Field-resurfacing decision process deserves multigenerational perspective

BRATTLEBORO — This is the first year Vermont has officially celebrated Indigenous Peoples' Day after the permanent change was passed at the state level earlier this year. In honor of the Indigenous peoples who inhabited this beautiful continent before western Europeans first set foot on these shores, let us reflect on the traditions that honor and respect our dear Mother Earth.

Every decision we make, whether it is individually or on behalf of community, has an impact for the future. We are facing an environmental crisis of a magnitude never experienced by our ancestors. And so we must recognize the interconnectedness of all of Nature and proceed with deep consideration for the effects of our decisions on future generations.

Oren Lyons, a faithkeeper of the Turtle Clan, Onondaga council of chiefs, Haudenosaunee, said, “The Peacemaker taught us about the Seven Generations. He said, when you sit in council for the welfare of the people, you must not think of yourself or of your family, not even of your generation. He said, make your decisions on behalf of the seven generations coming, so that they may enjoy what you have today."

I deeply hope that our School Board will apply the principle of the Seven Generations when making decisions regarding the resurfacing of the Natowich athletic field at Brattleboro Union High School.

The field is undoubtedly in need of improvement, and the options include synthetic turf or living organically managed grass. One of these options has to be replaced every 10 to 12 years and disposed of at great cost; the other is a living regenerative ecosystem and, with proper care, will never need to be replaced.

That alone should guide our decision makers.

Looking forward seven generations may seem like too much for some. Even if we only considered two generations, the decision seems clear to me.

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