Sunday, March 28, 2010

Unsolicited Plug 2010-2: 13th St. Nursery

Salem has a wonderful close-to-downtown nursery just a block east of the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store: The 13th St. Nursery at 13th & Wilbur. The nursery is a wonderful place and with the Re-Store right there, you've got yourself a happy Saturday afternoon of treasure hunting.

A number of their plant starts and some gorgeous raku plant pots (for bamboo) are making their way to LOVESalem HQ this year, and they've got a number of really nice garden art things that would be here if we could afford as much beauty as we'd like. Check it out.

UPDATE: The brains at LOVESalem HQ (she provides the brains; my role is to have a strong back to go with the weak mind) picked out some lovely cold-hardy gardenias, star jasmines, and daphnes today in the rain today. Somehow fitting to pick plants for Salem in a nice afternoon rain.

Wonderful new gleaners group: Neighborhood Harvest of Salem

Neighborhood Harvest of Salem welcomes you!

You are invited to join a new community organization, Neighborhood Harvest.

Our volunteers gather unused fruit from Salem’s backyards, share the bounty with families who are hungry, and take home free produce, grown right here. We seek to create community and strengthen neighborhood friendships, alleviate hunger, create awareness of our abundant edible landscapes, and promote sustainable lifestyles.

We are affiliated with Friends of Salem Saturday Market and linked to Marion-Polk Food Share through donations of produce.

Urban foraging is part of a growing movement that connects unused backyard fruit trees with people who have the time and energy to harvest them.

The basic idea is simple: Home owners register trees, vines or berry bushes that produce more fresh fruit than they can use. Volunteers join harvest parties to gather the fruit that might otherwise drop to the ground. We deliver half of each harvest to neighborhood food pantries affiliated with the Food Share, and harvesters take home the other half for their pantries.

Harvest parties begin in July with the cherry season, but for now we are seeking energetic, responsible volunteers. Sign up to be a harvest leader, neighborhood coordinator or site scout. We’ll show you how to organize a fruit-picking adventure while meeting neighbors and new friends.

To volunteer, contact Katherine.

Register your tree, vine or berry bush using our online form, or contact Dick.

For information visit our website or contact Lisa.

Free tour: the parts of the Library you normally don't get to see

Library artImage by Jason McHuff via Flickr

Libraries are one of the most, if not the most, important civic offerings there are. Salem's impoverished library system is still a gem, albeit a very tiny one that's hard for most people to access and that offers very scant and limited hours. With all the vacant commercial space in Salem, every single one of Salem's 19 neighborhoods should have a library or library outpost where people can access library materials and offerings at least 84 hours a week. Alas, we're nowhere near that yet. But part of the reason is that not enough people know what libraries do or how they work. You can rectify that next month:
Public invited for Behind-the-Scenes tours at Salem Public Library

There’s more going on than meets the eye at Salem Public Library. Curious visitors have the chance to find out exactly what this is during National Library Week when Salem Public Library staff offers three Behind-the-Scenes tours at the Central Library.

Guided tours will begin at the Information/Reference Desk at:

10:30 a.m. Thursday, April 15
4 p.m. Friday, April 16
2 p.m. Saturday, April 17

The one-hour tours are designed to give visitors a look at how books and other materials are handled from purchase to preparation, the processes behind holds, check out, check in, and reshelving, and to share insights about library services, programs, and the facility. There will be plenty of time for questions and answers along the way.

Space is limited, so interested members of the public are asked to pre-register at the Information/Reference Desk in person or by phone at 503-588-6052.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Sonja Somerville, Salem Public Library Community Relations Coordinator, (503) 588-6083,

Speaking of the library: Got overdue fines?
Sunday, March 28-Saturday, April 3 only, both Salem Public Library locations will forgive fines for customers who bring in donations of non-perishable food items and other household necessities for donation to Marion-Polk Food Share.

Food donations are accepted during all open hours at the Central Library, 585 Liberty St. SE, and at the West Salem Branch, 395 Glen Creek Rd. NW. Hours and information are available at

A $1 credit will be applied for canned items 12 ounces or larger. This applies to fines due only and does not include lost book charges, rental fees, video/DVD fees, collection fees, or fee cards. Donors are particularly encouraged to consider these high-need items:

· Soup (canned or dry)
· Chili
· Cereal
· Tuna
· Beans (canned or dry)
· Juice (canned or bottled)
· Canned fruit
· Canned vegetables
· Pasta sauce
· Pasta products (20+ ounces)
· Rice (20+ ounces)
A greater credit of $3-5 will be given for these larger high-need items:

· Laundry detergent
· Laundry softener
· Cooking oil
· Peanut butter (8+ ounces)

To be used, items must be factory-sealed, commercially processed, dent and rust free, and bear a future expiration date. Top Ramen products cannot be accepted.

The need at Marion-Polk Food Share is particularly high this year. Community members are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity. Food donations will also be gratefully accepted from those not owing fines, but simply wanting to help build needed supplies at Marion-Polk Food Share.

More information is available from the Library’s Circulation Division at 503-588-6090.
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Concerned about water? You should be. Pay attention.

Graph of the locations of water on EarthImage via Wikipedia

The good folks at Onward Oregon sent out a notice about some important water resources planning workshops coming up. The one in Salem is on Tuesday, June 8, at Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Office, 3406 Cherry Avenue, N.E.
All open houses are from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
The program begins at 4:00 p.m. with a project overview and discussion and repeats again at 5:30 p.m.

Help Plan Oregon's Water Resources

Available water supplies have diminished across the West, and increased population and development are creating greater demand. Meanwhile, Oregon has been one of the few States without an integrated water strategy. Until now.

In the last session, the legislature passed the Water Investment Act (HB 3369), which includes a plan to make a plan — that is, the bill directs the Water Resource Department to develop a water strategy.

To inform that strategy, the Department is hosting ten Open Houses around Oregon to hear from you. We urge you to make your voice heard. The Department needs to hear that you are (choose one or more) concerned about
  1. growing water demand,
  2. protection of aquifers,
  3. maximizing public value from state investment,
  4. stream quality,
  5. irrigation,
  6. water supplies,
  7. global weirding/climate change,
  8. in-stream flows, or
  9. something else.
You can find the schedule at: Preliminary Workplan.

Citizen responses helped pass the original bill. Now make sure that Water Resources Strategy is responsive to the people of the state.

Times and locations are available at Background Documents.

Water is our most important resource. Let’s make sure we plan smartly and for the public benefit.

The Team at Onward Oregon

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