New Salem Town & Local Events,

Opportunities & News


Spring Clean Up Week
The Recreation Committee would like to remind you that Spring Vacation Week is a great time to help clean up New Salem! Trash which is obviously litter can be dropped off at the New Salem Transfer Station and you can enter your name in a raffle for a free set of Transfer Station bags.

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

New Salem Agricultural Commission Workshop on Pollinators Supporting Agriculture with Tom Sullivan

On Thursday, May 14 at 6:00 pm, the New Salem Agricultural Commission will be sponsoring a free workshop on at the New Salem Library.  For more information about Tom Sullivan, visit pollinators RSVP not required. Please call Sandy for questions at 1-413-219-4458.


The New Salem Community Garden
A shed is being constructed near the Community Garden by the Franklin Tech School. This project was supported by grant money, donations, member donations and our plant sale on Old Home Day.
Perennials sought: If you have perennials you wish to have divided or have divided yourself, we are accepting donations towards this years Old Home Day event. Please contact Sandy at if you are interested

New Salem Library News
We're having a party--- a work party, that is! Come help beautify the library garden on Saturday, May 9 at 1 pm. We'll be having fun while doing some planting, spreading mulch, etc. Questions or in case of rain, call Lisa at 544-6710.
Pizza and Pages: On Tuesday, May 5th, the book The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen will be discussed. The pizza is generously donated by the New Salem General Store.
Green Club for Kids: The Green Club for Kids will take place from 3:30-5:00 pm on Tuesday, May 5th and Tuesday, May 12th.
Lego Club: May 14th will be the last LEGO Club meeting at the New Salem Library. Come build something amazing! Try the challenge. Make a new friend. Put your build on display. Swift River School students can take the school bus. (Jean Daley meet the bus.) Open to kids age 5 and up. Snack provided.  3:30 to 5:00.  This program is generously funded by the New Salem Academy. Call 978-544-6334 for more information. The Lego Club, a New Salem Academy grant-funded club, meets every second Thursday of every month. 
Used Book Sale at the Town-Wide Tag Sale: If you plan on donating items to the Friends of the Library for the New Salem Tag Sale on May 2nd, please bring them that morning and thanks again!
Old Home Day Library Book Sale: The Friends of the New Salem Public Library are asking that you please hold onto your gently used books for the Old Home Day Library Book Sale until July 1st.  There is no storage at the Library!  Thank you in advance for your donations.  We really appreciate them.
Museum Passes: The New Salem Public Library has received 2 more museum passes as donations from the Clark Institute in Williamstown and the Brattleboro Museum in Brattleboro VT.  Please check the availability of these and our other passes, purchased by the Friends of the New Salem Public Library, at the front desk.  The Friends of the new Salem Public Library have also recently funded a Butterfly Museum Pass.  It should be here soon!
Teens and Tweens Club: We just got a new sewing machine! We’re sewing capes and device covers this month. Martial Arts should happen later in the month. The Karate Kid movies will be available for watching. Free snacks!  The Teens and Tweens Club would like to thank Cindy and Chuck Hartwell for the donation of a sewing machine!
Book Discussion Group: The book discussion group is invited to select a new read for May from a list posted at the front desk. 
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.


Historical Commission Annual Meeting on May 13
The New Salem Historical Commission Annual Meeting will be Wednesday, May 13 at 7 pm. Email for more information.


Council on Aging News
Bingo and Luncheon: In May and June we will move back to the Town Hall for our luncheons. Again we will gather at 10:00 am for bingo with coffee and lunch to follow at noon.  Please call Hendra Reidy (978-544-2178) to reserve a spot.
Old Home Day Tin Can Auction: The Council on Aging will be having our annual Tin Can Auction of hand-made items.  If you have anything you would like to donate, please call Judy Jewett at 978-544-2216. We will also have three baskets as part of the auction: Chocolate, Breakfast and Family Fun. If you have an item you would to donate to a basket please call Judy.
Trip to the Vermont Fresian Horse Farm Reminder: The bus trip on May 27th is full and we have a wait list. Hendra will contact you if you signed up concerning payment, lunch choice and times.
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.


Swift River Valley Historical Society Schedules Hikes and Bus Trips in Quabbin

Limited spaces so contact the office immediately by phone (978-544-6882) or email at
Hike #1: Sunday, May 3rd, hike to Macedonia section of New Salem. Meet at New Salem Common at 11:00 am. This is not a hike that approaches the reservoir, for those who might want a hike that goes to the water.
Hike #2: Sunday, May 17th, a walk "to and over Greenwich Village" - meet at Gate 43 11:00 am.
Bus Trip #1: Sunday, June 21st bus trip through New Salem & Dana, depart from SRVHS 11:00 am.
Bus Trip #2: Sunday, October 4th Prescott bus trip, depart from SRVHS at 11:00 am.
Hike #3: Sunday, October 18th, hike to Indian Kitchen & plane crash site, meet at gate 40, 11:00 am.
Hikes are free; a $25 per person donation is asked for bus trips, space reserved in advance. Send checks to: Swift River Valley Historical Society (SRVHS) at P.O. Box 22, New Salem, MA 01355.

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.
Save the date: Saturday, July 18th.


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.

Notes on "Lost" Wildlife from Mass Wildlife

See links below for information:

Notes on lost wildlife /rehab/wildlife_rehab_index.htm

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

WiredWest town meeting bond authorizations are now 6 for 6. Cummington, Plainfield, Shutesbury, West Stockbridge, Blandford and Windsor all passed with overwhelming majorities or unanimously, and often with record attendance.

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.