Monday, October 31, 2022

November Newsletter and Events

 View this newsletter online at 

  • Upcoming Events
    • City and Congressional Elections
    • 11/12 - Saturday - Second Saturday Hike at Indian River Park
    • 11/17 - Thursday - Bi-montly Meeting 
      • 5 pm - 7 pm Eco Maniac Shopping Opportunity
      • 7 pm - Meeting with Guest Speaker Mayor Rick West
    • 11/19 - Saturday - Native Plant Garden Adopt-A-Park Work Day
  • Other News
    • Autumn in your Garden
    • Volunteer Recognition and Holiday Party - 12/15
    • Volunteer Updates
    • Volunteer Needs

Upcoming Events

City and Congressional Elections

Time is running out to decide who will be on the City Council, School Board, and in Congress.  Please Get out and Vote!  

Early voting continues until Saturday, November 5 at the Voter Registrar's Office and satellite locations - Greenbrier Library, Russell Memorial Library, Central Library, Camelot Community Center, Dr. Clarence V. Cuffee Community Center, Indian River Library, and the Voter Registrar’s Office (411 Cedar Rd). The last day to vote is Tuesday, November 8 at your local precincts. See the hours, details, and sample ballots can be seen at

There are five seats up for election in the City Council, five seats on the School Board plus 1 special election for the School Board, and our Congressional Representative. 
Ballotpedia has a summary of all the candidates and links to their website where available. You can find these at,_Virginia_(2022),_2022 The Friends of Indian River does not endorse any candidates.

Second Saturday Hike @ Indian River Park

Date: Saturday, November 12, 8:30 am

Location: Indian River Park entrance at Rokeby Ave. and Main St. (2001 Rokeby Ave.)

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

Bi-monthly Meeting: 

Date: Thursday, November 17

Location: Oaklette United Methodist Church, 520 Oaklette Drive

5 pm - 7 pm Eco Maniac Shopping Opportunity

Eco Maniac will be setting up their sales truck in the church parking lot from 5 pm to 7 pm.  They offer many reusable alternatives to single-use plastics, a variety of plastic-free/packaging-free products, and Fair Trade Gifts.  They strive to offer quality products that are affordable, sustainable, ethically made, and all around good for the planet.   Stop by and get an early start to your holiday shopping.  

7 pm Guest Speaker Mayor Rick West

Our meeting will start at 7 pm in the social hall and our guest speaker will be Chesapeake Mayor Rick West who will provide the latest news on the state of the City and take questions from the audience.

We'll also have the latest community news/updates and some light refreshments!

Please also consider bringing a donation of non-perishable food items for the Oaklette United Methodist Church food pantry to the meeting this evening.

Native Plant Garden Adopt-A-Park @ Indian River Park

Date: Saturday, November 19, 9 am to Noon

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, 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.

Please pre-register at

Other News

Autumn in your Garden

It's autumn and the leaves are starting to turn into all their pretty golds, yellows, orange, reds and will soon be falling.   For gardeners, it's a time to get ready for next year, but this can be a lot less work than you may think.  Here are some great tips for the autumn:

1) Leave those leaves.  You really do not need to make the effort to rake and bag all those leaves.  Mulch mow the leaves on your lawn to break them into smaller pieces that will compost on your lawn and add valuable nutrients to your soil.  Leave the leaves in your garden beds and around your trees - they are free mulch, help build stronger soil, and provide valuable overwinter habitat for overwintering butterflies and moths, turtles, birds, and other wildlife.  Please never blow your leaves into the street or into ditches - this ends up clogging storm drainage and pushing unneeded nutrients into our waterways.

2) Hold off on the garden cleanup.  You don't need to cut down all those past-bloom flower stalks.  The seed heads from those flowers are critical food sources for finches and other birds, and many pollinators use the plants stems and leaves as places to overwinter.  Wait until spring when temperatures are consistently over 50 F before tidying up the gardens.  A little mess is wonderful for nature.  

3) It's not too late to plant more plants.  In the Hampton Roads area, you can generally plant perennials and shrubs in November, December, and even early January.  This will let them get acclimated and give them a tremendous head start in the spring.   And this is the best time to plant trees.  So, this is one thing you should not wait to do!

And if you are ready to plant a tree and also a River Star Home - and you can sign up as a River Star for FREE - the Elizabeth River Project is offering a FREE tree to Chesapeake residents.  Get yours now at Free Tree Program - Elizabeth River Project.


Annual Volunteer Appreciation and Holiday Party

Date: Thursday, December 15

Mark the date for the return of the Friends of Indian River Holiday Party!

This will be our end of year celebration to recognize our many accomplishments, recognize our volunteers, and socialize. Please bring a desert or appetizer to share and join the festivities. We'll have a silent auction, so you can finish some Christmas shopping too. 

Volunteer Updates

Thank you to the 10 volunteers who came out in October for our Adopt-A-Road cleanup around the Indian River Oaklette Bridge and the future Blue Heron Landing.   The area needed the TLC.  The volunteers collected about 300 lbs of trash and debris.

Volunteers Needs

We need volunteers 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

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