Over a year ago, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the Elizabeth River Project brought together a multidisciplinary group of public and private experts plus citizens to start talking about how to help the Lafayette River. This Steering Group developed a watershed plan with three main parts: a swimmable, fishable Lafayette; a healthy river life; and citizens making a difference. The draft Lafayette River Watershed Plan is being reviewed and hopefully will be endorsed by the Norfolk City Council within the next few weeks. The strategic goal is a swimmable, fishable Lafayette River by 2014.
Planning is underway for a one day celebration of the Lafayette River – RIVERFest on the Lafayette on Saturday 30 April 2011 (rain date 1 May 2011). Hopefully this first celebration in the spring will evolve into an annual River appreciation day. Think block party with food, music, arts, the Elizabeth River Project’s Learning Barge, education tables and activity tents. The Steering Group has met with Colonial Place neighborhood residents and their Civic League and they support the plan. The location will be the 500 block of Mayflower Road – a prime location along the Lafayette River. They will begin working with the City of Norfolk for permits and permission to temporarily close that block on 30 April 2011.
The plan is to ask school choirs and local musicians to volunteer their time and talent. Also we are asking for local artists (photographers, painters, sculptors, potters, etc.) to display their pieces. More information will be forthcoming throughout the fall, winter and spring. Currently the Elizabeth River Project has basic RIVERFest information on their website www.elizabethriver.org under events.
They are working hard to create a unique way to celebrate and appreciate the Lafayette River. If any civic league would like a presentation regarding these Lafayette River efforts, feel free to contact Amry Cox at 969-3461.
A flyer for the April 31, 2011 event can be found here.