Monday, April 10, 2017

April Newsletter

While we need every day to be Earth Day, the "official" day is Saturday, April 22nd.   This day will also be the March for Science - a day to celebrate science, the role it plays in each of our lives, and the need to encourage research that gives us insight into the world around us.

At our next monthly meeting on April 20th, we'll have Vicki Roberts from the Beekeepers Guild of Southeast Virginia talk to us about How Bees are Important to the Ecosystem.   And on Earth Day, April 22nd, we'll have an event at Indian River Park to explore the critical role of native plants in supporting the bees, and the birds, and keeping the entire natural ecosystem working.

We also urge our members to keep informed on the federal budgeting process.   Budget proposals on the table threaten funding for the Chesapeake Bay Cleanup, the Eastern Branch Restoration, and a broad swath of scientific research, educational, and environmental protection programs.   We all need to be ready to reach out to our elected representatives.

Rogard Ross
Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator

Monthly Meeting - How Bees are Important to the Ecosystem
Date: Thursday, April 20th, 7 pm
Location: Oaklette United Methodist Church, 520 Oaklette Dr.

Join us for a discussion with Vicki Roberts from the Beekeepers Guild of Southeast Virginia on How Bees are Important to the Ecosystem.  We'll also have the latest area news.  There will be light refreshments and door prizes.

Earth Day at Indian River Park
Date: Saturday, April 22nd, 9:00 am to Noon
Location: Indian River Park, 2001 Rokeby Ave. (south of Military Highway)

Join us for our Earth Day event at Indian River Park. Plans include a guided tour of our native plant garden followed by a hike along the nature trail. After that we'll hold a service event from 11 to 12 to do some trash pickup and weeding. There will also be information tables from groups such as the Friends of Indian River, the Chesapeake Master Gardeners, the Cape Henry Audubon, and the Virginia Native Plant Society. 

If you want to help with the cleanup or gardening, please wear closed-toe shoes, a hat and bring work gloves. If you can, bring shovels, rakes, pruners, saws and other gardening tools. We will have water and lots of snacks. (We also always encourage folks to bring their own water in reusable bottles to minimize use of plastic bottles). Volunteers under 18 years of age must have adult supervision.

Other News

  • The Campostella Square/Plymouth Park Civic League is meeting on Thursday, April 13th at the Cuffee Center at 6:30 pm.
  • The Elizabeth River Project is hosting a screening of "Before the Flood," a National Geographic documentary featuring Leonardo DiCaprio at the historic Commodore Theatre in Portsmouth on Thursday, April 20th, from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm.   The screening is free but the Commodore Theater asks that you consider purchasing lunch from their tasty menu while you're there.  For details, see
  • The Norfolk Highlands Civic League is organizing a community wide yard sale for Saturday May 6th.   
  • Seven volunteers came out for our rescheduled Adopt-A-Road cleanup on April 1st. We picked up about seven bags of litter - there was lots of small stuff: an uncountable number of cigarette butts, lots of candy wrappers, shreds of food wrappers and other stuff from convenience stores and fast food places, and a fair number of plastic bottles and cups. 
  • Do you live along the tidal waterway? Well, you can help the river by becoming an Oyster Gardener. Help raise baby oysters off your shoreline, especially if you have a pier or other easy access to the water. And best of all, we will likely be able to keep many of the oysters raised on newly established reefs along the mouth of the Indian River. Chesapeake Bay Foundation led Training classes start in June. Click here for more information and let us know if you sign up!
  • You can start submitting nominations for the Chesapeake Notable Yards Contest.   Judges are looking for visual appeal and garden design, healthy lawn practices, native trees, shrubs and flowers, food gardens and/or wildlife habitat, rainwater harvesting and runoff control, and as a new bonus category, homeowner who are active in the community.   Nominations are open through May 31st and judging will be in June.
  • There was a question the other day on Facebook: why do we have a neighborhood named "Norfolk Highlands" if we are in Chesapeake?   Read the answer here.
  • You can now also become a member of the Friends of Indian River, renew your membership, or make a donation online at

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