Saturday, October 3, 2020

October Newsletter and Events

 In this month's issue, we have:

  • Upcoming Events
    • Virtual Monthly Meeting - Solar for Home - Thurs, 10/15
    • Adopt-A-Park @ Indian River Park - Sat, 10/17
  • Voting Guide
  • Other News
    • Chesapeake Bay Foundation VoiCeS class
    • Chesapeake Master Gardeners Online Plant Sale
    • Conservation Landscaping Funding
    • Indian River Park Trail Planning
    • Great American and International Coastal Cleanups

Monthly Meeting - Solar for Home
Date: Thursday, October 15, 7 pm
Location: Zoom Meeting, Pre-register

Arthur Fichter from Solar Services, Inc. will speak to us about installing solar for residential use.

We'll also go over the latest community news and updates.  Please pre-register for the event to get the Zoom meeting URL.

Adopt-A-Park @ Indian River Park

Date: Saturday, October 17, 9 am to Noon
ion: Meet at the Indian River Park entrance at Rokeby Ave. and Main St. (2001 Rokeby Ave.) which is located just south of Military Highway, i.e. across Military Highway from the Fire Station.

We'll be tending to the native plant garden at the park entrance.  We may also do some trail work, pruning, weeding, and cleanup.

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.  Participants under 18 years of age must have adult supervision.

All participants should follow Covid-19 safety precautions.  If you are sick or have been exposed to someone with Covid-19 please stay home and contact your doctor's office for care and proper quarantine procedures.  Masks must be worn properly during the cleanup.  Strive to maintain a minimum physical distance of six feet from others not in your household.  Wear gloves during the cleanup and sanitize your hands before removing your mask and/or touching your face.

*New* To speed up registration and improve social distancing at the start of the cleanup, please review and complete the online safety release form at least one day before the event.

Voting Guide

As we're sure everyone knows, this is a very important election year.  On this year's ballot are the President of the United States, U.S. Senate, and U.S. House seats.  There are also two Virginia Constitutional Amendments, including one to transfer the power to draw congressional and legislative districts to a redistricting commission, rather than the state legislature.

The deadline to register to vote, or update an existing registration, is Tuesday, October 13.  You can check your registration and/or register to vote online at You will need a valid Virginia DMV driver's license or state ID card to register online.  Otherwise you can mail in your registration or go to the Chesapeake General Registrar's office.

Thanks to changes passed this year by the General Assembly, there will be several ways to vote this year.
  • Early In-Person Voting will be available from Friday, September 18 through Saturday, October 31 at
    • General Registrar's Office located at 411 Cedar Road Chesapeake, VA 23322.  
      • Available Monday thru Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., and the last two Saturdays in October, the 24th and 31st, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
    • Satellite locations at one library in each zip code in the city, including Indian River Library, South Norfolk Library, and Greenbrier Library.  
      • Available Monday thru Friday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., and the last two Saturdays in October, the 24th and 31st, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
    • Election officials will be at the sites to enable voters to cast their ballot.  Voters will not have to have a reason or fill out an application to vote early, but must provide their name and address and show an acceptable form of ID or sign an ID Confirmation Statement.
  • Vote by Absentee Ballot
    • You can request an absentee ballot online at You will need a valid Virginia DMV driver's license or state ID card to request an absentee ballot online.  Otherwise you can mail in your application or go to the Chesapeake General Registrar's office.  
    • You do not need to give reason to vote absentee in Virginia.
    • Once you receive your absentee ballot, return your ballot to your local registrar by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day; or it must be postmarked on or before Election Day and received by your registrar by noon on the third day after the election.
    • If you request an absentee ballot and decide to vote in person instead, you must hand in the unused, unopened absentee ballot to an election official when you vote in person.  
  • Vote on Election Day, Tuesday November 3, 2020 
    • Polls will be open from 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.
Early in-person voting at the city libraries looks to be a great, new convenient and secure option for casting your vote in this important election.  Now is the time to make your plan for how and when to vote!

Other News

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation VoiCeS class is going virtual this year, starting Tuesday, October 6.  Now it is easier than ever to take this wonderful program without having to travel.  Several members of the Friends of Indian River have graduated from this 6 week program and we highly recommend it.  Meetings will be Tuesday evenings via Zoom; you'll learn a wealth of knowledge about the Bay's ecosystem, the environmental challenges it faces, and steps you can take to make it better.  Learn more and register at

The Chesapeake Master Gardeners are holding their online Plant Sale thru October 11.  See the plant list and make your orders at

Interested in improving the natural value of your property?  Would you like to add beauty while helping the environment?  The Elizabeth River Project is still offering matching funding for installing living shorelines (up to $4000), buffers (up to $1500), or maybe a Rain Garden (up to $2000). The Friends of Indian River has limited funds to kick in up to another $250 toward these projects in the Indian River section of Chesapeake.  Learn more at

Indian River Park Trails - Over the summer, the Friends have been in discussions with Chesapeake Parks, Recreation, and Tourism and representatives from the Eastern Virginia Mountain Bike Association about Indian River Park.  We believe there is general agreement on the need for a trail management plan for the park with the first step being a detailed survey of the existing trails and features in the park.  There were plans for a public input session earlier this year, but that was derailed by the pandemic; we hope to reschedule this over the winter.

Thank you to the volunteers who came out for a pair of cleanups in September for the Great American and International Coastal Cleanups.  On the 19th, we collected about 400 lobs of trash around the bridge and the future Blue Heron Landing Park.  On the 26th, volunteers went out by canoe and kayak to clean up along the shoreline.  

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