Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 Year End Report

As we near the end of another great year, I wish to thank all the volunteers and supporters who helped to make the Indian River neighborhood a better place this year.   Your support is essential to achieving the Friends of Indian River goals to improve the quality of life for all the residents of the Indian River neighborhoods.   We ask that you continue to keep up this good work by participating in our volunteer efforts, joining us for our monthly guest presentations, becoming a supporting member, and spreading the word.

In 2013 our accomplishments included
- 5 cleanups collecting 81+ bags along Indian River Road, along the riverfront,  and in Indian River Park.   These cleanups were under the auspicious of the Adopt-A-Road program, the Great American Cleanup, Clean the Bay Day, and the International Coastal Cleanup.
- completing installation and continuing maintenance of gardens at the 4 corners of the Indian River Bridge
- 2 Invasive plant removal days in Indian River Park cutting back aggressive English Ivy attempting to spread across the landscape
- planning, scouting, and building a new nature trail in Indian River Park, working with support from City of Chesapeake's Department of Parks and Recreation, the Urban Forest Trail Blazers, the Chesapeake Master Gardeners, the Virginia Cooperative Extension – Hampton Roads Master Gardeners, the Chesapeake Arboretum and the Eastern Virginia Mountain Bike Association

- recognized 5 business in the community of Streetscape Beautification Certificates
- volunteers contributed more than 450 hours of time and effort to make our neighborhood better.
You can find photos from our past year on our Facebook page at (you don't need a Facebook account to see the photos).

For 2014 we plan to
- continue our rotation of cleanups, gardening, and trail maintenance efforts

along Indian River Road, the river front, and in Indian River Park
- work with Public Works to plant more trees along the approach to Indian River Bridge as part of a grant awarded to the City
- work with the Parks Department to make major improvements to the entrance area of Indian River Park and in conjunction with that we are planning to work with the Master Gardeners and others to install a native plant/rain garden at the entrance
- organize a bioblitz to survey the flora and fauna of the park.

Also in the coming year, the Elizabeth River Project (ERP) - and its River Star Home Program - is planning a significant expansion of its efforts along the Eastern Branch of the Elizabeth including the Indian River.   The Friends of Indian River have already started discussions with the ERP and intend to be a key stakeholder in those efforts as they develop.

Our next meeting is on Thursday, January 9th, 7 pm at the Oaklette United Methodist Church.   This is our official annual meeting and we'll hold elections and have a forum to discuss these plans and get ideas for 2014.  If you have a particular concern or interest,such as projects for schools, scouts, gardening, the shopping center, please come and tell us of your interest.  Everyone is invited to the meeting; supporting members who have paid their membership dues may vote.

On Saturday, January 11, 9:30 am, we're having our first Adopt-A-Road cleanup along Indian River Road.   Please join us and, again, thank you for your support.

To learn more about the Friends of Indian River and how you can support us, please visit our website at

We wish everyone a Healthy and Happy New Year!

Rogard Ross
President, Friends of Indian River

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