Friday, September 18, 2020

Cleanup on 9/19

We are still planning to hold our cleanup on 9/19. But due to predicted high flood tides, our focus will shift inland to do a roadside cleanup along Indian River Road. We'll still meet at Lilac Avenue and Indian River Road at 9 am. Please pre-register at to speed up registration and improve social distancing at the start of the cleanup.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

September Newsletter and Events

Greetings!  We hope everyone had a safe and healthy summer.  This fall the Friends of Indian River are going to get back in gear with various volunteer events and, at least initially, virtual monthly meetings.  We can also report progress on various cooperative efforts with the City.

In this month's issue, we have:
  • Upcoming Events
    • Virtual Monthly Meeting - Planning Community Gardens - Thurs., 9/17
    • International Coastal Cleanup @ Indian River - Oaklette Bridge - Sat., 9/19
    • Indian River Canoe/Kayak Cleanup - Sat. 9/26
    • October preview
  • Voting Guide
  • Other News
    • Indian River Park Small Area Plan Update
    • Blue Heron Landing Park Update
    • Plymouth Park Picnic Shelter
    • Indian River Park Trail Planning
    • Census 2020
    • Contests sponsored by Chesapeake Environmental Improvement Council

Grace Farms 17 - community garden
Monthly Meeting - Planning Community Gardens

Date: Thursday, September 17, 7 pm
Location: Zoom Meeting, Pre-register

Chris Epes, Norfolk Extension Agent will talk to our group about the ins and outs of creating a community garden.

We'll also go over some organization business and the latest community news and updates.  Please pre-register for the event to get the Zoom meeting URL.

    International Coastal Cleanup @ Indian River Bridge

    Date: Saturday, September 19, 9 am to Noon
    Location: Meet at Lilac Avenue and Indian River Road.  Park along Lilac Avenue by the Norfolk Highlands Primary School.  It is a No Parking zone along Oleander Avenue (parallel to Indian River Road).

    As part of the International Coastal Cleanup, we will be cleaning up around and underneath the Indian River - Oaklette Bridge and at the site of the future Blue Heron Landing Park.  

    The city will provide garbage bags and safety vests. We 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.

    All participants should follow Covid-19 safety precautions.  If you are sick or have been exposed to someone with Covid-19 please stay home and contact your doctor's office for care and proper quarantine procedures.  Masks must be worn properly during the cleanup.  Strive to maintain a minimum physical distance of six feet from others not in your household.  Wear gloves during the cleanup and sanitize your hands before removing your mask and/or touching your face.

    *New* To speed up registration and improve social distancing at the start of the cleanup, please review and complete the online safety release form at least one day before the event.

    Indian River Cleanup by Canoe/Kayak

    Date: Saturday, September 26, 2 pm to 5 pm

    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.    Contact us at

    All participants should follow Covid-19 safety precautions.  If you are sick or have been exposed to someone with Covid-19 please stay home and contact your doctor's office for care and proper quarantine procedures.  Masks must be worn properly during the cleanup when in proximity to others not in your household.  Strive to maintain a minimum physical distance of six feet from others not in your household.  Wear gloves during the cleanup and sanitize your hands before removing your mask and/or touching your face.

    If you are participating with our group, review and complete the online safety release form at least one day before the event.

    Upcoming Dates in October
    • Monthly Meeting - Speaker TBA - Thursday, October 15
    • Adopt-A-Park @ Indian River Park - Saturday, October 17
    • Halloween Hike @ Indian River Park - TBA

    Voting Guide

    As we're sure everyone knows, this is a very important election year.  On this year's ballot are the President of the United States, U.S. Senate, and U.S. House seats.  There are also two Virginia Constitutional Amendments, including one to transfer the power to draw congressional and legislative districts to a redistricting commission, rather than the state legislature.

    The deadline to register to vote, or update an existing registration, is Tuesday, October 13.  You can check your registration and/or register to vote online at You will need a valid Virginia DMV driver's license or state ID card to register online.  Otherwise you can mail in your registration or go to the Chesapeake General Registrar's office.

    Thanks to changes passed this year by the General Assembly, there will be several ways to vote this year.
    • Early In-Person Voting will be available from Friday, September 18 through Saturday, October 31 at
      • General Registrar's Office located at 411 Cedar Road Chesapeake, VA 23322 
      • Satellite locations at one library in each zip code in the city, including Indian River Library, South Norfolk Library, and Greenbrier Library. 
      • Available Monday thru Friday and the last two Saturdays in October, hours to be announced.
      • Election officials will be at the sites to enable voters to cast their ballot.  Voters will not have to have a reason or fill out an application to vote early, but must provide their name and address and show an acceptable form of ID or sign an ID Confirmation Statement.
    • Vote by Absentee Ballot
      • You can request an absentee ballot online at You will need a valid Virginia DMV driver's license or state ID card to request an absentee ballot online.  Otherwise you can mail in your application or go to the Chesapeake General Registrar's office.  
      • You do not need to give reason to vote absentee in Virginia.
      • Once you receive your absentee ballot, return your ballot to your local registrar by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day; or it must be postmarked on or before Election Day and received by your registrar by noon on the third day after the election.
      • If you request an absentee ballot and decide to vote in person instead, you must hand in the unused, unopened absentee ballot to an election official when you vote in person.  
    • Vote on Election Day, Tuesday November 3, 2020 
      • Polls will be open from 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.
    Early in-person voting at the city libraries looks to be a great, new convenient and secure option for casting your vote in this important election.  Now is the time to make your plan for how and when to vote!

    Other News

    Blue Heron Landing

    Indian River Small Area Plan - 
    In the spring, the Chesapeake Planning Department hosted an online virtual meeting to gather input on the community's priorities for how to improve our area.  The project's consultants have been reviewing this feedback over the summer to develop and document recommendations for the Indian River Small Area Plan.   The next step will be another public input session, likely to be virtual again, to showcase and gather feedback on these recommendations.  The date has not yet been set but should be happening in the near future.  The Friends are providing suggestions on the format of the session based on similar efforts in Norfolk.

    Blue Heron Landing Canoe/Kayak Launch - Engineering design work for a new park along the river, just east of the Indian River - Oaklette Bridge kicked off in August, along with a slight change in the naming of the future park.  There is still a lot of work to be done, but we are pleased to see the next step get underway.
    Plymouth Community Park - 
    This past month Chesapeake Parks, Recreation, and Tourism installed a new picnic shelter at the park to provide some much needed shade next to the playground.  A big thank you to the City for this!

    Indian River Park Trails - Over the summer, the Friends have been in discussions with Chesapeake Parks, Recreation, and Tourism and representatives from the Eastern Virginia Mountain Bike Association about Indian River Park.  We believe there is general agreement on the need for a trail management plan for the park with the first step being a detailed survey of the existing trails and features in the park.  There were plans for a public input session earlier this year, but that was derailed by the pandemic; we hope to reschedule this over the winter.

    Census 2020 - It's still not too late to be counted -

    Chesapeake Environmental Improvement Council - The CEIC has several contests in progress:
    • Notable Yards Contest is looking for yards that "Look Good and are Good For Nature".  The deadline for nominations is NOW - Tuesday, September 1st.
    • Chesapeake Calendar Photo Contest, looking for photos that highlight the beauty and splendor of parks and scenic area around the City of Chesapeake, is taking entries thru September 18th.
    • Business Beautification Award, which recognizes businesses in Chesapeake that takes pride in the visual impression it leaves on the surrounding neighborhood and shows an awareness of the environment, is accepting nominations until September 30th.
    • Submit all entries via

    Sunday, June 14, 2020

    June Newsletter

    Greetings!  We hope everyone is staying safe and healthy.  With our usual meeting venue at Oaklette United Methodist Church still closed, we are cancelling our meeting for June.  We are hopefully to fully get into the swing of things this fall.  Keep a look out for our Summer newsletter for a schedule of events.

    In this month's issue, we have:
    • Cancellations
    • Other News
      • Indian River Park Small Area Plan Update
      • Primary Election on June 23; Absentee Ballot Information
      • Census 2020
      • Indian River Library
      • Webinars

    • Friends of Indian River Monthly Meeting - June 18
    • Adopt-A-Road Cleanup - June 20

    The City and their consultants are reviewing the public input gathered last month for the Indian River Small Area Plan.    The next step is for them to use this data to draft recommendations and proposals for how to improve the area.  This is the real core of the study.   More public meeting/public input sessions to review these proposals will be set up later this summer.  Stay tuned!

    Primary Election on June 23

    Primary elections will be held on June 23.  For the 3rd Congressional District, which covers the Indian River area in Chesapeake, the ballot will cover the Republican House and Senate primary candidates.  Some local voting sites have been moved.  Learn more at

    Due to the COVID-19 risks, everyone is still eligible for absentee voting. You can request an absentee ballot online or by mail. See for details; the deadline for requesting an absentee ballot is Tuesday, June 16.

    Census 2020

    If you haven't yet filled out your Census survey, please do it now.  It only takes about 10 minutes online and it's very important that everyone gets counted. This head count determines our representation in Congress, helps to make sure we get a fair share of funding, and provides vital statistics used for all kinds of analysis and planning. 

    Indian River Library 

    Thank you to Chesapeake Parks, Recreation and Tourism and the Chesapeake Environmental Improvement Council - CEIC Conservation Landscaping Subcommittee for doing this wonderful garden upgrade to at the entrance to the Indian River Library. Our understanding is that there are still some finishing touches, but it is looking great. And to top it off, the plantings are primarily native plants that are suited to the area and support birds and pollinators.  See a video on the installation at

    Congratulations to Indian River High School Class of 2020 graduate Jalan Davis, winner of the Friends of Indian River Education Scholarship award. Jalan embodies the spirit of the Friends of Indian River mission, excelling in leadership, citizenship, extracurricular activities and academics. His involvement in Sports, the National Honor Society, the Marching Band, community service activities, and part-time employment are all examples of a commitment to advance personal goals and to serve the community. We are very pleased to have such an exemplary student and citizen as our first ever scholarship recipient and we wish him many successes in his future endeavors. View the presentation of in the virtual 2020 Indian River High School Senior Awards Presentation at the 7:00 minute mark:

    Here are some webinars and online resources which may be of interest
    - Here is a great opportunity to see a presentation by renown author and ecologist, Dr. Doug Tallamy on Nature's Best Hope - 
    - Jewels of the Night: Conservation of Fireflies in the U.S. and Canada -
    - Controlling Mosquitoes & Ticks in Your Yard without Pesticides, Friday, June 19, 10 am -  
    - Elizabeth River Project Virtual River School -

    Now is a great time to become a member or renew your membership, or just make a donation online at
      Striving to improve the quality of life for all the residents of the Indian River neighborhoods of Chesapeak

      Thursday, May 7, 2020

      May Newsletter - Indian River Small Area Plan

      In this month's issue, we have:
      • Indian River Park Small Area Plan Virtual Meeting 
      • Cancellations
      • Other News
        • Census 2020
        • Local Election on May 19; Absentee Ballot Information
        • Webinars

      The Indian River Small Area Plan is going virtual to collect community input on the vision for our area's future.  From May 11 thru May 25, the Chesapeake Planning Department will be hosting a "virtual community meeting" online to get your feedback.  By visiting the website, you will be able to
      • listen to and view an audio-visual presentation about study
      • review information collected about existing conditions of the community, and 
      • provide input by 
        1. completing an online survey to indicate your top priorities, and 
        2. use an interactive map to identify and comment on specific spots in the community that you like/want to preserver and dislike/want to change and improve; this last tool is a good way to give detailed input.  (Use the "Add To The Map" link on the menu above the map to add markers and comments to the map).
      This is an opportunity to provide input on issues and concerns impacting our area and suggestions on how to improve the quality of life in the community.  Getting broad community input is important in developing a plan that encompasses the needs of all area residents.   The website is live at

      • Friends of Indian River Monthly Meeting - May 21
      • Clean The Bay Day - June 2
      We'll decide on the June meeting in June.

      Census 2020

      If you haven't yet filled out your Census survey, please do it now.  It only takes about 10 minutes online and it's very important that everyone gets counted. This head count determines our representation in Congress, helps to make sure we get a fair share of funding, and provides vital statistics used for all kinds of analysis and planning.

      City of Chesapeake Election on May 19

      Local elections for City Council and School Board have been rescheduled to Tuesday, May 19.  Due to the COVID-19 outbeak, everyone is eligible for absentee voting. You can request an absentee ballot online or by mail. See for details; the deadline for requesting an absentee ballot is Tuesday, May 12.

      Here are some webinars and online resources which may be of interest
      - May 13, 1 PM - Addressing Loss of Tree Cover in Urban Watersheds: The Importance of Local Codes and Policies
      - Elizabeth River Project Virtual River School -

      Now is a great time to become a member or renew your membership, or just make a donation online at

      Tuesday, April 21, 2020

      50 Ways to Help Our Planet: Earth Day 2020

      Here is a list of 50 Ways to Help Our Planet for Earth Day - and everyday!


      1.       Eliminate or minimize use of herbicides and pesticides
      Pesticides, including insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides, are designed to kill weeds, insects, rodents, and mold.  By definition, these toxic chemicals can be poisonous to wildlife, pets, people, and especially children.  So use best practices in your garden to reduce or eliminate the need for these chemicals.
      2.       Reduce use of fertilizers
      Plants need fertilizer to grow, but most homeowners use much more than necessary.  When too much fertilizer is used or when it is applied at the wrong time, rainfall will wash excess fertilizer out of yards and into our streams and rivers.  This fertilizer overload causes severe issues like algae blooms and dead zones that kills aquatic life.
      3.       Reduce storm water runoff
      Stormwater runoff – excess rain draining from properties - is a leading cause of water quality problems. Rainfall or snowmelt from suburban lawns, golf courses, and paved surfaces picks up and carries away natural and human-made pollutants, washing them into our waterways and into ground waters.   Capturing and keeping more rainwater in your garden allows it to soak in or evaporate, thus reducing both pollution and flooding.  Learn about projects you can do to reduce runoff at
      4.       Reduce size of your lawn
      There are about 40 million acres of lawns in the U.S., making it the largest irrigated “crop” in the country.  Americans spend about $30 billion –and countless hours – every year tending to their lawns.  And lawns are ultimately biological deserts of minimal ecological value.   Replacing areas of your lawn with more plants can yield significant environmental benefits.
      5.       Grow a vegetable garden
      Creating a vegetable garden rather than mowing a lawn has many health benefits, provides you with the freshest fruits and vegetables, and let’s you manage what fertilizers and pesticides touch your food.   Such gardens can come in many sizes from balcony container gardens to mini-farms.
      6.       Protect existing trees
      There is nearly an endless list of benefits from trees including providing shade, cutting electric bills for cooling, improving air quality, reducing stormwater runoff, enhancing beauty, providing homes for wildlife, increasing property values, and even improving mental health and happiness.  Read the “owner’s manual” on how to keep your trees strong and healthy.
      7.       Plant more trees
      We need to protect the existing trees and we need to plant more trees.   As the proverb says, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”  It is also important to pick the right tree for the right place.  Learn more about selecting trees and proper planting techniques at
      8.       Plant native plants/plant pollinator garden
      Your choice of plants is a big factor in how much environmental benefit they provide.  Plants are at the base of the food web for wildlife and research clearly shows that plants that are native to an area – plants that co-evolved with local insects – provide dramatically more wildlife benefit than ornamental plants from distant lands.  So go native as much as you can!
      9.       Live in harmony with wildlife
      As human populations grow and our cities and towns expand across the landscape, so have our interactions with wildlife.  Many species have adapted to living alongside people in our suburban and even urban areas.   Hundreds of species of birds, countless insects from beetles to bees to butterflies, snakes and lizards, and larger creatures such as foxes and raccoons make their homes and live their lives in our communities.  With proper care and respect, observing these creatures can enrich all our lives.
      10.   Become a River Star or Bay Star Home
      Make a commitment to be a better steward of the environment, get more tips on how to use better practices, and in some cases be eligible for financial support on projects.,
      11.   Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.  But Most of All – Reduce.
      The average American throws away 4.5 lbs of stuff every single day, 365 days per year.  Only a small fraction of all this stuff ever gets recycled and much of it is not easily recyclable.   We’ve all heard of the 3 R’s of Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.  But perhaps the most important step is to Reduce first – avoid getting single use products and packages that you’ll toss almost immediately.
      12.   Donate old items in good condition to thrift stores
      Before you throw away that item, consider whether it has a second life.  Is it in good condition?  Would it be something you would give to a friend?  If so, consider donating it to a local thrift store.   It can then benefit the charity, provide a low cost item to someone else in your community, keep it out of the landfill, and make you feel good!
      13.   Share tools and equipment with neighbors rather than buying your own
      Ever need that one tool that one time?    Should you really hop on your favorite e-commerce site and order it?   How about hopping on your local community group on social media and asking if you can borrow the tool.  Odds are someone has it and may be willing to let you borrow it for the afternoon.
      14.   Opt out of junk mail
      Americans receive millions of tons of junk mail every year.  That’s cumulatively, but many may feel they get that much just themselves.  And much of it goes straight into the recycling bin.  Here are some options for cutting down on how much you get in your mailbox.
      15.   Turn off unused lights and switch to LED light bulbs
      Starting with the oldest tip – turn off unused lights – to the newest – replace light bulbs as they fail with LED bulbs.   The price of LED’s has dropped dramatically over the years, they use 90% less electricity than incandescents, they have no toxic chemicals, and they practically last forever.
      16.   Adjust your thermostat
      You can save 10% to 15% of your heating and cooling bill by adjusting your thermostat for at least 8 hours per day.    And heating and cooling costs can easily be more than half of the average home’s electric bill – usually much more during our hot and humid summers.
      17.   Wash full loads of laundry in colder water
      Most of the cost – and energy usage – in doing laundry goes to heating water.  Washing in cold water uses 90% less electricity.  Also washing in cold water gets the clothes just as clean in typical situations and is more gentle on the clothing.
      18.   Look for the Energy Star label when buying new appliances
      When you're shopping for appliances or electronics, you have to think both short term and long term.  There is the cost of buying the appliance but also the cost of operating it year after year, which is usually much more than the cost to buy it.   Looking at the Energy Star label, you can see how much it will cost to run the product so you can buy the more efficient products.  You’ll save money year after year and save the planet.
      19.   Winterize your home for winter and summer savings
      “Winterizing” your home actually saves you money both in the winter and the summer.  Taking steps to insulate your home and seal cracks keeps warm air inside in the winter, but it also keeps cool air inside in the summer.   Both can result in major cost and energy savings!
      20.   Get a home or workplace energy audit to identify where you can make the most energy-saving gains
      You can work with Dominion Energy to have a professional do a Home Energy Assessment of your home and identify more ways to save energy and money.
      Shopping/Eating out
      21.   Say no to single use plastic bottling – bring your own reusable bottle or mug
      In a nation where almost all Americans (but sadly not all) have access to clean, safe drinking water, we consume water in single use plastic bottles at the rate of 100,000 PER MINUTE; 50 billion bottles per year.   And 77% of these bottles never ever reach the recycling center.   Be healthier, save money, save the planet - bring your own water from home!
      22.   Avoid single use plastic packaging
      Our society is drowning in single use plastic items – from plastic bags to impossible to open “blister” packs, from plastic water bottles to fruit clamshells.   These items will last nearly forever but are trash after the initial use.  Most are not readily recyclable.  Plastic production from new petroleum resources is projected to increase by 40% over the next 10 years, and the oil and gas industry is expecting this to be a major revenue source.  Take action to reverse this trend.
      23.   Shop local          
      By shopping local you support your local community and reduce transportation costs.   And when buying locally produced food, such as from farmer markets, you support local agriculture.
      24.   Combine online deliveries into a single delivery
      Online shopping is convenient.  But having a steady stream of delivery vehicles cruising city streets to drop off more and more cardboard boxes and bags at your door is certainly not ideal for reducing waste or pollution.    Reduce your impact by combining your orders and deliveries into as few shipments as possible, such as by setting an “Amazon Day”
      25.   Go Meatless at least once a week
      Livestock operations have significant negative environmental impacts, from the amount of land and water consumed to the amount of animal waste produced.   Skipping meat once a week can have a major benefit for the ecosystem.
      26.   Buy organic and local whenever possible
      The USDA Organic certification gives you confidence that it was grown pesticide-free.  Locally grown food helps local farmers and reduces transportation costs.  Locally grown organic is the best of both worlds.   Learn about your food choices and make the best choices!
      27.   Bring your own reusable container for leftovers at restaurant
      Want a do-it-yourself solution to avoid getting those Styrofoam containers for leftovers when you go to a restaurant?  (Remember back when we ate out).   Come prepared, bring your own reusable food storage containers in a small bag and fill them yourself with your leftovers.
      28.   Buy second hand from thrift stores or friends
      Why buy new when there are perfectly good items looking for a new home at your local thrift store?  You avoid the need to manufacture a new product using raw materials, keep an item out of the landfill, save money, and likely help a local good cause.
      29.   Buy Less, Live More
      Focusing on life’s simple pleasures-  like spending time in nature, being with loved ones, making a difference to others – can  provide more purpose, belonging and happiness than buying and consuming.

      30.   Bike instead of driving for some of your trips
      Choosing your bike over your car has multiple benefits – reducing fuel use and carbon emissions, saving wear and tear on your vehicle, reducing traffic congestion, and providing you with exercise.
      31.   Walk instead of driving for short errands
      Ever drive from one side of a parking lot to the other?   Take the car to go to the post office down the street?   By walking instead of driving you again reduce pollution from your car and get great exercise.  So park that car and get moving!
      32.   Combine trips to reduce driving
      When you do drive, combine several errands in one trip.   And plan your route in advance to line up destinations efficiently and avoid having to backtrack.  And a tip from UPS – when planning your trip, minimize making left turns because they result in more wasted time and fuel.
      33.   Improve your gas mileage by taking care of your car
      There are many easy ways to improve your gas mileage, starting with making sure your tires are properly inflated and your air filters are clean.   Also go easy on the gas pedal, avoiding “jack rabbit” starts and driving too fast.
      34.   Make sure your next car has better gas mileage
      When it’s time for a new car, look for one with better gas mileage.
      35.   Telecommute
      A lot of businesses have been required to practice telecommuting for the first time this year.  If they decide to retain this option for employees long term, at least some of the time, they can provide significant environmental benefits to the world.   Thousands of cars could be removed from the road and traffic congestion relieved.  Employers could also save costs on heating and cooling buildings.  And employees could save hundreds of hours of time commuting each year.
      36.   Reduce energy consumption
      Businesses can also save money by adopting a variety of energy saving practices, some as simple as making sure unused lights and equipment are powered down.
      37.   Switch to renewal energy providers
      Renewable solar and wind energy continue to decline dramatically in cost, making them competitive with gas powered and even coal powered generation.    Business can either install solar and wind directly or buy via renewal energy contracts.
      38.   Establish a workplace recycling program
      Businesses often generate large amounts of recyclable materials.  To be a good corporate citizen, the first step for a successful program is a waste audit, including reviewing how to reduce waste before it happens.   For items you can’t reduce/eliminate or reuse, the next step is setting up a recycling program.   Learn how at
      39.   Reduce waste and improve your company’s environmental footprint
      Reducing waste saves money while conserving both natural resources and energy – “waste not, want not”.  Reducing your waste is also a practice that provides positive customer public relations for businesses.  More than just recycling, waste reduction looks for various ways to reduce a company’s environmental footprint.
      40.   Reduce business travel
      Traveling long distances for business meetings has a major environmental impact, not to mention being expensive and time consuming.  Sometimes there is nothing that can replace the impact of a face to face meeting, but with today’s technology a tele- or video conference will often be sufficient.
      41.   Never litter – and lend a hand by picking up litter when you are out and about
      Litter happens … whether from carelessness, neglect, irresponsibility, or mistakes.  Make a pledge to never litter.  And when you see litter, pick it up if you can.  Research shows that people are less likely to litter if an area is already litter free.   And discourage the use of single use, disposable packaging when possible.
      42.   Join community cleanups
      Many locales have regular cleanups through programs like Adopt-A-Highway, Adopt-A-Park, The Great American Cleanup, Clean the Bay Day, and the International Coastal Cleanup.  Go out and lend a hand!
      43.   Follow the Friends of Indian River on Facebook
      Get the latest environmental tips and updates from the Friends of Indian River.  Follow us on Facebook.
      44.   Volunteer with the Friends of Indian River and other local environmental organizations
      We are always looking for volunteers to help on a broad array of activities.  From cleanups to advocacy, the efforts of volunteers are what makes non-profits effective.  Check with our  volunteer calendar at or browse
      45.   Participate in the activities of city boards and commissions
      There are several city boards and commissions, in addition to the CEIC, that deal with environmentally related issues.  These include the Chesapeake Agricultural Advisory Commission, Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area (CPBA) Board , Chesapeake Bicycles/Trails Advisory Committee (BTAC) , and the Stormwater Committee.
      46.   Make your voice heard at the Planning Commission and City Council
      The Planning Commission and City Council deal with many land use issues and overall city policies.  The Planning Commission has public hearings on the 2nd Wednesday of the month.  The City Council has public hearings on most Tuesday evenings.
      47.   Become an environmental and conservation advocate
      As a citizen and a constituent, you have the power to contact your elected officials at the city, state, and federal level about issues that are important to you.    Tools include e-mails, letters, in person meetings, comments at public hearings, and even letters to the editor of local newspapers.  Get more tips on effective communication from this primer
      48.   Share the Knowledge/Be a Good Example
      Share what you know and be a good example for others.   Model good behavior and others are more likely to trust you and change their own behaviors
      49.   Vote
      Elections matter.  Research the candidates running for office and support candidates who best support your goals.  And make sure you register and vote.  If you can’t get to the polls, make sure you apply for an absentee ballot.
      50.   Go outside, enjoy nature, and bring a friend – building a love of nature will encourage everyone to protect our Earth
      Study after study shows that getting out in nature improves health and happiness.  And people won’t protect the natural world around us unless they learn to appreciate it.   One lesson we hopefully take from the recent crisis is that we need more natural areas in our cities.  (Please follow physical distancing rules as required).