Balm Grove, Column, Gales Creek Gatherings

Column | Gales Creek Gatherings: Balm Grove and CPO 13

The Balm Grove Tavern. Photo: Chas Hundley


The first ever CPO 13 Potluck meeting was attended by about a dozen community members.  At an event with food and Balm Grove slated to be the hot topic, this was a meager attendance.  

Per usual, we had our Public Safety Meeting from Tad Buckingham of Forest Grove Fire & Rescue.

He spoke briefly about the consolidation of the five  Fire Districts in our area. The goal of consolidation being to profit the greatest use of resources and offer better protection to the public, as well as hopefully see a small decrease in fire insurance.  We were also reminded to change the batteries on smoke detectors, using the semi annual changing of the clocks as our set date. Have those extra batteries ready so you’re not tempted to remove them when the dreaded ‘beep’ begins. Since burn season is still in effect, he instructed us on the terminology of ‘backyard burning’, ‘agricultural burns’ and ‘warming or cooking fires’, which are allowable at all times, other than during burn ban.  

Shannon Huggins from Clean Water Services gave us an update on the Balm Grove Project.

The removal of the dam, which had been slated for this summer, has been postponed.  The future of the Scoggins Dam has a potential impact on the decision to remove the dam, and other agencies, like Tualatin Riverkeepers had new input, which potentially can alter the plan.  However, other phases of the project will move ahead. On Wednesday, May 1 there will be a walking tour of the Balm Grove property. The public is invited, and from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. 3-4 tours will be conducted, with a question and answer format.  It is an open house type affair, so you may come for refreshments and a tour at any time during the evening. Also on the agenda for this summer is the painting of the old ‘tavern’ on the property. There will be color swatches on May 1 for your perusal and vote.

The remainder of the evening was taken up by Heather Robinson,  Recycling Specialist with Washington County. The focus of her presentation was teaching us why some recycling has a greater impact financially, environmentally and sustainably.  Not all recycling is “good,” as the value of the item recycled may not be cost effective, or as reusable as it was at the beginning of its recycling life. For example, while paper is highly recyclable; the fibers in paper become so small in the end product of a receipt, or note paper, that these items are better thrown in the trash.  There were many such examples to numerous to mention, but it was decided this information will be presented annually. In another vein, Heather reminded us to take into account, when we are making purchases, how much value our purchase will have in our life, i.e. “do I really need this.” We were reminded to attempt to decrease food waste, so we all went back through the food line!

The next CPO meeting will be in Verboort on May 8, with the program TBA. Please consider joining these meetings which have impact on our communities.

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