Tag Archives: Purpose

Sustainability at Lathrop

by Barbara Walvoord

Lathrop residents and management are thinking a lot these days about being sustainable–in terms of occupancy, finances, services, buildings, and long-range plans. More broadly, Lathrop and the other Kendal affiliates all voted in 2009 to implement thirteen “sustainability initiatives” to help keep not only ourselves but our WORLD sustainable in the future.

  1. Establish, monitor, and maintain a community-wide, multi-faceted system of recycling or disposal of items such as, but not limited to, paper goods, containers, plastics, batteries, electronic goods, and hazardous materials.
  2. Establish a program to reduce office paper usage, and purchase of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC, an international non-profit, multi-stakeholder organization established to promote responsible management of the world’s forests) certified paper for all print materials.
  3. Establish a program to install and maintain native landscape.
  4. Provide building automation/energy management system for monitoring mechanical, electrical, and plumbing equipment for maximum efficiency.
  5. Develop an energy conservation plan that is measurable.
  6. Adopt a policy to purchase only EnergyStar appliances.
  7. Offer environmental educational programs and ongoing reminders and updates to staff and residents about environmental issues and opportunities.
  8. Establish a program for water conservation.
  9. Provide a program for incorporating the least possible use of herbicides and pesticides into landscape management.
  10. Provide a program for using green chemicals in all aspects of operations including housekeeping, laundry, and dining.
  11. Establish a “food philosophy” which includes incorporating local food in the dining program.
  12. Establish a program and practice of Green Building standards in any construction or renovation project including finishes and furnishing.
  13. Establish a sustainability workgroup in the community including residents and staff that actively works to monitor and advance the sustainability efforts of the community; includes a sustainability “library” with references and website links.                (http://www.kendal.org/sustainability-initiatives/)

Continue reading Sustainability at Lathrop


Nurturing Lathrop’s Land and Wildlife: Presentation to Lathrop Residents, Jan. 12, 2014, by Barbara Walvoord

Nourishing Lathrop’s Land and Wildlife: Presentation by Barbara Walvoord to Lathrop Residents, January 12, 2014.

Powerpoint slides can be found at https://www.dropbox.com/s/kfkuqsy6be8izl5/lathrop%20green%20res%20present%204.pptx?dl=0

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.

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

Report to Residents Nov 2013

Lathrop East Path
Lathrop East Path

The New “Green” Committee

November, 2013 Barbara Walvoord, Chair What is the purpose? To protect and enrich Lathrop’s conserved land, wildlife, birds, and native habitat, and to work toward reducing Lathrop’s carbon footprint and addressing climate change. In the words of the Kendal mission, to “walk lightly on the land.” Who is working on it now? Barbara Walvoord and Sharon Grace,  …and YOU…. So far, we have…

  • Met with Thom, Mike, and Michael Harvey to discuss how to work together on this project.
  • Prepared a future presentation for residents (watch for the date!) and for the property committee of the Board
  • Identified several potential naturalists who can help us inventory our land and shape a plan for its nourishment
  • Begun to inventory and remove invasive plants such as bittersweet and barberry, that threaten to suffocate our trees and form an impenetrable mass in our woods, crowding out the native plants on which our birds, insects, and wildlife depend.
  • Started a native wildflower garden in the meadow at the end of the woods path
  • Marked a 15-minute walking path from the small garden shed to the bank of Bassett Brook. (Look for the orange ribbons.)