NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: New park equipment, murals and other news around Salem neighborhoods for June 2024

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

Big news in Grant! 

Two summers ago, Grant neighbors collaborated with the city to form the Salem Street Painting Program and painted “Cherry Blossoms” at the intersection of Cottage & Belmont Streets. We are excited to announce that our 2023-24 GNA goal to do another painting will be happen this July with “Grant Roundabouts!”

WHERE: The two roundabouts on Hood Street at Winter & at Cottage Streets

WHEN: July 4, 5, 6 and 7 at 9 a.m. -12 p.m. each day

WHAT: The designs are bright concentric circles, to complement the shape of the roundabouts and to allude to bicycle wheels. The Winter Street location is on the Neighborhood Greenway and Scenic Bikeway that winds through Grant. The location is a neighborhood hub, adjacent to the school and the park.

“Cherry Blossoms”, was the first street painting in Salem, completed by Grant Neighborhood in 2022. A new painting project, “Grant Roundabouts” will take place near Grant Park this July 4 -7th culminating with a block party there on the 7th.

Through the generosity of funds granted from Travel Salem and The City of Salem, we will be able to paint and to also celebrate the completion of the painting with a BLOCK PARTY!

WHERE: Grant Park

WHEN: Sunday, July 7, 2-5 p.m.

WHAT: Kid activities, potluck, fun, fun, fun 

Stop by GNA’s Salem Saturday Market booth # N13, straight up the Winter Street entrance, on June 29 to learn more and/or visit where you can sign up for our monthly newsletter.

The next GNA board meeting will be Aug. 1 at 6:15 p.m. at Broadway Commons and via Zoom. See website for agenda and link. Our email is: [email protected]  

Submitted by Susan Napack, vice chair

Highland Neighborhood Association

The Highland Neighborhood Association invites you to our next monthly meeting on Thursday, June 13, at 6:30 p.m., at the North Neighbors Resource Center (945 Columbia St. N.E., Salem). You can also join us virtually via Zoom.

Our agenda includes voting on endorsing Quiet Clean Salem’s mission to phase out gas-powered leaf blowers in Salem. You can review the proposed language for this endorsement in advance here. Note there will be no meeting in July, but we will reconvene in August. We look forward to seeing you on June 13 and continuing our efforts to make Highland a wonderful place to live.

We are thrilled to announce Roy Houck Construction LLC has been awarded the contract for the Northeast Broadway Street and Northeast Locust Street pedestrian crossing improvements project. Starting Monday, June 3, 2024, through September 2024, this project will enhance our neighborhood’s safety and accessibility.

Improvements include a new pedestrian crossing, ADA-compliant curb ramps, a median island, and upgraded street lighting. These changes will make it safer and easier for everyone, especially those with mobility challenges. During construction, traffic control measures, including lane shifts and pedestrian detours, will be in place. Please use caution, expect minor delays, and follow all traffic signage to ensure safety.

We are excited about these improvements and the positive impact they will have on our community. Let’s look forward to a safer, more accessible Highland neighborhood!

Submitted by Ryan Erickson-Kulas, secretary-treasurer

Morningside Neighborhood Association

Join us for the Morningside Neighborhood Association Annual Open House Meeting on Wednesday, June 12, 2024 at 6:30 p.m. 

This free, family-friendly event is an excellent opportunity for neighbors and local businesses to connect with each other, city of Salem officials, police, traffic, parks, and local businesses. Raffle drawings from local businesses will be held, and light refreshments will be served. This meeting will provide insight into the MNA’s contributions to the community and offer a chance to learn more about your neighborhood. The meeting will be held at Morningside United Methodist Church, located at 3674 12th St. S.E. in Salem.

-Submitted by Jenny Hiatt, communication chair

North Lancaster Neighborhood Association

NOLA will be hosting a community event this August.  Night AFTER National Night Out will be at McKay Park on Wednesday, Aug. 7, from 6-8 p.m. 

There will be many community organizations represented providing resources, information and giveaways to attendees. The Oregon State Fair will be giving away free fair admission tickets. We will also have music and dance performances from local cultural groups representing our communities diversity.  All are welcome!

We are still looking for food truck vendors who would be interested in being a part of our event.  

For anyone interested in having booth space for their organization, please reach out to the event organizer. Event organizer: Deanna Garcia [email protected]

-Submitted by Deanna Garcia, chair

Northeast Neighbors

Northeast Neighbors have raised concerns about the proposed removal of this sequoia tree for an affordable housing development (Courtesy/Lynn Takata)

Send comments on the proposed affordable housing project on Center Street west of Northeast 23rd Street. NE. Green Light Development committed to saving this 80” diameter sequoia. NEN will object to the developer’s request to have a variance which would not follow the city’s code to protect this tree and several others.

Eighty-five percent of the trees on site will be removed. Neighbors want this huge tree to be preserved along with several others. Construction of more than 50% under the critical root zone of the tree will put the tree at greater risk of not surviving.

Please submit comments on this tree and other concerns about this affordable housing project on Center St. west of 23rd St. N.E. to: Aaron Panko [email protected] by Friday, June 14, at 5 p.m. to preserve your ability to participate in the process. Other concerns have included flooding impacting adjacent businesses.

Submitted by Lynn Takata, chair

Northgate Neighborhood Association

As lead artist, I have been very busy working on the art mural for Northgate Park to help beautify the park. The theme is Northwest Wildlife in the spring. Springtime is when many wild animals have their young and it is a time of hope.

I have been fortunate to have four supporting artists which include my husband as well as three other lady artists who have been coming to help with the artwork. One of them is pictured here, Leslye Garcia, a cheerful and charming person as well as very family oriented. After her little daughter went home with her mom, Leslye told me her daughter was so inspired she wanted to do some painting herself. 

I was too wrapped up in the art to take other artists’ pictures for this June 10th article, however, I intend to snap some shots of the others for the forthcoming one. The other two supporting artists are Veronica Aguilar, who is also the lovely wife of Amador Aguilar. She is our butterfly expert because of her love for Monarch Butterflies. Our kind and diligent neighbor, Diane Crawford, had implied she wanted to help because she always loved to paint as a child, and she is quickly improving each time she holds a brush in her hand.

Leslye Garcia works on a mural for Northgate Park (Courtesy/Kaethe Mentrum)

 I am also disclosing one photo of the mural painted on a 4 feet High x 8 feet Wide panel, to show an example.

We hope to complete 30 panels in total. So far, we have finished 18 of them. There is no time limit, but we are focusing on completing them as soon as possible, and prodding along at a good pace. Stay tuned for another disclosure of a completed version and I personally wish to thank Salem’s city parks for giving us the opportunity to make this happen.

-Submitted by Kaethe Mentrum, secretary and parks chair

South Central Association of Neighbors

SCAN is very excited to present David Lewis as the keynote speaker of our annual meeting. Join us at 6 p.m., Wednesday, June 12, at Pringle Community Hall, 606 Church Street S.E. to learn about the Indigenous history of our community!

Lewis is an associate professor of anthropology and Indigenous studies at Oregon State University. Lewis’s research specializes in the history of Kalapuyanms and other Western Oregon tribes. 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.

Also at this meeting we will vote in new board members. We have five openings for community members interested in volunteering one evening per month to help our neighborhood thrive. We look forward to seeing you there. 

June 15 is a tea open house event for Minto Island Growers. Visit their website for more information:

Submitted by Evan West, vice president

Southeast Salem Neighborhood Association

Sit ups with SESNA

SESNA’s “three-person combo” fitness station has been installed at Richmond School Park! You’ll see it from the Simpson Street entrance. Thanks to Parks Foundation and Salem Parks Improvement Fund grants, this multi-generational equipment is open to all.  Scan the QR code there to get full instructions, with brief tips attached to equipment.

New fitness equipment installed at Richmond City Park (Courtesy/Shannon Priem)

The website has resources, news, stories and SESNA details here.  Meetings are every fourth Tuesday. Summer in the Park meetings are June 25 at Aldrich Park; July 23 at Lee Park and Aug. 27 at Richmond ParK. All at 6:30 p.m. Bring a chair. We are recruiting board members to help us increase safety, livability and beauty in this historic neighborhood. We help neighbors connect with answers and resources. 

-Submitted by Shannon Priem, chair

South Gateway Neighborhood Association

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

Upcoming Events

South Gateway Neighborhood Meeting 

Thursday, June 13th

6:30-8 p.m.

Come meet your neighbors and find out what is happening in our neighborhood. 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 S.E., Salem, OR 97306

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

Rees Park Playground Party

Tuesday, June 18th 

11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. 

Come celebrate the new playground equipment at Rees Park!

There will be popcorn, snow cones and a ribbon cutting ceremony.

Neighborhood Garage Sales

June 21, 22, and 23

Do you want to host a garage sale?

If you reside south of Kuebler (between Liberty and Sunnyside) or 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: Garage Sale Registration Form.

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! 

SGNA residents Dynee and Kiana enjoy some summer weather

-Submitted by Dynee Medlock, co-chair

West Salem Neighborhood Association

Meeting News: In our June meeting, we addressed and adopted the newly proposed WSNA bylaws, now posted at: We also voted in favor of spending available engagement funds to help promote the NA to the community. Some of the funds will go to the redesign of the website, WSNA business cards, a table and banner to be used to promote WSNA at local events, and gift cards to be used in drawings at monthly NA meetings. 

Neighbors near Chapman Hill Elementary School asked the NA for assistance on a street safety issue. Chair Mike Freitas is reaching out to the city regarding their request.  For information on the Neighborhood Traffic Management Plan process go here

Parks: Two grant applications were submitted to Salem Parks Foundation on behalf of WSNA. One is for the installation of a park bench in Ellen Lane Park, and the second is for $6,000 to be allocated towards the restoration and updating of playground equipment in West Salem Park. The park is in an active neighborhood with lots of young and growing families. The existing playground equipment is geared towards children over five. The goal is to redesign the playground, recognizing the safety and recreational needs of children of all ages. If accepted, WSNA will apply for additional funding from the Salem Parks Improvement Funds grant and collaborate with Salem Parks and Recreation staff to develop a plan for implementation. 

Events: The annual National Night Out event is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 6. National Night Out celebrates the partnership between residents and the police department and our combined efforts to make our neighborhoods safer and better places to live. WSNA will be attending as many of the WS events as possible. Board members will be wearing identification and welcome your comments and questions.

Committees: In an effort to engage more fully in our community, we’re launching a new Community Engagement Committee. The goal is to bring neighbors together in order to support, grow, and connect with our neighborhood as it evolves. We’re excited about this venture and invite you to join us. If you are interested, please email us at [email protected].  

Upcoming Meetings:  

  • August 1st : 6:30 at Roths. Accessible by stairs and elevator. Nominations for WSNA officers begin and are accepted throughout the month of August. 

Our next edition of Neighborhood News will run the second week of July. Submissions must be received by Monday, July 8, to be included.

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

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