Tag Archives: consultant

Consultant Analyzes North Campus Land

By Barbara Walvoord

Consultant Laurie Sanders (left) advises residents (from left) Jim Dowell, Barbara Walvoord, and Mary Willard, during a July 3, 2014 walk on the North campus
Consultant Laurie Sanders (left) advises residents (from left) Jim Dowell, Barbara Walvoord, and Mary Willard, during a July 3, 2014 walk on the North campus

How can we best manage our woods, fields, brooks, and wetlands so as to nurture birds, bees, butterflies, and other wildlife? To help us answer that question, the Land Conservation Subcommittee of the Green Committee, together with Lathrop director Thom Wright, engaged consultant Laurie Sanders to walk our land for three mornings, ending June 3 with a walk at the North campus. Continue reading Consultant Analyzes North Campus Land

Advertisements

Land Conservation Committee Walks with Consultant

Land Conservation Committee Walks with Consultant

Barbara Walvoord for the Land Conservation Subcommittee

IMG_9074 (Medium)

Consultant Laurie Sanders walks Lathrop’s land with (from left) Jim Dowell, Diedrick Snoek, Sharon Grace, and Barbara Walvoord. Also walking on June 30 and July 1 at the Easthampton campus were Adele Dowell, Roger Gustavsson , and Chuck Gillies (photographer).

Monday and Tuesday, you may have seen an intrepid group of Land Conservation Committee members walking through our woods, fields, and wetlands, with our consultant Laurie Sanders. Yep, we were the ones with cameras, clip boards, hats, and long pants tucked into our socks.

Our mission: To work with Laurie on a long-range plan for managing our 177 acres of Lathrop East land, so as to nurture our wild life and native environment.

On Thursday, we’ll walk the Northampton campus. Then we’ll be ready to complete our plan for both campuses.

Laurie is a naturalist who has for years been working to assess conservation areas and plan their management in the Northampton area and elsewhere. She has a long resume of accomplishments. You may have heard her on NPR.

What Did We Learn?

What did we learn from Laurie so far?  Bottom line: we have beautiful and precious land with many native plants that support wildlife. We have some serious problems with invasives, but not as bad as some of the conservation land that Laurie has worked with in Northampton. We can make genuine progress. We can prevent our woods, wetlands, and fields from being totally overgrown with invasives that do not support our native wildlife, birds, and insects. Continue reading Land Conservation Committee Walks with Consultant

Land Conservation planning, June 30

Beginning June 30, at 8 a.m. at the Inn, consultant Laurie Sanders will be spending several mornings walking our land on both campuses, and helping us make a master plan for managing our land to protect our wildlife and habitat.
You are welcome to join us for any part of Laurie’s visit.

For example, we’ll be assessing what’s here, what invasives are present, how to manage them, where to put walking paths and wildflower gardens, uses for our corn and hay fields which have been mismanaged by our farmers, ways to reduce pesticide and herbicide harm to our wildlife and habitat, and how our limited resources can best be used to meet our goals.

 Schedule:
Here is the schedule. We’ll follow it rain or shine, unless there’s lightening or torrential downpour.
Mon., June 30,  8 – 9 a.m., beginning at the Inn at Easthampton.  We will walk down the wide mowed woods path first, then across the meadow (we hope to have a path mowed across the meadow by then), and follow my orange markers through the woods to Bassett Brook. Laurie will be observing our land and talking about what she sees, with the goal of moving toward a master plan. This will be the easy part of the walk. You are welcome to join us for any part of it.
Tues., July 1,  9 – 12 and Wed., July 2,  8-12.  After that easy part, we will be trekking the rest of the land, through tall grasses, wetlands, woods, and fields, on non-paths. You are welcome to join us for any part of that walk. You’ll need tick protection, drinking water, some nuts or other snack, sunscreen, and boots that can go through mud, wetland, or shallow streams. If you want to join us at any time en route, call my cell phone to find out where we are: 574-361-3857On Tuesday, we may spend the final hour at the Inn discussing what we’ve seen and outlining a plan.
Wed., July 2, open in case we’ve been rained out earlier or need more time.
Thurs., July 3,
 8-10 a.m.: open as above
10:15 – 12:15. Walk and talk at the Northampton campus. Meet at the Meeting House at 10:15. You’ll need tick protection, water, and sturdy boots.

Land Conservation Committee: The Big Picture

Overall goal: A master plan for managing our land.
  • This is not the same as the much broader Lathrop master plan that Thom announced yesterday in our mailboxes. Our plan is just about land management for conservation and native habitat; that larger plan is about everything. Our plan will inform the larger plan.
  • Our plan will give us a vision of what we can realistically achieve, priorities for what is most important, and a budget, timeline, and task list to guide our  future work

How do the consultants and visitors fit in?
Continue reading Land Conservation Committee: The Big Picture

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.