At a recent public forum to discuss how the Flemer Barns in Waitsfield might be developed, Joshua Schwartz, a planner and the director of the Mad River Valley Planning District, said that when he let himself dream about uses for the property, he could envision many uses.

When candidates for the  were asked to detail their ideas for the barns parcel if money were no object, several waxed rhapsodic – so much so that they ran over their word limit for a story in this week’s issue of The Valley Reporter. Now that’s telling.

Because when we can dream big (without worrying about money for now) about what might be possible there, we will collectively create the future for that parcel, our town and our community.

What if we were all to dream up the most amazing things possible for the centrally located village property with its two red barns and access to Route 100 and the Flemer Green, without worrying, for right now, about how much it will cost and how it will be funded?

Because, don’t we owe ourselves that much? Shouldn’t we envision the most amazing things possible for the site? The absolute, most amazing things ever –whether it’s a working farm where people can learn, a community center, housing, a children’s center, a cultural facility or all of the above.

The ideas need to come first and then we can get down to the nitty-gritty of how to pay for it. We have amazing grant writers and visionaries who can put together a public/private or public/nonprofit partnership that can work. But first we need that soaring vision of how that parcel of land can enhance The Valley for its residents and visitors.

Sit and think for just a few minutes about what we could do there. The Flemer Barns Task Force wants to hear what you dream up and has a public survey in the Duxbury, Fayston, Moretown, Waitsfield and Warren town offices as well as the Mad River Valley Chamber of Commerce. The one-question survey can also be filled out online at

There is also a wealth of information about the barns on the website, including pictures, maps and more.

Go ahead. Take the challenge. Dream big.