North Salem Improvement Society, P O Box 209, North Salem, New York 10560      northsalemimprovementsociety@gmail.com

Be sure to visit our Reduce Reuse Recycle page to find out WHAT TO DO WITH .....!

Thank you for joining us on Sunday, April 21

at the Ruth Keeler Memorial Library (our co-sponsors)

for a discussion and free presentation:

All About Composting

Special Guest Elaine Garry from the Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Gardener program showed us how to turn kitchen waste into Black Gold - we learned how to compost kitchen waste, coffee grinds, grass clippings, leaves and so much more.  Time to work the garden!


Let's do it...!

Thanks to all who have pitched in!

We are almost there!

Orange bags for collecting litter, safety vests, gloves and pickers are available. at the library

There's a map of the town roads there - pease highlight where you will tackle the litter 

We now have a bin for Batteries and another one for holiday String Lights at the Town E-Waste bin.

Stop by the Town Clerk's office for the key.

See our ReDuce, ReUse, ReCycle page for what's acceptable and what's not.

Something special this year - instead of the usual fresh cut trees, we borrowed live, balled, five-foot Alberta Spruces from Hardscrabble Farms.  They were carefully delivered to our site by Hardscrabble Supply and returned to Hardscrabble Farms once we finished with our holiday event.  We are proud to - ReUse and RePurpose - and save live plants!  

Many thanks to Hardscrabble Farms and Hardscrabble Supply! 

By mid-December North Salem local organizations will have decorated all of the borrowed trees!  Be sure to drive-by and see them lighted at night.

Then join us on Christmas Eve for our traditional carolling around the bonfire with Santa arriving atop a Croton Falls Fire Department truck around 6:15pm.

Interested in a Fall roadside clean-up?  Orange bags are available.

Contact us and we will leave a supply for you at a convenient pickup or we can drop them off!


Sunday, November 5th, 3pm at the new town Community Center in Croton Falls.  

We are teaming up with our CAC (Conservation Advisory Council) and CSC (Climate Smart Community) 

for a "jam session" on all the important environmental initiatives that we have in common - 

from recycling to composting to energy efficient practices.  

Come and participate and share your concerns and ideas to help us help you and our town!

The North Salem Community Center is located in Croton Falls at 3 Owens Road. 

It will be a wonderful opportunity to see all the facilities and programs

our Recreation Department has put together for all of us to enjoy!

We will have a brief Annual Meeting at the start of the program.

Happy Fall!

Flyers and Membership Renewals will be out soon!

We were thrilled with the number of new residents and members who joined us on Sunday, March 26 at the beautiful home of one of our directors, Chrissanth Greene-Gross.  It was a time to introduce ourselves to new folks who have moved into town, to reconnect with friends and neighbors, to hear a little about us and what we strive to do for our lovely town.  



Years ago we purchased two identical benches for the North Salem Holiday Tree site for community and Santa use.  Just over a year ago one fell into disrepair, the castiron side broke, and the highway department carted it away.  They actually tried to fix it for us but to no avail.   We had parts and pieces to another bench, not quite the same but close enough, and master carpenter Peter Scurlock and his son Aaron spent hours powder-coating the cast iron, cutting new slats, and finishing a beautiful new bench just in time for Xmas Eve 2021.

While putting up the trees this year we noticed the bench was gone!  Unbelieveable.  It weighed about 300 lbs.  Please, just return it.  

Left to right:  Eric Tucker, Mrs. Tucker, unk, unk, Albert Lobdell, Mrs. Benjamin Van Scoy, Mrs. Tuttle, Mrs. Gilbert Lobdell, H. Hobart Keeler, Mrs. John Christopher, John Christopher

A History of the North Salem Community Christmas Tree

In the early 1920s two local residents (Thomas Hyland and Donald Torcellini) approached H. Hobart Keeler and asked permission to erect a Christmas tree on Mr. Keeler's property across the road from Mr. Hyland's home. They constructed a large tree out of fir branches in a chicken wire frame that could be removed after the holidays. The effort inspired Mr. Keeler to put in a permanent tree and he had the largest fir that could be moved transported from a nursery in Yorktown.

In 1926 H. H. Keeler deeded his quarter acre adjoining the old Clark Scott House to the Town of North Salem with the provision that the property could only be used for a Community Christmas Tree.  Electric lights were used on the earliest trees and various members of the community would wrap presents to distribute to the local children. After Mr. Keeler's death in 1929 the maintenance of the tree was assumed by various community leaders and in the 1930s became the annual undertaking of the North Salem Improvement Society.

The original tree was over 70 years old when it succumbed to nature. Its successor was planted in the late 1940s and was utilized when the first tree had become too large to decorate. This second tree fell over in 1990 after a storm. A blue spruce once stood on the eastern end of the lot and was used for a few Christmases. In 1991 another tree was planted and dedicated in the memory of Harold Milligan who loved playing Santa Claus. On the night that Harold died, that tree was struck by lightning!

A succession of trees have since been planted and we hope that the latest will withstand the trials and tribulations that nature has wrought on our beautiful trees. A memorial plaque to H. Hobart Keeler, in recognition of the many services he provided to his community, is to be seen in the stone wall bordering the road. A plaque in memory of Harold Milligan is near the park benches and another plaque bears the name of Rohna McKenna, past president of the Society, who loved playing Mrs. Claus.

When Covid hit in 2020 the NSIS invited local community organizations to decorate six-foot trees that they provided. The historical society added the carollers!

Photo compliments of the North Salem Historical Society

If you missed our annual meeting you can access The Story of Plastic on any one of these

Subscription DiscoveryGo streaming; Amazon; Apple TV and Xfinity video-on-demand.

And the Winners are....  

Our 2022 Scholarship winners are two very accomplished and dedicated students from North Salem High.  Congratulations to both!

Maya Dallow

"Respect for land and nature is something that makes North Salem special to me."   From Amnesty International to Save the Children and RideConnect, Maya has been an active volunteer, dedicated leader and role model.  Congratulations, Maya!

Michael Milanes, Jr.

"Feeling of community" is what makes North Salem special for Michael.  From his involvement with the town's Climate Smart Committee to  running in the Race for Open Space, Michael has demonstrated his dedication and is working towards earning his New York State Seal of Civic Readiness.  Keep up the excellent work, Michael!


Dear Neighbor,

This year, 2022, the North Salem Improvement Society marks its ninety-first year.  Few people realize the extent of the Society’s involvement in our community since its founding in 1931.  For a sampling of our accomplishments. please visit the History page.

The Society strives to keep everyone up-to-date on the latest information on handling waste and recycling materials, energy saving tips, how to “go green” and “live green,” and so much more.  Reducing, Reusing and Recycling is so important if for no other reason than the cost of garbage collection!  Working with the town we hope to be expanding our E-Waste collection program this year.

But the Society is only as strong and successful as its membership and that is why we are constantly reaching out to you to join us and volunteer whatever time you may have to broaden our list of projects. Please consider completing the enclosed membership form and sending it back with your contribution.

Thank you.

The Directors, Peter Bliss, Cynthia Curtis, Chrissanth Gross, Paul McCabe, Susan Baum Moyer, Laura Noya, Gail Pantezzi,  Lulu Pelosi, Dania Rusanov, Amy Post Scurlock, Tim Purdy, and Edris Scherer.

To join, see Membership on the sidebar.

Shopping Bag in a Pouch!

The Improvement Society did a bulk purchase of bags with a North Salem logo on them.  They collapse into a small, easy-to-carry pocket.  We sell them at cost, only $4.   A free bag for anyone who joins.  Only $20 for annual membership.

Reusable Straw Set

Forget plastic straws and consider your own set of reusable ones.  Only $2.  A free set for new members.


Thanks to all who joined us on Saturday, April 26, at the library for our annual meeting and 2021 Earth Day celebration.  Andrea Good and Pam Pooley along with other members of the town's conservation advisory council gave a demonstration on how to properly remove invasive species and in their place plant native plants.  A river beach and several perennials were planted behind the library with more to come.  Joining us was Andrew Middlebrook from the Open Land Foundation with information on their Pollinator Pathway program.  Photo by Tom Walogorsky of the North Salem News.


Kudos to all who hit the roads and collected roadside litter.  We almost ran out of orange bags!  But, we still have a few areas to do.  Please let us know if you have time and need orange bags.  We will drop off or make easy pick-up.


We filled five bins with recyclable electronics.  We are also collecting more information on what to do with microwave ovens, lamps, and other electronics that cannot go into the bins from the company the town selected.  See our page Reduce Reuse Recycle for information on what to do with unwanted items you cannot recycle under the town's contract.


To find out more about what to do with your unwanted items and waste materials, please go to our Reduce Reuse Recycle page.  Learn what you can recycle weekly through the town's contract.  See what is accepted at the town's E-Waste Recycle Bin.  Find new places to donate gently used items you no longer want.  Finally, what about all the items the town does not recycle?  There are some tips on more recycling places.  But first, sometimes it may be best to simply

Choose not to purchase products wrapped in plastic

Wash and reuse the plastic you already have

Carry reusable shopping bags with you at all times.

North Salem Improvement Society, P O Box 209, North Salem, New York  10560


Sunday, September 18 - Join us as we partner with the North Salem Climate Smart Committee and Conservation Advisory Council at the finish line of the NS Open Land Foundation's Race for Open Space at Baxter Preserve.

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