Q. How long have you lived in the Valley?
A. I have lived in Warren Village in the same house, which itself has morphed a few times, since 1979. I first came to the snow shoe here in 1969 during reading week in college.
Q. What do you most love about the Valley?
A. I was amazed and heartened by the respect, or at least tolerance, shown to people of very diverse backgrounds. All were valued neighbors, and I always thought the hard winters made us look on each other fondly as a source of help, inspiration and fun. Of course, I will never forget the natural beauty coming here on a very snowy day with a full moon glinting off the colorful ice in the Granville Gulf. I always am thrilled with the beauty of this place: watching a mink leap along Kids’ Brook in the village to a deer splayed on a floating raft of ice heading north at the Lareau swim hole to the accessible mountains.
Q. How did you get involved in the Valley Futures Network?
A. I was invited to come for a night to the Knoll Farm with others to share ideas and dreams for our watershed, our neighborhood, our valley. Out of that discussion came opportunities to be involved with things like agriculture and transportation that I think are critical to our well-being: both these areas of interest were part of VFN.
Q. What do you see as the Valley’s biggest challenges as a community looking ahead over the next several years?
A. I think one of them will be the Valley’s carrying capacity as more people move here. The valley has grown tremendously in the last decades and it seems that could continue. How can we fold all of us into the community with kindness and inclusiveness, with housing for those who work here, with fields and forests still intact, with the river able to have its needed wiggle room, with wildlife still able to make a living here? Of course, there will also be the challenges of the changing weather, the problems with travel and energy, clean water and food production.
Q. You’ve been instrumental in the Friends of the Mad River, Yestermorrow, and the state legislature. How do you see VFN assisting in any of your Valley-related work moving forward?
A. VFN brings together anyone and everyone who is interested and helps them meet up with others who have similar interests. I hope more people pay attention to the connections we all have living here. One thing that Friends of the Mad River brings attention to is that whatever you do in the watershed can have an effect on the land, on the community and on the water. I hope all of us can be more aware and alert in stewarding our watershed. That is tops for Friends of the Mad River. Yestermorrow is such an incredible resource for all of us. We can easily, right here, learn skills and whole new outlooks, and the design/build methods for making our lives more rewarding. It fits nicely with VFN’s vision of a healthy watershed community. Getting people involved and used to bringing their valuable observations and answers to challenges only helps the Vermont Legislature do its job more effectively. I think VFN can be the Network, the conduit for all the wonderful opportunities and projects going on in the watershed.
Q. You recently hosted a three-week Thursday evening potluck dinner to promote neighborly conversation about a book called THE TRANSITION HANDBOOK. Can you describe that experience?
A. I somewhat jokingly said it was a great potluck, dining club. The food was terrific, and the conversation was inspiring. It helped me see that one of the things missing from the VFN is getting the word out that it includes everyone who lives here. As always, it is amazing to share in the expertise, the awareness and heartfelt interest that so many neighbors have and are willing to share so generously. I hope we start a film club, to view thought provoking documentaries and films, with a discussion afterwards so we are not left bereft but rather, that we feel educated and empowered to do something appropriate in response.