NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS: Summer gatherings, a new street mural and more happening around Salem in July

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

We’ve been busy! We skipped a July meeting, but made up for it with creating Salem’s newest community public art project, the Hood Street Roundabouts. It was brushes and rollers down at around noon on Sunday July 7, after four days of priming and painting. then priming and painting again at the two traffic circles at Cottage and Winter on Hood Street. We made new friends, accomplished a common goal with our neighbors — and the results are stunning!

Motorists will encounter a burst of color as they navigate the roundabout on Northeast Hood Street at Cottage Street. (Grant Neighborhood Association photo)
Volunteers work on a new roundabout street painting at Northeast Hood Street at Winter Street. (Grant Neighborhood Association photo)
Motorists will encounter a burst of color as they navigate the roundabout on Northeast Hood Street at Cottage Street. Volunteers from the Grant Neighborhood Association on Sunday, July 7, completed painting two roundabouts, using 61 gallons of paint. (Grant Neighborhood Association photo)

Our supporters, City of Salem Neighborhood Services, City of Salem Public Works, and Travel Salem can’t be thanked enough, nor can the 40+ volunteers, adults and kids, who set up and took down our GNA canopy tent (x8), provided water and snacks, organized and supervised the process, and took up brushes and rollers to apply over 60 gallons of bright white primer and vibrant color to hot asphalt. 

We had to cancel the celebratory block party originally planned for the 7th because of the heatwave, but it’s just as well, because we are exhausted! Instead, we invite you to come see the street paintings and have fun in Grant Park on National Night Out, Aug. 6, from 6-9pm. There will be a bounce house, button making, and face painting (all local vendors), as well as representation from Salem Bike Vision to recognize that our new painting is part of the Winter Street Scenic Bikeway. 

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 is pleased to announce several exciting updates and initiatives from our recent meetings. At our June meeting, the membership voted to endorse the mission of Quiet Clean Salem. This group advocates for alternatives to gas-powered leaf blowers, promoting battery-operated blowers and manual tools. Their mission encourages a healthier and simpler approach to lawn and garden care that reduces reliance on gas-powered equipment.

Following our May and June meetings, we are also happy to share the latest composition of our executive board. Our Chair, Leigh Tracey-Gaiynar, will serve until May 2025. Secretary Ryan Erickson-Kulas and Treasurer Celine Coleman will serve until May 2025 and May 2026, respectively. Our Executive Board at Large Members include Heather Ames, whose term ends in May 2025, and Holly Schiefelbein and Jes Poynter, whose terms end in May 2026.

Please note that there will be no HNA meeting in July. However, we invite you to join us on August 8 at 6:30 p.m. at our usual location, the North Neighbors Resource Center, 945 Columbia St. N.E. During this meeting, we will have guest presentations on the Goal 5 Riparian Corridor Project and the Oregon State Fair. Zoom attendance is also an option. We look forward to seeing you there and continuing our work to improve our community!

Submitted by Ryan Erickson-Kulas, secretary

North Lancaster Neighborhood Association

North Lancaster Neighborhood Association asks members of the community to be patient while local nonprofits and social service agencies are dispatched to encampments present in our area. Remember to use the city portal to report encampments; this continues to be the most effective way to connect houseless individuals to resources.

NOLA is hosting a community event next month. The Night After National Night Out will be held Wednesday, Aug. 7, at McKay Park. Join us for an evening with food, fun & activities!

-Submitted by Deanna Garcia, chair

Northeast Neighbors

Affordable Housing

Over the last 17 months, NEN has been communicating with Green Light Development regarding the family affordable housing project being planned in our neighborhood which we support. We are pleased that in response to letters from neighbors and our board that Green Light revised their plans to better protect an 80”diameter giant Sequoia tree and withdrew their request for a critical root zone variance.

Northeast Neighbors reached an agreement with housing developers to preserve this giant sequoia tree. (Courtesy/Lynn Takata)

The developer rerouted the sidewalk and removed parking spaces. We’re delighted this beautiful tree will be protected.

We are grateful that all units will include housing at 60% and 30% median household income.

In addition, the city and developer have worked together to plan a proposed flashing light beacon for the safety of pedestrians on Northeast D Street which is on a route to 3 nearby schools, one of our primary concerns.

NEN July 9 Meeting on Zoom

Due to the heat, the Dessert Potluck will be rescheduled to Sept. 10. Tuesday, July 9, we are meeting on Zoom. Learn about plans for Isaac’s Room youth to create a native riparian garden along Mill Creek on Center St. And an introduction to C.R.A.W.L., a shelter in our neighborhood that is doing great work utilizing a different approach with the Seed of Faith Ministry. Visit our new website for more information.

Englewood Forest Festival

We hope you will join us at the free 6th Annual Englewood Forest Festival on Saturday, Aug. 10, in beautiful historic Englewood Park. The festival has entertainment on two stages, 50 art vendors and dozens of family-friendly activities to inspire the future scientist. Activities include a free terrarium workshop sponsored by Green Space Design by Jude, a poetry workshop writing about nature with poet Frederick Livingston with the Institute for Applied Ecology, and a workshop by Corazón Handicrafts painting traditional Alebrijes animal sculptures.

Submitted by Lynn Takata, chair

Northgate Neighborhood Association

This association had the pleasure of hiring Pamela Garland of Salem Seekers who gave the surrounding residents of Hood View Park fun and, for some, a feeling of hope to look forward to finding glass birds hidden at the park’s various locations throughout the month of June.

Salem Seekers hid glass birds in Hoodview Park throughout the month of June. (Salem Seekers photo)

As we could not be there to observe the fun, Pamela kindly provided us with reactions she received with messages and photos. Please take a look.

“The tradition lives on thru the family! I found one last year at Northgate #115 and again tonight at Hoodview #140.”

“My daughter found one this morning. We’ve searched for glass balls in Lincoln City for years with no luck, so this was exciting. Thanks for the super fun adventure this morning!”

“I am so thrilled to have found #123! I’m from Nebraska and am traveling. I was really hoping to find one. It will travel the county with me. Thank you so much for such a fun and creative experience!”

“Me and my man camo found this beautiful bird # 127 at Hoodview park tonight. Here’s to positive changes!”

“My husband found this little gem yesterday at Hoodview park. Lucky #124! Thank you Salem Seekers (Pamela Garland) for bringing a little more sunshine into our lives! The colors are amazing!!”

“My friend and I found one yesterday. It was so wonderful! Also, even if we didn’t find one it was delightful to see a new (to us) park and walk around in the sunshine.”

“Great day at the park!! Hoodview Park in Salem! We found a handmade glass bird!!”

Salem Seekers hid glass birds in Hoodview Park throughout the month of June. (Salem Seekers photo)

“It was so much fun! We looked with our grandsons and they got to take one home!!”

“I’m so excited to get out outside and look this Year”

“Went seeking at lunch today with a coworker. Such a beautiful day to be out for lunch in the park! No luck finding a bird, but we’ll be back!”

“This looks like so much fun, as a geocacher I’m super excited to try this!!!!”

“I am so excited to get outside and use my bike and rack I never use. Thank you for such a fun reason to motivate me.”

“Finally! We looked all last summer and we finally found one today! Couldn’t be happier with the color too! Our dog pointed it out to us! We almost missed it!”

Giving the community so much fun is part of what we, as an association, like to do too. So, we greatly encourage other associations to contact Pamela at Salem Seekers and bring joy to your neighbors as they have brought to ours.

-Submitted by Kaethe Mentrum, secretary and parks chair

South Central Association of Neighbors

The July meeting of the South Central Association of Neighbors happens on Wednesday, July 10, at Pringle Community Hall. 606 Church Street S.E. at 6 p.m. Join us as we discuss neighborhood association business including officer elections, a potential review and update of our bylaws and more! 

There is always something happening in SCAN. Follow our instagram page @scansalemofficial and visit our website to keep up to date with events and activities!

  • Salem Pride Volleyball at Bush Park happens every Sunday in July 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. 
  • Salem Art Association Yoga in the Park Bush Park – July 11 & 25, 6-7 p.m.
  • Super Casual Saturday Salem Bike ride meets at the bottom of the Soap Box Derby track  at 11 a.m.

Submitted by Evan West, vice president

Southeast Salem Neighborhood Association

SESNA meets July 23 in Lee Park

SESNA holds its second “Meeting in the Park” at Lee Park, 2230 Lee St. S.E., on Tuesday, July 23, at 6:30 p.m. Cool refreshments provided. Bring a chair. 

Recent priorities:

  • We’re supporting a major environmental study of Mill Creek/Mill Race (think flood control, cleaner water, happier fish). 
  • Another focus: Creating interpretive displays about park wildlife in a new “Welcome to My Home” project. And, with key folks on committees, SESNA helps neighbors stay current on the airport expansion and land use applications. We take your concerns seriously and will connect you with answers or solutions when you attend!
  • Do neighbors still want a unique dog park under the ODOT bridge at 14th and Tripp streets? Plan is created but on hold due to lack of finding a sponsor organization, since neighborhood associations aren’t entities. 
  • Important update: We’re working with city Councilor Linda Nishioka to host a town hall this fall on an urgent issue – revenue! Mayor Chris Hoy will attend, plus a panel of experts and neighbors who’ve been working for months crafting solutions to Salem’s budget crisis. Something from this work will appear on the ballot. Details coming! 

Contact SESNA Chair Shannon Priem with questions, comments. [email protected]

-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 Activities and Events

Salem Park Splash Pads will be operating to help people beat the heat this summer! ☀️💦

Here is one in our neighborhood:

Wes Bennett Park

2200 Baxter Road S.E.

12-8 p.m. (7 days a week)


South Gateway Neighborhood Meeting 

This Thursday, July 11

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 Rd. S.E.

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


Salem Seekers (Treasure Hunt)

July 1-31

Bryan Johnston Park

400 Mildred Ln S.E., Salem, OR 97306

Salem Seekers secret hiders will be hiding beautiful glass birds in plain sight, on or near well established park pathways (never in trees or bushes) the entire month of July on random days and at random times! Just stop by when you can, and you might be lucky enough to find a treasure! 

*One per household, please!*

Please be respectful of the neighbors and the park. Leave things better than you found it and be considerate of others. 🐦

For updates check out Salem Seekers on Facebook.

The Salem Seeker event at Bryan Johnston Park is being held in memory of Jerry Sachtjen, his heart for community is missed, and his memory will be forever cherished.

The Salem Seekers event at Bryan Johnston Park is being held in memory of Jerry Sachtjen, his heart for community is missed, and his memory will be forever cherished. (Courtesy/South Gateway Neighborhood Association)

Please note that we will NOT have our regular meeting in August. 

Enjoy your summer break, and stay cool out there!

We look forward to seeing everyone refreshed and ready for our next meeting in September! 

-Submitted by Dynee Medlock, co-chair

Southwest Association of Neighbors

Candelaria Park Open House

On Sat., July 20, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. SWAN will be hosting Parks Planner Ray Joseph at Candelaria Reservoir. Ray will be presenting design options for Salem’s first nature play park. Come look at the options and have a chance to make suggestions.

Neighborhood Night Out
Come and join your neighbors, get information about local issues, play games, and share food. Connect and celebrate!

Tuesday, Aug. 6, 6-8 p.m. at Nelson Park.

-Submitted by Debbie Miller, board member and newsletter editor

West Salem Neighborhood Association

Street Mural News: West Salem’s first street mural on 2nd and Kingwood fell victim to road vandalism. WSNA is seeking assistance from the city on ways to remove the tire marks without damaging the mural, and/or looking at other ways to restore it. This will be on our agenda at the August meeting. Salem PD will be in attendance to explain the importance of reporting these issues, and what they can and cannot do to stop it. 

Land Use Updates 

Titan Hill Apartment Project: As of July 8, no building permit applications, public construction, or civil site work plans have been submitted. The city is reviewing the multitech engineering plans for the off-site sanitary sewer improvements that will serve the development, but no approvals or permits have been issued.

Edgewater Crossing Project (next to Urban Grange): Civil site work permits were issued June 2023 and work is nearly completed with only minor corrections for Building and Safety being outstanding. No Building Permit Applications have been submitted.

Rainsweet Demolition: Demo permits were issued October 2023. No permits have been filed for new development and new use is unknown. 

Parks: One of the two SPF grant applications submitted in June was approved. Ellen Lane Park will get a new bench near the community garden.  Unfortunately, the grant request to update playground equipment at West Salem Park was denied. However, all is not lost! Suggestions have been made for keeping the project moving forward. Stay tuned!

West Salem’s 2nd Street NW Improvements: Improvements to Northwest 2nd Street (from Northwest Gerth Avenue to Wallace Road) are on schedule and expected to be completed this July. Improvements include upgrades to utilities, new sidewalks, landscaping and street lighting, curbs, new pavement, and bike and pedestrian street improvements. Thank you to the city and everyone involved in making this happen!

WSNA Board Elections for 2024-2025: It’s time again to submit nominations for the election of a new WSNA board. The August meeting starts the nomination process for Chair, Co-Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer. Nominations are accepted during the month of August, and close in September. Voting will occur at the October General Membership meeting. More information regarding the process will be discussed at the Aug. 1 general meeting.

Upcoming Meetings  

  • Aug. 1: 6:30 p.m. at Roth’s in West Salem. Guest Speakers: Chris Russel, code Compliance officer, and Joe Hutchinson, emergency manager.
  • Sept. 5:: 6:30 p.m. at Roth’s in West Salem. 

WSNA Contact Information

-Submitted by Mo Zwicker, communications chair

Our next edition of Neighborhood News will run the second week of August. Submissions must be received by Monday, August 5, to be included.

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