New Salem Town & Local Events,

Opportunities & News

Kudos to New Salem for a Lively Old Home Day

What an incredibly beautiful Old Home Day!  We hope you all had a wonderful time and were able to join us.  This year we seemed to draw people from the greater New Salem area who appreciate the small town feel of our festival.  We aren’t able to list the many volunteers and organizations who came forward to make this day happen in big and small ways, coming together to make us all proud to be a part of this community.  Thank you to the many volunteers, organizations and businesses who made Old Home Day 2017 possible.  We hope you’ll all be back in 2018 to welcome people to New Salem for a New Salem Academy Reunion Day and celebration of the academy.  Thanks again for all the help and support, The New Salem Old Home Day Committee

Prayer Shawls

The next prayer shawl meeting will be Friday, August 18, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.  This is a correction from last week’s News.  The meetings are in the Stowell building. Contact person is Genie Casey, 

Free Swimming Lessons

New Salem children three and up can take free swimming lessons at Lake Mattawa,  sponsored by The New Salem Recreation Committee.  Lesson weeks are July 17 to July 20, and July 24 to July 28.   There are beginner and advanced lessons in two time slots every day, 9:30 to 10:30 and 10:30 to 11:30. Rain makeup days would be on Fridays of those weeks. Contact the Athol Area YMCA at 978-249-3305 to register for classes.

New Salem Legacy Tree Program

Plant a sugar maple, white oak or other tree and establish a long-lived legacy.  The New Salem Tree Committee is announcing an innovative program that will help the town replace and revitalize our beautiful shade trees starting with the Common area this year.  By purchasing a young tree for $250 through the program, you can establish a legacy for your family or recognize a person or group that has made a special contribution to New Salem, in the past or in the present.  A permanent record of your recognition will be maintained on the town web site and in a periodically updated booklet that will map the tree’s location and species information and the reason your Legacy Tree was established.  Please pick up an application in the library and see the library display detailing the Legacy program and the species being planted this year.  For more information, contact Bruce Spencer,

New Salem Community Garden News

The Community Garden is so very pleased to announce our latest planting space, a handicap accessible raised bed.

As your perennials begin to pop, please consider dividing some of your plants to donate. In preparation for our Old Home Day plant sale, we are asking for plant donations and we can help by coming to your home to dig with you.

If you are interested in growing vegetables at the Community Garden this year, please contact Sandy at We have one plot available, but will be expanding within a couple of weeks. The cost is $10, and $5 for a shed key. Thank you for supporting the New Salem Community Garden! We really are off to a great start!

Library News

Summer Reading for all ages at the New Salem Public Library!!! 

Read a book earn a chance at a prize. Sign up at the library and get all the details. The prizes for adults are: two tickets to the 1794 Meetinghouse programs, Big E tickets, handmade soap gift basket, a gift card to Barnes and Noble, and a gift card to the New Salem General store; Teen prizes: Big E tickets, wax hand, Barnes and Noble gift card, soccer ball, and a solar car; children’s prizes: wax hand, Barnes and Noble gift card, badminton set, football, soccer ball, basketball, Magic set, sun hat. Come in and sign up or call for more information 978-544-6334
Help us Reimagine our Library

The Friends and the Trustees of the New Salem Library see the need to reimagine the library space to adapt to its changing role. Together we want to create a welcoming, flexible, functioning space to accommodate all members of our community.  At this time we are hoping, through funding grants and private donations, to refresh and redefine the library. This is an opportunity to reconnect with our users and reposition our library for the future. Please help the New Salem Public Library to better serve our town by filling out this patron survey and returning it to the library by the end of June.  If you have trouble printing out a survey, there are copies available at the library

Body and Brain Yoga at the New Salem Public Library starts April 4 at 9:15-10:15 a.m. with Stephanie Mitchell. Classes consist of stretching, vibration, relaxation breathing, energy meditation, visualization, and Life Particle healing. Bring a yoga mat if you have one. Suggested donation $4.00 per session. Call to sign up 978-544-6334. Stephanie Mitchell has certifications from the Body & Brain Yoga Instructor Course, Brain Management Training and Dahn Master Course. She holds an MBA in International Business from Brandeis University as well as certifications in Reiki 1, Reiki 2 and Fundamentals of Feng Shui.

Summer Programs at the library

Saturday July 8,  7:00 p.m.: Kids Movie night at the library Finding Dory! Free and all ages welcome. July 28: Adults movie night at the library -movie TBA. 

July 13:  Come and build a coral reef and play Frog pond toss.

July 20:  Go on a Bug Hunt and make a Nature Journal.

July 27:  Come and build a Boat and a Three Little Pigs House.

All programs at 1 to 2 p.m. and are for most ages; some adult supervision needed.
Relax and Color  Tuesdays @ the library, 6:30 to 7:00 pm

Book Discussion Group
  The group will meet on June 7 at 7pm to discuss Vinegar Girl by Ann Tyler.

Friends of the New Salem Public Library News

Old Home Day Book Sale

The Friends are accepting good used books, CDs, and DVDs for their annual Old Home Day sale on July 15 during regular library hours from June 29 to July 11.  Library hours are Tuesdays noon to 8:00 p.m.,  Thursdays 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and Saturdays 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Upcoming programs and events

June 17 at 4:00 p.m.: Annual Meeting & celebration @ the library. Annual Meeting & Celebration.  Please join us at the library for wine, cheese & other treats and to learn about plans for “Reimagining Our Library.”

July 15:  Old Home Day Book Sale  For more information, email Monica Winters or Mary-Ann Palmieri.

Free passes to great museums, gardens, and parks

The Friends of the New Salem Public Library have purchased a number of passes to area museums, which can be signed out at the front desk of the library.  Among the museums sponsored by the Friends are the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Tower Hill Botantic Garden in Boylston, Mass MoCA in North Adams, and Historic Deerfield.  In addition, the library has passes available to Magic Wings Butterfly Conservancy in South Deerfield and Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, and DCR parking passes for all Mass. State parks.  With the snow gone and the weather turning warmer, what a perfect time of year to take a drive to visit any of these special places not far from home!  For additional information, call the New Salem Library @978-544-6334

Research project seeking town elders

If you are 65 or older and own your own home in New Salem, a researcher would like to talk to you about your experience of “aging in place.” Travis Gagen is a graduate student in Public Health at UMass who is interviewing people for his dissertation titled “Aging-in-Community: The influence of Social Capital on Accessory-Dwelling Unit Access and Utilization,”  which he describes as “a research study examining alternative housing solutions for older adults. We want to listen to your thoughts and opinions on the community that you live in, learn about your social networks, and understand your opinions about alternative housing solutions and smart home technologies. There is no right or wrong answers to the research questions – we just want to listen to what you have to say!” The interviews take about 45 minutes and he will come to your home or meet you somewhere else.  You can reach him at (508) 277-6192 .

Council on Aging News

Red Aces card game We plan to continue Red Aces on Mondays from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. in the Stowell Building, and we’ll explain the rules to newcomers before beginning.  All are welcome.  Come join in the fun!  For further information contact Jeanne Clayton at or at 978-544-7924 or Genie Casey at or at 978-544-7139.

Busy Bees continue to meet on Wednesday at the Stowell Building from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., when the weather allows!! Please bring your project and join us.

Transportation Issues for aging in place

An outgrowth of last year’s “Aging In Place” series, was the formation of an AIP Task Force. We have produced and distributed copies of a Transportation Resource Guide for New Salem Residents that was distributed with the March Council on Aging newsletter and is available at the library and at the church. We hope to replicate Shutesbury's volunteer Med-Ride program. Contact: Mary-Ann Palmieri,

Free Weekly Playgroup

Come and enjoy stories, songs and craft activities with your child(ren) and other families from your community at the Swift River School on Tuesdays, 8:45 to 10:15 a.m. This Playgroup, facilitated by Emily Joseph, is intended for children 0-5 years of age and is sponsored by the Swift River School and Union #28 Community Network for Children. Program not held during school closures. See the CNC Website for program and event schedules. For more information please contact Gillian Budine, (978) 544-5157 or email


Talk, Read & Play home visits for little folks

Talk, Read & Play is a free home-visiting program for families with children two years old and younger who live in New Salem, Wendell, Shutesbury, Leverett and Erving. Help build the foundation for your child's learning. Participants will receive free books, toys, and learning materials. When children talk, read, and play, they build skills that prepare them for a lifetime of success. To participate in this free program or to ask questions, call 978-544-5157.   Find flyer and more details at the Community Network for Children’s website.

BettyLou Mallet, Erving School Union #28, 18 Pleasant Street, Erving, MA 01344 or

SBroadband Stories

Our neighbors (and would-be neighbors) talk about why they need broadband. 

See their stories here.

New Salem Town & Local Events Calendar
Click on event in Calendar for details.
1794 Meeting House Season Begins
Information and concert schedule here.

Prayer Shawl Ministry
The New Salem Prayer Shawl Ministry members are welcome to join Busy Bs to crochet or knit on Wednesdays afternoons from 1 to 3 p.m. during the winter. The next gathering for the Prayer Shawl Ministry is Friday, June 16, in the Stowell Building from 9 -11 a.m. For additional information contact Judy (978) 544 2611.

Service Forestry Program

The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) Service Forestry Program provides technical assistance to private landowners and municipalities in forest resource planning, forest management, and forest protection within districts across the state. 

With 235,000 non-industrial private landowners in Massachusetts and approximately 78% of the Commonwealth's forest land in private ownership, private lands play a key role in sustaining clean water, protecting our soil, providing wildlife habitat and producing quality timber resources.

The Service Forestry Program meets the needs of these landowners through: 

The Service Forestry Program is based on the belief that we can best serve the citizens of the commonwealth by helping landowners make educated decisions about their woodlots, and protecting our valuable forest resources through fair and consistent application of environmental regulations. For more information contact one of our regional administrative offices or contact the service forester working in your town. 

Quabbin Harvest Food Co-op hours changed

Quabbin Harvest, the co-operative food market located at 12 North Main Street in downtown Orange, is now open from 10:00 am until 7:00 pm on Mondays thru Fridays and 9:00 am thru 5:00 pm Saturdays.