NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Garage sales, tree planting and more happening around Salem in May

Neighborhood News is a monthly Salem Reporter feature intended to highlight news or issues of concern to each Salem neighborhood association. Read previous editions 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, neighborhood concerns, upcoming activities or anything else of interest. Submissions are lightly edited for style and clarity.

Grant Neighborhood Association

Our annual general membership meeting and potluck was held on May 2. Over 30 neighbors and friends joined in the proceedings, the one time of year when all GNA members present may vote on important decisions including board elections and bylaw changes.

Here is an overview of the agenda from that meeting. For more details, the full, approved minutes will be available after the June 6 meeting.

GREAT GRANT STORIES: Parrish Middle School track team; anti-tagging fence painting; Envirothon Environmental Competition at North Salem High; future discounts for GNA members at Super Stop Market. 

NEIGHBOR CONCERNS: Trash bin thefts; drug paraphernalia; condemned property; ongoing yard sale. 

BYLAWS: A version of the revised bylaws was adopted that includes a stipulation that members be at least 18 years old. 

BOARD ELECTIONS: All current sitting board members were voted back in with two new members added.

REVENUE TASK FORCE: Councilor Virginia Stapleton reported on public input on generating needed revenue for city services, including town hall meetings and surveys. 

OUTREACH: Community engagement questionnaires; Annual NEN-GNA Clean-up event on May 18; Saturday Market booth June 29 and July 27: proceeding with street painting application and release of funding approved.

LAND USE: Cannery Project presentation will be re-scheduled; proposed city code changes about land use call-ups by NA’s explained

NORTH NEIGHBORHOODS:  May 8 Community Partnership Team meeting.

For more information about GNA, and to sign up for the monthly newsletter visit or send us an email at [email protected]  Our next meeting will be June 6 at 6:15 p.m. at Broadway Commons and via Zoom. See website for link.

Submitted by Susan Napack, vice chair

Highland Neighborhood Association

As the warmer weather arrives, the Highland Neighborhood Association is excited to bring our community together through vibrant outdoor events. We look forward to sharing laughter, music, and great finds under the sun!

We are thrilled to announce our 2nd Annual Neighborhood Garage Sale on June 8th, in partnership with Grant Neighborhood Association. Discover treasures old and new as you wander through our neighborhoods. From vintage finds to home essentials, there’s something for everyone. Interested in selling? There’s no need for advance registration, but if you would like your sale featured on a map we will be putting out in advance, please fill out this form.

On June 21, let the music play! Celebrate Make Music Day with us at Highland Park. This international music celebration brings people together through the power of music. We’re calling all local musicians —bands, solo artists, instrumentalists — to join us and fill our park with music. If you’re interested in performing, please email us at [email protected]. We are also looking for volunteers to help organize the day’s events, so if you’d like to be involved, we’d love to have you join us.

Don’t miss this opportunity to connect with your neighbors and make some wonderful memories. Whether you’re a bargain hunter, a music enthusiast, or just looking to enjoy a lovely day out, Highland’s weekend events are the perfect destination. See you there!

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram, or register for our newsletter to stay updated!

Submitted by Ryan Erickson-Kulas, secretary-treasurer

Northeast Neighbors

Englewood Park Native Plant Pollinator Garden

After seven years of work clearing ivy and blackberry and planting involving hundreds of people of all ages, this spring has been beautiful in the garden. We are grateful for the support as we continue to work on improving the park and garden. In time, plantings will continue to fill in. There are many nesting birds in the park and close to 100 birds have been observed in the park. If you would like a tour of the garden to learn how you might add natives to your porch or garden, please let us know.

A mosaic from Englewood Park’s pollinator garden (Courtesy/Lynn Takata)

NEN / Grant Annual Neighborhood Cleanup

Saturday, May 18, from 9 a.m. to noon, in the east parking lot across from Salem First Church of the Nazarene.

For residents of NEN and Grant Neighborhood Association: please bring an ID.

Almost half of what we collect is recycled including tires, electronics, bicycles, metal, some appliances as well as usable items for our “free table”. 

Please check our website for items we do and don’t accept and more information. 

Assistance in picking up items in NEN for seniors and disabled residents may be available. For more information: or email [email protected]

(Submitted by Lynn Takata.)

NEN Participation in Restoring Funding to Graffiti Abatement, Splash Pads, and Drinking Fountains

NEN testified at the City Budget Committee in May to reinstate the graffiti abatement team position that had been cut in February by the City Council.  Many thanks to NEN residents and children from Englewood Elementary who wrote letters to the city advocating for splash pads and drinking fountains to be turned on as well as restoring proposed maintenance cuts to the park budget. Many in our community advocated for the library. 

Participation did make a difference! Council will meet to confirm the Budget Committee’s recommendations.

May 18 Mission Lee Cemetery Cleanup

A cleanup of the historic cemetery at 2098 D St. NE will take place on Saturday, May 18 from 9 am to noon. Please bring pruning tools or rakes if you have them and gloves.

Contact Blake Ritz at [email protected] or at 541-968-9197 for more information.

Submitted by Lynn Takata, chair

Northgate Neighborhood Association

On Friday, April 26, there was a tree planting ceremony sponsored by AAUW Salem Branch to celebrate Earth Day at Stephens-Yoshikai School Park, 4962 Hayesville Dr. N.E. 

Peggy Shippen, branch public policy chair led this successful event. Claudia Carmichael, AAUW Salem branch president, started it off with a welcome and donor & participant tribute speech. Micki Varney, city councilor from West Salem, also participated and spoke about how she started as a youngster to care for trees and gave the history of Earth Day.  This was followed by a poem written by Kaethe Mentrum. I wish to share this simple poem as I was told it helps to de-stress people if one focuses while reading it.

Hello Tree

Hello Tree

I came to see you again

Thank you for the shelter

From heaven’s endless tears

And for guarding me 

from the wicked wind…

I like you when you chatter

With some help from a breeze

And for gently allowing a sanctuary

Of rest and nest place

In your arms

For birds of all kinds

For giving us good air

And for letting the sun’s rays


To touch

Earth and me

-Kaethe Mentrum  

We met a neighbor, Pamela Lindley, who will be coordinating to get a petition signed from those who live near this park to obtain a bench through a possible grant so that people with physical disability may have easy access and be able to sit and enjoy this park in the future. 

AAUW Salem Branch Tree Planting Ceremony was held in collaboration with the City of Salem Parks & Recreation Department and Northgate Neighborhood Association.

Salem Parks & Recreation provided all planting equipment and planting instructions. Parks crew under the supervision of Milan will be tending the trees for all of their needs- including watering- all year long!

People braved that cold, windy and drizzly morning. To compensate, tasty refreshments were served. Although it was drizzling, the participants took that as a perfect opportunity for the saplings to get plenty of moisture to help grow their new roots.

This tree planting project, AAUW Salem’s first climate-related project, began in 2023 because members expressed an interest in taking action on adverse climate changes and support the City of Salem Climate Act Plan.

Peggy Shippen, AAUW Salem Branch Public Policy Chair In the middle is crew supervisor, Milan, giving instructions.

AAUW presented a plaque honoring donors and participants in this unique project. Peggy did the unveiling and read what was on the plaque. In an email, she stated because of the donor’s generosity, they have met their fundraising goal and were able to celebrate Earth Day by planting 38 trees last year and 32 this year, for a total of 70, at Stephens-Yoshikai School Park!

At left, Micki Varney, City Councilor of West Salem with Pamela Lindley, neighbor

-Submitted by Kaethe Mentrum, secretary and parks chair

South Central Association of Neighbors

SCAN is very excited to present Dr. David Lewis as the keynote speaker of our annual meeting. Join us at 6 p.m. Monday, June 10, at Pringle Community Hall, 606 Church Street S.E. to learn about the Indigenous history of our community! Dr. David Lewis is an associate professor of anthropology and Indigenous studies at Oregon State University. Dr. Lewis’s research specializes in the history of Kalapuyans and other western Oregon tribes. Dr. Lewis is the author of “Tribal Histories of the Willamette Valley” and will have copies of his book available for purchase -please bring cash or check. 

If you live, work, rent or own property in SCAN, or are part of a nonprofit organization, school, or faith based organization in SCAN, we want YOU to join the SCAN board. We have five openings for community members interested in volunteering one evening per month to help our neighborhood thrive. Please visit to let us know if you would like to be involved!

You asked, and we have delivered. Neighbors can now sign up for email alerts from SCAN!

We’re starting out by sharing our monthly agenda, minutes from past meetings, and an e-newsletter. Visit our website, facebook, or Instagram –, and @scansalemofficial – to let us know what other alerts you would like to see in your inbox regularly.

Submitted by Evan West, vice president

South Gateway Neighborhood Association

If you live (or work) south of Kuebler between Liberty and Interstate 5 in Salem you are a member of the South Gateway Neighborhood Association.

Would you like to make things better for our community or just curious what is happening in our neighborhood?

Come join us on Thursday, June 13, at 6:30 p.m. The meeting is hybrid so you can attend in person or over Zoom.

For those wanting to attend over Zoom:

Meeting Link:

Meeting ID: 826 3718 2783

Passcode: 251748

For those wanting to attend in person:

Baxter Community Hall

1780 Baxter Road SE, Salem, OR 97306

Please park in the parking lot south of the building. Parking off of Baxter is reserved for those with accessibility challenges.

Sumpter Annual Neighborhood Garage Sale

Join us for the Sumpter Annual Neighborhood Garage Sale taking place on June 21, 22, and 23 this year.

If you reside south of Kuebler (between Liberty and Sunnyside) and north of Mildred, you can register to host a garage sale and be featured on the official Sumpter Annual Garage Sale map. 

Sign up using this link to participate in the neighborhood sales.

Please note that only addresses within the specified boundaries will be added to the map.

Even if you’re outside the map area, feel free to host a garage sale on these dates and use effective signage to attract visitors to your sale.

Everyone else is welcome to come shopping! There are over a hundred sales in one area, everything from tools to sports equipment to furniture to clothing to decor, the sky is the limit! 

Neighborhood kitten Natasha is excited about the upcoming Sumpter Annual Garage Sale (Courtesy/Dynee Medlock)

-Submitted by Dynee Medlock, co-chair

West Salem Neighborhood Association

WSNA wants to extend an overdue thank you to West Salem Roth’s. Over the years, Roth’s has offered up a meeting room to WSNA and the citizens of West Salem. Because of their support, we’ve been able to gather monthly to help grow and sustain our neighborhood. Here’s to you Roth’s! Thank you from all of us in WS! 

In case you’ve missed the signs dotting our roadways, we are in the middle of an election year. WSNA invited candidates for Mayor and City Council (Ward 1), to address issues facing the city and WS community. You can find their responses at our website at

WSNA held our April executive meeting at Walery’s Pizza in Edgewater. Thank you to Walery’s for hosting us! We covered many topics, including a review of our goals set last year. Progress has been made in our communication efforts and membership attendance numbers, but there’s still room for improvement. View the results on our website at

May 2 General Meeting: WSNA is in the process of updating its bylaws. A short presentation was given to outline the proposed edits. Most are clarification and structural edits to provide ease of use. One exciting new proposal is the inclusion of an “Associate Membership.” Recognizing the energy and insight of our younger citizens, WSNA hopes the inclusion of them as members will encourage their voices and involvement in the community. If you’re interested in reading about this and the other proposed edits, you’ll find them on our website. Submit any comments at [email protected].

The CPR training we hoped to offer in June has been postponed. We’re working with the city to iron out logistical issues and hope to offer it again in September. 

Eola Ridge Park in west Salem (Courtesy/Mo Zwicker)

The Salem Parks Foundation SPF grant cycle is here. Parks Chair Pamela Garland submitted two applications for Eola Ridge Park. One for a canopy over the picnic tables in the center of the park, and the other for a play structure that’s suitable for toddlers and small children. A third application was submitted for the West Salem Park, also for a toddler size play structure. Quick reminder for all you bird lovers: Salem Seekers is back, so keep your peepers open for upcoming news! 

 Upcoming Meetings:

  • June 6: 6:30 p.m. at Roth’s in west Salem. 
  • July: No meeting. Look for us at Neighborhood Night Out!

For all the latest and greatest neighborhood news, visit our website at: 

-Submitted by Mo Zwicker, communications chair

Our next edition of Neighborhood News will run in mid-June. Submissions must be received by Monday, June 10 to be included.

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

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