Reconsider Tree Farm dog ban

Survey says Essex desirability lags among young professionals.  The article in May 16 Essex Reporter indicates that a recent survey of young professionals in the greater Burlington area found that Essex doesn’t crack their top 10 most desirable places to live in Vermont.  In the same edition of the Essex Reporter, I read with great pleasure and agreement the letter from Noreen Wolfstich “The Bark Stops Here”.

I live at Autumn Pond, I am not young, but I live among many young professionals who are some of the best neighbors.  They, as well as myself, found that one of many features offered here in Essex, and of course in the Autumn Pond neighborhood was being able to take our precious pets to the Tree Farm for exercise.  Yes, I agree that some of the pet owners were somewhat irresponsible about picking up after their pets, but as I noticed walking my dog every day, they were very few.  Autumn Pond did provide a dog station at the entrance to the park for dog owners to dispose dog waste. And, whether in error, a large barrel was also available to be used for dog waste. In addition, I did see where a few “sticks” used as a toy were scattered in the first field as one entered the property.  But very few!!!

Rather than banning dog owners from the park, perhaps if the “Powers That Be,” noticing that the neighborhood was expanding, could have taken the time to post signs in the Tree Farm regarding Pets, and not just making the decision to ban us all from the park. In addition, Autumn Pond’s Property Manager would have been more than happy to inform all of us dog owners of the rules and regulations pertaining to dogs at Tree Farm, should she had been contacted to do so.

This is just one issue that keeps young people from wanting to move to Essex, but it is a major one, since pets have become more like family members.  We even rescue and take them into our homes so that they can live a happy life.

To the “Powers That Be”, why not reconsider your decision, make up some dog rules, including consequences if not adhered too,   and post them on the Tree Farm property. We dog owners could continue to enjoy what nature has given us…………….and our pets.

Patricia Allard and Zoey, my special poodle pet

Celebrate foster families

May is Foster Care Month, a time to celebrate the hundreds of foster and kinship foster families in Vermont who provide safe, nurturing homes for children while they can’t be at home. It is with deep appreciation that the Family Services Division of the Department for Children and Families thanks them for their generosity, caring, and willingness to “answer the call,” no matter when it comes.

Thank you for all you do to keep children safe, support parents, and help families stay connected! You help us keep local kids local by opening your hearts and homes to children in need.  Without you, children would have to live outside of their communities and away from all that’s familiar.

We’d like to take this opportunity to let you know about our need for more foster families. With over 1300 children in foster care throughout Vermont; and 200 children in custody in our district alone, we need families for children of all ages and experiences, including:

·    Infants, toddlers and teens

·    Siblings who want to stay together

·    Children with complex medical needs

·    LGBTQ youth

·    Teens transitioning from foster care to living on their own

If providing foster care is not right for you at this time; consider providing respite care. It’s much like foster care but for shorter periods of time (e.g., a few hours, a day, a weekend, or a week or two). Respite provides foster parents opportunities to relax, re-energize, and attend to additional responsibilities.

For more information about becoming a foster parent or respite provider, please contact Cathy Frost 802.951.0020 & Meghan Flanders 802.951.0021 Resource Coordinators Anita Thomason 802.951.5165 Assistant District Director

Beth Maurer 802.951.0033 District Director or visit us on the web at www.fostercare.vt.gov.

Cathy Frost and Meghan Flanders

Resource Coordinators

DCF, Family Services

Burlington District Office