Monday, February 3, 2020

February Newsletter and Events

In this month's issue, we have:
  • Great Backyard Bird Count - Saturday, Feb 15
  • Monthly Meeting - Solar for Home - Thursday, Feb 20
  • Adopt-A-Road Cleanup along Indian River Road - Saturday, Feb 22
  • Chesapeake Conservation Conference - Friday, Mar 6
  • Indian River Park Trail Planning Meeting - Monday, Mar 16
  • Conservation Landscaping
  • Other News

Great Backyard Bird Count Hike at Indian River "Woodland" Lake
Saturday, Feb 15, 8:30 am to 10:30 am
Location: Meet at the Indian River Community Center, 2250 Old Greenbrier Rd.

It is 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!

Monthly Meeting - Solar for Home 
Date: Thursday, Feb 20, 7 pm
Location: Oaklette United Methodist Church, 520 Oaklette Drive, Chesapeake, VA

Learn about options for installing solar at your home from Arthur Edwards, Sales Consultant at Solar Services, a local solar installation company.

Get the latest community news and updates.

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

Adopt-A-Road Cleanup along Indian River Road /Community Cleanup
Date: Saturday, Feb 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 snacks but we 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.

Chesapeake Conservation Conference
Date: Friday, March 6
Location: Chesapeake Conference Center

Registration is open for the Chesapeake Conservation Conference. Early Bird registration is $35 thru February 14; $25 for Full-time student with ID.

The conference will bring together the environmental and conservation community of the City of Chesapeake for a day of networking, planning and learning. Panel-led discussions with related Question & Answer sessions will address the following topics: Parks and Natural Areas, Land and Water Conservation, Home and Garden, and Coastal Resilience.  City staff will also be collecting input on visions for the future of the City of Chesapeake for the next iteration of the City's Comprehensive Plan, the City Council-adopted blueprint that guides the City's growth policies and land-use decisions.  The Friends are one of the sponsors of the event and will be presenting during the Home and Garden panel.

Part of the conference will be the Environmental Awards Luncheon honoring local individuals, community groups, schools, and businesses with recognition for their outstanding environmental projects. 

Indian River Park Trail Planning Meeting
Date: Monday, March 16
Location: Indian River Community Center, 2250 Old Greenbrier Rd.

Parks, Recreation, and Tourism is hosting a public meeting to gather input on future improvements to Indian River Park.   Join us for this important opportunity to discuss concerns and opportunities for this great park.  The park has 80 acres of forest and trails popular with the local community, nature lovers, mountain bikers and many more.  But the park is being squeezed by development, at risk from unsustainable practices, and threatening by spread of invasive plants.  Help map out a sustainable future for the park so that it continues to be one of Chesapeake great parks.

The Elizabeth River Project has several programs to help home owners upgrade their yards to become better stewards of a healthy environment. And now in the Indian River area of Chesapeake, the Friends of Indian River is stepping up to provide a little extra funding support for such projects to create rain gardens, vegetated shoreline buffers, and living shorelines. See the flier in the attached image for more info, visit or contact us at

Other News

A Conditional User Permit application for the construction of a new convenience store as part of the BP Gas Station on Indian River Road across the street from the Post Office has been submitted.  The City's Planning Commission will consider the application on Wednesday, 2/12.  The construction of the store will result in the loss of the two very large, mature trees on the property at the corner of Hawthorne and Indian River Road. These provide a current tree canopy over about 30% of the property. With the goal to make sure that the landscaping of the site is as environmentally sound and aesthetically pleasing as possible, the Friends have sent input on the project to the Planning Department.  Learn more about this at

The Rokeby Garden Club is meeting Wednesday, February 19,1 to 3 pm to learn how to plant, dry, and prepare gourds for birdhouses.  Attendees will prepare a gourd birdhouse for their own garden. For residents "55 and better" who love plants and gardeningFree but must register. Class size limited to 10. Only a few seats left; call Rokeby Center at 757-822-6259 to sign up for this class.

The Planning Department is currently setting up a first round of small group discussion regarding the Indian River Small Area Plan, to be followed by broader public input meetings.  We will share more information when we have it.

Congratulations to Wickers Crab Pot Seafood Restaurant and to the Rivercrest Condominium Association in receiving Sustained Distinguished Performance Awards from the Elizabeth River Project River Star Business program. Thank you for making efforts to improve the quality of our community! 

Thank you to the 9 volunteers, including several Tidewater Master Naturalists, who came out to Indian River Park on a chilly morning last month to work on removing invasive plants from Indian River Park. We started with education on the key invasive plants threatening the park - English Ivy, Chinese Privet, Multifloral Rose, Japanese Honeysuckle, and (visible in the summer) Japanese Stilt Grass - and our strategy for containing and managing the problem. Then we cleared an area of about 2000 sq. ft. just off the main trail of English Ivy, filling 9 big bags. If you want to learn more about our efforts and how you can help, just reply back to this e-mail.

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