The Nels approach: Nurseryman, volunteer leads Festival at Mount Si Parade

Nels Melgaard, 2012 Festival at Mount Si Grand Marshall - Seth Truscott/Staff Photo
Nels Melgaard, 2012 Festival at Mount Si Grand Marshall
— image credit: Seth Truscott/Staff Photo

Nels Melgaard's good deeds keep coming back around in the form of public honors. The 2011 Citizen of the Year for North Bend, also voted Best Volunteer this spring by Record readers, is the 2012 Grand Marshall for the Festival at Mount Si.

A kiddie parade kicks things off at 10:15 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 11, in downtown North Bend. The grand parade is at 10:30 a.m.

A 16-year Valley resident, Melgaard is owner of The Nursery at Mount Si in North Bend, and is married to wife Anne; they have two teen sons, Wilkins and Christian.

He’s an active Grange member, longtime volunteer for the Snoqualmie Valley Wrestling Club, highly active on a personal level helping others with substance abuse, and also connected and helpful to other local efforts, such as North Bend’s downtown Block Party.

As he explains it, his community service is a product of his upbringing, and his own itch to accomplish.

“An idle mind and an idle body is dangerous,” Melgaard says. “I can’t sit still… In all things in life, the only way you keep what you have is by giving it away. What you put out comes back to you.”

He credits his parents—father Paul, who died two years ago, and mother Marilynn, who lives in the Midwest—with inspiring a life of activity.

“I had an example growing up,” he said. “My parents were involved with a lot of things, whether it was planning commission, city council.” Elected office isn’t really his thing, but as Melgaard says, “There is plenty to do.”

Sallal Grange, which closed briefly after a long local history, re-opened thanks to the efforts of Melgaard and others to bring it back with a new, younger focus on music and families.

Melgaard is humbled by all the recognition.

“People say, ‘So what are you going to do now?’ I go, ‘Nothing, that was last year. Someone else is going to be running it.’”

To Melgaard, that anonymous Dairy Drive donation shows how easy it can be to make a difference.

“If you’re not there, it’s out of sight and out of mind,” he says. “When people want to contribute, make it convenient for them, and they will step up.”

• You can learn more about the Festival at Mount Si at

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