Saturday, July 2, 2022

Summer Newsletter

 Happy Summer!

  • Upcoming Events
    • 7/9 Saturday - Second Saturday Hike at Indian River Park - CANCELLED
  • News
    • Chesapeake 2022-2023 Capital Improvement Budget
    • Indian River Small Area Plan - next steps
    • Indian River Week planned for October
  • Get Involved
    • Fall Events Preview
    • Need Volunteers
    • June Accomplishments
    • Conservation Landscaping
Upcoming Events

Second Saturday Hike at Indian River Park

Date: Saturday, July 9, CANCELLED


Chesapeake 2022-2023 Capital Improvement Budget

The City's new fiscal year started on July 1.  Some highlights affecting our area:
  • #50-270 Indian River Road Design Guidelines Manual and Overlay District - for the Planning Department to create a commercial overlay district and guidelines manual for Indian River Road that defines elements such as building height and form, placemaking, land use, and landscaping to guide redevelopment in this corridor.  Based on the Indian River Planning Area Study, it should include specific actions and policies to create the desired sense of place for the community.  $175K in FY2023
  • #40-270 Indian River Road Redesign - Redesigning Indian River Road to improve safety by adding bicycle lands and reducing speed limit along roadway while keeping appropriate capacity for automotive traffic.  Based on the current number of vehicles per day that travel on road, Indian River Road is overbuilt and encourages speeding that makes walking along sidewalks and biking along road hazardous and has resulted in severe accidents.  Calming traffic along this, our "Main Street" should help develop a sense of place and encourage Indian River to become a destination rather than someplace to speed through.  $110K in FY2023
  • #42-270 - Streetscaping and Landscaping of Various Gateway Corridors - This project funds landscaping and streetscaping at various gateway corridors across the City to highlight the entrances to the City, instill pride in residents and contribute to the goal of making Chesapeake an Exceptional Place.  While this funding is not earmarked just for our area, the Indian River Planning Area Study has specific actions for implementing streetscaping along Indian River Road, which could be addressed with this funding.  $300K in FY 2023
Just approved after passage of the Virginia State Budget
  • #72-270 Pool at Cuffee Community Center - funding for the design, engineering and building initial infrastructure for the City's first recreational pool at the Cuffee Center in Campostella.  $9M in FY 2023; additional $11M will be required in future years for complete buildout.
  • #75-270 Indian River Middle School Modernization - This project includes the modernization of the main building as well as the Chesapeake Center for Student Success (CCSS) annex building. This will provide additional permanent classroom space to house all Indian River Middle School students in the main building and allow CCSS to utilize the entire annex building.  $5.1M in FY 2023
Continued funding for existing projects includes
  • #15-240 Blue Heron Landing Park on the Indian River - this project builds out the new park with a restored shoreline, canoe and kayak launch, and boardwalk adjacent to Indian River Oaklette Bridge.  Request for Proposals for construction have been issued.  Additional $300K allocated in FY2023.
  • #56-230 Oaklette Bridge (Indian River Road) Rehabilitation - this project funds the repair of the bridge as part of VDOT State of Good Repair Program.  Work is slated to occur in 2022.  $5.1M allocated in prior years.
Some additional projects to highlight
  • 20-270 (Parks) Master Plan Update. $200K in 2023
  • 58-250 Citywide Trails and Open Space Connectivity Plan, $188K in 2023
  • 61-270 Providence Road Crossing (Culvert) Replacement, $1.4M in 2023
  • 52-250 Norfolk Highlands Drainage Improvements: additional $600K in 2023
  • 65-230 Philmont Avenue Septic System Disconnect (installing City sanitary sewer on Philmont Avenue in Norfolk Highlands); $450K in 2023
  • 12-260 Residential Traffic Calming Program, Citywide, $100K per year
  • 26-220 Citywide Sidewalk Installation, $800K in 2023 
  • 03-160 Citywide Stormwater Outfall (out flow to river) Regrading and Restoration; includes Hazel Court
  • 05-260 Broadlawn Apartments (in Campostella area) Stormwater Outfall Improvements; starts in 2024
  • 01-270 Water Tank Rehabilitation; include Norfolk Highlands tower; was separate project now rolled into Citywide project item
Indian River Plan

Some of us from the Friends of Indian River met with staff from the Planning Department in late July to discuss the status of efforts for the Indian River Planning Area Study.  In addition to the funding approved above, a key next step is to set up a Steering Committee with representatives from various City agencies including Planning, Public Works, Parks, Recreation, and Tourism, and community stakeholders.   Staff turnover in the Planning Department - the lead contact for the Plan left - has slowed down setting this up, but we hope to get back on track by this fall.  In the meantime, we have reached out to Public Works about plans for new streetscaping!

Indian River Week

We're hoping to coordinate with partners across the community to do something new this fall - organize an Indian River Week of events in the fall.  Details are still being hammered out, but the basic idea is to coordinate various local events during a week of October (tentatively the 3rd week) to highlight various aspects of our community.   The Friends are planning a History Walk and a Cleanup.  The 3rd week in October is also Restaurant Week.  We in conversation for some other exciting events, so stay tuned for more info.  And if you have an event idea or want to help with planning, please reach out to us at

Get Involved 

Need Volunteers

We need volunteers this summer to help with weeding at the new landscaping at the Oaklette Indian River Bridge and at the native plant garden at Indian River Park.   We also need volunteers to help with removing invasive plants at the Park.  There are also other volunteer opportunities listed on our website at  If you can help out on any of these, please contact us at

Fall Schedule Preview
  • No Second Saturday Hikes in August, September, or October
  • Thursday, September 15, 7 pm - Bi-Monthly Meeting
  • Saturday, September 17, 1 pm - International Coastal Cleanup
  • Saturday, October 15, 1 pm - History Walk in Norfolk Highlands and Oaklette
  • TBD - Indian River Week
  • Saturday, October 22, 9 am - Adopt-A-Road Cleanup along Indian River Road
  • Saturday, November 12, 9 am - Second Saturday Hike 
  • Thursday, November 17, 7 pm - Bi-Monthly Meeting
  • Saturday, November 19, 9 am - Adopt-A-Park at Indian River Park 
  • Saturday, December 10, 9 am - Second Saturday Hike 
  • Thursday, December 15, 7 pm - Holiday Party
* dates subject to change

June Accomplishments

At the beginning of the month, we had a very successful Clean The Bay Day at Indian River Park.  37 volunteers of all ages pulled out nearly 1000 lbs. of debris from the park and river floodplain on the west side of the park.  We've never done a cleanup on this side of the park and the area we hit probably had 20 years of trash accumulated.   Many thanks to our host and partner Southern Auto Group Volkswagen and to the many volunteers who came out including a team from FedEx Ground.

We held an evening Second Saturday Hike at Indian River Park where we spied various wildlife including a Box Turtle about to lay her eggs just off the trail, multiple Eastern Cottontail rabbits, and Pearly-eye Butterflies.   Yarrow and Lizard's Tails were in bloom in the park.

In what we hope is a new tradition, we had a delicious group picnic instead of our regular June meeting.  This was a great opportunity to get together and social; our main entree was catered from one of our new local eateries TenderMacs - chicken tenders, zucchini tenders, and, of course, their delicious mac-n-cheese.  This was also a chance to celebrate the Friends of Indian River's 10th Anniversary.  It was in 2012 that we called our first meeting and we're proud of all we've accomplished since.

We closed out the month with another cleanup along Indian River Road from Wingfield to Sparrow including around the bridge and future Blue Heron Landing Park.  We collected about 150 lbs. of litter and a few larger items including, of all things, a toilet.  

Conservation Landscaping

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 $5000), buffers (up to $2000), 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

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

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