://www.facebook.com/FriendsofIndianRiver/posts/2366803393384998




    Clean the Bay Day
    Date: Saturday, June 1, 9:00 am to Noon
    New Location: Lake at the Indian River High School Lake/Chesapeake Alternative School, 605 Providence Road (just past Indian River Library on Providence).

    This year's location for Clean the Bay Day will be around the 20 acre lake nestled between Indian River High School and Indian River Middle School.  This is a location that needs some TLC.  Come discover this new site and help us get it cleaned up.  Meet at the side parking lot of the Chesapeake Alternative School (the old Indian River School Annex) at 605 Providence Road.  Please wear closed-toe shoes, a hat and bring work gloves. 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.   Please RSVP to info@friendsofindianriver.org.  


    Monthly Meeting - Brent James on Notable Trees
    Date: Thursday, June 20, 7 pm 
    Location: Oaklette United Methodist Church, 520 Oaklette Drive, Chesapeake, VA


    Brent James, with Lynnhaven River Now, founded the Notable Trees program to identify those large Old Growth trees -  trees that may be huge, beautiful, interesting or have a rare story to tell in their own right - that pre-date the waves of development of our cities.  Learn about the program, the value of trees, and how trees qualify for Notable Tree program.


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


    Adopt-A-Road Cleanup along Indian River Road /Community Cleanup
    Date: Saturday, June 22, 9 am to 11 am
    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. We also always encourage folks to bring their own water in reusable bottles to minimize use of plastic bottles.  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.



    RiverFest 2019
    Date: Sunday, June 23, 11 am - 4 pm
    Location: Back Bay's Farmhouse Brewing Co.
    1805 Kempsville Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23464


    This year's RiverFest is happening in June and in Kempsville.  Come out to celebrate the Elizabeth River with activities including the Science Dome & Aquariums, Free Children’s Activities & Games, Live Music, the Chesapeake Mermaid, and Food Trucks.  Visit the many information tables including ours, and learn about efforts to restore the Eastern Branch. Earn your free River Star Home Flag.

    Other News



    Indian River Park BioBlitz: About 65 volunteers and guests spent the day exploring Indian River Park and learning about the local flora and fauna. Thank you to our expert guides, volunteers, and everyone who came out. Thank you to Chesapeake Parks, Recreation and Tourism for supporting this event and to the Chesapeake Master Gardeners, Tidewater Master Naturalist, Elizabeth River Project, and Boy Scout Troop 320 for tabling at the event. We'll be putting together of full report of what we found over the next few weeks!

    Oyster Gardening: Live along the river?  You can help restore oysters and clean up our waters by becoming an oyster gardener with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Orientation sessions start in June, for more info see https://www.cbf.org/how-we-save-the-bay/programs-initiatives/virginia/oyster-restoration/oyster-gardening/hampton-roads-oyster-gardening-seminars-new-gardeners.html


    Business Beautification Program: 
    The objective of the Friends of Indian River Business Beautification Program is to beautify our community, promote attractive streetscapes that encourage increased patronage of local businesses, energize local business development, and ultimately provide local residents with more and better choices for shopping, entertainment, and services.   One program that we have implemented is installing planters at local businesses to enhance to the visual appeal of the street and break up areas of hardscaping.  There is a limited number of planters and plants avaialble; to learn more about eligibility, terms and conditions on how to participate, visit http://www.friendsofindianriver.org/p/business-beautification-program.html or contact us at info@friendsofindianriver.org

    Now is a great time to become a member or renew your membership, or just make a donation online at http://www.friendsofindianriver.org/p/membership.html