New Salem Town & Local Events,

Opportunities & News

Town-Wide Tag Sale Sign-up Time
Okay, Everyone!  The Time Has Come!!  Fill out the Town-Wide Tag Sale Registration Form attached, send it in and start (or keep on) collecting all those things you don’t ever use or just don’t want!  Bring them to sell at the Town Wide Tag Sale on the Common from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm on Saturday, May 2nd and walk away with money in your pockets, or someone else’s things that you couldn’t resist!  It is a great time to spend with friends and neighbors and make new friends, too! If you know Wendell citizens who would like to participate, they are very welcome.  We had several join us last year.  Feel free to copy and give the registration form to people.  The more the merrier and the more sales, generally!  Your $15 gets publicity in the papers, signage on 202 and anything left over goes to the playground or other projects the Recreation Committee is working on.

If you don’t want to keep the treasures you don’t sell at the tag sale, and don’t care about a receipt from the Salvation Army, you will be able to take your things to the basement of the Old Town Hall and it will all be donated to the Salvation Army.  They will bring a truck and take it all away!  It will need to be boxed up, as they don’t take loose items.  You won’t have to take those things home and try to decide what to do with them!

So keep on (or start) sorting through all those things you never use. The registration form is attached. Contact Lynn Layton ( or 978-544-7892) for information and get ready for a fun day selling on the New Salem Common. Saturday, May 2.   8 am -2 pm.  This should be the best tag sale yet!!!

For further info, contact Lynn Layton at 978-544-7892 or email her at

New Salem Town Tag Sale Sign-up Form

New Salem's 12th Annual Rabbit Run Invites Runners
The 12th annual Rabbit Run will be held on Saturday, May 16th at the Common in New Salem. After the long winter just experienced, the organizers expect a good turnout! Prizes are available for all age groups. The race will benefit the 100 Mile Club at the Swift River School. The 100 Mile Club® provides the opportunity to run or walk 100 miles at school during a single school year which improves school readiness to learn, creates better education outcomes, building self-esteem and the overall health in the lives of children and others.

The Rabbit Run, named after the former train route which ran through what is now the Quabbin Reservoir, takes runners into the scenic Quabbin watershed for a 10k foot race and walkers for a 3 mile walk.

Participants are asked to pre-register by filling out the registration form which is attached and is  also available at the New Salem Library, the New Salem General Store and at Participants can register online at Registration is $15 until May 1st and $20 afterwards and at the day of the event. Free t-shirts will be given to all who register before May1st. Organizers are seeking volunteers for set-up, registration, water stops, timing, food tent and clean-up. The registration fee will be waived for racers who wish to volunteer. "Rabbit-themed" snacks would be appreciated.
Race-day registration begins at 9:00 am at the Town Common in New Salem for the races which begin at 10:00 am. The event is sponsored by the New Salem Recreation Committee. For further information contact Carla Halpern at 978-544-2676.

Rabbit Run Registration Form

Book Discussion Group Rescheduled
The book discussion group meeting at the New Salem Library to discuss The Ten Thousand Things has been moved to Wednesday, April 22nd at 7:00 pm.

New Salem Old Home Day Committee Looking for Volunteers
The theme of this year’s Old Home Day on Saturday, July 18th is Old-Fashioned Fun. We planning on having, old-fashioned music, old-fashioned floats, old-fashioned food, old-fashioned games and contests! We are looking for volunteers who will help out for about 30 minutes on Old Home Day with events or games. If you would like to help make Old Home Day a success, email or call 978-544-3410 or 978-544-2660. We will match you up with an activity of event of your choice.

New Salem Old Home Day Theme and Date Announced
The 2015 New Salem Old Home Day Committee is delighted to announce that the theme of this year’s Old Home Day will be Old-Fashioned Fun. We are planning on having, old-fashioned music, old-fashioned floats, old-fashioned food, old-fashioned games and contests! If you have an idea or want to help, come to our next meeting on Tuesday, February 24th from5:00-6:00 pm at the Stowell Building or email or call 978-544-3410 or 978-544-2660.
Save the date: Saturday, July 18th.

New Salem Library News
Reading Aloud for Grownups: On Wednesday, April 1st, at 7:30 pm Mira Bartok and Mike Ross will be reading at the library. Mira is the author of The Memory Palace and Mike has been seen in the New Salem community plays. Free coffee and tea are available along with delicious home-bake goodies sold to benefit the Friends of the Library.

Computer Workshop: Google Essentials: Adam Suzor will explain how to update Google applications on Saturday, April 4th at 10:00 am at the library.
Museum Passes: The Library has acquired two more museum passes which patrons can borrow: The Brattleboro Museum and Art Center and The Clark Art Institute. Come by and check them out.
Teachers Wanted: The New Salem Public Library wishes to hire a teacher of basic sewing and a videographer to teach the teens about movie making.  If you are interested in either position please call 978-544-6334.
Tweens and Teens Special Events: The Library is open every Wednesday from 1:30 to 5:30 only for 11 to 18 year olds from any town! Every Wednesday, teens are invited to come to the library and join in activities, study, do research for school and more.
April 1st April Fool’s Day!: Come to our TAB meeting. Help decide what programs we do this summer and enjoy a special snack.
April 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th: It’s Art with Amy! Come learn and improve upon your drawing skills. Please call the library in advance so we have enough materials for everyone. We’re open from 1:30 – 5:30 every Wednesday for 11-18 year olds. Most of our programs start at 3:30. Mahar students can take the bus to our Library! Call and we’ll make the arrangements. 978-544-6334. (The Tweens and Teens program is being funded through the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners with funds from LSTA (Library Services and Technology Act), a Federal source of library funding provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences.)
Pizza and Pages: On Tuesday, April 7th, this teen book group will be discussing The False Prince by Jennifer A. Neilsen.  Pizza available thanks to the New Salem General Store.
Lego Club: On Thursday, April 9th from 3:30-5:00 pm, the Lego Club will meet. Kindergarten and up welcome. Recent additions to the Lego Collection are "little bits," to motorize Legos. The Lego Club, a New Salem Academy grant-funded club, meets every second Thursday of every month.
Book Discussion Group
: On Wednesday, April 22nd at 7:00 pm, the Book Discussion Group will talk about The Ten Thousand Things by Maria Dermout.
Computer Help: Sue Dunbar is available for one-on-one computer help anytime, but especially on Tuesdays at 6:00 pm. Please ask Sue if you are having a computer problem or would like to learn a computer program, such as Excel.
Beverages Available: The Friends of the New Salem Public Library remind you that we have coffee, tea, cocoa, and cider available to patrons. Check out the Keurig machine and offerings on the table next to Diana's window. Donations are gratefully accepted for these beverages.


Council on Aging News
Ice Cream Sundae Social: On April 10th we will meet at the Stowell Building for an Ice Cream Sundae Social. Bring your own bag lunch and drink.  Coffee will be provided.  We will gather at 10 am for Bingo with lunch to follow at noon.  After lunch we will serve ice cream sundaes with a choice of toppings.  Please call Hendra Reidy to sign up.  (978-544-2178)
Speaker on Veterans Benefits:
At our meeting on April 10th we will have a speaker.  Tim Nieadlek will speak about benefits for retired and active military people, including benefits for widows of same.  He should be able to answer any questions you may have concerning veteran's benefits.
Busy B's: We continue to meet on Wednesdays at the Stowell Building from 1:00-3:00 pm, weather permitting.  Bring your project and join us this winter. Some of us knit, crochet, embroider, or quilt.  If the weather is iffy, please feel free to call Judy Jewett at 978-544-2216 to see if we are meeting.

New Salem Agricultural Commission
New Salem Community Garden Members Spring Meeting: The Community Garden members will hold their spring meeting on April 22, 6-7 pm at the Stowell Building. Please join our expanding garden group for $10 per 10 x 10 plot. 10 x 20 plots also available. Our new shed will be the project of the spring! We are looking to expand the number of plots this year as well. Returning gardeners please email your interest for this year. We would love more gardeners to help enhance their own produce production. Children are encouraged to come plant too! Contact Sandy Spiewak with questions@
Perennials sought: If anyone has perennials they want divided or want to donate to our plant sale, please give Sandy a call at 413-219-4458. Last year we had a great turnout of plants, and so this year we hope to match it!

Millington, Quimby, Morse Village, Puppyville, Cooleyville, North New Salem, New Salem Center, Macedonia, Eagleville, Hagerville
The New Salem Historical Commission invites residents, young and older, to come to the next Historical Commission meeting on Wednesday, April 15 at 7:30 pm in the Stowell Building. Come participate in a review of the New Salem village historical surveys so far completed. Which village should be surveyed next? Stop in to learn about your village and to get involved!  Email for more information. The New Salem Historical Commission Annual Meeting will be Wednesday, May 13 at 7 pm.

Community Network for Children

Please visit our website for weekly scheduled Story Hours and Playgroups in New Salem and Wendell, as well as other fun events.

New Meditation Course
A new meditation class with Jo Ellen Boskind of New Salem will be beginning on Monday, February 23rd at the White Elephant Yoga Studio in Orange. We will meet from 6:30-8:00 pm for 6 consecutive weeks, ending on March 30th.  This class is suitable for beginning and experienced meditators alike. Guidance in the practice of meditation is a feature of every class - the group environment is warm and supportive for this practice. Along with guided meditation we  will  explore thru discussion  letting go of "me"  the stories we identify with that lead to our suffering. The cost for the entire course is $60. or $12 drop in. For more information and to register contact Jo Ellen Boskind at or call her at 978 249-0929.

Bach and Be-Still Meditation at the Old Academy Building
Bach and Be-Still Meditation is a music and mindfulness group. It combines deep listening to music and meditation. Each circle time will include deep listening to recorded music (12-20 minutes), discussion initiated by short reading (30 minutes) and then meditation/centering (15-20 minutes). The group will begin meeting on February 14th from 12:30-1:30 pm at the Old Academy Building. In honor of Valentine’s Day, music from the romantic era will be featured.

Transfer Station News

Suggestion Box at Transfer Station
There will be a suggestion box at the New Salem Transfer Station. If you have any suggestions for ways to improve the Transfer Station just leave it in the box.


Agricultural Commission News

The Agricultural Commission is looking for new members, as we only have five and need more members for generating ideas, assisting with planning and development of new ideas. If you are interested, our next meeting is September 4th at 6:00 pm in the New Salem Public Library. The meeting lasts about an hour, so please join us!
Also, the Agricultural Commission is interested in having guest speakers join our meetings to discuss pollinator development, amending soil, best organic practices, etc. We hope other community group


The New Salem Community Garden News
As the summer air turns cooler, and the daylight lessens, gardeners at the Community Garden harvest the last of their tomatoes, cabbage, cucumbers and squash. Thanks to all for making this growing season a success! Please help yourself to any of the remaining vegetables ripening in the free giving plot designated by the blue rope and flags, and we'd love if you'd leave a message on our notepad!
     Most recently, we were awarded a$500 grant through Massachusetts Agricultural Commission (MAAC) which will be used towards our shed project. On August 27th we were interviewed by the CROPP organization through Organic Valley in Wisconsin in response to a grant proposal submitted at the end of July. Cross your fingers they are interested in supporting our garden project efforts!

Notes on "Lost" Wildlife from Mass Wildlife

See links below for information:

Notes on lost wildlife /rehab/wildlife_rehab_index.htm

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New Salem Town & Local Events Calendar
Please note:  Click on the event in the Calendar for event details.

New Salem Central Congregational Church News
Community Freezer: We also have a Community Freezer with home-made meals ready to go for any members of the community who are in need of a break from whatever they are facing.  If you are or if you know anyone who wants to raid our freezer, please call Lisa DeWitt at 978-544-1912 or Janet Henderson at 978-544-3410.

Petersham Art Show Seeking Entrants
If you want to receive exposure and the chance to sell your artwork, but are equally interested in helping others and meeting artists who are addressing similar issues through their work, then this is your chance. Submit your work to, "Transcendent: visions of mental illness & mental health."
Designed to promote awareness of mental health issues, this show will exclusively feature visual art, writing, and performance that depicts or addresses a mental health issue. Proceeds will go to Abby's House, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in Worcester, MA that shelters homeless women and children, many suffering from mental health issues. The show will be held September 19th, 2015 in the Petersham Town Hall. See attached flyer for more details.


Franklin County Solid Waste District News
“Clean Sweep” – Bulky Waste Day: Save the date: May 16th from 9 am to 12 noon.  . Bring tires, appliances, scrap metal, mattresses, construction debris, computers and equipment, televisions, propane gas tanks, and other large items. You can also bring clean and dry (bagged) textiles and books for reuse or recycling. New in 2015: Bring bulky rigid plastics for recycling. Materials will be recycled whenever possible. Disposal fees listed at:


New Salem Academy Grants Awarded

In November, New Salem Academy Board of Trustees continued its tradition of awarding grants to organizations promoting educational events in the North Quabbin region.  The following organizations will receive grant monies for their upcoming events and projects:

North Quabbin Citizen Advocacy - Social Media Forum
NWC Quabbin Anglers - Fishing trips and Teenager Conservation Camp
Swift River School Library - Visiting Author
New Salem Council on Aging - Vermont Horse Farm Trip

Swift River School - Boston Trip

Mass Audubon Society - Native Amphibian Program

Shutesbury Elementary School - Whale Study Program

Library Lego Lady - Lego Program at New Salem Library

Friends of Historic New Salem - Story Teller and 17th/18th Century Life

Athol YMCA - Summer Camp Programs
The Village School - Summer Programs
Mahar Fish N Game - Deep Sea Fishing Trip
Swift River Historical Society - Swift River valley Day

New Kitchen Compost Pails Available at Transfer Station!

The Franklin County Solid Waste District recently purchased a large number of “Sure-Close” kitchen compost pails. These 1.9-gallon pails are meant to collect food waste in the kitchen, and the materials then emptied into backyard or municipal compost bins. The lid latches securely and can be made to stay open for ease of use. The vented lid has pinholes that act as a filter (but with no expensive or hard-to-find filter); moisture can pass through the lid, which reduces odors.

New Salem was among 15 district towns received varying amounts of pails: Bernardston, Colrain, Conway, Erving, Gill, Hawley, Heath, Orange, Montague, New Salem, Rowe, Shelburne, Sunderland, Wendell, and Whately. They are available free at our transfer station while supplies last.  The kitchen pails are also offered for sale to District residents for $5 at the District Office, 50 Miles St., Greenfield; call 413-772-2438 for hours or more info. Earth Machine outdoor compost bins are also for sale for $45 at the District office


These municipal compost programs are available free to permit holders at the transfer stations in Leverett, New Salem, Northfield, Orange, and Whately. The majority of this purchase was funded by Mass DEP’s Sustainable Materials Recovery Program  (SMRP) small-scale initiatives grant. The grant requires that funded items contain 35% recycled content; therefore these pails are an avocado green color to mask any color variations in the recycled product. The District previously offered a beige version of the same pail. District Towns also received a total of 44 Earth Machine compost bins, funded by the SMRP grant. For more information, please call (413) 772-2438.

Bee Swarms Welcomed

This time of year, honey bees are evaluating their housing and may feel their current situation is not ideal. About half the hive population leaves with the current queen in search for greener pastures. A swarm is typically very docile, even though they are a noisy bunch. The swarm generally stays in temporary location, such as a tree branch, for about 24 hours while the scouts find a new dwelling. We would love to provide a home for them on our New Salem property. Please call Harmonie or Dennis at 978-544-3869 if you see a swarm in your neighborhood.

A Home for Bats

The Friends of Historic New Salem which oversees the New Salem Academy Building, are preparing a home for bats. As you may know the bat population has been struck by the White Nose Syndrome and the numbers are diminishing.  We have many migrating bats which have chosen to nest in the attic of the Academy building which we discovered after the building had been restored. After consulting with Dr. French of the Massachusetts Wildlife, we have taken measures to change their nesting spot.  It was suggested we add lights and maybe a radio on a timer to discourage the bats from nesting in the attic, but this must be started before they nest on June 1st. Dr. French also offered plans for a bat house large enough to hold the migrating population and construction has started. The bat house will be placed near the garden area behind the town hall.

The Friends have begun the process to direct the bats to another nesting place and warn that they may try to nest in homes and buildings surrounding the common. If you are concerned that the bats may find your home inviting, we suggest you follow Dr. French’s advice and add a light and radio connected to a timer to any dark, inviting places before June 1st. After the bats have begun to nest the lights and radio are not necessary.

North Quabbin Food Co-op
Right in downtown Orange! Go to: for more information about the co-op.

Hatha Yoga Class
Janice Doubleday is offering an on-going Hatha Yoga class for beginners and intermediate on Tuesdays, 5:30-6:30 p.m. at the Wendell Senior Center. She has a 200 hour certificate. Classes are $10. Contact her at or 978-544-7079 with any questions.

Board of Health Litter Drawing Awards
In the month of April, Jeffrey Duga and children walked the sides of the roads in New Salem  and picked up 15 bags of rubbish. They won the drawing for the free bags for that month. Hugh MacKay won the May drawing for the free bags for his part in keeping New Salem clean. Thanks to all of you from the Board of Health and the Town of New Salem for helping to keep New Salem clean. If anyone is interested in participating in the drawing for the free trash.