To the editor:

Let’s face the facts, without our volunteers we would be an entirely different community.

When you come right down to it, the most adept city government in the world could not successfully keep up with the quality-of-life issues necessary to make and keep a city vibrant and beautiful. The city together with its many volunteers are what make it all work. It is amazing the number of organizations, neighborhood associations and individual volunteers out and about in Salem, giving their time, energy, and yes, money, to make Salem the fascinating and beautiful historic city that it is.

Please consider the Salem Beautification Committee, with its Lady-of-Salem mastheads sprinkled throughout the downtown area, and its Traffic Island Program, with the assistance of the Department of Public Works, that invites local businesses to sponsor and beautify with planted traffic islands and sidewalk gardens and which recruits volunteers who weed, maintain, remove the litter from the gardens as well as their surrounds on the curbs and sidewalks adjacent. Those energetic volunteers and sponsors play a major part in beautifying the roads and corridors throughout the city. Please thank those businesses when you are in their places of business. Think about joining as a Beautification Committee board member or as a volunteer in the Traffic Island Program. Newly retired, sold your home, and no longer have a garden? Join our gardening volunteers. There is no satisfaction like honing your creative talents and seeing the positive results of your labors.

Then there are the volunteers of Keep Salem Beautiful, one of many local offshoots of the Keep America Beautiful organization. They are out regularly in neighborhoods, streets, parks, picking up and bagging the litter, turning toads into princes, if you will. Salemites of all ages and abilities answer to the monthly call on the Keep Salem Beautiful website and show up in droves according to their interest in the site, their abilities, and availabilities — a wonderful way to meet new people, get some fresh air, and reap the satisfaction of time well spent. Check out the KSB website and join up.

The Salem Garden Club is another excellent example of volunteers at work creating beauty where none existed. Their plantings in the large urns at the entrance to downtown on the upper strip of Washington Street are wonderful to behold — and they never fail to come through.

And don’t forget the many appointed to the myriad of city boards and commissions, freely volunteering their time and expertise, often late into the evening. Their services are essential to the workings of your city.

What an appropriate time of year to thank them all, but we shouldn’t have to wait for the Thanksgiving holiday to do it.

Stay safe and have a lovely Thanksgiving.

Sandi Power

Chair

Traffic Island Program

Salem Beautification Committee

Salem

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