Sammy’s Place has long held a vision of a community space for nature-based living and learning for adults who experience disability alongside their non-disabled peers.
Several months after no formal intent of purchase was made at public auction in April 2018, Sammy’s Place discovered a three-acre parcel in the Urban Growth Boundary of Nehalem that had been overlooked, unkept, and unloved for nearly a decade. Sammy’s Place made a formal high level proposal to the Tillamook County Board of Commissioners and purchased the property.
This quiet and naturally beautiful piece of land sits close to community, downtown Nehalem, the Nehalem City Park, local transportation and the Nehalem River; and is being revived by Sammy’s Place with the spirit of vison and love for nature. The intent is to embrace the surrounding beauty that lies in the North Tillamook region as well as on the property and make it a part of the overall experience.
The property was abandoned for many years and what remains is a decaying house, accumulated debris, potentially hazardous waste, and overgrown blackberries as the visible features. Working with many agencies including the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Tillamook County, City of Nehalem, North Coast Regional Solutions, a community Advisory Team and area volunteers, Sammy’s Place is cleaning the property and restoring it to a state of health and vibrancy. This is the beginning of a long-term project which will take time and diligence. The DEQ is in the process of conducting an Environmental Assessment and once the outcomes are learned we can develop a plan forward that will be in accordance with state, county and local rules and regulations.
At this time Sammy’s Place is 100% volunteer based and appreciates the out-pouring of support and desire to roll up the sleeves and get to work. There are a lot of moving parts and until we know more, we must be methodical in our cleanup efforts. In full transparency, it has not been completely easy. The challenges we have experienced have honed our empathy for those living with and without disability who must regularly navigate and deflect outdated or misguided ideas. Fortunately, nearly everyone has been supportive and are ready to invest time, resources, and energy to the vision. We all know the truth about the need for housing in our community and understand the micro-local need first hand. There are many fun ideas for how Sammy’s Place can develop work concepts; one of the favorite ideas begin floated is phytoremediation, a process using plants in degraded and polluted habitats for restoration of healthy ecosystems. Of course, this will all be vetted by the above-mentioned agencies when/if the time is appropriate.
Meanwhile, we have expanded our Board of Directors, and have created a community Advisory Committee to help us grow, thrive and to hear directly from the people we intend to serve. We will be welcoming new Board and Advisory Committee members, as well as volunteers for work projects along the way.
As the land begins to be cleaned and cleared it will take time for it to heal and to bare light as to what can reasonably happen for the betterment of all. It is unfair, at this time, to divulge details that may soon change as new discoveries are made. The vision along with rules, zoning, and regulations will craft what ultimately happens for housing and community learning opportunities.
We want to thank those who have contributed to our endeavor this far and welcome your continued support. Please continue to reach out to our amazing team for information and we ask that the accuracy of the story be shared in truth.
We appreciate anyone willing to contribute time or resources and you can contact us here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Donations are welcome: www.sammysplace.info
Sammy’s Place is an Oregon 501 (c) (3)
The mission of Sammy’s Place is to create a living, working, respite community, inspired by the interdependence of nature, for people who experience disability and those who share their journey – a place where everyone is supported to learn, grow, and thrive.
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