RIVERFest invites public to kick off Lafayette River Restoration

April 28, 2011
Lafayette River RIVERFest

Lafayette River RIVERFest

The public will have the chance to celebrate a new plan to bring back the Lafayette River – and learn fun, easy ways to help at home – during Lafayette RiverFest, a free, day-long festival with live music, fishing contests, free boat trips, children’s games, how-to workshops, river art, education vessels and more.

The event will be Saturday, April 30, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at a first-ever location for a large family festival – the 500 block of Mayflower Road, a semi-circle of public riverfront in the heart of Norfolk’s Colonial Place residential neighborhood.
“We wanted to bring this festival to the people who know the Lafayette as their home river,” said Elizabeth River Project’s Executive Director Marjorie Mayfield Jackson. The Elizabeth River Project is presenting the festival with the City of Norfolk, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and more than a dozen other community partners.
With 24 tents’ worth of hands-on activities, free bike “valet parking” and satellite locations for the fishing tournament (Haven Creek boat launch) and canoe, kayak and stand-up paddle races (Lakewood Park), the bustling day will showcase a restoration plan to be presented by community partners on April 27 to make the Lafayette branch of the Elizabeth safe again for swimming and eating oysters by 2014.
Fleta Jackson of the City of Norfolk serves as event chairperson. “I’m especially excited about the childrens’ activities that we have lined up – everything from a Scoop the Poop relay race to dog parades and children’s ecoart,” said Jackson.
Christy Everett, Hampton Roads director for Chesapeake Bay Foundation, said her organization will be on hand to offer free canoe trips and workboat trips to demonstrate the come-back already underway for the Norfolk oyster, through means such as innovative “reef balls” that the foundation began using on the Lafayette last year. “It’s very encouraging to see the amazing results so far,” Everett said.
Both the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and Elizabeth River Project will dock signature environmental education vessels at the festival site.
The Elizabeth River Project’s Learning Barge – 120′ by 32′ – arrives late this week to dock on the Lafayette branch of the Elizabeth for the first time, and will remain docked there through June for student field trips.
Elizabeth River Project also will debut a new program at the festival, River Star Homes. Patterned after Elizabeth River Project’s successful River Star Businesses and River Star Schools programs, River Star Homes will recognize citizens with free yard flags when they agree to simple practices at home that help restore the river.

Lafayette RiverFest activities include:

Music (main festival site)

10 a.m.        The Delvers

Noon            Julie Clark

2:30              Zen Monkeys

Fishing (Haven Creek) with Tidewater Kayak Anglers Association

6:30 a.m.–noon             Catch and Release Tournament ($15)

Costumed Dog Parades (main festival site) Norfolk SPCA & Animal Management (River-related costumes)

11:30 a.m-noon

2-2:30 p.m.

Paddle Races (Lakewood Park) with Mid-Atlantic Paddlers Association

Advanced division – 6 miles

Recreational division — 1.5 miles

9 a.m. registration ($15)

Rain Barrel Workshop (main festival site) with Mike’s Rain Barrels

10:30-11:30 a.m. ($55, includes rain barrel)

Limited Space — Pre-registration required by calling 441.1347

Free on the Water

All Day — Learning Barge ERP (main festival site)

11 a.m. and 2 p.m. – Canoe Trips (main festival site) CBF

2  p.m. – CBF education vessel Bea Hayman Clark (main festival site)

Pre-registration required for CBF trips online at rsvp@cbf.org or 622-1964

1 p.m. – Kayak Tours (Haven Creek) City of Norfolk

Other Events

 Scoop-the-Poop Relay Race

 Original River Art for Sale (local artists)

 Green Gardening Education (Hermitage Museum and Gardens and partners)

 Build a Buoy (NOAA)

 My Flush Counts (HRSD)

 Booksigning with Mike D’Orso

Co-author with Ted Danson of OCEANA: Our Endangered Oceans and What We can Do To Save Them

 Children’s Art & Games

 Fresh Local Fare

The rain date is Sun., May 1, 12 – 4 pm. Full information: www.elizabethriver.org.


Norfolk’s 2012 Budget Proposal gives Wards Corner $1,000,000

April 27, 2011

The City of Norfolk Proposed Operating and Capital Improvement Budget was presented by the City Manager to City Council on April 26.  The proposed Budget can be found on the City’s website, here.

The proposal includes $1,000,000 to be used in the implementation of the Wards Corner Neighborhood Plan.  The project description states:

Provide funds to improve the residential and business areas of Wards Corner consistent with the Neighborhood Plan. Land Acquisition of blighted property from willing sellers will be pursued based on prioritizing areas in a strategic manner.

The budget (2010) allocated $1,010,000 to the Wards Corner Neighborhood Plan and proposed $1,000,000 for 2011.  The 2011 budget allocated $1,767,500 and proposed $1,000,000 for 2012.

Notably, the 2012 proposal includes a proposed future allocation of $1,000,000 in 2013 after which the funding dries up.  The 2011 budget proposed $1,000,000 each year through 2015.

2012 Proposed Budget for Wards Corner Neighborhood Plan

2012 Proposed Budget for Wards Corner Neighborhood Plan

2011 Budget Proposal for Wards Corner Neighborhood Plan

2011 Budget Proposal for Wards Corner Neighborhood Plan

Talbot Hall Task Force Report Released

April 26, 2011

The following is taken from the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia’s website.

The Talbot Hall Task Force, charged by Bishop Hollerith to receive and recommend proposals regarding the future of Talbot Hall, has completed its work and reported its recommendations to the diocesan Property Committee.

Recognizing that the property is an extraordinary gift from God through the generosity of the Talbot family, the Task Force committed itself to an exhaustive review of any options that would allow the diocese to retain ownership of the property. The Task Force was also sensitive to the fact that the property has historic and environmental value that should remain intact. Of the proposals received, the Task Force recommended that the Property Committee consider two program ideas that were consistent with the diocesan mission and also had the potential to be financially sustainable: (1) Event Rental Facility and (2) Environmental Center/Sailing Center. Either of these proposals could involve the diocese retaining ownership of the property or establishing a charitable foundation to which the property would be transferred. The full report of the Task Force is available HERE. The Task Force did not address and made no recommendations regarding the location of the bishop’s office and diocesan administrative offices which are currently located on the Talbot Hall property.

The report of the Task Force is just the beginning of a process to determine the future of the Talbot Hall property. The next step in this process will be for the diocesan Property Committee to review the report and make a recommendation to the Executive Board of the diocese. “I am deeply thankful for the hard work of the Talbot Hall Task Force, especially their chairman the Rev. Stan Sawyer,” said Bishop Hollerith. “It is clear they worked long and hard to present viable ideas for this unique property.”

Serve the City – Norfolk

April 13, 2011

Serve the City – Norfolk is looking for community service projects in and around the Wards Corner Area.  See the email below received from Bridget Powell.

Coming to the neighborhood: Serve the City 2011, May 21-22!
Needed: your ideas for projects…
Background: Serve the City Norfolk is a service project which involves several area churches. We
recruit volunteers from the church and all over the community to complete service projects. Many last
just the duration of the weekend, while others become enduring relationships for continued assistance.
Last note: I want to emphasize two things–one, we are looking for projects and ways we can serve
and two, while we are a faith-based movement, this isn’t about going in to these projects with anything
other than a desire to show God’s love in practical ways.
I look forward to answering any questions you might have, and serving you if the opportunity arises! I
can be reached at projects@servethecitynorfolk.com
Thank you!
Bridget Powell

WCN Meeting Saturday at 8:30 am

April 12, 2011


1. Development

2. Possible new bar/restaurant

Please attend the Wards Corner Now meeting this Saturday at 8:30am at the Fitness and Wellness Center.

%d bloggers like this: