by Barbara Walvoord
Aw, shucks. We thought we had an agreement that our wet meadows would not be mowed until late October or early November, so that all the riches of seeds and cover would be available to our voles, snakes, turtles, birds, bobcats, hawks, insects, and others when they need it most.
But while Mike Strycharz was away, and without his knowledge, someone came in and mowed the meadow behind Cranberry/Spiceberry/Teaberry. We were dismayed, to say the least.
|Wet meadow before mowing, July 14, 1014. Photo by Barbara Walvoord
Continue reading Yikes! The Wet Meadow was Mowed
Report of the Land Conservation Subcommittee of the Green Committee
July 30, 2014
by Barbara Walvoord, Chair
Committee Members: Adele Dowell, Jim Dowell, Alfred Eipper, Sharon Grace, Chuck Gillies, Lyn Howe, Eleanor Johnson, Gillian Morbey, Diedrick Snoek, and Barbara Walvoord
Since our last report, the committee has moved forward in each of its eight lines of work:
- Master plan, finances, infrastucture
- Agricultural fields
- Removal of invasives
- Bushwhacking, mowing
- Herbicides, pesticides
- Planting natives
- Programming and information
Particularly, watch for these developments:
- Tomorrow, July 31, the state Biologist and the state Soil Conservation Planner are coming to walk our fields and give us ideas about how best to support wildlife, especially grassland birds like bobolinks and meadowlarks, which are increasingly at risk. Support for grassland birds and other wildlife is one of three alternative uses for our fields that we are researching. The other two alternatives (not mutually exclusive) are organic/sustainable farming, and a possible 5-8-acre solar field on a piece of our land not visible from our homes. A representative from a solar cooperative called Community Solar is coming August 18 at 10 a.m. in the Inn for a very early exploratory discussion. Nothing may come of it, and no commitments will be made without a GREAT DEAL more investigation and discussion with the whole Lathrop community, board, etc.
- Presentation in August or September by our naturalist consultant Laurie Sanders about the natural history, present status, and future of our land.
- Development of a native wildflower garden in front of Cranberry House. We’ll be sharing the plan with all of you and inviting you to participate in (or come and watch) a planting day in the fall.
- We are contacting contractors who can help us remove invasives in our fields, woods, and wetlands that are threatening our native plants and wildlife.
- We need information from residents about their needs and desires for walking trails.
by Barbara Walvoord, May 15, 2014.
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.