Letter: 37 Interlaken project brings many benefits
I am writing on behalf of the Stockbridge Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors to express our support of Patrick Sheehan's 37 Interlaken Project. A trip to Dalton and a tour of Sugar Hill, the former Crane Estate and current senior assisted-living community, will show Mr. Sheehan's commitment to preserving the historic and aesthetic integrity of his projects while repurposing them for our current community needs.
So much of the quaintness of Stockbridge is in its history, architecture, and small-town feel while still being surrounded by music, art, culture, and educational opportunities — all of which invite tourism to our community. At this juncture, Stockbridge has the opportunity to not only revive a beautiful piece of history in this Cottage Era estate, but also to join the nationally expanding movement of sustainable living through agri-communities (or agri-hoods). The addition of this carefully planned agri-community to Stockbridge is also quite timely. According to a recent NPR report, farming in the Northeast is becoming ever more essential as climate change drives severe and ravaging storms through southern agriculture states ruining crops and in some cases destroying the farmland itself for years to come.
Additionally, 37 Interlaken Project will bring new and varied job opportunities to our community. This project not only supports tourism, which generates a substantial and necessary income for Stockbridge, but is also a beacon to potential new, taxpaying residents. In order to expand our currently dwindling population, economic growth and job opportunities are vital.
If we are to attract new, younger visitors and residents to Stockbridge, we must take a deep and honest look into what we currently offer as a community versus the needs and desires of younger generations. We believe that the 37 Interlaken Project has identified these needs and is working toward a sustainable future for the town of Stockbridge. We wholeheartedly support it.
Margaret D. Kerswill,
The writer is president-elect of the Stockbridge Chamber of Commerce.
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