Category Archives: Presentations

Pollinators Galore! The Native Plant Landscaped Area near the Inn

by Barbara Walvoord

First published in the Lathrop Lamp Post,  Aug. 18-24, 2018

On August 14, twenty residents attended Alice Richardson’s talk about the native plant landscaped area near the Inn, and the birds and pollinators it supports.  Installed last fall in an area with a large bare spot and several invasive shrubs, the garden has gone from puny plugs to glorious flower, abuzz with pollinators.  We asked designer Owen Wormser, of Abound Design, to stay between a very formal look (which native plants can do), and a meadow, so Owen placed shrubs for anchors, interspersed with wildflowers in drifts, taller in back and shorter in front, all bordered with native grasses and sedges. The garden was installed by residents with help from Jeff Allen, financial support from the Residents’ Association and the Land Conservation Committee, and help from Facilities. Continue reading Pollinators Galore! The Native Plant Landscaped Area near the Inn


Lathrop’s Electric Car Takes Residents to Woods and Fields

Barbara Walvoord

Lathrop’s electric car is not exactly an ATV (all-terrain vehicle), but on November 21, it successfully took four east campus residents on an off-road tour of Lathrop’s east campus land. In the car were Nell Wijnhoeven,  Fannie Stoloff, Jetty Wang, and Gerry LoGalbo.

Driven by our facilities director Mike (“I’ll drive anything”) Strycharz, the car visited three sites: From Cranberry Lane, it trundled down the lawn to the vegetable garden and bumped around the field to our magnificent 250-year-old oak tree. It left the paved part of Bassett Brook Road, glided along the grass past the blue garden shed, and followed the wide path through the woods to our lovely wet meadow. It even ventured out behind Mulberry Lane to view the long, beautiful vista of rolling field and wetland there.

The car’s four riders were amazed and delighted to see our land. “I never realized the enormous amount of acres!” said Nell Wijnhoven (in fact, Lathrop East has about 140 acres of undeveloped land, much more than the car riders could even see).

“It’s impressive what you could do with that land, ” said Nell. And in fact, that’s what the Land Conservation Subcommittee, working with Lathrop Management, is thinking about these days–what to do with our land, on both campuses, to sustain the birds, bees, butterflies, and other creatures we love.

The committee’s “trails team” planned this ride: team facilitator Eleanor Johnson, along with Chuck Gillies, Eleanor Herman, Roger Herman, Diedrick Snoek, and Marketing Director Michael Harvey. The team will plan more car rides, as well as other ways for residents on both campuses to enjoy our beautiful land.

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

The Lathrop Farm. Yes, Farm.

by Barbara Walvoord, May 15, 2014.

corn5 - group without Lynn, Chuck (Medium)Did you know that Lathrop Easthampton is growing crops?

On May 7, 2014, a group of Lathrop residents and management walked to two of our fields, where a local farmer is growing corn and hay.

The group included  members of the Land Conservation Subcommittee of the Green Committee: Adele and Jim Dowell, Chuck Gillies, Sharon Grace, Lyn Howe, Diedrick Snoek, and Barbara Walvoord, chair. Also walking were Lathrop’s CEO Thom Wright (in dress shoes he was willing to get wet), facilities director Mike Strycharz, and activities director Deborah Peavey. We gathered at the Inn at 1 p.m., and soon our consultant Tom Sullivan arrived in a fine old red Volvo station wagon  full of shovels and other tools of his trade. His firm, called “welcome pollinators,” helps landowners create habitats that nourish native plants and wildlife, especially bees –the many species of native bees that mostly live solitary, and the honey bees that live in hives.  Bees pollinate much of our food and play a critical role in the ecosystem, but their numbers are declining. The health of bees is one key to the health of our land. Continue reading The Lathrop Farm. Yes, Farm.