The final meeting to discuss and gather more useful information for The Point Visioning Plan was held Monday, May 13 at the Salem Charter School in Shetland Park. Many came to discuss subjects dear to their hearts in small groups over large aerial prints of their neighborhood. Talks ranged from safety to economics to voting. I helped facilitate the discussion on parks and open space.
The aerial map at the center instantly engaged participants to question the neighborhood boundaries defined at the map. After disputes and some confusion we determined community borders were at least as fluid as a river’s banks. The map was soon covered with blue dots signifying points of intervention. Suggestions were numerous, imaginative, and practical: a boardwalk around Shetland Park, better lighting at Mary Jane Lee Park, consistent (and persistent) clean up for Peabody, Ward, and Harbor Streets, more community gardens, and moving the Salem Farmers’ Market to Lafayette Park for a more central location between Downtown and the Point.
Participation came from all ages!
At the end of an evening full of imaginative talk filled with anticipation for the future, and a feeling of climbing momentum, the next step for the Point Visioning Plan (so well organized and implemented by MAPC, the NSCDC, the Point Neighborhood Association, and the City of Salem) was announced:
The final plan will be posted on the city website.
Information gathered will be used to determine the allocation of moneys and effort.
A seemingly anticlimactic end for a process began that should not end, since a neighborhood’s work is never done, only sustained!
Which of these areas are most important to you? What community projects could address several Action Items?