What will your legacy be? Swanton Wind vote looms

Saint Albans Messenger; October 26, 2015

For the past 27 summers, my family and I have been blessed to call Fairfield Pond our summer home. The pond’s natural beauty and serenity have provided us with a lifetime of cherished memories. Memories of our now-adult children spending countless hours “treasure hunting” in the cove, playing whiffle ball along the waterfront, and competing in shoreline bass tournaments with fellow pond camp kids. Back in 1990, the pond is where our 4 week older daughter would have taken her first bath in the camp kitchen sink. That same daughter was married on the pond 25 years later.
Yes, that was our family and friends who assembled at the waterfront arbor in August of 2014 as our daughter celebrated her wedding at “the most beautiful place on earth and the only place I could ever imagine getting married.” As our children begin their adult lives, my wife and I are hopeful we will have the opportunity to share this same pond beauty and serenity with our grandchildren that we were so fortunate to be able to share with our children. This is the legacy we wish to leave.

It is my understanding that Alan and Kim Bourbeau have the opportunity to lease out a portion of their farm property to Swanton Wind LLC, a seven 500 foot industrial wind turbine project being proposed by Travis Belisle. This is the same Bourbeau family farm where my children repeatedly watched in awe as calves were born in the field that they affectionately called the maternity ward. This is the same Bourbeau family farm that extended a neighborly hand when my wife and I approached them in a panic one Sunday afternoon because we had run out of hay in preparation for our daughter’s August 2014 wedding day at the pond.

For the past 27 years, the Bourbeau family farm has always provided smiles and warm thoughts to our family as we traveled Pond Road to our little piece of paradise on Fairfield Pond. The decision that Mr. and Mrs. Bourbeau choose to make over the upcoming days/weeks will surely cement their legacy for future generations to come. Will they choose to align themselves with a 500 foot industrial wind turbine project with an owner/developer already known for questionable ethics at the expense of the health and well-being of 134 families who live within 1 mile of the turbines … on a project that has been determined not to have a meaningful impact on climate change and has already received non-support positions from Governor Shumlin, the Swanton Selectboard, Green Mountain Power, Vermont Electric Coop, Burlington Electric, and over 300 local citizens who have signed a petition?

Or, will they choose to continue to be the neighbor friendly Bourbeau farm that my family has come to appreciate over the past 27 years? The choice is theirs to make.

What will your legacy be Mr. and Mrs. Bourbeau?

Fred Parks, Fairfield Pond

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