by Barbara Walvoord
If our east campus is a “missing link” between conserved lands (last week’s column), then our north campus is part of a larger whole–the large Fitzgerald Lake Conservation Area, legally and permanently in “Conservation Restriction” (green). Lathrop’s protected area is the toe of the boot near the bottom right:
The map shows several important relationships:
- Our campus forms a protective shield around Pine Brook, which flows east into the Connecticut River. Our run-off, our land management practices, our construction–all directly impact the quality of the brook and the Connecticut River.
- Our “conservation restriction” land forms the southern tail of the larger, city-owned Fitzgerald Lake Conservation Area.
- Our trail connects directly to a whole system of trails in the Fitzgerald Lake Area. On their trail map, we are called “loop trail” (http://www.broadbrookcoalition.org/files/Fitzgerald_Lake.pdf).
- The Fitzgerald Lake area is a priority in the Northampton city open spaces plan: (http://www.northamptonma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/923).
- The Broad Brook Coalition, a very active citizen group that manages the Fitzgerald Lake Conservation Area, is our natural collaborator (www.broadbrookcoalition.org).