Sunday, October 3, 2021

October Newsletter and Events

 In this month's issue, we have:

  • Indian River Planning Area Study
    • Final Draft going (again) to Planning Commission on Oct 13
  • Upcoming Events
    • Second Saturday Hike @ Indian River Park - Sat, Oct 9, 8:30 am
    • Field Trip - Hermitage Museum and Gardens - Sun, Oct 17, 1 pm
    • October Monthly Meeting - Thurs, Oct 21 - CANCELLED
    • Adopt-A-Park @ Indian River Park - Sat, Oct 23, 9 am
    • November Monthly Meeting - Thurs, Nov 18, 7 pm -
      Guest Speaker City Council Member Susan Vitale
  • Other News
    • Get Out the Vote, Virginia!
    • International Coastal Cleanup results
    • Leave the Leaves

Indian River Planning Area Study Public Hearing

Date: Wednesday, Oct 13, 7 pm at City Hall

The Planning Commissioners asked for more time to review the Final Draft of the Indian River Planning Area Study when it went before them in September.  So the final review was "continued" until the Planning Commission Meeting on Wednesday, Oct 13, 7 pm at City Hall.  It will also be a topic of the "pre-meeting" that starts at 6 pm in the same location.

We are again asking citizens to speak out in support of the draft plan at Public Hearing.  If you submitted comments in September, you can double your impact by resubmitting them before the October meeting.   We also think that showing up in person to support the plan will help get it across the finish line, so please join us at City Hall on the 13th! Visit for info and key points for submitting your comments.

As we reported last month, the Planning Department incorporated the bulk of our comments into this draft.   Overall the plan provides a strong blueprint for the future of our community and provides importance guidance for the City when making future zoning, policy, and funding decisions.  

The Study lays out a plan with a strong, interconnected combination of actions that, when implemented, should improve the quality of life of our community.   Key themes that we support throughout the Plan include:
- Redesign and revitalization of Indian River Road, including the Indian River Shopping Center, as our Main Street
- Preservation of the residential character of our community
- Interconnecting the community with parks, the civic campus, and open space
- Increasing the overall environmental quality of the community through increased tree canopy, natural areas and shorelines, and green infrastructure.

Second Saturday Hike @ Indian River Park

Date: Saturday, Oct 9, 8:30 am to 10:30 am

Location: 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.

Learn about the history of the park, the native trees and plants in this century old forest on the Indian River flood plain, and its value to maintaining the health of local butterfly, bird, and wildlife populations. Note: the forest trail has uneven surfaces and minor elevation changes.
Please pre-register at

Field Trip to Hermitage Museum and Gardens

Date: Sunday, October 17

Location: Hermitage Museum and Gardens, 7637 North Shore Road, Norfolk, VA 23505
Meet at the museum at 12:45 pm, tour will start at 1 pm.

Space is limited; you must Pre-Register at

This year's field trip will be a guided tour of the Sloane mansion and collection and walking tour of the gardens and grounds.  We'll learn about the garden history and the many varieties of plants that have a home at the Hermitage and see their living shoreline restoration efforts.

CDC does recommend wearing a mask in public indoor settings.

Trip is Free for Members (and immediate family of members at the Family Membership level).  Not a member?  Join today at

October Monthly Meeting - CANCELLED

Date: Thursday, October 21

We're taking a month off our monthly meeting.  So we invite members to join us for our Field Trip to the Hermitage on October 17 (see above)

Adopt-A-Park @ Indian River Park

Date: Saturday, October 23, 9 am

Location: 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, including weeding and mulching.  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'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 and cans.  

Participants under 18 years of age must have adult supervision.

We will be following all recommended Covid-19 safety precautions in place at the time of this event.  

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:

November Monthly Meeting - Guest Speaker City Council Member Susan Vitale

Date: Thursday, November 18, 7 pm

Mark your calendars.  Our intent is for our November monthly meeting to be in person at Oaklette United Methodist Church.  Our guest speaker will be City Council Member Susan Vitale.   This will be our first in person meeting since the start of the pandemic and we look forward to seeing everyone!  We'll update details in our next newsletter.

Other News

Early Voting for the State and local elections is in progress, including conveniently at the Indian River Library.  Make sure your voice counts - go vote!  For full info on voting locations and times, visit
A big thank you to the dozen volunteers who came out for the International Coastal Cleanup and Adopt-A-Highway Cleanup around the Indian River-Oaklette Bridge and the future Blue Heron Landing Park in September.  The team removed over 400 lbs of litter and debris from along the river.  The most numerous items where beverage bottles and cans and cigarette butts.  I guess a positive spin is that we've seen worse, but there is still way too much litter.

Want to save time and work and help the environment?  Then skip the blowing, raking, and bagging and leaves those leaves lay this fall!   Leaves are nature's mulch and the provide food and shelter for butterflies, moths, bees, and other invertebrates over the winter.  Removing the leaves actually can wipe out the next generation of many moths and butterflies.  Learn more at

We always encourage you as an individual to pick up any stray litter that you come across along our roads, parking lots, and in our parks.  Every piece of trash collected is one less that causes harm to wildlife in our natural areas and waterways.  And just as important, reduce your use of single use packaging to not create litter in the first place.  Take The Pledge to keep Virginia Litter Free at