Sunday, October 29, 2023

November Newsletter and Events

  • News
    • Early Voting for November Elections
    • Leave the Leaves
    • Greenbrier Area Plan
    • Indian River High School Scholarship
    • October Recap
  • Upcoming Events
    • 11/11 - Saturday - Second Saturday Hike at Indian River Park
    • 11/16 - Monthly Meeting - City Council Member Daniel Whitaker
    • 11/18 - Saturday - Adopt-A-Park @ Indian River Park

Early Voting for November Elections

Early voting is now underway in Chesapeake.  Here are some key dates:
  • In Person Early Voting @ Registrar’s Office in Great Bridge– thru Saturday, Nov 4 
  • In Person Early Voting @ Indian River, Central, Hillard, and Russell Libraries - Monday, October 23, through Saturday, November 4 
  • Election Day (last day to vote) – Tuesday, Nov 7
On the ballot for the Indian River area in Chesapeake will be candidates for Senate of Virginia (18th District), House of Virginia (91st District and 92nd District), City of Chesapeake Treasurer (Unexpired Term), and Soil and Water Conservation Director Virginia Dare District (vote for 2 candidates).   Election information and Sample Ballots can be found at

Leave the Leaves

Each autumn homeowners dutifully bag their leaves in the required clear 35-gallon plastic bags so that the workers can see that it is "light yard waste". In November and December, City trucks will collect a maximum of 50 bags per home per week. Tax dollars pay for the trucks, fuel, and thousands of staff hours required to collect all these leaves, and then pays again to haul and dump the leaves into the landfill. Despite what some may think, there is no local market to commercially compost so many leaves.  

And for the most part, this is all unnecessary. Leaves have been "God's mulch" since the first trees sprouted. Leaves provide a cover for gardens that conserves moisture, keeps the ground warmer during the winter, and reduces soil erosion. The fallen leaves also hide countless butterfly and moth eggs, caterpillars, and chrysalises; over the winter the leaves provide vital habitat for these over-wintering pollinators, native bees, and other beneficial insects. By spring, bacteria, fungi, and other naturally occurring organisms compost the leaves to enrich the soil and provide plants with valuable nutrients. Besides all these benefits for both your yard and the local ecosystem, leaving the leaves can also greatly reduce the need for buying and hauling commercial mulch to your yard.  

Tips for using leaves in your yard
  • Mulch mow the leaves on your lawn. Mulch mowing your leaves builds soil health and provides nutrients for the lawn; it's easier than raking and a lot quieter than leaf blowing.  
  • Leave the leaves and add leaves, mulched mowed or not, around your trees and perennial plants. They'll protect your plants in the same way as store-bought bagged mulch.  Don't pile the leaves too high. Like with wood chip mulch, don't let the leave mulch pile against the trunks of trees and shrubs. Put a 3 to 6-inch layer of leaves around the base of trees and shrubs. A 2 to 3-inch mulch of shredded leaves  is ideal for perennial flower beds. For vegetable gardens, a thick layer of leaves placed between the rows functions as a mulch and an all-weather walkway that will allow you to work in your garden during wet periods.  
  • Add leaves to an existing or new compost pile.  Mulched leaves will decompose faster in a compost pile.  If you're new to composting, remember you want to mix equal volumes of carbon-rich, naturally dry plant material such as fallen leaves, with nitrogen-rich green plant material such as green yard clippings, fruit and vegetable kitchen waste, etc. 
Greenbrier Area Plan 

The City will be holding another Open House on Wednesday, November 15th, 6 pm to 8 pm, at Greenbrier Middle School to collect feedback on the future of Greenbrier.  This is a chance to share your ideas about land use scenarios in Greenbrier.

Indian River High School Scholarship

The Friends of Indian River are once again sponsoring a $500 scholarship for a current Indian River High School senior who will be a college freshman next year.  The scholarship will recognize a senior who excels in leadership, citizenship, extracurricular activities and academics.  If you know a potential candidate, please reach out to us at and we’ll make sure they get an application!

October Recap 

Volunteers were at Indian River Park this month to tend to the native plant garden, cleanup the trailhead entrance, and work on trail maintenance and invasive plant control in the park.  We have another volunteer day coming up on November 18th in the park; see below for details.  

Upcoming Events

Second Saturday Hike at Indian River Park

Saturday, November 11, 8:30 am to 10:30 am

Location: 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.

Join us for a walk in the park. 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 (suggested but not required)

Monthly Meeting - City Council Member Daniel Whitaker

Date: Thursday, November 16, 7 pm 

Location: Oaklette United Methodist Church, 520 Oaklette Drive

Our guest speaker this evening will be City Council Member Daniel Whitaker.  This is a chance to discuss community and citywide matters with the Councilmember.  

We'll also have the latest community news and updates!  There will be light refreshments after the meeting.  
Adopt-A-Park @ Indian River Park

Saturday, November 18, 9 am to Noon

Location: 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.

It is time for our fall gardening at Indian River Park.  We'll be tending to the native plant garden at the park entrance, including mulching, weeding and preparing the garden for the winter.  We will also be dividing some the blue flag irises.  Volunteers helping out that day will have an opportunity to take home some of the extra plants.  We may also do some trail work, pruning, weeding, and cleanup.

Please wear closed-toe shoes, a hat and bring work gloves.  Long pants are recommended.  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 (suggested but not required)