When Cara Pearson Coker picked up her daughter Lillian from school on March 12, Lillian presented her with a piece of notebook paper with the word “Partition” scrawled at the top.
Cara asked her about it, and Lillian, a kindergartener, accurately explained what a petition was and that she is petitioning to stop the building of windmills on Cherokee Rock Village, a public park in Cherokee County. She calls the place her “beautiful mountain.”
So on Lillian’s behalf, Cara started an online petition on Change.org asking state representatives to “Say NO to wind turbines in Northeast Alabama!”
On the petition page, Cara explains why the cause is so important to her daughter:
“Lillian and I moved to Alabama from Georgia after her daddy, my husband of 10 years, passed away. I grew up in Gadsden, AL, and spent a lot of time at Cherokee Rock Village growing up. Once we were settled I began taking Lillian to Cherokee Rock Village. We have done a lot of soul searching and soul cleansing there. She believes she is closer to her daddy in Heaven when she is there. Please show this little girl that she CAN make a difference by signing her petition.”
As of 10 a.m. March 18, the petition had garnered 1,125 signatures. Lillian has been asked to hand-deliver her petition in Montgomery on Wednesday. It’s the day of a public hearing on a bill sponsored by Sen. Phil Williams (R-Rainbow City), that would regulate wind energy companies that want to operate wind turbines in the state.
Williams’ bill, The Alabama Wind Energy Conservation Systems Act (SB 12), was inspired by a proposed wind farm project by a Texas-based firm, Pioneer Green Energy, that would stretch from Etowah County to Cherokee County. The windmills or wind turbines would be about 267 to 330 feet tall, have three blades and be spread about ¼ to 1/5th of a mile apart. Some would probably have blinking lights at their tips. The turbines would be part of an agreement between Pioneer and the Tennessee Valley Authority.
Lillian has told news outlets, and YellowhammerNews.com, that hiking at Cherokee Rock Village reminds her of her father, and that people and animals wouldn’t want to go there if wind turbines were built on the mountain.