Don't break our hearts
Editor of the Reformer:
Our family has lived in the Rockingham area, near Missing Link Road, since 1945. It is a place near and dear to our hearts. The atmosphere here is one of rural quiet and calm — forests filled with animals, waterways with hundreds of bird species who nest and migrate along the Connecticut River, in the delta/marsh area and in Herrick's Cove (listed as an Audubon Important Bird Area). We even have eagles here now.
What a shock it was for us to learn there was a plan afoot to build a huge detention center just up the hill in this area of natural beauty — next to or very near our homes. Most of us are intensely opposed to this "justice center" plan. There is a great deal of concern and anger, especially after we have voiced opinions over and over again — in votes, in meetings, in letters — only to have the issue keep coming up.
The Rockingham area is a huge draw for tourists of all kinds. We have the Vermont Country Store, The Rockingham Meeting House, foliage season, tourists who come here by the busloads, skiers, hunters, cyclists, people who fish, dozens and dozens of bird watchers, especially in the Herrick's Cove area. There's the spring Wildlife Festival and kayaking. All thanks to the way things are now, rural and natural.
Imagine the lights, the noise and the traffic that a detention center would create. There would be no turning back once this project got started and the chaos of construction begins. Once it is allowed to be there, everything in this area changes and in my opinion, not for the better. It would be the end of a beautiful era in Rockingham, along the Missing Link Road. And it would break the hearts of many citizens who live here.
Mary Narkiewicz, Rockingham, March 11