Wednesday, May 1, 2019

May Newsletter and Events

In this month's issue:
- BioBlitz at Indian River Park, Saturday, May 18 - Register now!
- Monthly Meeting: Ellen Comstock – Earth Keepers and the faith-based community, Thursday, May 16
- Clean the Bay Day, Saturday, June 1
- Other News including Aqua Virginia, Fieldstone Condos, Plymouth Park, Oyster Gardening, and more


BioBlitz at Indian River Park
Date: Saturday, May 18, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm
Location: Indian River Park, 2001 Rokeby Ave.

Register now for a day of free nature and wildlife programs at Indian River Park.  This will be a fun event for the whole family.  Sign up  at  http://www.friendsofindianriver.org/p/bioblitz.html or by e-mailing info@friendsofindianriver.org.  

Expert guides will lead a variety of hikes to explore the park and identify as much of the plant and animal life as we can.  All ages are welcome, children must be accompanied by an adult. Walking required, trails have uneven surfaces and minor elevation changes. Strollers are not recommended.

Schedule:
  • Information Tables and Park Rangers at trailhead all day.
  • 8:00am Birding Hike with Tony Wood, Cape Henry Audubon
  • 9:30am Amphibians & Reptiles Hike with Dean Bohon and Mark Crofford, PR&T Volunteer Naturalists
  • 11:00am Insects & Butterflies Hike with Dr. Deborah Waller and Jessie Beard, ODU
  • 1:00pm Tree Hike with Byron Carmean, Virginia Big Trees
  • 2:30pm Wildflower & Plants Hike with Jim Hartle, Tidewater Master Naturalists
Co-sponsored by the Friends of Indian River and the Chesapeake Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism.  Activities start at the park trailhead entrance at Rokeby Ave. and Main St. (2001 Rokeby Ave.) which is located just south of Military Highway.

Want to help out?   We need volunteers to help at the welcome station, help with the hikes, and to keep track of our wildlife sightings.    Contact us at info@friendsofindianriver.org



Monthly Meeting - Ellen Comstock – Earth Keepers and the faith-based community
Date: Thursday, May 16, 7 pm 
Location: Oaklette United Methodist Church, 520 Oaklette Drive, Chesapeake, VA


Reverend Ellen Comstock, a retired pastor of the United Methodist Church is one of first "Earthkeepers" in Virginia.  The Earthkeepers program works with the faith-based community to implement Caring for Creation projects such as native landscaping, creating community gardens, advocating for renewable energy, and working for environmental justice.  Come learn more about the program and its accomplishments.

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


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.  Participants under 18 years of age must have adult supervision.   Please RSVP to info@friendsofindianriver.org.  

Other News

Aqua Virginia: This will be our last update about Aqua Virginia because they are no longer in Indian River.  The water system was turned over to the City of Chesapeake on April 18th and that evening the City flushed the system and put the residents on City water.  Now we shift our focus to pushing for the revitalization of the Indian River Shopping Center

Fieldstone Condos at Indian River Park: The preliminary site plan for the condos on the 18 acres next to Indian River Park has been approved.  This is for the condo development that was approved back in 2008 and is now moving forward.  The approval includes various conditions including modeling the stormwater runoff to make sure the site meets the 2014 stormwater regs, including a 20% tree canopy, and protecting the buffer along the existing residences and the perimeter of the property.  The Final Site Plan is under review the the Development and Permits department. Read more at  https://www.facebook.com/FriendsofIndianRiver/photos/a.123643934367633/2298306163568055/

New Playground at Plymouth Park: The new playground at Plymouth Park was completed and opened just after Easter.  Check it out at 701 Pond Lane.

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

Thank you to the half dozen volunteers who came to tend to the native plant garden at the Rokeby Trailhead in Indian River Park in early April.   

Just before Earth Day, the Friends of Indian River were featured in a "Making the Mark" interview on 13 News Now.  If you missed it, you can see the interview at https://www.13newsnow.com/video/news/local/mycity/chesapeake/making-a-mark-chesapeake-group-preserves-the-environment-in-the-community/291-439b2fe8-b001-443e-a789-8a4d9b6f41f5

Check out our new infographic about Main Street, Indian River:

PDF version - https://drive.google.com/open?id=1t-Z_jnGPLeAg_QeyWzW1_b6gb17S8qrG

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