The Public Art Salon: Bees!

Color the honey bee and support the bill!

Join us for The Public Art Salon on Thursday 27 and support Bee Positive Legislation! We’ll have postcards available to color, personalize, and mail in support of MA State bills that limit neonicotinoids!

We will be joined by Beverly Bees for a Hive Demonstration at (around) 4:30 to learn about bees, and bee-positive legislation and actions!

We will also be:

  • Building the Community Table
  • Making Mosaics
  • Painting
  • Face Art
  • Designing the Reading Nook
  • Making Friends!

Learn more about the effects of neonicotinoids and the proposed bills below:

If you can’t join us this Thursday – contact your rep to support House Bill H.2113 / Senate Bill SD.2236 and find out more: https://malegislature.gov/Bills/190/H2113

April PNA Meeting

Commitment Cards to Improve the Point!

Commitment Cards to Improve the Point!

The April Neighborhood meeting was a collaboration between the Point Neighborhood Association, the North Shore Community Development Coalition, and multiple local organizations, institutions, and citizens to commit to improving the neighborhood by taking concrete steps to implement the Point Neighborhood Visioning Plan, completed last year.

Some precise accomplishments and next steps discussed include:

  • The Point will be on the National Register for Historic Places
  • Enhance the existing four parks in the neighborhood
  • The grant towards a splash pad – an interactive water play fountain – was announced. It will be located in Mary Jane Lee Park.
  • Employ park ambassadors to enrich the park aesthetics and experience for residents
  • Community gardens to stimulate, foster, and enhance stewardship
  • Enhance the diversity and quantity of affordable housing
  • An analysis of Shetland Park Businesses
  • More bilingual workshops at the NSCDC
  • Work to devise strategies for improving business opportunities along the two main corridors: Congress and Lafayette Streets
  • Celebrate the history of the neighborhood

Of the attendees, it seems like about half were Point residents, while the others were interested parties representing institutions and organizations. Bringing these great ideas, initiatives, and discussions to more residents remains a significant step to take. There are a lot opportunities for creative engagement in the community from the business and entrepreneurial to the artistic – get in touch if you want to be part of any of these endeavors!

The Secret Garden

The Secret Garden where Ward and Peabody Streets intersect

The Secret Garden where Ward and Peabody Streets intersect

post by Michael Jaros

While walking through the Point neighborhood last weekend, Claudia and I happened upon a unique garden.  I say happened upon, but I actually sought it out, having come across it on another rambling voyage through the streets of the neighborhood some months before, near the beginning of the growing season.  Against a large, brick tenement building, someone has made remarkable use of a long, thin rectangular piece of ground, which sits in the shadow of this larger building.

When we’d visited before, I was amazed by the diversity of plantings and the optimal use of every inch of space between the fence and the wall.  Herbs of all sorts grew abundantly, as well as larger plants that I myself could not identity.  I could not tell whose garden it was, who tended it, or where they came from or went to when not doing so.  There was a nearby porch, as well as a gate.  Did the person hop over the porch into the garden, or come from the outside?  Or was it collectively maintained by a neighborhood group?

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This patch of green had massively blossomed and grown when we returned.  Huge melon plants grew into a massive canopy, which a diagonally placed trellis supported, creating a shaded grotto space underneath it, in which smaller plants grew and various soils were perhaps mixed.  It looked like a cool, reflective space of contemplation, despite being cramped, and reminded me of the green spaces I myself had always sought out behind my house to hide in as a child.

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The space continued to be optimally used on our return voyage this week…there was almost no empty space, and strange squash with the appearance of melted wax grew healthily in the fence itself, climbing up it towards the massive melon canopy.  Onions grew outside the fence, and remained unmolested.  It was clear this was a special and honored place by the community that both surrounded and maintained it.

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This post is part of The Beauty of the Point series.

Soil report at Palmer Street Lot: The Installation

Since the soil report is in, we know there is no lead, but the soil lacks nutrients.

installation view 1

Salem Public Space Project asks: What can grow in this lot? Residents can pull up a chair and read all about it!

Resident sits to read the report!

Resident sits to read the report!

The Lot: What Can Grow Here?

Last Saturday, at the Easter Egg Hunt in Mary Jane Lee Park, many residents expressed a desire to see a garden, or at least grass growing, on the empty lot at 38-40 Palmer street, directly across from the park.

Digging for Samples

Digging for Samples

 

In an effort to determine what can grow on this lot, quite literally, the Salem Public Space Project started to dig. The University of Massachusetts, Amherst, offers an affordable Soil Test to determine toxins, nutrients, and the growth potential of a lot.

So we dug some samples!

The sample digs

The sample digs

We also decided to test our own garden soil to see what we’re working with at home, and the difference between the garden and lot soil are striking in color and texture.

Soil Samples

Where does nature come in?

Twenty, twenty-five years ago, this piece of asphalt used to be a garden. It was a robust garden. It was so lush, with tall corn and an irrigation system. Back then, there was also more crime in the neighborhood. People would hide in the garden; “it was a weird maze inside.” The garden was removed and asphalt poured in its place, where no one could hide behind something someone grew. Some weeds now grow through the cracks. And, in the summer, some clinging plants embroider chain-link fences in green filigree.

All quotations from an interview in Mary Jane Lee Park with Point residents. September 17, 2012