Wildflowers in our Woods Now – May 24, 2014

East: Along the wide woods path at the end of Bassett Brook Road are wide swaths of Canada Mayflower, also known as False Lily of the Valley, now beginning to bloom. Its scientific name is Maianthemum canadense. It’s edible; there’s a recipe online for jelly!  Google it online to see picture, or see a neat youtube about it at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRd_JKlCW_g.

Golden Alexander
Golden Alexander

North: Look along the woodland path for Golden Alexander (Zizia aurea). Its name tells its color. It is beneficial to a wide range of insects with short mouth parts, says the USDA. (http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_PLANTMATERIALS/publications/mdpmcfs7726.pdf)


How to Dispose of Garden Plants

How to Dispose of Garden Plants

  • Lily of the Valley
  • Vinca
  • Creeping Charlie, Creeping Jenny, Ground Ivy
  • Pachysandra
  • Orange Daylily
  • Snow on the Mountain

Please do not discard in our woods any parts of these plants or any soil that could contain their seeds. They are alien invasives that do not match the mouth parts and body chemistry of the native insects our birds need to raise their young.  They will crowd out the beautiful native wildflowers and plants that nourish our native insects and wildlife. Continue reading How to Dispose of Garden Plants

Native Habitat Restoration: Another Retirement Community’s Experience

On June 11, at 11 a.m. in the Mount Tom room, a  landscaper and two residents from Thom’s former retirement community in New Jersey will make a public presentation about their award-winning project to restore native habitat in their retirement community. Their visit is part of the work of Lathrop’s Land Conservation Subcommittee of the Green Committee, which is working with Lathrop management to construct a master plan for managing our fields, woods, and wetlands in ways that nurture our butterflies, bees, birds, and wildlife. Contact the committee through its chair, Barbara Walvoord (walvoord@nd.edu).

Review of “Bringing Nature Home” by Douglas Tallamy

img056How Does Your Garden Grow?

By Eleanor Johnson for the Land Conservation Sub-committee

“Plants are not optional on this planet.  With few exceptions, neither we, nor anything else, can live without them.”

Douglas Tallamy, in his book, Bringing Nature Home, presents compelling arguments for the need to preserve our native plants, and the ecosystem that they sustain.   He describes the many ways we humans have destroyed and disrupted our natural habitats, and warns that the future of our native species (plants, insects, birds) is in danger.  But his message is clear and positive:  we can slow the rate of extinction of species by learning to share our spaces with the plants and animals that are native to our North American region. Continue reading Review of “Bringing Nature Home” by Douglas Tallamy

Minutes of Meeting, May 16, 2014

Land Conservation Subcommittee of the Green Committee

Minutes of Meeting, May 16, 2014, 2-3 p.m., Inn dining room at Easthampton campus

Submitted by Barbara Walvoord

Attending: Adele Dowell, Jim Dowell, Sharon Grace, Lyn Howe, Eleanor Johnson, Gillian Morbey, Diedrick Snoek, Barbara Walvoord (chair). Absent: Chuck Gillies

Book Discussion: First ten minutes were spend discussing our reactions to the first two chapters of Douglas Tallamy’s Bringing Nature Home.

Holly Nelson Visit June 11. Barbara reminded the members about the agenda, which they had received via e-mail. The most important items for the committee are the 11 a.m. presentation and the 1 p.m. meeting of our visitors with the committee, both in the Mt. Tom room. Continue reading Minutes of Meeting, May 16, 2014

Land Conservation Committee: task update May 9, 2014

Land Conservation Committee:  Eleanor Johnson has volunteered to read Doug Tallamy’s book Bringing Nature Home and report on it. Then we can donate it to the Easthampton campus library. You all have the first two chapters as a handout I distributed for discussion at our next meeting.
Once we’ve discussed the book, if Gillian thinks that the Noho campus would like a copy, we’ll buy another and donate there, too.

Land Committee Tasks May 8, 2014

To members of the Land Conservation Subcommittee:

We’ve had amazing response to the request for people to do tasks! Below is a list of the volunteers. In addition, Chuck Gillies has shared his pictures of the field walk and is working with Lyn Howe to get pictures for the Nor’Easter, to accompany an article that I wrote and sent yesterday to Lyn and the Nor’Easter editor Caroline Zavarin.

Note that there are still some tasks not taken, and you may have other ideas–let me know!

  • LYN HOWE: Get a copy of the Noho and Easthampton Plat maps and the conservation agreements that were made at the time when the communities were built. Find out the definitions and regulations governing the various kinds of conserved land we have.  Start with the land management offices of Noho and Easthampton.
  • JIM DOWELL Work with Thom and Debra Perry to set up a foundation (or special fund) for the land conservation, so we can receive donations and cover expenses and reimbursements for our project. Sharon and I can’t give a lot, but we will start the foundation fund with a small donation.
  • DIETRICK SNOEK AND BARBARA WALVOORD: Look into the “permaculture” folks in this area that Tom Sullivan mentioned. Also contact GrowFoodNorthampton (Lilly Lombard) to find out possibilities for farmers that may be interested in using our land for organic farming, grazing, and the like. Our aim here would be to support local agriculture in an organic way, while making our land a model of sustainable use of the land for both wildlife and farming.
  • STILL LOOKING FOR A VOLUNTEER: Read (or skim) the entire book Bringing Nature Home by Douglas Tallamy (you have the first two chapters as a handout to be discussed at our next meeting). Sharon and I have purchased a copy of it that eventually we will donate to the Lathrop Easthampton library: see us to borrow that copy. Write a paragraph announcing and describing the book for the Lathrop LampPost, and submit it.  
  • ADELE DOWELL: Order the book Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants, by the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, a short book that does what its title suggests. Write an announcement and a one-paragraph review of it for the Lathrop LampPost, and submit it. Include information about where to buy native garden plants in this area. See Sharon and me for ideas.
  • CHUCK GILLIES: Interview Addison Cate about his work on this land and his knowledge of it, and write up the interview for our records, and perhaps for the Nor-Easter.
  • CHUCK GILLIESWork with Al Eipper to do a “green sheet” on land conservation and native habitat (specific focus is up to them)
  • STILL LOOKING FOR A VOLUNTEER: Work with Deborah Peavey to arrange a display about our land for the lobby: pictures of the land, a place where residents can list birds and wildlife they have sighted, a place to keep a record of invasives that people have removed, etc.–your and Deborah’s ideas.
  • Your idea? 

Nurturing Lathrop’s native plants and wildlife.