Graded Lot!

Last week, the Department of Public Works graded the parcel at 38-40 Palmer Street.

The Graded Lot

The Graded Lot

This lot has already been through a lot! But the grading marks the physical beginning of the lot as Community Engagement Site! Art, events, music, food, and much more will engage residents and visitors… but more on that later.

First, a short history on this lot: On March 12, 2012, the City of Salem claimed a lien upon the lot at 38-40 Palmer Street in The Point Neighborhood of Salem, Massachusetts. That January, city officials contracted to remove a dilapidated one story building that had become a public safety issue, a fact that came to light the previous summer during a neighborhood walkthrough with local teens, the mayor, and police.

Last March we interviewed locals on what they may want to see on this lot. Some of their responses prompted more action:

– Needs to be cleaned up a little bit more.

– This should be a place for the youth and kids to have a safe place to be off streets.

– A park needs to be here.

– Empty space going to waste. They should make some kind of kid recreation, mostly for the summer and for the winter there is nothing for these kids to do.

– They should build something for the kids.

– A big empty space that should be filed with something positive for the community.

– This should be a place where the kids can learn about gardening and painting.

– There should be a little park for kids under 5 because big kids and little kids can’t play in the same park because the big kids hurt the little documented in a survey taken March 30th, 2013

Resident sits to read the report!

Resident sits to read the report!

Last April, we dug it up for a soil test to see what can grow. and now we’re really beginning the process of starting to grow and Re-Imagining A Lot!

Site Futures_question mark

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!

Soil Report at Palmer Street Lot: What can grow here?

After digging for samples, we received a soil report from UMass Amherst. As assumed, the soil needs more nutrients, but happily, the levels of lead are low! You can view the full Soil Report.

For the community, SPSP used the report information to create the following poster to ponder the beauty and complexity of dirt(!), and, now that we know what’s in the soil, what shall we grow?

SPSP What Can Grow Here

We will install this poster at the 38-40 Palmer Street lot on Saturday, April 20th at noon – come see!