Salem Willows is a 24.62-acre public park located on Salem Neck at the northeastern most part of the City of Salem, MA. It was established as a park in 1888. Oriented towards the northwest, the park is long and relatively narrow, occupying a section of coastline running from Camp Naumkeag in the west and wrapping around Hospital Point to Salem Willows Beach, north of Juniper Point. The park faces out onto Beverly Harbor and the Danvers River, with views to the greater Salem Sound, Salem harbor islands and the Atlantic at its outermost point.
The Salem Willows offers all residents of the City and the greater North Shore area public access to an otherwise restricted waterfront. The City regularly sponsors recreational and educational programming at the Willows. In the past, these have included summer concerts, movie nights, festivals, paddle board and kayak lessons, and other wellness programming for children and seniors. People gather at the park to picnic with friends and family, fish, and take in the sights. The proposed improvements will ensure the historic Salem Willows remains a beloved park that is able to provide space for all residents to gather and connect with the water.
Existing Conditions Reports:
While Phase 1 of Salem Willows Park Improvements project began the first week of June 2021 there were some other improvements in the fall of 2020, see below for those plans. Phase 1 consisted of revitalizing "The Hill" area, including the parking lot and tennis courts. This area had generally been used for informal vehicle parking, leading to a loss of green space, inefficient parking utilization, and fatal damage to mature trees. The improvement project improved and formalized the existing parking, installed green infrastructure to mediate runoff, restored the hill to parkland, provided seating, and renovated the existing tennis courts.
Plans and Presentations
- Fall 2020 Improvements
- Salem Willows Annotated Site Plan
- Salem Willows Phase 1 Improvements - February 2021
In this second phase of improvements the city plans to renovate the northeast tip of the park, which runs from the pier down to the start of the historic tree allee and the area in front of the restaurants, reducing pavement on the site and replacing it with a central green space and regrading pedestrian pathways to increase accessibility, pedestrian comfort, and environmental resiliency. This Phase has been awarded a PARC grant and CPA funding to support the design work as well as a preservation study. In March the City, along wth its Landscape Architect presented the preliminary designs to the public and addressed questions. Since then the design has been before the Conservation Commission in June. With the Pier now ready to move ahead this fall/winter it was decided to delay the start of Phase 2 until construction of the Pier is almost complete. Stay tuned for further updates.
Plans and Presentations
- Phase 2 Public Meeting Presentation - March 14, 2023
- Salem Willows Phase 2 Improvements 75% Permitting Plan - June 02, 2023
- Salem Willows Phase 2 Conservation Commission Presentation - June 20, 2023
- Salem Willows Phase 2 Annotated Site Plan - June 28, 2023
Recreational Fishing Pier
The beloved fishing pier was torn down in 2021 due to safety concerns due to storm damage over the years and sea-level rise. But not before plans were in the works between the Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) and the Office of Fishing and Boating Access (FBA) and the City of Salem to design and construct a new pier. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reviewed the project, and we received authorization under Massachusetts General Permit # 02 and 04 in June. The project is out to bid with the construction phase to commence this Fall, or Winter, now ahead of the Phase 2 work. The scope of the project is estimated to take nine 9 months to complete and weather will be an important factor. See the links below for additional details about the project.
Plans and Updates