Monday, March 29, 2021

April Newsletter and Events

In this month's issue, we have:

  • Upcoming Events
    • Adopt-A-Park @ Indian River Park - Sat, 4/10 (Rain date 4/17)
    • Virtual Monthly Meeting - Living Shorelines - Thurs, 4/15
    • Future Dates
  • Other News
    • Action Alert: Proposed zoning change for Used Car Dealership
    • Holiday "Main Street" Event Planning Committee
    • Indian River Small Area Plan status
    • Great American Cleanup results
    • Conservation Landscape Funding


Adopt-A-Park @ Indian River Park

Date: Saturday, April 10, 9 am to Noon
Location: Indian River Park entrance
at Rokeby Ave. and Main St. (2001 Rokeby Ave.) which is located just south of Military Highway, i.e. across Military Highway from the Fire Station.


We'll be tending to the native plant garden at the park entrance.  We may also do 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'll have water and snacks available but we also always encourage folks to bring their own water in reusable bottles to minimize use of plastic bottles and cans. 
 
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
.
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.

Rain date: April 17



Monthly M
eeting - Urban Forestry

Date: Thursday, April 15, 7 pm
Location: Zoom Meeting, Pre-register

Our guest speaker will be Steven Traylor, Norfolk City Forester discussing importance of trees in urban environments.

We'll have updates on the latest community news.

Please pre-register for the event to get the Zoom meeting URL. https://forms.gle/FBM8D61xLLzfQGkc6.



Future Dates - Mark Your Calendar
  • Monthly Meeting - Joe Rieger, Elizabeth River Project speaking on Living Shorelines - Thurs,  5/20
  • Clean the Bay Day - Indian River Park, Sat, 6/5
  • Monthly Meeting - Topic TBD - Thurs, 6/17


Other News.


Action Alert: Used Car Dealership - 
The proposed Zoning Change and Conditional Use Permit to allow opening another Used Car Dealership at the corner of Indian River Road and Elder Ave. is scheduled to go to the Planning Commission on Wednesday, 4/14.   The Friends of Indian River and the Norfolk Civic League are speaking out against this proposed use of the property.   

One key goal of the Indian River Small Area Plan is to revitalize the business district along Indian River Road, re-establish it as our "Main Street", and make it a much more walkable, bikeable, and attractive destination for the more than 30,000 residents who live nearby.  Another Used Car Dealership is not consistent with this goal.  We are advocating for land uses that support the revitalization of the local community as recommended in the draft plan.  

You can submit your own comments to the Planning Commission online about this proposal at https://cityofchesapeake.jotform.com/210536857544057.   Comment on Application Number "PLN-REZ-2020-027" for the zoning change and/or Application Number "PLN-USE-2020-045" for the associated conditional use permit.  (There are two agenda items associated with the proposal).  Indicate that you Oppose the changes.   You can use the talking points in the previous paragraph above, but the more you can personalize your comment the better.    

The agenda for the Planning Commission is found at https://www.cityofchesapeake.net/pc    


Holiday "Main Street" Event - 
We're pulling together a planning committee to look at organizing a holiday event along Indian River Road this December.  The basic idea is to plant a live evergreen, potentially at the entrance to the Indian River Shopping Center, as a Community Christmas Tree, and hold an event to "light" the tree.  We need folks to help take this from an idea to a reality.   Contact us at info@friendsofindianriver.org

Benjamin Camras from the Planning Department gave our group a good briefing on the Indian River Small Area Plan's status at our March monthly meeting.   The planning document, which will be about 100 pages altogether, is nearly ready for release.    Once it is released, which we're hoping for in April, there will be a two week public comment period, outreach to major stakeholder such as Chamber of Commerce and Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization, and presentations at work sessions of the City Planning Commission and City Council.  All that feedback will go into preparing the next draft of the document with the goal of bringing it to formal public hearings at the Planning Commission and City Council - and votes to approve the plan - over the summer.   We'll send out notice about the plan as soon as it is released!

Thank you to the volunteers who came the Great American Cleanup at the Indian River Library and School Campus organized by the Chesapeake Environmental Improvement Council - CEIC and Green Drinks Chesapeake in late March.  A couple of dozen volunteers spent Saturday morning removing about 800 lb. of trash and debris, or more, from the areas around the schools, library, and around the lake, making a major improvement in the situation.

Interested in improving the natural value of your property?  Would you like to add beauty while helping the environment?  The 
Elizabeth River Project is still offering matching funding for installing living shorelines (up to $4000), buffers (up to $1500), or maybe a Rain Garden (up to $2000). The Friends of Indian River has limited funds to kick in up to another $250 toward these projects in the Indian River section of Chesapeake.  Learn more at https://elizabethriver.org/river-star-homes

While our regular Adopt-A-Road cleanups are suspended, we always encourage you as individual to pick up any stray litter that you come across along our roads, parking lots, and in our parks.  Every piece of trash collected is one less that causes harm to wildlife in our natural areas and waterways.  And just as important, reduce your use of single use packaging to not create litter in the first place.  Take The Pledge to keep Virginia Litter Free at https://loversnotlitter.org/pledge/

No comments:

Post a Comment