New Salem Town & Local Events,

Opportunities & News

13th Annual Rabbit Run – 10K Run and 3 Mile Walk
The 13th annual Rabbit Run is Saturday, May 21st at the Common in New Salem. Prizes are available for all age groups. This year the race will benefit all the other activities of the Recreation Committee - free swimming lessons, playground and recreation field repair, Egg Hunt, Halloween party.  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. Interested runners can pick up registration forms at the New Salem General Store, New Salem Library, Wendell General Store, Wendell Library, or the Athol YMCA or downloaded from They can register online at Participants can still register on the day of the event for $20. Note: The registration fee will be waived for volunteers who also want to participate! Race-day registration begins at 9:00 am at the 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.


Town-wide Tag Sale Reminder
The New Salem Town-Wide Tag Sale is coming soon! There still time to snag a place for yourself and/or a friend!  Get rid of those things hanging around that you never use!  Put the money towards your summer vacation, something you've been saving for or towards buying someone else's stuff!
When: Saturday, May 7th from 8:00 am – 2:00 pm. Where: On the Common.  Initial set up can be done on Friday evening. $15 goes towards the advertising in local papers and gets you the space you need. Any extra funds go into the Recreation Committee accounts to be used for their projects. To sign up fill out and return the attached form or email Lynn Layton at or call her at 978-544-7892.

You may also pay with cash or check on the day of the tag sale.  We are working to have the Salvation Army pick up leftover items again at the Old Town Hall; information about that will be forthcoming in a news flash. If you have friends in area towns that would like to participate, they are welcome to contact Lynn and join us.


Old Home Day - Save the Date – Saturday, July 16
The theme of this year’s Old Home Day on Saturday, July 16th, will be New Salem Salutes Volunteers! The Committee would like to pay tribute to all the present and past volunteers who have helped our town function. If anyone would like to help plan the event or volunteer to help out on the day of the event, please contact Janet Henderson at 544-3410 or or Jane Clukay at 544-2660 or


New Salem Library News
Toddler & Pre-Schooler Reading Time: Every Thursday morning from 10:30-11:30 am is Toddler & Pre-Schooler Reading Time. Readers this month will be April 7th, Monica Winters; April 14th, Amanda Mandigo; April 21st, Rae Griffiths, with Stars of the Show (see below), April 28th, TBA.
Lego Club: The Lego Club will be on Saturday, April 9th from 12:30-2:00 pm.
Teens and Tweens: Free snacks, computers, games, movies, all free - only for 11 to 18 year olds from any town. Every Wednesday afternoon, 1:30 to 5:30 pm. Call 978-544-6334 for more info!

New England Folklore & Songs of Farm and Sea: At 7:00 pm on Wednesday, April 6th, Celebrating the Season will present New England Folklore & Songs of Farm and Sea with Parents’ Choice Award Winner singer and storyteller, Davis Bates. Sponsored by a grant from the New Salem Cultural Council.
Stars of the Show: During vacation week come to the Library on Thursday, April 21st from 10:00-11:00 am for Story Stars with Rae Griffiths of Teaching Creatures.  A unique story time program for young children 2-8 years of age which includes specially selected children’s books and the presentation of real, live animal stars - a hedgehog and Dutch rabbits. Listen to Rae read stories and share her knowledge as we get to meet the stars and ask questions. All ages are welcome. Funded by the New Salem Cultural Council and offered in collaboration with the Community Network of Children Program. For more information visit or email or call 978-544-5157.


Friends of The New Salem Public Library News
Reading Aloud for Grownups: On April 13th, Genie Casey and Monica Winters will be reading at 7:30 pm. Wine and cheese will be offered as well as the usual goodies and coffee and tea. Donations happily accepted. Snow date will be one week later.
Earth Day Party: On Tuesday, April 26th from 3:30-5:00 pm, the Friends of the New Salem Public Library are holding an Earth Day Party featuring a showing of the Lorax movie, creating Lorax flowerpots, planting sunflower seeds, outside activities and snacks.  Students at Swift River may come to the library on the bus and parents can pick them up after.  Children aged 5 and under must be accompanied by an adult.
Feasting from Literature: On May 5th at 7:00 pm, The Friends of the New Salem Public Library are hosting Liz Barbour for a Feasting from Literature program.  This will be held at the New Salem Town Hall (the big one) located at 15 South Main Street. The entrance is in the back of the building.  Parking is available in back as well. This is a demonstration which includes cooking two recipes, tasting samples, and recipe cards.  Tasting samples are available for up to 35 people so please call the library (978-544-3664) to reserve a snack! 


Aging in Place in New Salem

The Central Congregational Church of New Salem, the Friends of the New Salem Library and the New Salem Council on Aging are co-sponsoring a series of discussions on the concept of aging in place.  The series is designed to provide information for aging parents as well as ourselves as we age, reach retirement age, and face the end of life. There will be three sessions and each session will last for approximately two hours with presentations from various agencies and speakers. There will be an opportunity for discussion and questions as well.
The first session will take place on Wednesday, April 27 at 7:30 pm in the New Salem Library. It will cover topics involved with community resources available as we age. Speakers from local agencies will cover topics such as home health care, visiting nurses, Lifeline services, etc. Upcoming sessions will take place on Wednesday, May 25 and Wednesday, June 22 also at the New Salem Library but at 7:00 pm. The sessions are free and open to all. For further information contact Janet Kraft at or Sue Dunbar at


Council on Aging News
Lunch & Ice Cream Social: The Council on Aging will meet at the Stowell Building Senior Center on Friday, April 8th at 10:00 am for Bingo and visiting followed by lunch at noon. Please bring your own brown bag lunch. We will provide coffee and tea and ice cream sundaes for dessert. Let Hendra Reidy know if you are coming (978-544-2178).
June Bus Trip: Our bus trip in June to the Ogunquit Playhouse is full at this time. Hendra has a waiting list. If you wish to be added to the list, please give her a call.
Busy Bs: Busy Bs continue to meet on Wednesday from 1:00-3:00 pm in the Stowell Building. Bring your project and join us anytime.

New Salem Community Garden Update
The Community Garden is planning our first meeting of the year which will be held on Wednesday April 20th at 6:30 in the Stowell building. If you are interested in planting this year with us in the community garden, let Sandy know at, come to the meeting or call 413-219-4458. Plots are $10-15. There will be a registration and review of Community Garden guidelines. Also, as you view your own yard and garden, please remember our Old Home Day plant sale. Sandy would love to come to your home and divide your perennials with you for donations towards our fund raising efforts. Please contact Sandy at 413-219-4458 if you have a garden needing some reorganization! Thank you! Happy planning!


Prayer Shawl Ministry of New Salem
The Prayer Shawl Ministry of New Salem will meet Friday, April 22 in the Stowell Building.  Everyone is welcome to join us. For more information about the Prayer Shawl Ministry:


Free Home-Visiting Program
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 have questions call 978-544-5157.   Find flyer and more details at the Community Network for Children’s website at:

Notice from the Franklin County Regional Transportation Authority
A survey about people's interest in bus service has been sent by the Franklin Regional Council of Governments. It's addressed to "Boxholder." Please open and answer it! It will help FRCOG, the regional planning agency, decide whether to try out bus service for Wendell, New Salem, Shutesbury and/or Leverett.

Sign up for WiredWest and help make New Salem a Fiber Town. Sign me up!

Click Here to Sign Up by Mail or For More Information

Broadband Committee Update March 2016
The Broadband Committee is continuing its efforts to bring much needed broadband access to our town.  Some recent articles may have given the impression that we are actively pursuing an option other than WiredWest but this is not the case. We are considering all possible broadband options for our town but our primary focus remains on helping the WiredWest cooperative of towns to move the broadband project forward. We will continue this support of the WiredWest solution until there is compelling evidence that another plan is more beneficial to New Salem.


Twenty-four WiredWest towns have authorized over $38 million towards the construction of the broadband network. New Salem had a standing room only crowd for Town Meeting and passed overwhelmingly

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

Any New Salem Democrat interested in finding out more about the local committee and its activities should contact John Ryan, chair ( or Sharon Tracy, co-chair (

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. 

Bus Service for New Salem from Worcester to Northampton
There's a new bus service that stops in New Salem. The service which is funded by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation goes from Worcester to Northampton twice daily. For more information pick up a schedule from the New Salem Store or go to

Quabbin Harvest Food Co-op

Quabbin Harvest Hosts Autumn Extravaganza: Quabbin Harvest, the co-operative food market located at 12 North Main Street in downtown Orange, is open from 8:00 am until 4:00 pm on Saturdays, as well as Tuesday through Friday from 8:00 am until 6:30 pm.