Friday, August 19, 2016

Salem Weekly on Urban Waterfalls would be Fun Visit by Bike

Here's a splendid idea for an appropriate urban jaunt this hotter-than-hades weekend.

Salem Weekly published a tour of our urban waterfalls. Maybe you will already know about them, but this first one behind Kettle was new to me.

Part of a Salem Weekly tour of our waterfalls
It's significant, too, that it was a WPA project - we can add it to the list of New Deal projects in Salem!

From the Salem Weekly piece:
From its beginnings, the city of Salem was built above and among waterways that originated in the foothills of the Cascades and flowed through town to the Willamette River. When they first enter city limits, these waters are still more than 200 feet about sea level; by the time they discharge into the Willamette River, they are less than 115 feet above sea level.

The story of Salem’s ‘waterfalls’ is the record of how human beings have channeled that approximately 90’ drop in elevation to manage flooding, allow commerce and create power.
Though it may not meet the strict definition of a falls, the drop and historic turbine at Misson Mill on the Mill Race surely belongs on this tour also.

(And are there others? So much of our creek land goes through private back yards and is not public. There could be more!)

And it makes you wonder - if on each of these falls we put a micro-generator, how much energy could we generate? In a lower-carbon world, is this a source of energy we have unwisely neglected?

Check out the article. And if you're in need of a watery bit of urban exploration for the weekend, a tour of the sites by bike might be just the ticket!

Other related bits about the Mill Race in Pringle Park and the Civic Center:

No comments: