Balm Grove property topic of CPO meeting on Wednesday, August 8

Balm Grove – The site of a former park, swimming hole, and tavern, Balm Grove -both a property and a community defined by a cluster of houses centered on and near Balm Grove Loop- has been a hot topic in Gales Creek for the past few years. 

The property most recently housed an informal used car lot and residence. 

Sold to Clean Water Services in 2016, the water agency plans to remove the nearly century-old dam on Gales Creek on the property, in an effort to improve stream access for several fish species.  So far, the site has seen several outbuildings demolished, brush cleared, but not much else done yet. 

Drone footage of the Balm Grove Dam. Photo courtesy of Clean Water Services

The purchase of the Balm Grove property and plans to remove the dam were born out of an Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife requirement to mitigate the impact of another upcoming planned water project – the overhaul of the Scoggins Dam on Hagg Lake, according to a draft environmental impact statement obtained by the Gales Creek Journal. 

In June, an article by the Forest Grove News Times raised the profile of the project to a wider audience, and efforts by the Gales Creek Community Participation Organization (Editor’s note: the publisher of this newspaper and the author of this article chairs CPO 13) to set a community meeting regarding the site have paid off: representatives from Clean Water Services will be on hand to give an overview of their plans and answer questions at a meeting on Wednesday, August 8 at 7 p.m. at the Gales Creek Church of God. 

The Gales Creek Church of God is located in downtown Gales Creek at at 9170 NW Sargent Rd, Gales Creek, OR 97117. 

To follow our continued coverage of the Balm Grove property, visit for more articles coming soon. 

The ‘C’ in CPO stands for community, not citizenship. This article has been corrected to reflect that.