A Great Geer Line Project Kickoff!

Saturday, November 17 turned out to be a beautiful day, perfect for cleaning up trash and talking about ideas for Phase 1 of the Geer Line area in SESNA. Thanks to everyone who turned out to help or join the discussion! A few pics of the fun:

The Geer Line was a railroad spur that ran east from the Union Pacific main line on 12th Street, along modern-day Oak and Simpson streets. The tracks were removed a few decades ago, and much of the excess right-of-way remains in City of Salem or Union Pacific Railroad ownership. At the time, neighbors had great ideas of a linear park using the 25-foot-wide strips.

Geer Line circa 1920
Geer Line Route, c. 1920


Unfortunately, those plans got put on the back burner, and the Geer Line parcels became magnets for trash dumping. Instead of being an asset to the community, they became a liability.

New SESNA board member Mia Boessen has a passion for open space, community gardens, and equitable neighborhood improvements. She’s spearheading the new Geer Line project, starting with regular cleanups of the stretch between 23rd and 25th Streets.

This section is very visible, adjacent to Richmond School and apartment complexes, and is also the most littered.

Geer Line Phase 1 Parcels – City of Salem Right-of-Way

Neighbors we met during the cleanup were happy to see the layers of garbage and blackberries removed, and excited to think of how these properties could contribute to their neighborhood.

SESNA will be hosting a special meeting in early 2019 with neighbors living near this part of the Geer Line, to talk about your ideas for these spaces and how you’d like to get involved in making these into community spaces you can enjoy.

Sign up for our email list to be sure you don’t miss the meeting announcement or opportunities to join in our next cleanup!

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