Blanketed with stately trees and full of local charm and history, Englewood Park in a northeast Salem neighborhood is the proverbial hidden gem in Salem.
Neighbors certainly know about the 7-acre oasis of trees, the city’s oldest park at 1260 19th St. NE.
Some have long floated the idea of a festival to nurture environmentalism and community, and to celebrate arts and the wealth of talent in the neighborhood.
A side benefit is to introduce the park to others in town.
That idea has come to fruition with the Englewood Forest Festival that will take place 11am to 5pm, Saturday, Aug. 12.
“Some people don’t realize we have this treasure right here, this unique place of endangered trees that is part of a native remnant forest. Part of what we want to do is broaden people’s awareness of the trees and treasures in the park,” festival organizer Lynn Takata said.
Environmental workshops are a big component and include gardening for pollinators, wildlife in the park, caring for mature trees, learning to compost and creative backyard habitat.
Live music and dance will fill the park from such groups as the Latino folk dancers from ENLACE of Northeast Salem which promotes cross-cultural, collaborative community projects.
Forty artists, including many who live near the park, will show and sell their work. One is Ann Kresge who grows papyrus in her backyard to create handmade paper and sculptural prints.
Indeed, the park and the neighborhood are sources of information for some.
Photographer Jan Black, for instance, takes photos while on walks and then digitally alters them, reinterpreting the life around the park and finding small surprises.
And artist Corrine Loomis Dietz, who lives ½ block from the park in a historic house that dates back to the neighborhood’s origins, will show her work.
She helped with festival planning, and will display paintings while her daughter Clair will play classical cello.
An event planner, Takata became enamored of Englewood Park and the surrounding streets, houses, gardens and trees after moving to the area in 2014.
“I started to walk around the neighborhood and thought that this is a fantastic park, and the neighborhood has lots of artists and creative people. I thought a festival would be a great way to bring people together and allow people to make connections,” she said.
Another organizer, Cindy Kimball, said she and others who live near the park have talked about doing a festival for a long time. The time seemed right for it and a neighborhood committee was formed to plan it.
Helping people learn how to take care of their trees was a primary motivation for Kimball. Workshops and an arborist will be on hand to answer questions on such issues as over watering Oregon white oak trees.
“We want to educate people on the value of the trees we are so fortunate to have here. We want people to learn how to take care of them. We don’t want to lose them,” Kimball said.
The park’s historical significance will also be in the air.
In 1926, the city purchased the 7-acre parcel for $6,000, the first municipal purchase made specifically for park and recreation purposes, according to the city’s website.
Englewood park may also have been designed by the Lord & Schryver, a Salem landscape design firm founded by two women. Kimball said the University of Oregon is supposed to have the original plans on file which she’ll search for once renovation of the university’s special collections library is complete.
A big focus is on highlighting local businesses and performers such as Madalena Martin who went to North High School and lives in the neighborhood, and Joe Mocha Bistro that can be found a few blocks from the park.
The festival is sponsored by the Northeast Neighborhood Association with support from the N2 Community Participation Team.
Parking will be available on surrounding streets and at the Englewood United Methodist Church (1170 17th St NE) or east parking lot of the First Church of the Nazarene (1550 Market St NE.)
The portion of 20th Street NE that runs behind Englewood School will be closed to accommodate food trucks and ADA parking.
For more details on the festival go to www.englewoodforestfestival.com