NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: What’s happening around Salem in October

Neighborhood News is a monthly Salem Reporter feature intended to highlight news or issues of concern to each neighborhood association. Read our first installment from September here.

Salem is divided into 17 neighborhood associations that meet monthly. They serve as a conduit to city officials for things like park improvements, road projects and planning and building. Learn more and find your association here.

Leaders of each association are invited to submit a brief news item or report highlighting the association’s work, upcoming activities or anything else of interest.

Grant Neighborhood Association

Thanks to city council and city staff, Grant Neighborhood now has heritage neighborhood street sign toppers throughout all of the 5 sections of Grant. 

Nearly all of the homes and buildings in Grant Neighborhood date from between 1900 and 1940 — earning Grant the first Heritage Neighborhood designation from the City of Salem Historic Landmarks Commission. 

The signs add to the historic feel of the neighborhood and symbolize the pride we take in our unique community. The addition of more signs contribute to the Neighborhood Association’s goal of reaching out to areas that are less represented at our meetings.

A heritage sign topper in Salem’s Grant neighborhood.

Highland Neighborhood Association

It’s that time of year when the Highland neighborhood transforms into a hauntingly delightful spectacle, and we want you to be a part of the spine-tingling magic. Get ready for our 3rd annual Highland Neighborhood Halloween Decoration Contest, where you can turn your home into a wicked work of art and win exciting prizes.

You can nominate your own home or your neighbors’ spine-chilling setups to compete for top honors. Submit nominations on our Facebook page (Highland Neighbors) or email [email protected] by Oct. 16, 2023, to be part of the contest. All nominations must include a picture and the house address. From Oct. 17- 25, cast your votes on our Facebook page for your favorite decorations and help decide this year’s winners. We’ll announce the 2 top winners on October 26 and they will receive a gift card to Paddington’s Pizza! Let’s make this Halloween the spookiest ever!

Please be sure to attend our monthly Highland Neighborhood Association meetings on second Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m. The meetings take place at the North Neighbors Resource Center, situated at 945 Columbia St N.E., Salem. These meetings provide a valuable opportunity to stay informed about neighborhood developments, voice your opinions, and actively participate in decisions that shape Highland. 

All residents are encouraged to attend and help make Highland Neighborhood an even better place to live. You can even attend via Zoom! For more information, please contact [email protected].

Morningside Neighborhood Association

Fairview Community Park will be a new park southeast of downtown Salem and southwest of the Salem Municipal Airport. The park site includes large mature trees that were planted in early 1900’s when the Fairview Training Center was originally developed.

Thanks to all the work and collaboration among staff, community and other partners, Morningside Neighborhood has a unique opportunity to share the Fairview Training Center legacy. They adopted the concept of a “history plaza” as an ideal venue for providing information about those who lived in Fairview area as native residents, homesteaders.

From 1908- 2000 the Fairview Training Center staff and those they served for nearly a century was once the largest public institution in Oregon. Fairview Training Center was closed on March 1, 2000. The extensive campus included numerous buildings, roads and trails. Some of the buildings are still standing today. A Women’s Wellness Center is planned for the former laundry building from 1946 era and Pringle Creek Community has some old structures too.

Currently Salem’s Parks Planning team are preparing to make improvements to establish the new 30-acre community park. Their first step is to refine the 2016 Fairview Park Master Plan. The new plan should include: 

  • History Plaza – interpretive panels (Fairview/Native Americans)
  • Historic elements preserved from site deconstruction
  • Identification and dedication of state heritage trees
  • Network of linked trails, parks and open spaces
  • Preservation or improvement of natural resources, including trees, wetlands and riparian corridors.

How you can help?

The city would like to know what park improvements community members would like to see and their priorities. This will inform which park facilities are included in the first phase of park development.City of Salem will be reaching out to the community soon – starting in October. Participation opportunities will include pop-up events and online surveys. Anyone who would like to participate in the planning process can sign up for email updates:

Northeast Neighbors

A new affordable housing development on Northeast 23rd Street between Northeast D and Center streets scheduled to begin construction next summer. The 130-155 unit development is being designed primarily for families.

A new affordable housing development site is planned in northeast Salem.

Your ideas for park improvements at McRae and Englewood Parks are welcome! There are proposals for a soccer goal at McRae and to create a tiny camas meadow in Englewood near the 6000 square foot Pollinator Garden in Salem’s first park. NEN will apply for grant funding from the Salem Parks Improvement Fund from the city.

Flowers planted by neighbors with NEN at McRae Park (Courtesy/Lynn Takata)

NEN’s Adopt-A-Street Cleanup for the 12th St. Promenade is on Saturday, Oct. 14 from 9 a.m. to about 10 a.m. Volunteers can meet at the Center Street Safeway parking lot. Gloves, garbage bags, and grab tools will be provided. Please contact Nick Cantonwine by emailing [email protected] if you have any questions. We would appreciate your help in keeping our neighborhood clean. It’s a good time to and connect with your neighbors.

Trash from an alley in NEN that has been cleaned up (Courtesy/Lynn Takata)

Help make Englewood Park even more beautiful! On Friday, Nov. 10 from 9 a.m. to noon, please join us at our family-friendly activity in historic Englewood Park’s Pollinator Garden. We will be planting hundreds of native plants and flowering bulbs, a continuation of work in the park NEN has led in partnership with the city over the last 7 years. Englewood is an historic gem in Salem and will be 100 years old in 2025.  Please dress for the weather. Light snacks provided. Contact [email protected] so we have tools for you or just stop by for an hour or more.

Please share any ideas or concerns at our meeting or via email at [email protected]. We may not have time to fully address concerns at every meeting welcome your input. We can add a topic to a future agenda.

NEN’s Annual Meeting and Board Election will be on Tues., Nov. 14. If you might be interested in running to be on the NEN board and/or serving on a committee, please let us know so we can add your name to the ballot. 

Northgate Neighborhood Association

A lot of foot work had to be made by Kaethe Mentrum of Northgate Neighborhood Association before the art mural at Hood View Park came to fruition of Phase I, or the first, long fence. The hurdles were, for example, approvals from City Parks as well as fence owner, having the association vote so the lead artist she selected, Brigitte Miller, could get good funding for supplies, getting the fence power washed by city parks and more.

Around middle to the end of June, the fence started to transform into beautiful art covering over graffiti. If you go in from the north entry on Kale Street, look at the left side. You will see different scenes usually finished at the end of the day, about 20 feet at a time. Kaethe arranged all this to happen and also an artist herself, participated along with others who worked very hard, racing with time as the paint had to be dried by the end of the day when anti-graffiti sealant was applied. Each scene was accomplished following the Northwest in the Spring theme. 

A mural in Hoodview Park in northeast Salem was completed along an initial section of fence in fall 2023 with help from the Northgate Neighborhood Association (Courtesy/Salem Neighborhood Services)

While painting, many passersby would stop to admire and thank the artists for changing a once drab park from graffiti into one with vibrant colors bringing life and interest to those who came by. The artists painting were brought together, the community became one as they talked amongst each other and we could say a true community engagement continues to take place. Brigitte told Kaethe a little boy came by and kissed a painted butterfly on the fence, a couple of real hummingbirds came by to check on the painted hummingbird and wild flowers. They thought the paintings were real.

Kaethe believes the money from the Community Engagement fund was well spent. Another good deed by Northgate Neighborhood Association, a very active group of people who continuously work to improve the lives of others and bring happiness to those visiting this now transformed park.

Southwest Association of Neighbors

South Salem Town Hall is coming on November 7.

This is a unique opportunity for South Salem neighbors to visit with their City Councilor.

Councilor Vanessa Nordyke, Ward 7, Councilor Linda Nishioka, Ward 2 and Councilor Deanna Gwyn, Ward 4 will be hosting a town hall style meeting in conjunction with the Southwest Association of Neighbors. The meeting will be held at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 3737 Liberty Rd S., at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 7 and will take place prior to the regular SWAN neighborhood meeting, which will follow at 7 p.m.

This is a chance to meet your city councilor, learn what is being done to make Salem a great place to live and bring any city concerns you may have directly to them.

Pizza and snacks may be served.

West Salem Neighborhood Association

We had a packed house for our Oct. 5 meeting! First on the agenda was the election and confirmation of the 2023-2024 board. Officers are elected, and committee chairs are appointed each year. All serve a one-year term that commences immediately upon tallying the votes. Congratulations and thank you to our 2023-24 WSNA board:


  • Chair: Michael Freitas
  • Vice Chair: Sara Campos
  • Secretary: Drew Strayer
  • Treasurer: Beverly Freitas

Committee Chairs

  • Welcoming: Robert Garcia
  • Communications: Maureen Zwicker
  • Parks: Linda Bierley
  • Houseless: Drew Strayer
  • Transportation: Nick Fortey
  • Glenn and Gibson Creek Watershed: E.M. Easterly
  • Land Use: Steven Anderson

Aaron Kimsey and Tory Banford from the city public works department provided an update on the Northwest Second Street expansion project. The work is being completed in two phases: the first, finishing what can be done over the winter, the second starting next spring. The new road will provide better connectivity for commuters, while attracting more business to West Salem. The roads will be narrowed to provide traffic calming, allow for on-street parking, ADA ramps, curbs, sidewalks and crosswalks, new street lighting, and landscaping. Great renovation to our West Salem neighborhood!

Linda Bierley shared project ideas for the upcoming Salem Parks Improvement Fund park grants. A vote was held, and litter prevention prevailed! WSNA is requesting funds for garbage cans to be added next to the new picnic tables in Edgewater Park. A Letter of Intent will be submitted by Oct. 31.

Next meeting: Thursday, Nov. 2, 6:30 p.m. at Roth’s West Salem. We are excited to Welcome Mayor Chris Hoy as our guest speaker, and Mark Wardell, Team Lead for West Salem Community Emergency Response (CERT).  Looking forward to seeing you!

Our next edition of Neighborhood News will run in mid-November. Submissions must be received by 8 a.m. Monday, Nov. 13 to be included.

Contact Managing Editor Rachel Alexander with submissions or questions: [email protected].

STORY TIP OR IDEA? Send an email to Salem Reporter’s news team: [email protected].

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