Monday, May 27, 2019

June Newsletter and Events

In this month's issue:
- Trouble at Indian River Park
- Clean the Bay Day, June 1
Monthly Meeting - Brent James on Notable Trees, June 20
- Adopt-A-Road Cleanup along Indian River Road /Community Cleanup, June 22
- RiverFest, June 23
- Other News - BioBlitz, Oyster Gardening, Business Beatification Program

Indian River Park: In the past few weeks the Friends of Indian River were distressed to learn that the City is planning to run water and sewer lines across Indian River Park to enable the construction of the Fieldstone Condo Development adjacent to the park.  The alignment, which has been approved by Development and Permits, would clear cut a 40' wide, 800' long easement through the middle of the park, destroying approximately 32,000 square feet of mature forest.  This section of the park is also in the designated Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area (CBPA) and the construction easement crosses the Indian River.  In response we have sent the letter below to the City Manager and City Council and addressed the City Council at their meeting on 5/14.  City staff met on 5/20 to review the issue and is now actively considering possible alternatives including running the water and sewer lines within the existing power line easement.  

We have precious little woodland left in the Indian River area and we are fighting to save every square foot of forest and every tree that we can.  The City and the State both have ambitious plans to increase canopy coverage to deal with pollution and flooding issues, efforts that we support.  To discover that 32,000 square feet of irreplaceable, century old forest has been approved to be clear cut - on public land, in our park, in the CBPA - is devastating.    We are awaiting the outcome of the City staff review of alternatives and ask everyone to stay tuned as we may need folks to make additional outreach to the City Council.   

Learn more at

Clean the Bay Day
Date: Saturday, June 1, 9:00 am to Noon
New Location: Lake at the Indian River High School Lake/Chesapeake Alternative School, 605 Providence Road (just past Indian River Library on Providence).

This year's location for Clean the Bay Day will be around the 20 acre lake nestled between Indian River High School and Indian River Middle School.  This is a location that needs some TLC.  Come discover this new site and help us get it cleaned up.  Meet at the side parking lot of the Chesapeake Alternative School (the old Indian River School Annex) at 605 Providence Road.  Please wear closed-toe shoes, a hat and bring work gloves. We also always encourage folks to bring their own water in reusable bottles to minimize use of plastic bottles. Participants under 18 years of age must have adult supervision.   Please RSVP to  

Monthly Meeting - Brent James on Notable Trees
Date: Thursday, June 20, 7 pm 
Location: Oaklette United Methodist Church, 520 Oaklette Drive, Chesapeake, VA

Brent James, with Lynnhaven River Now, founded the Notable Trees program to identify those large Old Growth trees -  trees that may be huge, beautiful, interesting or have a rare story to tell in their own right - that pre-date the waves of development of our cities.  Learn about the program, the value of trees, and how trees qualify for Notable Tree program.

There will be light refreshments and door prizes after the meeting.

Adopt-A-Road Cleanup along Indian River Road /Community Cleanup
Date: Saturday, June 22, 9 am to 11 am
Location: Post Office side parking lot at 3810 Indian River Rd

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 clean up 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. We'll have water and snacks available. We also always 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.

RiverFest 2019
Date: Sunday, June 23, 11 am - 4 pm
Location: Back Bay's Farmhouse Brewing Co.
1805 Kempsville Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23464

This year's RiverFest is happening in June and in Kempsville.  Come out to celebrate the Elizabeth River with activities including the Science Dome & Aquariums, Free Children’s Activities & Games, Live Music, the Chesapeake Mermaid, and Food Trucks.  Visit the many information tables including ours, and learn about efforts to restore the Eastern Branch. Earn your free River Star Home Flag.

Other News

Indian River Park BioBlitz: About 65 volunteers and guests spent the day exploring Indian River Park and learning about the local flora and fauna. Thank you to our expert guides, volunteers, and everyone who came out. Thank you to Chesapeake Parks, Recreation and Tourism for supporting this event and to the Chesapeake Master Gardeners, Tidewater Master Naturalist, Elizabeth River Project, and Boy Scout Troop 320 for tabling at the event. We'll be putting together of full report of what we found over the next few weeks!

Oyster Gardening: Live along the river?  You can help restore oysters and clean up our waters by becoming an oyster gardener with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Orientation sessions start in June, for more info see

Business Beautification Program: 
The objective of the Friends of Indian River Business Beautification Program is to beautify our community, promote attractive streetscapes that encourage increased patronage of local businesses, energize local business development, and ultimately provide local residents with more and better choices for shopping, entertainment, and services.   One program that we have implemented is installing planters at local businesses to enhance to the visual appeal of the street and break up areas of hardscaping.  There is a limited number of planters and plants avaialble; to learn more about eligibility, terms and conditions on how to participate, visit or contact us at

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

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