The Waters of Lathrop #3: Stormwater Management

by Barbara Walvoord

When Lathrop East was built, laws mandated that we install systems to prevent  rainwater and snowmelt from polluting our wetlands and streams. Run-off carries pesticides, road salt, fertilizer, and other nasty stuff, and is the main polluter of the Connecticut River (Northampton Open Spaces Plan, p. 28).

Our Lathrop systems work in two ways: they slow down the water before it drains into a wetland or stream, or they hold the water Continue reading The Waters of Lathrop #3: Stormwater Management

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Lathrop’s Evergreens: A Home, A Banquet, A Christmas Delight

by Barbara Walvoord

It’s the season when Christians go out and cut down evergreen trees and bring them into their homes. But for many of Lathrop’s creatures, evergreen trees ARE their homes, as well as their banquet tables.

The most prominent evergreen in our Lathrop woods is the native Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus), Pictured above is the largest white pine we have found on Lathrop east campus. It lies across Bassett Brook.

The white pine is often grown for Christmas trees but has many other roles in our forests.The holes in a pine tree’s trunk can be home to woodpeckers, squirrels, and Continue reading Lathrop’s Evergreens: A Home, A Banquet, A Christmas Delight

The Waters of Lathrop #2: Vernal Pools

by Barbara Walvoord

“Vernal” means spring, which is a long way away. But Lathrop’s vernal pools are in their winter garb, covered with ice, and very beautiful.

A vernal pool by definition has no outlet above ground. It fills with water in certain seasons, especially spring, and then is generally (but not always) dry by late summer.

On the east campus, if you start at the blue shed and walk down the wide path into the woods a few hundred yards, you’ll see a vernal pool through the trees on your left.

Another vernal pool, pictured with this article, you can find by walking along that wide path all the way to the meadow, and then crossing the meadow and going to Continue reading The Waters of Lathrop #2: Vernal Pools