As my husband, Mark, and I first drove down Laurel Way 31 years ago we had no idea what lie ahead.
We had come in response to an ad for a house for sale on Laurel Lake. Never having heard of a lake in this area, we were stunned to discover this pristine paradise less than two hours from New York City. In fact, so overwhelming was our response, that by the end of the day, we had come to terms with the owner of the house.
Over the years we spent every weekend, from Friday to Monday, coming to our retreat, away from the hustle of the city, to where the silence enveloped us and the clean air sustained us.
We would spend hours sitting at the lake, watching the birds and enjoying the return of the kingbirds to their favorite tree, year after year, waiting for the babies to become mature enough to fly off on their own. One year, because we were unable to be there for two weeks, robins had built their nest near the door to the deck, which was our summer living room. Afraid that we would cause them to abandon their young if we were to open the door frequently, we decided not to use the deck until they had left. What a treat.
Every winter, we would await the arrival of the beautiful canvasback ducks and sit outside, bundled up, enjoying their antics. In the summer I spend hours swimming, on my back, watching the hundreds of swallows swooping over the lake, feeding on the surface insects. I once had the awesome experience of having an osprey check me out, so close I could have counted every feather.
Our kids came out whenever they could, never asking if it was OK, just feeling that it was theirs too. As a family we grew even closer having this warm, rich environment. Now our grandchildren, who are growing up having this idyllic place to call home, consider it a birthright. Thinking ahead, my granddaughter told me the other day that her children must grow up there also.
I’ve recounted our family history as it relates to Laurel Lake to emphasize what the loss of this precious environment would mean to the many residents fortunate enough to call this special place home. The erection of a wind turbine by the Suffolk County Water Authority adjacent to the Laurel Lake Preserve would bring to an end bird migration, serenity, physical well-being and a sense of peace that is becoming rare in this world.
It’s time for the SCWA to think in terms of human values and not questionable dollars and cents.
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