New Salem Town & Local Events,

Opportunities & News

Winterfest! March 4 5-7pm New Salem Center
It's about time we had some fun with all of this snow! Come to New Salem center and build a snow person, gather the family to make a snow sculpture (spray bottles of color provided), or have a s'more by the bonfire. Bring a sled and take advantage of our cool, lit up sledding hill! Bring your snowshoes and take a moon-lit hike to the Quabbin Overlook, or just around Fay Field. The library will be open to show off its new teen area and provide a warm place to play a board game, and get some cocoa. Come play in all this wonderful snow before it melts and we're batting at blackflies! Free fun for all ages. If you have snowshoes to lend, I know some people who would love to try, but don't own any.

This project is being funded, in part,  through the Massachusetts Board of Library
Commissioners with funds from LSTA (Library Services and Technology Act), a federal source of funding provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences.

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.
New Salem Town-Wide Tag Sale is Coming!
It's that time again.... Start sorting and stashing away all those things youcan live without and have them ready for the Town-wide Tag Sale the first weekend of May!  There is usually someone out there who can’t live without that thing you don't need anymore!  It’s a great time with friends and neighbors and you'll probably go away with at least enough profit for a good dinner out.  Mark your calendars and boxes now for a great day in May!  More details in the March newsletter.
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
The Friends of the New Salem Public Library appreciate the responses we have received for our Annual Appeal.  We'd also like to remind you that our Gently Used Book Sale shelf is constantly getting restocked.
Tweens and Teens Special Events: New Salem Library Teen News! What’s new in the New Year? The Library is open every Wednesday (moved from Fridays) from 1:30 to 5:30 for 11 to 18 year olds, only! Use our new Google Chrome computers, watch a newly-released movie on our projector, have a snack and hang out with friends. Need help with homework? A book for class?

Stay tuned for news about our Winterfest -

Improve your writing skills in February

February 11, 18, and 25th. Local author Mara Bright comes to continue the momentum with the writing group. Come improve a story you’ve already started or begin a new one!

February 18: Help make shoes for the children of Uganda for Soles of Hope. This non-profit brings shoes and jobs to country that is struggling.You can help! No experience necessary.

Call 978-544-6334 for more info. (This project 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.)
Kids Club: The Kids Club will be meeting from

from 3:30-5:00 pm on February 3rd and 10th

Pizza and Pages: On Tuesday, February 3rd January 6th from 5:00-6:30 pm: Pizza and Pages, a teen reading club, will be discussing Snow Like Ashes, by Sara RaaschRick Riordan.  Pizza available thanks to the New Salem General Store.
LEGO Club: On Thursday, February 12th 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 February 10th, The Ten Thousand Things by Maria Dermout will be available to pick up. The next Book Discussion Group meeting will be Wednesday, March 25th at 7:00 pm.

Reading Aloud for Grown-ups Program: The 2015 season schedule is:

Wednesday, February 11 (snow date Feb. 18) - Adam Frost and Jane Clukay
Wednesday, March 11 (snow date March 18) - Sally Howe and Allen Young
Wednesday, April 1 (snow date April 8) - Mira Bartok and Mike Ross

If you haven't had an opportunity to enjoy having a great story read to you in a friendly environment, please come and experience the pleasure on hand at this Friends of the Library sponsored event.  Free coffee, and tea, with delicious home baked goodies sold to benefit the Friends of the Library.
Community Network for Children Program: Come meet the STARS of the show - FROGS! with Rae Griffiths of Teaching Creatures. Rae will read stories and share her knowledge as we get to observe and ask questions. This program is intended for children 2-8 years of age, but all are welcome.

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

Luncheons: On Friday, February 13th, we will meet at the Stowell Building for a Chinese take-out luncheon. The cost will be $5 person.  Please contact Hendra Reidy at 978-544-2178 to let her know you are coming if you have not already signed up.  We will gather at 10 am for a meeting followed by Bingo and coffee at noon.  The snow date will be the following Friday, February 20th.

Trip to Vermont Horse Farm: On Wednesday, May 27, there will be a bus trip to the Vermont Horse Farm in Townshend, VT. We will tour the beautiful European-style stables and meet the gentle Fresian horses. This is a breed that originated in the Netherlands. We will take a carriage ride around the grounds and then enjoy a choreographed musical show, including Classical Dressage Freestyle from seats in the area. The trip will also include lunch at the New England House Restaurant. The menu will be a choice of BBQ Beef Brisket or Peach-Glazed Chicken Breast or Orange Tarragon Salmon. Please call Hendra Reidy at 978-544-2178 to sign up. This trip is open to all adults and sponsored by the New Salem Academy and the New Salem Council on Aging.  The cost for the trip, including lunch, will be $20 per person.
Busy B's: We continue to meet on Wednesday at the Stowell Building from 1:00-3:00 pm.  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 (978-544-2216) to see if we are meeting.


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.

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

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

Free Skating!
There is free skating (weather permitting) open to all area residents at the outdoor Orange Skating Rink at Butterfield Park and the Wendell State Forest Skating Rink.

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.

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.