April 26 is Tree-rific Saturday at the Albany Farmers' Market


Springtime is time to celebrate Arbor Day.  This public holiday is set aside for individuals, families, schools, civic groups, and other organizations to reflect on the importance of trees in our community, state, and across the nation.


J. Morton Sterling initiated the holiday in Nebraska in 1872.  He said "Other holidays repose upon the past; Arbor Day proposes for the future."


Trees provide beauty and shade for our yards, parks, and streets and:

  • Purify the air
  • Reduce stormwater runoff
  • Reduce heating and cooling costs
  • Reduce noise pollution
  • Increase property values
  • Provide wildlife habitat
  • Prevent soil erosion
  • Improve health and wellbeing.

The City of Albany is proud to be called a Tree City USA for the 20th year.  This recognition is given by the National Arbor Day Foundation for the City's stewardship of Albany's urban forest.  The City strives to preserve and plant trees and maintain tree health in the community.  To celebrate this Tree City milestone and Albany's 150th anniversary of incorporation, we are giving away 150 free trees at Farmers' Market on Saturday, April 26, 2014, following the Procession of the Species.  Different varieties will be available to best match the space where you'd like to plant them.  Information on planting and care of trees is available along with fun, family activities.


For more information, contact Meghan Chuites, 541-791-0157 or meghan.chuites@cityofalbany.net .

Oregon Heritage Conference in Albany April 23-25


Two to three hundred visitors are expected to attend the Oregon Heritage Conference in historic Downtown Albany April 23-25, 2014.  Theme of the conference is "Celebrate, Recreate, Invigorate."


The conference brings together people who love and work with Oregon's heritage and focuses on all sectors of heritage, such as historic preservation, museums, archives, libraries, and local and state government.  It will include workshops, tours, and breakout sessions about the intersection of heritage and recreation; tours of nearby historic trails and Thompson's Mills State Heritage Area.  Breakout sessions will also address collections care and disaster preparedness for museums, archives, and libraries; historic district regulation; revitalization strategies for downtowns, and archaeological interpretation.


Two free walking tours are open to the public:  Monteith Historic District, 7:30 a.m. Thursday, April 24; and Talking Water Gardens, 7:30 a.m. Friday, April 25.  Albany Regional Museum, the Monteith House, and the Carousel Museum are also open to the public for free, 3:00-6:00 p.m. all three days.


Grant McOmie, outdoor reporter/producer for Travel Oregon and Portland's KGW-TV, is the keynote speaker, addressing Oregon heritage and outdoor adventure.  His newest book, Grant's Getaways --101 Oregon Adventures explores the state's people, places, and outdoor adventures.


The Oregon Heritage Excellence Awards will be presented at a banquet at the Flinn Block Hall on April 24.  The Excellence Awards recognize individuals, businesses, and organizations for outstanding efforts on behalf of Oregon's heritage.


Registration is $70, but some parts of the conference are available for smaller fees.  Additional conference and registration information is available at http://go.usa.gov/KfEJ.


The Oregon Heritage Conference will take place at several downtown locations, with registration at the Albany Regional Museum.  The Albany Downtown Association, the Albany Visitors Association, and the City of Albany are assisting with the conference. 

Parks & Recreation and supporters win five Ovations!


Chuck & Lise Grato

Albany Parks & Recreation events, individuals, and businesses that support them have received five Ovation! awards for 2013 from the Oregon Festival and Events Association.  Awards were presented at OFEA's annual conference in early March in Seaside.


The awards and recipients are:

  • Volunteer of the Year:  Lise and Chuck Grato of Albany, the first couple to win the Ovation for volunteering.  Both have been active for many years in activities in Albany and Corvallis, including balloon liftoffs at the ATI Northwest Art & Air Festival, River Rhythms concert series, and Zombie Chase 5K run.  Lise Grato is chair of the Albany Senior Center Endowment Committee and is on the Foster Grandparent Advisory Board.  Both are also involved in the Historic Albany Carousel project.
  • Sponsor of the Year:  Oregon Freeze Dry.  OFD was the Title Sponsor of the 30th Anniversary River Rhythms Concert Series, sponsored the Festival Stage at the Northwest Art & Air Festival, and a major sponsor of the Children's Performing Arts Series.  Jim Merryman, President of Oregon Freeze Dry, accepted the award.
  • Vendor of the Year:  E.C. Company.  EC Company takes care of electrical setup and takedown for vendors at the Northwest Art & Air Festival and donated services to prepare Monteith Riverpark for the River Rhythms and Mondays @ Monteith concert series.  John Mason, service manager, accepted the award on behalf of E.C. Company.
  • Best Festival or Event with a budget under $150,000:  River Rhythms.  The summer concert series marked its 30th year in 2013.
  • Best Music Program within a Festival or Event:  Foreigner concert at 2013 ATI Northwest Art & Air Festival.  The concert, on the Main Stage at the Oregon Amphitheater at Timber-Linn Memorial Park, drew a crowd of 23,000 and concluded with a fireworks display over Timber-Linn Lake.

Albany City Hall spring art exhibits




Local calligraphers show their works at Albany City Hall, 333 Broadlabin Street SW, through the month of April 2014.  Participating artists are Nancy Anderson, Penny White, Susan Wickes, Sandi Cormier, and Laura Drager.  Media includes a variety of inks, watercolor, acrylics, resists, and cut paper.


Learn more about their work and the Valley Calligraphy Guild at http://valleycalligraphyguild.com/shows.html.


City Hall hosts art from around the mid-valley and the Northwest in exhibits that change every month, year-round.  Art work in a variety of media is displayed on both floors of the building and is available for viewing weekdays during business hours and a few evenings each month when public meetings are held.


The exhibits are coordinated and sponsored by the Albany Arts Commission.  For information about the exhibits and the Arts Commission, contact Commissioner Billie Moore, 541-928-6182, or Debbie Little, 541-917-7778, or debbie.little@cityofalbany.net.

Protect the river from polluted runoff


A pipeline connects Albany neighborhoods to the river.


Polluted runoff, or stormwater, is rain or melted snow that flows over the ground picking up dirt, bacteria, oil, and chemicals (herbicides, pesticides, battery acid) from sidewalks, roofs, roads, driveways, and yards.  It flows untreated from neighborhood storm drains directly to rivers and streams - the same rivers and streams that people rely on for drinking water, fishing, and recreation.


Batteries contain toxic ingredients - Please dispose of batteries properly.  In Albany, automotive, lawnmower, and motorcycle batteries can be recycled at Battery X-Change, 6630 Santiam Road SE. Recyclers may be paid a small amount for used batteries that are capped, unbroken, and not leaking.  Almost 99 percent of the battery is recycled and reused.


AA, AAA, and D batteries can be taken to Habitat for Humanity's ReStore, 1225 Sixth Avenue SE, for recycling.


If you see stormwater pollution, report it:  call 541-917-7600.  Please help keep these toxic chemicals out of our rivers and creeks.

What color is your lawn?  


Healthy lawns in the Pacific Northwest are a light meadow green. 

What crop covers more land than any other in the United States? Lawns cover 17.7 million acres in the U.S. (http://www.epa.gov/reg3wcmd/pesticideslawn.htm)  A 2004 study by the Environmental Protection Agency found 78 million households using home and garden pesticides alone.  According to a recent National Science Foundation study, 63 percent of US residents fertilized their lawns and 79 percent watered them.   http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=130552

When lawn chemicals are applied improperly, they can run off into streams and lakes, polluting drinking water and harming fish, reptiles, and other wildlife.  Children and pets are exposed to these chemicals as they frolic on the lawn. 

Consider natural lawn care.


Work with your soil and plants to create thick grass that discourages weeds and promotes growth of a deep, extensive, and drought-tolerant root system.


  • Get your soil tested by Oregon State University Extension Service Master Gardeners; the lawn may not need to be fertilized.
  • Avoid using weed-and-feed products which spread pesticide on the whole yard, not just the weeds.  Accept a few weeds and spot spray those that you don't want.
  • Improve poor lawns with aeration, over-seeding and top dressing with compost.
  • Aerate the lawn at least once a year.  Twice is better:  spring and fall.
  • If you fertilize, use organic or slow-release fertilizers.  Fertilize in September when lawns are building root reserves for the next year. 
  • Mow high, mow regularly, and leave the clippings on the lawn
  • Plant native or drought-resistant plants that can grow without a lot of additional water and fertilizers.
  • Visit the City's AWE garden for inspiration http://go.usa.gov/KfUP
  • Water deeply to moisten the whole root zone, but less frequently - typically one inch per week.  This prevents runoff that carries lawn chemicals into streams. http://go.usa.gov/KfPd
  • Schedule a free outdoor water audit (available June - August).  Call 541-791-0087.

Broadway neighborhood chosen for The Big Pickup


The southwestern-most portion of the Broadway neighborhood has been chosen for cleanup as part of The Big Pickup:  Albany Community Action Day on Saturday, May 17, 2014.


The City of Albany and Republic Services team up to coordinate the annual community cleanup. Volunteers help the neighborhood get rid of junk and trash, pick up litter on City streets, and clear invasive plants and trash from local streams.


The target area for this year's cleanup is in West Albany and is bounded by 17th Avenue SW, Bonnie Street, Gale Street to its end north of 12th Avenue, Lincoln Street to 12th Avenue, and the west side of Broadway Street between 17th and 12th Avenues SW.  Residents in that area will get a note on their front door a few weeks before the cleanup day to let them know the event is coming up and how they can participate.  On May 17, those same residents can clear their yards of unwanted junk, trash, yard debris, and tires by bringing those items to the Liberty Street parking lot at West Albany High School.


The Big Pickup coincides with Republic Services' annual Recycle Roundup at the company's Albany facility, 1214 Montgomery Street SE.  Hours are 8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.  For information about what can be recycled there, call 541-928-2551 or visit www.sanitation.com/Pages/Recycling.aspx.


To volunteer or get more information, contact Marilyn Smith, 541-917-7507, marilyn.smith@cityofalbany.net; or Heather Slocum, 541-791-0058, heather.slocum@cityofalbany.net.

Previous issues of City Bridges are available at:

Albany residents with key roles in Oregon history


George Chamberlain, Jesse Quinn Thornton, Abigail Scott Duniway, and Delazon Smith all played major roles in Albany and Oregon history; but many people are probably unaware of who they were.


George Chamberlain




Born on a plantation near Natchez, Mississippi, Chamberlain immigrated to Albany after getting a law degree in 1872 from Washington & Lee University in Virginia.  He taught in Albany for a year before being admitted to the bar.  Soon after, he volunteered to fight Native Americans in Eastern Oregon.


He returned to Albany, and his home still stands at 208 Seventh Avenue SE.  He became deputy clerk of Linn County, served in the Oregon Legislature, was governor, edited the State's Rights Democrat, was picked to be Oregon's first attorney general, and was a U.S. Senator.  Later, Chamberlain helped devise the military draft for World War I. 


He was acclaimed for his "professional knowledge and resourcefulness, lived an upright life, and boasted unusual mental gifts."


He died in 1928.


Jesse Quinn Thornton




Thornton came by wagon train to Oregon in 1846 and acquired 640 acres in North Albany generally bounded by Fire Station 14 on Gibson Hill Road, Nebergall Loop, North Albany Middle School, and Thornton Lakes.


Thornton is said to have been the first practicing lawyer in Albany and was the attorney for Dr. John McLoughlin, the Father of Oregon.  He was appointed to the first board of trustees of Pacific University.


In Albany, he defended the accused in the first murder to be prosecuted in Linn County, from which Murder Creek near Millersburg gets its name.


He was the fifth supreme judge of Oregon's provisional government.  He traveled to Washington, D.C., by ship to push for antislavery territorial status for Oregon, served as Benton County District Attorney and in the state legislature during the Civil War, named the City of Forest Grove, and wrote Oregon's motto:  "She Flies with Her Own Wings." 


He died in 1888.


Abigail Scott Duniway




Duniway traveled the Oregon Trail in an oxcart in 1852, settling in Albany in 1865, where she opened a private school at what is now 724 Calapooia Street SW.  She moved the school to First Avenue and Broadalbin Street, later converting the building into a millinery and notions shop that she operated for five years.  The plight of many of her female customers heightened her awareness of the legal inequities suffered by women. 


In 1870, she organized the Equal Rights Society in Albany, starting with three members.  A year later, she moved to Portland to publish The New Northwest, a newspaper that she edited for 16 years.


Duniway founded several women's suffrage organizations and supported women's property rights. 


She endured poor health, faced money problems, and was often opposed by her brother, Harvey W. Scott, editor of The Oregonian. 


She persevered and became the first woman registered to vote in Multnomah County but did not live to the see 19th Amendment passed, giving American women the right to vote.


She died in 1915.


Delazon Smith




Farmer, lawyer and newspaperman, Delazon Smith arrived in Oregon in 1852 and founded the Albany Democrat newspaper, which he edited until his death. 


He served in the Territorial House of Representatives, was a delegate to the state constitution convention, and served as a U.S. Senator but was not elected to a second term. 


Copies of his speeches and personal letters to family can be seen at the Albany Regional Museum, including a letter to his wife written on February 14, 1859, stating that Oregon had been voted into the Union.


He died in 1860 and is buried in Albany's Masonic Cemetery.


(More information about Chamberlain, Thornton, Duniway, and Smith can be found at the museum, 136 Lyon Street S. Story provided by Albany Regional Museum volunteer Cathy Ingalls in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of Albany's incorporation.  Watch for more stories about Albany's first 150 years in future editions of City Bridges.)

General Information

Sharon Konopa

Ward I Councilors
Dick Olsen
Floyd Collins

Ward II Councilors
Bill Coburn
Ray Kopczynski

Ward III Councilors
Bessie Johnson
Rich Kellum

City Manager
Wes Hare