Wonderful workshop on Land Conservation (But we WILL plan easier walks than this!)

If you saw 14 soaking wet people trudging along the east campus woods path on Saturday, September 13, that was us.

Earlier, more than 30 people, including Lathrop residents and local land conservationists, had gathered in the Mt. Tom room to see a highly informative presentation on invasive stilt grass by Cynthia Boettner, Director of the Invasive Plant Initiative of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

stiltgrass workshop 003

Activities Director Deborah Peavey had made the arrangements, and Meriam Elgare at the front desk helped to direct guests and locate snacks and equipment. Chuck Gillies figured out how to turn on the microphone (It takes a village….). Lathrop food services provided a wonderful trail mix with all kinds of seeds, nuts and dried fruits.

Thus fortified, 14 of us trekked out to Bassett Brook to see Lathrop’s stilt grass. Chris Polatin, workshop co-leader, had brought his all-terrain vehicle and a 12-foot board to lay across the widest part of the brook. By then it was pouring in earnest. We walked down the woods path, crossed the meadow through the wet grass (good news–I read that ticks do not attach when it’s actually raining!), through the poison ivy along the next wooded path, down the muddy bank to Bassett Brook, over the board across the brook, and voila! the weed-whacked area where Chris’ workers had

Despite the focus on stilt grass, the local conservationists were amazed at the beauty of our land. Typical comments as people looked at the map and the description of Lathrop that we provided, were, “It’s really very beautiful here” and “Really, you own 177 acres?”

Yes, we do, and we are joining with those in the Valley who work to both appreciate the beauty of our lands and to protect them. See more at our website: Lathropland.wordpress.com.



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