Salem’s Riverfront Park is a flagship venue for many annual events, including last weekend’s World Beat Festival and the upcoming Bite & Brew of Salem.
Thanks to a boost in Salem Health volunteerism, it’s becoming an even more vibrant resource.
The City of Salem purchased the land from Boise Cascade and began developing it in the 1980s. The beginning stage of the park was launched in 1996 and now the long-awaited Peter Courtney bridge has opened over the Willamette River, connecting the park to miles of bike and walking paths in Minto-Brown Island Park. The Riverfront Carousel and A.C. Gilbert House also call Riverfront Park home.
On June 22, volunteers from 19 different Salem Health departments descended on the park to plant flowers, paint railings, and participate in several beautification projects to welcome the 20th anniversary of World Beat Festival.
“Salem Health donated the flowers and our crew is working hard to clean up the beds and plant them,” noted Bryce Petersen, community relations liaison.
Salem Health knows the importance of giving back, and has a base of more than 400 volunteers who serve a variety of needs, from helping in the emergency room and waiting rooms, to wayfinding and pet therapy.
Salem Health’s Volunteer Services Projects Committee also benefits the community by hosting sales to fund scholarships for students pursuing health care careers.
The Riverfront Park beautification project was one way Salem Health staff gave back to the community in a new way.
“We save lives every day. Now we’re planting life and hoping to regenerate the community,” said Melissa S., clinical education and care management nurse. “Watching this happen is just spectacular.”
With more community volunteer projects in the works, Salem Health is working hard to fulfill its commitment to being as big a community partner outside of its walls as it is inside them.
“Community really does matter!” said Petersen. Yes it does.