The following is a courtesy post for the Northeast Salem Community Association, the neighborhood association that borders Northeast Neighbors to the east:

NESCA Neighbors and Partners,

Two years ago City officials told the community that there was absolutely no chance that any part of the North Campus of the Oregon State Hospital Grounds would be a park despite its continued use as a community play space for decades. Because of our persistent and consistent advocacy and the leadership of State Representative Brian Clem, the Oregon Department of Administrative Services (DAS), the current owner of the property set aside approximately 7 acres at the corner of D and 23rd, the D Street Field, as a potential green space.

THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING!

While DAS has set aside the D Street Field for the time being, the City needs to purchase the property and set it aside as a park. As of December 2015, the City is considering purchasing the property. HOWEVER, this is not going to happen unless there is broad support from the community.

What can you do now, today?

1. Let your City elected officials know that you want a park on the North Campus property at D and 25th. Email the entire Mayor and Council here: Citycouncil@cityofsalem.net . Don’t forget to email the City Manager, Steve Powers, here: manager@cityofsalem.net . Be sure to let them know why this is important to you, be personal, specific, and passionate. And please, be polite too!

2. Join Friends of D Street Field, a purpose-driven advocacy group looking to establish a Park at D and 23rd streets. Email Carol Snyder at snyder2858@comcast.net . Carol’s group will be working to educate the City Council and public about the importance of keeping this space as a community play space, just as it has been used for decades. Join her and the many other community members of this group today!

3. Write a letter to the editor at the Statesman Journal, Salem Weekly, or your favorite publication or media outlet to let folks know about your passion for this project. Submission guidelines for the Statesman are here: http://archive.statesmanjournal.com/viewint/article/99999999/OPINION/71017019/Submitting-your-opinion. Submit to Salem Weekly (Willamette Live Online) here: http://www.willamettelive.com/contact-us/ .

If YOU want a park YOU must work for it – This will not happen without community support and ACTION. And without community support, we can expect the property to be developed. Will you take the time to make your community a better place?

The NESCA Board will continue to provide updates through this newsletter and our Facebook page.

The NESCA Board