P.O. BOX 127, WEST HALIFAX, VT 05358

Conservation Commission Meeting Minutes

Thursday, July 22, 2021, at 6:30 PM

Meeting on Zoom (Location: or call +19292056099,,7814490827#)

Attendees: Stephan Chait (Chair; SC), Dov Towler (Member; DT), Jess Cooney (Member; JC), Laurel Copeland (Clerk; LC), Andrea Rand (AR), Penfield Chester (PC).

Unable to attend: Lesley Pollitt (Treasurer; LP)

CALL TO ORDER at 6:34 pm



Regular Meeting Minutes of June 24, 2021 –   approved.


Planning for an Event/Program with Rich Holschuh (RH) on the Abenaki, the first people living in what is now Southern Vermont. SC spoke with Doug Parkhurst and Gretchen Becker about making this a joint program with the Halifax Historical Society. DT spoke with RH who said autumn is better for him than summer, so October looks good. SC commented that Doug and Gretchen said AR also was very knowledgeable; AR agreed saying she has an archaeology background. SC commented that he had heard a presentation on Abenaki burial grounds. These were usually located along rivers, so damming up a river obliterates burial grounds. RH would speak about the first people in southern Vermont in general rather than focusing on Halifax, about the lifestyle and relationship with the land. We talked about offering it around Indigenous People’s Day (Monday, Oct. 11, 2021). Maybe we could have the event on a Thursday evening at 6 o’clock or so, perhaps at the Community Hall (if no need for WiFi). We could have some snacks or a potluck. PC volunteered to cook something for the event. Perhaps a Friday would be better. DT will determine the date that works for RH first, then the Commission can complete planning for the event.

Conservation Commission Meeting Arrangement – Discussion of in-person meeting and the use of remote access. Vermont Open Meeting Law requires that we have a physical meeting place and a person at that site throughout the meeting. We can offer the remote option using LC’s Zoom. Having both in-person and remote options is becoming the norm, e.g., Windham Regional is restructuring to offer both in-person and remote options. We need to determine whether LC can get on the Halifax Guest Wi-Fi from inside the Town Clerk office.


Final Arrangements for the Composing Food Waste workshop in Halifax – AR will put up a flyer at Shaw’s. LC will put one at the Guildford Country Store. JC suggested it would be helpful for the Windham Solid Waste Management District presenter, Athena, to talk about how apartment dwellers can deal with composting kitchen scraps. Several people volunteered to put out flyers in Jacksonville, Wilmington, and Guilford.

 Beaver Education Flyer – Update. The mailings went out this week to just under 400 addresses (voters and a few other property owners). The Commission is grateful to AR and Gary Rand, SC, and LC for contributions. The cost of the mailing was approximately $70 for envelopes, $275 for printing, and $220 for postage ($565 total). No part of the Halifax Conservation Commission budget provided by the Town was used in the development, production, or distribution of the flyer. LC offered to drop off some flyers at Whitingham Free Public Library and in Guilford.

Charging Stations for Electric Vehicles – No update. The Commission will pursue a discussion with the Whitingham Free Public Library.

OTHER BUSINESS – The Covid-19 Vaccination Clinic and Ice Cream Social is tomorrow July 23, 2021, 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM at the Halifax Community Hall in West Halifax; the Halifax Community Club ice cream wagon will be there. The ice cream wagon will also be at an event in Jacksonville a week later, Friday July 30th from 4:00-7:00 pm. [Post-meeting comments: The July 30th event is the Deerfield Valley Blueberry Festival Music & Farmers Market event starting at 4pm with a Spaghetti Supper at 5pm ($12/adult; $5/child 5-12 years old; free for children under age 5). Jacksonville Municipal Center., Regarding the July 23rd vaccination event, Rescue Inc will return in 3 weeks on Friday, August 13 from 4-8 pm with second doses of the Pfizer vaccine which is appropriate for ages 12 and up.]

 HEARING OF VISITORS – No further comments.

ADJOURNMENT at 7:06 pm.