Sunday, January 30, 2022

February Newsletter and Events

At our Annual Meeting in January, we looked back at the successful year we had in 2021 and discussed our goals for 2022.  Chief among them is making sure that the Indian River Planning Area Study approved by the City Council in December starts to be implemented, including a focus on revitalizing our "Main Street", Indian River Road.  But we are also committed to various other efforts and projects and engaging members and volunteers will be critical. To help us gauge your interest in various efforts, could you please take this short 3 question survey: https://forms.gle/eV6tkPcGhDv9yYQn6

In this month's newsletter, we have:

  • Get Involved
    • Tree Planting Opportunity in Plymouth Park
    • Advocacy Action Requests
    • Chesapeake Conservation Conference, Wednesday, Mar 9
    • Indian River High School Scholarship
    • Tidewater Master Naturalist Training Class
    • Year End Fundraiser
  • Upcoming Events
    • Rescheduled: Adopt-A-Park/Invasive Species Workshop, Sat, Feb 5
    • Adopt-A-Road Cleanup, Saturday, Feb 12
    • Great Backyard Bird Count Hike, Saturday, Feb 19
    • No Second Saturday Hike in February
    • No monthly meeting in February
  • Other News
    • 2022 Calendar Preview
    • River Star Business 2022 Awards Ceremony 
    • Tree Planting on Indian River Road - Update

Get Involved

Tree Planting Opportunity in Plymouth Park

Tree Planting Target Area
Attention Homeowners in the Plymouth Park Area: The Virginia Cooperative Extension will be planting trees in your area on Friday, March 18 and Saturday, March 19, from 9:00 a.m. to noon as part of Virginia Cooperative Extension/Chesapeake’s Arbor Day tree planting program.  If you are a homeowner in the Plymouth Park area in Chesapeake and would like to have a FREE TREE or trees planted on your property, please sign up online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/R2VXQ5P by March 4, 2022.  For additional information, please contact their office (757-382-6348).   This is a one-time community enrichment offer; different communities are selected for this program based on percentage of existing tree cover.

Chesapeake Master Gardener volunteers will do the planting.  You can pick from several tree species while signing up.  Simply complete the online questionnaire to reserve your tree(s).  

Advocacy Action Requests

The General Assembly is underway in Richmond and there are numerous bills under consideration that impact the local environment. You can get a good overview of the action from the Virginia Conservation Network at https://vcnva.org/bill-tracker/.

Two items we'd like to highlight for action this week include
Follow our Facebook page and we'll let you know of other timely action alerts.

Chesapeake Conservation Conference, Wednesday, Mar 9

The Chesapeake Environmental Improvement Council (CEIC) will hold the 2nd Chesapeake Conservation Conference and 39th Annual Environmental Awards Luncheon at the Chesapeake Conference Center on Wednesday, March 9. This year's theme will be Urban Forestry. The conference will bring together the environmental and conservation community of the City of Chesapeake and Hampton Roads for a morning of networking, planning and learning. Part of the conference will be the Environmental Awards Luncheon honoring local individuals, community groups, schools, and businesses for their outstanding environmental projects.
Registration is now open! Get all the details at https://www.cityofchesapeake.net/conservationconference
Indian River High School Scholarship

The Friends of Indian River is once again sponsoring an $500 education Scholarship for a current Indian River High School senior who will be a college freshman next year. The scholarship will recognize a senior who excels in leadership, citizenship, extracurricular activities and academics. Applications are due Wednesday, April 20, 2022. Learn more at http://www.friendsofindianriver.org/p/friends-of-indian-river-scholarship.html

Tidewater Master Naturalist Training Class

The Tidewater Master Naturalists, a group that promotes natural resource conservation in southeastern Virginia, are taking applications for their Spring basic training class.  Training includes 10 evening classes plus 3 field trips covering various aspects of natural sciences and ecology.  The deadline for applications and all references is February 4, 2022. Friends of Indian River Members contact us for information on our scholarship program for the class.  https://tidewatermn.org/training/basic-training/

Year End Fundraiser

The Friends of Indian River fiscal year ends on March 31st and we're setting a fundraising goal of $1800 in membership dues and donations for the year.  We're currently at $1230.  Help us meet our goal!  This is a great time to become a member, renew your membership, or just make a donation online at http://www.friendsofindianriver.org/p/membership.html

We always encourage you as an 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/


Adopt-A-Park/Invasive Species Workshop @ Indian River Park

Date: Rescheduled, Saturday, Feb 5, 9:00 am to Noon

Location: Meet at the 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.

Learn to identify various invasive plant species that threaten Indian River Park and natural areas across the Tidewater region.  Those found in the park include English Ivy, Chinese Privet, Multiflora Rose, Linden Viburnum, and others.  

Then we'll work to clear some outbreaks of the English Ivy. The more volunteers that come out, the more that we can accomplish! 

Please dress for the weather, wear closed-toe shoes, a hat and bring work gloves. We'll be working both to remove Ivy on the ground and on trees.  Bring pruning clippers, loppers, screwdrivers (which are amazingly useful in prying ivy off tree trunks) and/or pruning saws if you have them.  We will have water and snacks, but we also always encourage folks to bring their own water in reusable bottles to minimize use of single use cans and bottles. Participants under 18 years of age must have adult supervision.

To save time and allow for better social distancing, please pre-register at https://forms.gle/NKq7m3pMS4JwyV5X6


Adopt-A-Road Cleanup along Indian River Road

Date: Saturday, Feb 12, 9:00 am to 11:30 am

Location: Meet at Post Office, side parking lot, 3810 Indian River Road 

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 cleanup 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.  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.

To save time and allow for better social distancing, please pre-register at https://forms.gle/8qzDkCyRgoXeqCgA9


Great Backyard Bird Count Hike

Date: 
Saturday, Feb 19, 8:30 am to 10:30 am

Location:  Meet at the Indian River Community Center, 2250 Old Greenbrier Rd.

It's the weekend of the Great Backyard Bird Count, a worldwide effort to identify the distribution of birds; as part of this we'll be leading a guided bird walk around the lake between the Indian River Community/Rec Center and the High School.

When scouting the site, a variety of birds were spotted including Cormorants, Mallards, Pied-Bill Grebe, Bluebirds, - Yellow-Rumped Warblers, Woodpeckers, and more. We'll have some binoculars and a spotting scope but do bring your own if you have some!

To save time and allow for better social distancing, please pre-register at https://forms.gle/bVjnJL71i92cvnhk9


No Second Saturday Hike in February - join us for the Great Backyard Bird Count on the third Saturday

No Monthly Meeting in February - we're going to an alternate month schedule



Other News

2022 Calendar Preview

We are hoping to pull off a full schedule of activities this calendar year.  We're going to hold our monthly meeting every other month and start holding them in person as soon as practical.  We plan to do at least 10 group volunteer events and 11 nature hikes.  Some new stuff this year: in June we want to hold a potluck evening picnic on our regular meeting night; and in October we are looking at organizing various community events into an "Indian River Week" - stay tuned for more info about that.  And, of course, we want to get back to holding our big Holiday Party in December.  Watch out for details as these dates get closer!



River Star Business 2022 Awards Ceremony

Three local organizations - the Friends of Indian River, Oaklette United Methodist Church, and Wicker's Crab Pot - were recognized at the River Star Business 2022 Awards Ceremony by the Elizabeth River Project.  Thank you to everyone for keeping up the progress to make our community a better place to live!  Read more in Inside Business at https://elizabethriver.org/sites/default/files/IB-RS-Biz-report-1-24-22.pdf

 Tree Planting along Indian River Road at Oaklette Bridge 

Work on the tree planting by the landscape contractor is still pending and dependent on the weather. We'll still need volunteers to support planting of 30 shrubs and 34 muhly and fountain grasses at the site, but this will now likely be in March.
 
 

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