by Barbara Walvoord
First appeared in Lathrop Lamp Post Oct. 21-27, 2017
More than 80 residents, Valley conservationists, and members of the public gathered on Oct. 21 to celebrate Lathrop’s removal of invasive plants from the “Free Fifty” acres of forest on both campuses–a unique accomplishment that science suggests will increase the wildlife on our land. A program in the Inn was followed by guided walks on both campuses. The audience included many of those who helped us: consultants from 7 prominent conservation organizations, 28 resident volunteers who removed invasives, scores of residents who donated funds, and 3 granting agencies (Kendal Charitable Funds, Community Foundation of Western Mass., and the Northampton Community Preservation Committee).
Guided walk participants expressed their delight in walking through woods that are not choked with invasive plants, and said over and over how amazed they are at our accomplishment. Lathrop is a visible participant in the Valley community of those who care about nature, conservation, and wildlife. A collage of photos is at Free 50 collage LampPostFree50 em. Copies of the handout materials are at https://lathropland.wordpress.com/free-fifty-celebration-oct-21/