Friday, August 30, 2019

September Newsletter and Events

We hope everyone had a great summer.  But cooler weather is approaching and the Friends are ready to get back into full swing.

In this month's issue, we have:
- Indian River Cleanup by Canoe/Kayak, Saturday, September 14
- Monthly Meeting - Hooked on Butterflies and Moths, Thursday, September 19
- Other News
   - Update on Water and Sewer Lines at Indian River Park
   - Sanitary Sewer Pump Station Upgrade on Providence Road
   - Norfolk Highland Civic League meeting, September 5
   - Rokeby Garden Club meeting, September 18
   - And more

Indian River Cleanup by Canoe/Kayak
Date: Saturday, September 14, 9 am to Noon
Location: Please RSVP to for details

This is a "Bring Your Own Boat" event.  If you plan to participate, it is important to let us know so that we can plan appropriately and provide additional information on logistics and where we will gather.  

If you have a boat but nowhere to put in along the river, contact us to make arrangements on where to put in.  If you'd like to participate but have no boat, contact us as we may have a limited number of extra spots on other boats.

Please see safety information at and

Rain Date is September 28 

Monthly Meeting - Hooked on Butterflies and Moths
Date: Thursday, September 19, 7 pm
Location: Oaklette United Methodist Church, 520 Oaklette Drive, Chesapeake, VA

Join us for a wonderful program "Hooked on Butterflies and Moths" to learn about the behavior and traits of these winged marvels - and their caterpillars.  Presented by Karen and Steve McCurdy, co-Presidents of the Butterfly Society of Virginia.

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

Water and Sewer Lines at Indian River Park

At this point, the land for the new Fieldstone Condos next to Indian River Park has been fully cleared.  There has been some progress regarding the location of the water and sewer lines for the complex.  The original proposal was to cut a 40' wide easement through the forested area of the park, on the north side of the Dominion Power Lines.  As a result of our urging, the developer and the city have mapped out an alternative, reduced, 16' wide easement on on the south side of the power lines, as close to the power lines as allowed by Dominion Energy.  Although the location of the tree line varies, about half of this easement is on already cleared land, i.e. outside of the existing tree line.  This should reduce the tree loss significantly.  It looks like few, if any, large old trees would need to be cut down along this route.  The Friends have a meeting with the City Manager and staff in September to discuss and we will report the outcome.

Sanitary Sewer Pump Station Upgrade on Providence Road

In a separate project in 2020, the City will also be replacing and upgraded the sanitary sewer pump station located along Providence Road between Rokeby Avenue and Paramont Ave. This new pump station will serve about 2000 homes in the area.  The upgraded is much needed to improve safety and reliability of the system.  But construction will disturb about 7000 sq. ft. in Indian River Park and the Friends submitted various comments related to the landscaping and post-construction remediation.  The project will be going to the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area Board for review in the coming months.  Read more about our comments at

Rokeby Garden Club, starting on September 18, will be holding monthly meetings at the Rokeby Center on the 3rd Wednesdays of the month from 1 pm to 3 pm. This is for residents "55 and better" who love plants and gardening.  For their September meeting on the 18th, the group will be learning how to make herbal ice cream and sorbet. No registration is required. The group will also help maintain the gardens around the Rokeby Center. For more information call or visit the Rokeby Center at 757-822-6259.

Elizabeth River Project has multiple programs to help local homeowners make their yards both more beautiful and better for the local environment.  These includes lawn makeovers, rain gardens, stream side buffers, living shorelines, and rain barrels.  If you become a River Star Home by pledging to be a good steward of the environment, there may even be funding assistance available.  Learn more at

Chesapeake Environmental Improvement Council has two contests running right now.  First is the Keep Chesapeake Beautiful Calendar Photo Contest.  They are  looking for photographs that highlight the beauty and splendor of parks around the City of Chesapeake; entry deadline is this Friday, September 6.   And they are also looking for nominations for their Business Beautification Award which  recognizes a business in Chesapeake that takes pride in the visual impression it leaves on the surrounding neighborhood and shows an awareness of the environment; nominations due by September 30.  Entries for both can be made at

Norfolk Highlands Civic League is holding their next meeting on Thursday, September 5, 7 pm at the Indian River Baptist Church.

We posted a map of planned street re-paving in our area between now and June 2020 at

Chesapeake Recycles Day is on Saturday, September 7, 9 am to noon, at Sam's Club Western Branch.  Learn more at

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