Weekly Newsletter | March 29, 2016

Recently I had coffee with Jeff McNamee, one of the Board members of Salem Area Trail Alliance (SATA). His nonprofit organization is the recipient of our $30,000 major grant this year. Bruce Anderson joined us as well. Bruce is the Chair of the Good Works committee whose work resulted in a recommendation to fund their project. We wanted to hear how things are going with the kids’ “pump track” that we intend to help SATA build.
The big news is that SATA’s Board has chosen a desired location for the pump track. Their first choice last year had been Wallace Park in West Salem. But they became concerned about its proximity to the river, both because of potential flooding and because of some of the sensitive wildlife whose river habitat could be disturbed by any development. Now, they have settled on Geer Park. This neighborhood park is just North of State Street, and just West of Hawthorne Street near I-5.
The park is 46 acres in size, and mainly offers baseball and soccer fields. There’s also a ½ mile walking/jogging hard surface trail, but much of it is yet to be developed. That’s where SATA comes in, with Rotary’s support. SATA has an amazing group of knowledgeable volunteers who actually roll up their sleeves and help build and maintain bike trails – around Salem and at Silver Falls State Park and other locations.
Jeff accompanied Keith Keever of the City Parks Department to present the bike park concept to the Northeast Salem Community Association at their meeting of March 15. He reports the proposal was well received. Now, Keith will decide how to proceed with SATA’s proposal. If all goes well, Jeff is hoping the first little bike riders could start enjoying the track early next year.
This week: The Haiti Trip. As many of you know, our club has strong connections to Haiti. Those connections were strengthened last month when members Cynthia Witham and Bo Nyleen traveled to Hinche, Haiti, along with Doug Lusk of the Keizer club. They met with our Haitian contact and past speaker – Lavaud Cheristin – and traveled to visit the well sites our club had a hand in drilling. We’ll get to hear stories from their adventures and see photos of the ways Rotary and our club are helping to change lives.
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