Our Environment.
Our Home.
OUR CHALLENGE.

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 SAVE THE DATE

Highway Cleanup

April 14 – 8:30am – Mohican Farm, Springfield

Help us remove litter from a 2-mile section of State Highway 80 in Springfield and Cooperstown! Bags, gloves and safety equipment provided as part of New York State’s Adopt-A-Highway program. Pre-registration required, 12 years and up only. Meet at OCCA’s office at Mohican Farm, 7207 State Highway 80, Cooperstown, NY. This activity will take two to three hours. Please wear long pants and dress to get dirty.

Register at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/

Earth Festival Movie Night

April 20 – 7pm – Milford Central School Auditorium
For the second year, we are offering a Friday night movie in line with the theme of the festival. This year’s film is being sponsored by sponsored by Otsego 2000 and Glimmerglass Film Festival. Come check out Landfill Harmonic, an inspiring film about “The Recycled Orchestra”, a group of children from a Paraguayan slum who play instruments made entirely of garbage. It is a beautiful story about the transformative power of music, which also highlights two vital issues of our times: poverty and waste pollution. The film and FREE and open to the public. For more information on the film and to view a trailer, visit https://vimeo.com/52711779 or www.youtube.com/landfillharmonic.

 

Earth Festival

April 21 – 11:00am – 3:00pm – Milford Central School
Back for its fourteenth year, Earth Festival is an environmentally focused, interactive event featuring exhibits, workshops, vendors, food and entertainment, all with a fun, earth-friendly twist. Keep an eye on our Earth Festival page (http://occainfo.org/earth-festival/) for updates on vendors, activities, and recycling opportunities.   Check out our line-up:

9am – Pre-Festival Bird Walk (meet in front of school)

9am-1pm – Bike Safety 123 Class (classroom)

1030am – Spring Garden Day Registration (entrance hall)

11am – 3pm – Vendor and Exhibitor Fair (Large gym)

11am – 3pm – 1st Annual Clothing Swap (Cafeteria)

11am & 1pm – Spring Garden Day Workshops (classrooms)

11am – 2pm – Shredding drop off (parking lot)

11am – 3pm – Recycling drop off (various locations)

1215pm – Recycling Basics and You:  How Do I Get Rid Of (Auditorium)

130pm – Yoga Big and Small (small gym)

200pm – Recycled Fashion Show

230pm – EcoArt Winners Announced

Spring Garden Day

April 21 – 10:30am – 2:00pm – Milford Central School
Master Gardener Volunteers of Cornell Cooperative Extension Schoharie and Otsego Counties are sponsoring Spring Garden Day (SGD), a day devoted to gardening and growing environments featuring a variety of workshops, held in conjunction with the OCCA Earth Festival. This year’s theme is “Try Something New.” Workshops will occur at11am and 1pm. Registration fees apply. For more information, visit http://cceschoharie-otsego.org/events/2018/04/21/spring-garden-day-2018

Urban Forestry Hike

April 27 – Time to be announced (check our website) – Swart-Wilcox House, Oneonta
The walk will cover the importance of the urban forest, and the potential impact to it of the emerald ash borer, an invasive insect that targets ash trees. Following the walk is the City of Oneonta’s annual Arbor Day tree planting ceremony, and a demonstration by a trained arborist of inoculating an ash tree against the emerald ash borer. The program is free and open to the public. The City of Oneonta’s Emerald Ash Borer Preventive Maintenance Program is funded by the Urban and Community Forestry Grants Program.

Ag Plastic Recycling

May 10 and 12 – Northern and Southern Transfer Stations (respectively)
Farmers have two opportunities to drop off their used bale wrap, silage bags, greenhouse film, or bunker cover for free recycling. Plastic needs to be relatively clean, dry, and sorted by type. This program is offered for free through a partnership between OCCA, Otsego County Solid Waste Department, Otsego County Soil and Water Conservation District, and Casella Waste Systems. To participate, please contact OCCA Program Director Jeff O’Handley at (607) 282-4087 for instructions.

Morning Birding at Mohican

May 10 and 12 – 7am – Mohican Farm, Springfield

The early birder gets the best birds! Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society Co-president Becky Gretton leads this walk around the varied habitat at Mohican Farm. Birds of woodlands, grasslands and shorelines are often seen—sometimes eagles! Space is limited, so sign up early.  Register at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/

Be Informed! Lecture Series

May 16 – 630pm – Clark Sports Center

Come join us to learn about food gardens!  Learn what plants are best for our climate, when to start your planting, and how to take care of your garden for best results.   Register at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/

ANNOUNCEMENTS

OCCA Goes Green with Electronic Garage Sale

The new “garage sale” website will be officially unveiled at Earth Festival, and you can even shop right there!  Items will also be listed on Craig’s List for those who would like to shop that way.  We need your items to sell! To donate, just call OCCA at 547-4488, snap a photo of your item, and email it to occagaragesale@gmail.com.  We will post your item on our store site, and sell the item for you.  If you would like the items out of your home ASAP, you can bring them to OCCA, and we’ll store them for you.  We hope all our donors and shoppers will still participate in our event and help keep items out of the landfill.  For more information see our Facebook page and website at www.occainfo.org/reduce-reuse-recycle-garage-sale/.

First Annual OCCA Clothing Swap

April 21 – 11:00am – 3:00pm – Milford Central School

In lieu of clothing donations at our garage sale (now going green) we are holding our first annual Community Clothing Swap at Earth Festival this year.  Organized by Angelica Palmer, the clothing swap is a great way to donate gently used clothing and get some new fashion at the same time.  A great “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” to keep textiles out of the landfills.  You can donate your gently used clothing, including winter coats and boots, prom dresses, and Halloween costumes on Friday April 20 from 4pm-8pm and at the event Saturday April 21 from 930am-1pm.  We will take all family clothing (men, women, boys, girls).  Please have your donations marked with size and gender so we can sort them easily.  The event is FREE and you do not have to donate to partake in the bounty.  We will also have extra fabric and a crafting area to “repurpose” clothing and make it more “your style”! Feeling generous, we will have staff on-hand to take donations, but they are not necessary.  If you have any questions, contact Angelica Palmer at angelica@dzeli.com.

Recycling Opportunities at Earth Festival

Earth Festival is just around the corner! On Saturday, April 21, we’ll be holding the 13th Annual event at Milford Central School. In addition to the exhibitors, vendors, and Spring Garden Day Worskshops, Earth Festival includes recycling! Here are the items you can bring to Earth Festival: Styrofoam (clean and white only), including packing peanuts; tennis balls; non-working Christmas lights; monofilament fishing line; TerraCycle items: pens, mechanical pencils, markers and caps (no wooden pencils, please); dental care items including toothbrushes (not electric), dental floss and tape, empty toothpaste tubes, and packaging; natural wine corks; and Planet Green items: used inkjet cartridges (NO TONER), cell phones and chargers, handheld electronics (up to tablet size). Please place inkjet cartridges in plastic bags or original packaging to prevent leaks. Finally, OCCA is again sponsoring the Confidata document shredding service from 11am to 2pm. Individuals are limited to five boxes of personal documents, which will be shredded for free. Please note that wood pellet bags are not being collected this year; empty wood pellet bags with tops cut off can be placed in the plastic bag/film recycling containers at area Price Chopper, Hannaford, and Tops grocery stores.

In addition to those items, Lions Club of Cooperstown will be collecting eyeglasses; Hopeful Hearts Community will collect paper towel and toilet paper tubes, windowed envelopes, and Wal-Mart bags; Good condition shoes and clothing can be brought in for the Earth Festival clothing swap.

 

Spring Clean Your Medicine Cabinet

Flushing unused or expired medication down the toilet may seem like a safe, secure way to clean out your medication cabinet, but it’s not safe for the environment. Most medications pass through sewage treatment systems and enter our waterways, where they can impact reproduction, development and behavior of fish and other aquatic organisms, even at low concentrations. Now, you don’t have to wait until Household Hazardous Waste Day to get rid of old medication. A new drug take-back kiosk has been placed at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown.

National Drug Take Back Week begins April 22 (Earth Day) and runs through April 28. Do everyone a favor: take a few minutes, go through your medicine cabinets, and clean them out. Start fresh.

Feeling Creative? Take the EcoArt Challenge

Back again at Earth Festival is the EcoArt Challenge. Use items that have outlived their useful life to make something artistic, functional, or both! Download a registration form here (http://occainfo.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/2018-EcoArt-Entry-Form.pdf) and bring your entry to Milford Central School between 9 and 11 am on April 21. Prizes will be awarded in three categories: Child (5-7), Youth (11-17) and Adult (17 and up) as voted on by Earth Festival vendors/exhibitors. Why not make it a family or school event?

CADE Workshop:  Access to Capital

CADE is excited to host a new workshop entitled “Access to Capital” in which farm and food business entrepreneurs will learn about grants and loans available to farming entities and agricultural businesses. The workshop is ideal for entrepreneurs looking for capital in the next 30-60 days to start, operate, or expand their farm or agriculture business. The workshop will take place on Wednesday, April 4th from 1pm to 4pm at the CADE office on 5 Elm Street in Oneonta, NY.  The workshop is free. Pre-registration is required by contacting CADE’s Program Manager Corey Luchetta via email at corey@cadefarms.org

Did You Know?

When will the ice on Otsego Lake melt away and start warming up for the summer swim season? Officially, the “ice on” for Otsego Lake was the evening between December 31and January 1.  If you remember last year, we did NOT have full ice coverage on the lake at all making ice fishing near impossible in some traditional spots. When we have complete ice coverage on the lake that means the temperature is “isothermal” or only varying a degree from top to bottom.  So, when will that lake ice go away?  Well that depends on stream flow, night and daytime temperatures.  If the temperatures keep consistently falling below zero at night, it will take longer for the ice to melt.  The optimist in me would love to say all ice gone by Easter, the realist says tax day. Tag us on Facebook with your guess!

Save the Date

Tick Update

March 6 – 3:30pm – 6:00pm – Cornell Cooperative Extension, Cobleskill

Joellen Lampman from the NYS Integrated Pest Management program will present a Tick Update, highlighting the latest in tick ID and preventive measures for what has become a major public health issue. This free program is sponsored by the Cornell Cooperative Extension Schoharie and Otsego Counties, and takes place at the CCE Cobleskill Office, 173 South Grand Street, Suite 1, Cobleskill. Register online at: https://reg.cce.cornell.edu/TickUpdate_243

Mud Lake Snowshoe Walk

March 10 – 12:00pm – 4:30pm – Riddell State Park

Join Steve Kent for this hike up to Mud Lake at Robert V. Riddell State Park. Along the way, Steve will share interesting tales of the life of the land when it was part of the Riddell family. Steve and his wife, Patricia Riddell Kent, donated the land to the state in 2005. Bring your own snowshoes, as well as water, a snack, and appropriate clothing. If there is not sufficient snow, we will proceed on foot. Sign up at https://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/.

 

 

Get the Kids Out – Mud!

March 28 – 10:00am – 11:30am – Mohican Farm, Springfield

With warmer weather comes melting snow and ice, rain, and…mud! Take a walk around Mohican Farm in Springfield and explore the wet and muddy world of spring. We’ll look for animal tracks, and make our own if we can’t find any. Wear boots, or bring a change of shoes and socks. Meet at the parking lot at the parking lot in front of OCCA’s office, 7207 State Highway 80, Cooperstown (corner of Allen Lake Road and Route 80). Dress for the weather! The event is free and open to the public. Register at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/

 

 

Earth Festival

April 21 – 11:00am – 3:00pm – Milford Central School
Back for its fourteenth year, Earth Festival is an environmentally focused, interactive event featuring exhibits, workshops, vendors, food and entertainment, all with a fun, earth-friendly twist. Keep an eye on our Earth Festival page (http://occainfo.org/earth-festival/) for updates on vendors, activities, and recycling opportunities.

Earth Festival is an environmentally focused, interactive event featuring exhibits, workshops, vendors, food and entertainment, all with a fun, earth-friendly twist.

 

 Earth Festival Movie Night
 April 20 – 7pm – Milford Central School Auditorium
For the second year, we are offering a Friday night movie in line with the theme of the festival. This year’s film is being sponsored by sponsored by Otsego 2000 and Glimmerglass Film Festival. Come check out Landfill Harmonic, an inspiring film about “The Recycled Orchestra”, a group of children from a Paraguayan slum who play instruments made entirely of garbage. It is a beautiful story about the transformative power of music, which also highlights two vital issues of our times: poverty and waste pollution. The film and FREE and open to the public. For more information on the film and to view a trailer, visit https://vimeo.com/52711779 or www.youtube.com/landfillharmonic.  
LANDFILL HARMONIC is a documentary that follows the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura, a Paraguayan musical youth group who live next to one of South America’s l…

 

Spring Garden Day

April 21 – 10:30am – 2:00pm – Milford Central School
Master Gardener Volunteers of Cornell Cooperative Extension Schoharie and Otsego Counties are sponsoring Spring Garden Day (SGD), a day devoted to gardening and growing environments featuring a variety of workshops, held in conjunction with the OCCA Earth Festival. This year’s theme is “Try Something New.” Workshops will occur at 11am and 1pm. Registration fees apply. For more information, visit http://cceschoharie-otsego.org/events/2018/04/21/spring-garden-day-2018

 

 

 

Ag plastic collections coming up

OCCA, the Otsego County Solid Waste Department, the Otsego County Soil and Water Conservation District, and Casella Waste Systems are again teaming up to provide farmers the opportunity to drop off used agricultural film plastics such as bale wrap, silage bags, bunker silo cover, boat wrap and greenhouse covers for recycling. Wood pellet bags will also be accepted. Collection dates are May 10 at Oneonta and May 12 at Cooperstown. Plastic needs to be relatively clean and dry, and sorted by type. For details on handling and how to sign up for this free program, contact OCCA at (607) 282-4087.

 

OCCA Goes Green with Online Garage Sale

In an effort to lower our carbon footprint, OCCA is going green this year and moving our Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Garage on to the web.  Instead of using vehicles to pick up, drop off and move items, we will be hosting an online store where you can still get donate and purchase items for a great deal!  A special committee of staff and board members has been working diligently to set up an online store on the OCCA website to make purchasing a breeze.  The new “garage sale” website will be officially unveiled at Earth Festival, and you can even shop right there!  Items will also be listed on Craig’s List for those who would like to shop that way.  Of course we’ll need items to sell, to donate, just call OCCA at 547-4488, snap a photo of your item, and email it to one of our team members at occagaragesale@gmail.com.  The team will then post your item on our store site, and sell the item for you.  If you would like the items out of your home ASAP, you can bring them to OCCA, and we’ll store them for you.  OCCA will not be accepting small items such as clothing and books, but we have other options for you (see clothing swap below).  We hope all our donors and shoppers will still participate in our event and help keep items out of the landfill.  Stay tuned for more information via email, our website (www.occainfo.org/reduce-reuse-recycle-garage-sale/) and Facebook for more information.

We’re Going Green!!!! As part of OCCA’s mission to reduce our carbon footprint we will not be holding our traditional “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Garage Sale” for …

 

 

First Annual OCCA Clothing Swap

 April 21 – 11:00am – 3:00pm – Milford Central School
 In lieu of clothing donations at our garage sale (now going green) we are holding our first annual Community Clothing Swap at Earth Festival this year.  Organized by Angelica Palmer, the clothing swap is a great way to donate gently used clothing and get some new fashion at the same time.  A great “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” to keep textiles out of the landfills.  You can donate your gently used clothing, including winter coats and boots, prom dresses, and Halloween costumes on Friday April 20 from 4pm-8pm and at the event Saturday April 21 from 930am-1pm.  We will take all family clothing (men, women, boys, girls).  Please have your donations marked with size and gender so we can sort them easily.  The event is FREE and you do not have to donate to partake in the bounty.  Feeling generous, we will have staff on-hand to take donations, but they are not necessary.  If you have any questions, contact Angelica Palmer at  angelica@dzeli.com.

 

 

Recycling Opportunities at Earth Festival

In keeping with the Earth Day Network’s theme for this year’s Earth Day, Earth Festival’s theme will be Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.  To that end, we will be offering many opportunities for recycling that you might now know about.  We will still have our paper shredding (5 box limit); clean, white Styrofoam; shoes; Christmas lights, toilet and paper towel rolls; windowed envelopes; small, handheld electronics; ink jet cartridges; fishing line; tennis balls; natural cork.

Grant Opportunity for Septic Tank Improvements

 Otsego County is participating in a NY Department of Environmental Conservation program to help homeowners within 250 feet of Goodyear Lake make improvements to their septic systems. Permanent residents who meet the qualifications of the program can apply for up to 50% of costs (not exceeding $10,000) to make improvements.  Allowable costs include: design, repair, rehabilitation, installation, septic systems and components, and costs for enhanced maintenance.  For more information on the program, visit Otsego County Planning Department Facebook page@ https://www.facebook.com/ Otsego-County-Planning-and- Solid-Waste-Department- 974719492662975/
Otsego County Planning and Solid Waste Department. 61 likes · 4 talking about this. Welcome to the Otsego County Planning and Solid Waste Department…

 

 

 

 

OCCA Citizen Science Stream Monitoring Program a Success!

Since October, over 20 volunteers and three schools have been monitoring nine different streams around Otsego County.  All together, they have collected over 400 data points on water quality parameters such as nitrogen, phosphorus, oxygen, water clarity, conductivity, pH and temperature. Our volunteer monitors are a great bunch and we are so very greatful to have all of them!! We will be having a table at Earth Festival where monitors will be there to show you their equipment, talk to you about their experiences, and share their data with you, so come on by.   If you or a school you know is interesting in getting involved, see our website at: http://occainfo.org/citizen- science-stream-monitoring/ or email Leslie Orzetti at director@occainfo.org.

This is the first county-wide stream monitoring program entirely carried out by citizen volunteers with OCCA’s coordination in the New York portion of the …
Did You Know?

“Rasputitsa” is the name given to the muddy periods associated with spring thaw and autumn rains in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. The word means “loss of ways,” and refers to how dirt roads turned to mud and virtually disappeared during those seasons. A combination of poor road construction, inadequate drainage, melting snow and ice, and frozen subsoil contributes to the rasputitsa.

Save the Date

Winter Carnival Snowshoe Walk

February 11 – 10:30 – 12:00pm – Clark Sports Center

Have the winter time blues?  Bundle up and hit the woodland trail Winter Carnival weekend at the Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown with OCCA Program Director Jeff O’Handley.  This themed hike will focus on signs of life past, present and future. Look for animal tracks and scat (aka, poop!), nests, evidence of feeding and more. The event is free and open to the public.  Meet in the lobby of the Clark Sports Center. Pre-registration is appreciated but not required.  Register at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/

Get the Kids Out – Winter Scavenger Hunt

February 21 – 10:00am – 12:00pm – Riddell State Park

Take a break from school vacation week with a winter scavenger hunt with OCCA in Riddell State Park. Discover the hidden life of forests and fields, and get some fresh air, too! Meet at the parking lot in Robert V. Riddell State Park and dress for the weather! The event is free and open to the public.  Pre-registration is appreciated but not required.  Register at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/

Be Informed! Lecture Series – Ticks and Lyme Disease:  What You Need to Know

February 21 – 6:30pm – Community Room, Clark Sports Center, Coopersown

Spring is right around the corner, and that means ticks will soon be back out in force. Learn about the biology and ecology of ticks, their role in the transmittal of diseases, and how to protect yourself and your family. Speakers include Dr. Carmen Greenwood, Associate Professor, SUNY Cobleskill, and Theresa Oellrich, RN, Communicable Disease Coordinator of Otsego County.

Mud Lake Snowshoe Walk

March 10 – 12:00pm – 4:30pm – Riddell State Park

Join Steve Kent for this hike up to Mud Lake at Robert V. Riddell State Park. Along the way, Steve will share interesting tales of the life of the land when it was part of the Riddell family. Steve and his wife, Patricia Riddell Kent, donated the land to the state in 2005. Bring your own snowshoes, as well as water, a snack, and appropriate clothing. If there is not sufficient snow, we will proceed on foot. Sign up at https://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/.

 

Earth Festival

April 21 – 11:00am – 3:00pm – Milford Central School
Back for its fourteenth year, Earth Festival is an environmentally focused, interactive event featuring exhibits, workshops, vendors, food and entertainment, all with a fun, earth-friendly twist. Keep an eye on our Earth Festival page (http://occainfo.org/earth-festival/) for updates on vendors, activities, and recycling opportunities.

Announcements 

New rules for wood pellet bags

The OCCA-Ace Hardware wood pellet bag collection has come to an end, but that doesn’t mean you can’t continue recycling your pellet bags. Several stores in Otsego County, including Price Chopper, Hannaford, and Tops, accept wood pellet bags as part of their film plastic recycling program. To prepare your wood pellet bags properly: cut the top completely off the bag and discard; completely empty the bag of pellets and residue (turning inside out may help); store flat or in tight rolls; drop off at the film plastic recycling containers at Price Chopper, Hannaford or Tops with your other film plastic recyclables. For information on other types of film plastics that can be recycled, and for a directory on where to recycle them, visit https://www.plasticfilmrecycling.org/recycling-bags-and-wraps/find-drop-off-location/

 

OCCA Goes Green with Electronic Garage Sale

In an effort to lower our carbon footprint, OCCA is going green this year and moving our Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Garage on to the web.  Instead of using vehicles to pick up, drop off and move items, we will be hosting an online store where you can still get donate and purchase items for a great deal!  Over the past  few years, we have had an overwhelming outpouring of donations from our supporters.  This year we are trying to refine the process so we do not have so many things left over at the end of the yard sale to find good homes for.  After the yard sale, many items were donated to the SAS, local shelters and the Salvation Army, but we still had many unwanted items to take to the dump…..certainly not the intention of the yard sale.  So, this year YOU can sit back and donate and shop from the comfort of your own home.  We will be accepting household items for donation that are in good condition from March 1 until May 1 with the sale ongoing until our items are sold.  To donate, just call OCCA at 547-4488, snap a photo of your item, and email it to one of our team members.  The team will then post your item on our store site, and sell the item for you.  If you would like the items out of your home ASAP, you can bring them to OCCA, and we’ll store them for you.  OCCA will not be accepting small items such as clothing and books, but we have other options for you (see clothing swap below).  We hope all our donors and shoppers will still participate in our event and help keep items out of the landfill.  Stay tuned for more information via email, our website (www.occainfo.org/reduce-reuse-recycle-garage-sale/) and Facebook for more information.

 

First Annual OCCA Clothing Swap

April 21 – 11:00am – 3:00pm – Milford Central School

In lieu of clothing donations at our garage sale (now going green) we are holding our first annual Community Clothing Swap at Earth Festival this year.  Organized by Angelica Palmer, the clothing swap is a great way to donate gently used clothing and get some new fashion at the same time.  A great “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” to keep textiles out of the landfills.  You can donate your gently used clothing, including winter coats and boots, prom dresses, and Halloween costumes on Friday April 20 and at the event Saturday April 21.  We will take all family clothing (men, women, boys, girls).  Please have your donations marked with size and gender so we can sort them easily.  The event is FREE and you do not have to donate to partake in the bounty.  Feeling generous, we will have staff on-hand to take donations, but they are not necessary.  If you have any questions, contact Angelica Palmer at angelica@dzeli.com.

Grilled Cheese for a Good Cause

February 11 – 5:00 – 7:00pm – Cooperstown Farmer’s Market

Go join Otsego 2000 for an evening of community fun and comfort food, featuring local chefs preparing scrumptious grilled cheese sandwiches and soups. Click here to purchase tickets. This year’s event will benefit Otsego Outdoors.

Cold Winter, Warm Community Winter Carnival Ice Breaker

February 11 – 2 – 4:30pm – Cooperstown Distillery

View Otsego Land Trust’s “Picture Perfect” exhibit, a display of wonderful photographs taken around our community. At 3pm, take part in a fun 30-minute trivia contest about the area’s wildlife and environment. At 4pm, The Freeman’s Journal presents the award to the winner of the Winter Carnival Medallion Search.

Recycling Opportunities at Earth Festival

In keeping with the Earth Day Network’s theme for this year’s Earth Day, Earth Festival’s theme will be Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.  To that end, we will be offering many opportunities for recycling that you might now know about.  We will still have our paper shredding (5 box limit); clean, white Styrofoam; shoes; Christmas lights, toilet and paper towel rolls; windowed envelopes; small, handheld electronics; ink jet cartridges; fishing line; tennis balls; natural cork.

 

Positions Available

The Natural Heritage Trust is seeking candidates for the position of Water Resources Coordinator to help monitor and maintain the water quality, safety, and recreational uses of New York state park watebodies. Applications due February 16, 2018. For full position description and how to apply, call Natural Heritage Trust at (518) 474-0409.

Invasive Species Strike Teams: The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation is seeking to fill a number of positions on their invasive species strike teams. Strike Team Specialists and Supervisors will primarily be involved in manual invasive plant removals, surveys, education and other activities on State Park lands. These are seasonal, full-time positions from late May through mid-November. Closing date is March 9. See https://parks.ny.gov/employment/park-employment.aspx for detailed job descriptions, contact information, and how to apply.

Friends of Recreation, Conservation and Environmental Stewardship (FORCES), a program of The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation is seeking applicants for positions as FORCES Stewardship Corps Members and Supervisors for the summer May through August). FORCES Stewardship Corps will be working alongside State Parks staff on projects in Taughannock Falls, Buttermilk Falls, and Robert H. Tremain State Parks. Closing date is March 9; however, interviews will begin in February, so apply ASAP. For detailed information, contact rebecca.siber@parks.ny.gov.

SAVE THE DATE

Well Spent Wednesday

January 24 –11am – 10pm – Alex’s Bistro (149 Main Street, Cooperstown)

Come join OCCA for a meal at Alex’s Bistro in Cooperstown.  Alex has generously offered to donate 15% of your bill to OCCA.  This can only work if you come out for a wonderful meal at Alex’s!  We LOVE Alex’s eclectic menu and hope that you will as well.  Just mention OCCA when you dine.  We’ll have an OCCA employee at the restaurant for most of the day if you want to stop by and say hello!

Cabin Fever Fest Snowshoe Walk

January 27 –11:30am and 1:30pm – Gilbert Lake State Park

Join OCCA at Five Star Subaru’s Cabin Fever Fest at Gilbert Lake State Park for a snowshoe hike or two.  Again this year, OCCA will be leading two snowshoe walks around Gilbert Lake.  No snowshoes, no problem!  You can borrow some from the Mt. Otsego Ski Shop.  Program Director Jeff O’Handley will lead these walks and give fun ecological facts about Otsego County and point out neat wintertime nature finds along the way.  There will be two hikes, 11:30 and 1:30.  Join us for this fun free event!

Register at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/

Winter Carnival Showshoe Walk

February 11 – 10:30 – 12:00pm – Clark Sports Center

Have the winter time blues?  Bundle up and hit the woodland trail Winter Carnival weekend at the Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown with OCCA Program Director Jeff O’Handley.  This themed hike will focus on signs of life past, present and future. Look for animal tracks and scat (aka, poop!), nests, evidence of feeding and more. The event is free and open to the public.  Meet in the lobby of the Clark Sports Center. Pre-registration is appreciated but not required.  Register at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/

ANNOUNCEMENTS

50th Anniversary Annual Appeal a Success!

A big and hearty thanks to everyone who shared your holiday cheer with OCCA!!  Our 50th Anniversary Annual Appeal is off to a great start.  With a goal of $50,000 for our 50th Anniversary year, we have a lot of work to do and we’re off and running because of our generous donors.  We are about to top the $10,000 mark in just our first month!  As always, your donations go to helping OCCA put on all of its FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC programs like nature hikes, lectures, festivals and much, much more.  It’s not too late to donate to OCCA for our 50th Anniversary year! If you would like to donate online, please see our Annual Appeal campaign page @ https://occainfo.networkforgood.com/projects/43100-2017-annual-appeal. Any and all donations are welcome, and no gift is too small.   Pass the word on to your friends this year  that you value the work OCCA does and challenge them to match your donation to our efforts.

 

Recycle Your Christmas Lights

If you’re finding more and more strings of Christmas lights that aren’t working, look to recycle them! Lights can be dropped off at Lowe’s stores, or boxed and mailed to companies like Holiday LEDs (holidayleds.com), the Christmas Light Source (christmas-light-source.com) or Environmental LED (environmentalled.com).  You can also bring your spent holiday lights to OCCA and we will take them to Lowe’s for you.  Drop your lights off at Mohican Farm location (Corner of Rte. 80 and Allen Lake Road) until January 24.

Otsego County Soil and Water Conservation District Seeking Winter/Spring Intern

This internship position will support Otsego County Soil and Water Conservation District (OCSWCD) with various projects in Otsego County. The position will provide experience in watershed assessment methods, riparian forest monitoring and maintenance methods, and other OCSWCD projects as assigned.  For more information see: http://www.otsegosoilandwater.com/Internship_OCSWCD_2018.pdf.

Upper Susquehanna Coalition Seeking Spring Intern

The Upper Susquehanna Coalition is seeking resumes for a current job opening as a riparian buffer intern. The position will begin in March and is slated to terminate in the late fall, with the possibility of an extension. The job will be based out of the Tioga County Soil and Water Conservation Office.  Interested parties should contact Lydia Brinkley at the Upper Susquehanna Coalition Buffer Coordinator, at Lbrinkley@u-s-c.org.

NY DEC Seeking Trees for Tributaries Program Coordinator

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) in partnership with the Natural Heritage Trust is seeking to hire a Stream Buffer Restoration / Resiliency Planting Program Coordinator to oversee DEC’s Trees for Tributaries program.  Trees for Tribs works to restore stream buffers throughout New York.   Contact OCCA for a position description.  Applications are due January 8th, 2018 to treesfortribs@dec.ny.gov.

Did You Know?

Baby its cold outside!  With this rash of cold, cold, cold weather we’ve been having, and more sub-zero temps to come, Otsego County’s lakes are just about frozen.  On my drive back from Western New York yesterday, my kids and I had a bet whether Otsego Lake was completely frozen yet.  Answers ranged from 50% (my ever conservative science brained son) to 100% (my ever optimistic daughter), with mine in between at 80%.  The bets were predicated by observing Canadarago Lake with its ice fishing huts lining the lake and beautiful ice waves along the surface.  As many of you know, Otsego Lake is usually the last to completely freeze over due to its depth and many streams feeding it.  Last year the lake did not actually completely freeze over (no, not even the 4 feet of snow in March did it!).  Lake ice and the ecological phenomena under the ice in lakes in Otsego County  and in other fresh water systems is now being recognized as an important research question that needs to be answered to determine what shifts in both the planktonic (floating) and benthic (bottom) communities that is and may still occur in the face of a warming climate.  Warming you say?  This week?  Bah!  But it is true. While many researchers have avoided winter research on lakes (I’ve done my time chipping ice off boats, and it’s not fun) more and more ecologists are heading out during the winter months to see what food web dynamics are occurring under the ice.  In fact, the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis has put together an entire working group for just this question (https://www.nceas.ucsb.edu/featured/hampton).  As the winter drones on, just keep in mind (as many of you ice fisherman know) there’s life teeming under that surface of ice.  And for you betting people out there….we have word from the SUNY Biological Field Station that Otsego Lake is indeed 100% frozen.  Now get out there carefully and ice fish!

 

SAVE THE DATE

Sleeping Lion Trail Hike

December 5 – 10am – Glimmerglass State Park

Program Director Jeff O’Handley will lead a walk on the Sleeping Lion trail at Glimmerglass State Park for the Susquehanna Chapter, Adirondack Mountain Club. This 2.5-mile trail traverses several forest types and offers breathtaking views of Otsego Lake. Free. For information on carpooling from the Oneonta area, contact Julie Smith, outings chair of ADK.  Register at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/

 

Well Spent Wednesday

January 24 –11am – 10pm – Alex’s Bistro (149 Main Street, Cooperstown)

Come join OCCA for a meal at Alex’s Bistro in Cooperstown.  Alex has generously offered to donate 15% of your bill to OCCA.  This can only work if you come out for a wonderful meal at Alex’s!  We LOVE Alex’s eclectic menu and hope that you will as well.  Just mention OCCA when you dine.  We’ll have an OCCA employee at the restaurant for most of the day if you want to stop by and say hello!

Where Have All the Birds Gone?

December 6 – 6:30 – 7:30pm – Brandow’s Feed & Seed

Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society Co-President, Andy Mason will discuss winter birds, including birds typically seen at feeders in our area. Topics will include various bird seed types and other food, feeders, and problems at feeders.Also discussed will be the common question this fall: “Where are all the birds?” as well as how feeder watchers can contribute to knowledge of bird populations and distributions. VISIT www.doas.usfor more information about other programs.

ANNOUNCEMENTS 

2017 Giving Tuesday a Success!

The new #GivingTuesday campaign for 2017 was a success!!  Today, OCCA raised over $2500 and your generous donations are still coming in.  As always, your donations go to helping OCCA put on all of its FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC programs like nature hikes, lectures, festivals and much, much more.  It’s not too late to donate to OCCA for the 2017 tax year, our annual appeal and brand new annual report are going out in the mail this week.  If you would like to donate online, please see our Annual Appeal campaign page @ https://occainfo.networkforgood.com/projects/43100-2017-annual-appeal. Any and all donations are welcome, and no gift is too small.   Pass the word on to your friends this giving season that you value the work OCCA does and challenge them to match your donation to our efforts.

Reduce Your Food Footprint

Have too many leftovers?  Is your fridge getting cram packed with food already for the holiday season?  The Natural Resources Defense Council estimates that American throw away over 204 MILLION pounds of just turkey meat during the Thanksgiving holidays.  This estimate doesn’t even include the time between Thanksgiving and the New Year holiday, OR the amount of food that can be composted in your own backyard!  To reduce wasted food this holiday season, the NY DEC suggests….

  • Plan ahead:  Have an accurate head count to plan portions accordingly. Use Save the Food’s new Guest-imator calculator to help estimate how much food you will need based on the head count and number of desired leftovers.
  • Cook with Imperfections:  Purchase imperfect produce to use in cooked dishes, such as bruised apples for apple pie.
  • Share:  Encourage your guests to bring a container they can take leftovers home in.
  • Make Creative Leftovers:  Enjoy your Thanksgiving leftovers days after by creating new dishes like turkey soup or hot turkey sandwiches.
  • Freeze:  Be realistic about the leftovers you can eat; freeze the extra that won’t last in the fridge.

 

Recycle Your Christmas Lights

If you’re finding more and more strings of Christmas lights that aren’t working, look to recycle them! Lights can be dropped off at Lowe’s stores, or boxed and mailed to companies like HolidayLEDs (holidayleds.com), the Christmas Light Source (christmas-light-source.com) or Environmental LED (environmentalled.com).  You can also bring your spent holiday lights to OCCA and we will take them to Lowe’s for you.  Drop your lights off at Mohican Farm location (Corner of Rte. 80 and Allen Lake Road) until January 24.

Otsego Reuse Center Now Open!

A project of the Arc Otsego, The Otsego ReUse Center envisions providing affordable, gently used materials to the general public while keeping materials out of the waste stream. The store is open Tuesday through Friday10 am-6 pm and Saturday from 9am-1pm, and is located at 23 Duane Street, Oneonta. Call 607-353-7831 or visit otsegoreusecenter.org for more information.

County Manager/Executive to Be Discussed Locally

Dr. Gerald Benjamin, SUNY New Paltz Associate Vice President/Regional Engagement, will make a presentation outlining the discussion surrounding hiring a “County Manager” versus electing a “County Executive.” The presentation will take place on Thursday, December 14 at 8 a.m. at the Springbrook family Engagement Center located on Route 28 in Milford Center. The event is sponsored by the Freeman’s Journal/Hometown Oneonta, with cosponsors including the League of Women Voters (Cooperstown and Oneonta Chapters) and the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce.

Did You Know?

The Winter Solstice is coming!  The winter solstice (AKA hibernal solstice) is an astronomical phenomenon marking the day with the shortest period of daylight and the longest night of the year. This year, in the Northern Hemisphere we can officially celebrate the solstice on December 21 at 11:27am. Why would you want to celebrate the shortest time of daylight of the year you ask?  While we at OCCA appreciate the solstice for its astronomical properties, many other cultures throughout human history have had a different take on the solstice.  For many people around the world, the solstice is celebrated as the beginning of the return of the sun and darkness turning to light. In pre-Christian Scandinavia, the Feast of Juul, or Yule, lasted for 12 days celebrating the rebirth of the sun and giving rise to the custom of burning a Yule log. In Europe, the winter months were considered a time of famine with little to no crop growth. It was at this time that most cattle were slaughtered so they would not have to be fed during the winter months, thus making the solstice a time of slaughter and plentiful meat and many celebrations for the upcoming months. In ancient Rome, the winter solstice was celebrated at the Feast of Saturnalia, to honor Saturn, the god of agricultural bounty. One of the most famous celebrations of the winter solstice in the world today takes place in the ancient ruins of Stonehenge, England. Thousands of Druids and Pagans gather there to chant, dance and sing while waiting to see the spectacular sunrise.  No matter how you slice it, let’s plan to celebrate the winter solstice this year as homage to our county’s rich agricultural history, a time of the return of the sun, and to longer days giving way to a bountiful spring.

 

Film Festival Mohican Farm Hike

November 10 – 2:00pm – Mohican Farm (Corner of Allen Lake Road and Rte. 80 – Cooperstown)

In the spirit of celebrating this year’s Glimmerglass Film Days theme “Home”, OCCA Program Director Jeff O’Handley will lead a hike introducing you to OCCA’s home – Mohican Farm.  Jeff will lead participants around our lovely “home” and highlight the flora and fauna of the site, and give a history of the property.    Program is free and open to the public. Register at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/.

 

Ag Plastic Collections

November 11 – 8-11am (Southern Transfer Station); November 16 – 8-11am – (Northern Transfer Station)

Farmers have two chances to drop off used agricultural film plastic in the month of November.  Acceptable materials include bale wrap, bunker silo cover, silage bags, greenhouse covers and wood pellet bags. Material must be sorted by type and as clean and dry as possible. Free, but pre-registration is requested. For information on how to properly prepare the material for recycling or to register, contact OCCA at (607) 282-4087.

 

Be Informed! Lecture Series

November 15 – 6:30pm Mohican Farm (7207 St. Rte. 80; Corner of Allen Lake Road and Rte. 80 –Cooperstown)

Join us on National Recycling Day for an informative lecture entitled:  The What, Why and How of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Guest speakers include: Karey Foster (Casella); Karen Sullivan (Otsego County Solid Waste and Planning); and Bob Sutherland (Mohican Farm). Each will talk about how you can lower your solid waste footprint by recycling, composting, and other tricks of the trade.  Come find out “what goes where” in the world of household trash disposal. Program is free and open to the public. Register at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/.

 

Sleeping Lion Trail Hike

December 5 – 10am – Glimmerglass State Park

Program Director Jeff O’Handley will lead a walk on the Sleeping Lion trail at Glimmerglass State Park for the Susquehanna Chapter, Adirondack Mountain Club. This 2.5-mile trail traverses several forest types and offers breathtaking views of Otsego Lake. Free. For information on carpooling from the Oneonta area, contact Julie Smith, outings chair of ADK.  Register at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/

 

OCCA Citizen Science Stream Monitoring Inaugural Sampling Weekend a Success!

Over 20 volunteers braved the water and sampled nine Otsego County stream sites over the weekend of October 19.  Volunteers collected data on water temperature, specific conductance, oxygen levels, pH, water clarity, and nutrient levels.  This was the first sampling occasion of the program, and volunteers will be monitoring monthly.  Keep an eye out for them in a creek near you!  For more information on the program and to get involved see our website at: http://occainfo.org/citizen-science-stream-monitoring/

 

 

OCCA Wins Grant for Citizen Science Stream Monitoring Program

OCCA just got news that we received a $5000 grant from the Change Happens Foundation for the Citizen Science Stream Monitoring program.  Funds from this grant will help purchase additional monitoring kits, defray the cost of staff time, and help pay for additional safety equipment for our volunteers.  We are excited to be carrying out this program for Otsego County, and hope to provide valuable data for our citizens, local and state governments, and the Chesapeake Monitoring Network, so that we can do our part to help protect the Chesapeake Bay.  For more information on the program and to get involved see our website at:http://occainfo.org/citizen-science-stream-monitoring/

 

As part of our year end appeal, OCCA is launching a new #GivingTuesday campaign.  Giving Tuesday has become the second largest time of charitable giving across the globe, and you can get in on the action by becoming an OCCA donor.  If you already support of OCCA – THANK YOU!!!!  Pass the word on to your friends this giving season that you value the work OCCA does and challenge them to match your donation to our efforts.  Check out our #GivingTuesday page at:  https://occainfo.networkforgood.com/projects/39055-giving-tuesday-2017 to make a donation today!

 

    Climate Smart Communities Webinar

The NY State Department of Environmental Conservation is holding a webinar series that explores the relationship between climate change, agriculture, and municipal policies in New York State.  It will describe the types of plans and policies that local governments can adopt to protect farmland and support low-emission, sustainable farming in communities. If you are interested, provide your name and community affiliation, either via email or telephone to the DEC Office of Climate Change at climatechange@dec.ny.govor 518-402-8448. 

 

To join the webinar on November 9th, follow these steps:

  1. First, click on this link: https://meetny.webex.com/meetny/onstage/g.php?MTID=efc4353c76cbe0aa931978df0180b20d5
  2. Enter your name and email address.
  3. Enter the meeting password: NYSDEC1
  4. Click “Join“.
  5. Audio by phone: Click “Call Me” in the onscreen “Audio Connection” box and enter your phone number to have the system call you. Alternatively, call 1-844-633-8697 and enter the Event Number: 643 005 988, followed by your Attendee ID (which will be displayed on your screen in the Event Info tab) to join the audio portion. (The Attendee ID is recommended but not required.)
  6. Audio via computer: To listen via your computer’s built-in audio or via VoIP, go to the Audio menu and select “Call Using Computer“. For more details, review this short video: https://help.webex.com/videos/1290

 

 Glimmerglass Film Days

Glimmerglass Film Days encourages environmental stewardship through encounters and lively collaboration with world-class artists, activists and scholars to bring cultural events–screenings, hikes, talks, bike rides, and exhibits–of world class quality to our region. This year’s festival theme is home, where filmmakers will take us on a global tour of the places people live. We’ll meet people joining together to defend a way of life as well as individuals seeking to transform communities. Films follow people along trajectories that compel them (and us) to assess what is community, what is family, what is home.  The festival runs from November 9-13, tickets are on sale now.  See http://www.glimmerglassfilmdays.org/ for more information.  The Otsego Land Trust will also be hosting a hike on November 13 at 11am.  See www.otsegolandtrust.org for more information.

 

Brookwood Clean-Up Day

The Otsego Land Trust is looking for volunteers for a day of clean-up at Brookwood Point to get everything ready for winter. All are welcome; those who can spend just a few minutes helping to those who can stay the entire duration.  No gardening experience necessary.  OLT will provide tools, expertise and refreshments.  This event will be held rain or shine, so please dress appropriately. Please RSVP to Sara at 607-547-2366 or sara@otsegolandtrust.

Natural Gas Transportation Public Meeting

Otsego County officials will be holding a public meeting regarding the transportation of natural through Otsego County.  The meeting will be an opportunity to hear presentations of facts by local experts and corporate executives. Participants will include representatives from XNG, New York State Department of Transportation, the New York State Police, the Otsego County Office of Emergency and others.  The meeting will be held on November 16 from 6:00-8:00pm at the Milford Central School auditorium.

 

Conference on Food and Farming

Have you ever considered a career in Agriculture? If so, the Farmers’ Museum is hosting its annual Conference on Food and Farming on November 4, 2017 from 9:00 A.M.-3:30 P.M. The conference will show attendees the broad range of careers available in agriculture, and give them the opportunity to connect with local agricultural agencies. Origins Café and the Youth Food Movement will deliver the keynote address. The event is free and open to the public. 

Plastic Bag and Film Collection

There will be a plastic bag and film collection at the New York State Association for Reduce, Reuse & Recycle (NYSAR3) Conference at the Otesaga Hotel. All are invited to bring single-use grocery bags (non-biodegradable), newspaper sleeves, dry cleaning bags, wood pellet bags, bread bags, frozen food bags, package wrap, produce bags, and more. Bags and film plastic must be clean and dry, and must have all strings, rigid plastic handles, and food residue removed. For more details, visit http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/50042.html . Collection will be on Wednesday, November 8, from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm.

 

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Clean Water Webinars

The Trump administration will hold 10 teleconferences and one in-person meeting to solicit input as it prepares to write a new rule defining which streams and wetlands are subject to federal protection. The schedule for the Waters of the US webinars is as follows:

 

Did You Know?

Many of you have seen cute and cuddly pictures of Pandas chewing on sprigs of bamboo. In addition to being a favorite food of these loving animals, bamboo has the potential to yield immense savings as a climate mitigation tool. Bamboo has the ability to sequester 2.9 tons of carbon per year, has the tensile strength of steel, and the compressive strength of concrete. If we were to invest $24 billion in planting bamboo worldwide, we could yield a 30-year return of $265 billion! Talk about a bang for your bamboo.

Reference:  http://www.drawdown.org/solutions/land-use/bamboo

 

SAVE THE DATE

Mud Lake Hike

October 14 – 12:00pm – Southern Portion: Riddell State Park

Steve Kent will lead a 4.5 mile hike up South Hill to Mud Lake in the southern portion of Robert V. Riddell State Park. The trail, moderately steep in portions, runs through hemlock, pine, and oak forests, includes a stop at a spectacular waterfall, and visits Mud Lake, a fascinating sphagnum bog that is home to the carnivorous pitcher plant. Along the way, Steve will share the interesting history of the park, which was in the Riddell family for five generations. Steve and his wife, Trish Riddell Kent, donated the land to the state in 2005. Meet at noon at the Pine Lake Environmental Campus of Hartwick College, 1894 Charlotte Creek Road and carpool to the starting point. Bring plenty of water, a snack or light lunch, and appropriate clothing.  Register at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/

Film Festival Mohican Farm Hike

November 10 – 2:00pm – Mohican Farm (Corner of Allen Lake Road and Rte. 80 – Cooperstown)

In the spirit of celebrating this year’s Glimmerglass Film Days theme “Home”, OCCA Program Director Jeff O’Handley will lead a hike introducing you to OCCA’s home – Mohican Farm.  Jeff will lead participants around our lovely “home” and highlight the flora and fauna of the site, and give a history of the property.    Program is free and open to the public. Register at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/.

Ag Plastic Collections

November 11 – 8-11am (Southern Transfer Station); November 16 – 8-11am – (Northern Transfer Station)

Farmers have two chances to drop off used agricultural film plastic in the month of November. Drop offs both days are from 8 to 11am. Acceptable materials include bale wrap, bunker silo cover, silage bags, greenhouse covers and wood pellet bags. Material must be sorted by type and as clean and dry as possible. Free, but pre-registration is requested. For information on how to properly prepare the material for recycling or to register, contact OCCA at (607) 282-4087. Wood pellet bags are also accepted from homeowners.

Sleeping Lion Trail Hike

December 5 – 10am – Glimmerglass State Park

Program Director Jeff O’Handley will lead a walk on the Sleeping Lion trail at Glimmerglass State Park for the Susquehanna Chapter, Adirondack Mountain Club. This 2.5-mile trail traverses several forest types and offers breathtaking views of Otsego Lake. Free. For information on carpooling from the Oneonta area, contact Julie Smith, outings chair of ADK.  Register at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

OCCA Citizen Science Stream Monitoring Training Program a Success!

OCCA, in partnership with the Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring hosted a training session for our first crop of citizen stream monitors. Over 20 volunteers attended the training and committed to monitoring 10 different streams around Otsego County for at least one year.  Three schools are also participating in an Adopt-a-Stream program where teachers will lead students to monitor their “home” creek.  We are excited to have this program started to help collect data on the health of our waterways and help protect water resources in Otsego County.  For more information on the program and to get involved see our website at: http://occainfo.org/citizen-science-stream-monitoring/

 

Sponsor a Stream Team!

Did you know that Otsego County has over 1000 miles of streams?  Over 20 designated trout streams? And our streams are the headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay watershed?  We currently have 10 sites for our citizen science stream monitoring program, and we need your help!  Each team (including three schools) needs equipment to monitor their sites.  We have five kits “on loan” from our project partner, Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring and three kits funded by the Otsego County Soil and Water Conservation District, but we need to purchase our own kits and outfit each of our groups with all they need. Each kit costs approximately $500.  If you or a business you know would be interested in sponsoring a site, please call Executive Director Leslie Orzetti to talk about opportunities or make a donation at the website below.  Our water resources are precious; the more monitoring we do, the better we can protect them.  Consider donating today!  Check out our fundraising webpage at https://occainfo.networkforgood.com/projects/37306-stream-team-sponsorship  to make your donation today!

 

DOAS Announcements

  • Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society is taking orders for their annual bird seed sale through October 28. Proceeds from sales of high quality bird seed support speaker fees for member meetings, field trips, programs and special events throughout the year. Visit www.doas.us for details and prices.
  • DOAS is hosting their annual open house at the Franklin Mountain Sanctuary on October 7 from 10am to 2pm. Activities include a hawk identification workshop, a trail walk, and a program featuring live birds of prey. Free.
  • DOAS Charter Dinner will be held on Friday, October 20 from 5:30-9:30pm at the Holiday Inn, State Route 23, Oneonta. Tickets are $35/person. Register by October 14 through www.doas.us  or contact Julia Gregory at (607) 563-2924.

SUNY Oneonta Biological Field Station 50th Anniversary Celebration

The Biological Field Station is celebrating its 50th Anniversary on Saturday, October 7, from noon to 7pmat the Upland Interpretive Center on Thayer Farm. The festivities begin at noon with guided and self-guided tours. BFS Director Dr. Bill Harman will give a welcome and presentation at 3pm, with a barbecue and silent auction beginning at 5pm. To register, visit https://www.oneontaalumni.com/bfs50th?reid=39. Deadline is October 4.

 

Dead Drift Studio Open House

Join local artists Dave and Ann Kiehm on Saturday, October 14 from 1 to 5 pm for an afternoon of fine art and conversation. Both Dave and Ann draw inspiration from our beautiful natural environment. 1020 County Highway 46, Oneonta. For more information see www.deaddriftstudio.com/home.html.

 

Glimmerglass Film Days

Glimmerglass Film Days encourages environmental stewardship through encounters and lively collaboration with world-class artists, activists and scholars to bring cultural events–screenings, hikes, talks, bike rides, and exhibits–of world class quality to our region. This year’s festival theme is home, where filmmakers will take us on a global tour of the places people live. We’ll meet people joining together to defend a way of life as well as individuals seeking to transform communities. Films follow people along trajectories that compel them (and us) to assess what is community, what is family, what is home.  The festival runs from November 9-13, tickets are on sale now.  See http://www.glimmerglassfilmdays.org/ for more information.  The Otsego Land Trust will also be hosting a hike on November 13 at 11am. See www.otsegolandtrust for more information.

 

Governor Cuomo Announces Appointees to Drinking Water Quality Council

Governor Cuomo recently announced 12 appointees to the Drinking Water Quality Council that will work to ensure all communities across the state, regardless of size, have access to clean drinking water. The Council’s first priority will be to establish an enforceable Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for PFOA, PFOS, and 1,4-dioxane. To learn more, please follow this link: https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-announces-appointees-drinking-water-quality-council-safeguard-new-york-drinking.

 

Plastic Bag and Film Collection

There will be a collection at the New York State Association for Reduce, Reuse & Recycle (NYSAR3) Conference at the Otesaga Hotel. All are invited to bring single-use grocery bags (non-biodegradable), newspaper sleeves, dry cleaning bags, wood pellet bags, bread bags, frozen food bags, package wrap, produce bags, and more. Bags and film plastic must be clean and dry, and must have all strings, rigid plastic handles, and food residue removed. For more details, visit http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/50042.html . Collection will be on Wednesday, November 8, from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm.

 

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Clean Water Webinars

The Trump administration will hold 10 teleconferences and one in-person meeting to solicit input as it prepares to write a new rule defining which streams and wetlands are subject to federal protection. The schedule for the Waters of the US webinars is as follows:

Did You Know?

According to meteorologists, it is going to be a good “leaf peeping” season. But why do leaves on deciduous trees lose their leaves, and what makes them turn the beautiful colors we see in the fall?  This all has to do with the machinery leaves use to trap sunlight and carry out photosynthesis, the process by which plants “make food.”  The main color green you see during the growing season is caused by the pigment chlorophyll.  The plant uses the pigment and others (carotenoids and xanthopylls) to trap light and harness the sun’s energy.  During the late summer and fall, when the amount of sunlight decreases, chlorophyll production slows and eventually stops.  This leaves the other pigments – xanthophylls (yellows) and carotenoids (red and orange) to show their brilliant faces.  Eventually, these pigments will also break down and we’re left with the browns that usually signal the end of the leaf peeping season.  The question always remains, how do we know we’ll have a beautifully colored season?  That has to do with the amount of rain we get not only during the beginning of the growing season when leaves are just forming, but also the amount of rain and sunny days with cool nights we get during the summer and early fall.  Considering what a cool rainy spring we had followed by a cool wet summer, we should be in for a real treat this fall.  See, we were all complaining about our “lack of summer”, but look what it gets us this fall, and blast of great color to carry us through to a hopefully beautiful spring!

 

Save the Date

2017 OCCA Annual Picnic

September 10 – 1-5pm – Gilbert Lake State Park (Large Picnic Shelter)

Come join OCCA as we celebrate our 49th year with our first Annual Picnic.  We’re shifting gears this year to be able to come together outside and celebrate the natural resources we all work so hard to protect.  New this year is a Chinese auction, educational nature hike, and corn hole. Keeping with tradition, we will announce our Conservationist of the Year, and give a recap our our great accomplishments.  All are welcome.  Tickets are $25 (10 and up), $15 (5-9), under 5 free.  Buy tickets at: https://occainfo.networkforgood.com/events/2944-occa-2017-annual-picnic.

 

Household Hazardous Waste Day

September 9 – 8am – 1pm – Meadows Office Complex, 140 County Highway 33W, Cooperstown

The Otsego County Solid Waste Department is holding its 20th annual Household Hazardous Waste Day. Pesticides, solvents, automotive and household batteries, CFL and fluorescent light bulbs, paints and more will be accepted.  For details on what to bring, contact the County Solid Waste Department at (607) 547-4225.

 

Citizen Monitoring Volunteer Training

September 23 – 9am-1pm – Mohican Farm Workshop

If you are looking for a volunteer opportunity, this training is for you.  This four hour training will cover all you need to accomplish on each monthly sampling trip to your adopted stream site.  Techniques covered are:  in-stream sampling, water chemistry analysis, data entry, and equipment handling.  All volunteers are required to attend this training event.  If interested call or email Executive Director Leslie Orzetti at 547-4488 or director@occainfo.org.

 

Forest Stewardship Workshop

September 30 – 1:00pm – Mohican Farm Workshop and Fetterley Forest

Together with our partners Mohican Farm and Otsego Land Trust, OCCA is co-hosting a program on forest stewardship.  This will be the first in a series of programs designed for forest owners and people interested in helping preserve Otesgo County’s forests.  The first program will introduce people to what forest stewardship is, why forests are important, and visit a local property where forest stewardship is currently ongoing.  Speakers include Marilyn Wyman of Cornell Cooperative Extension Agroforestry Resource Center, and Rod Jones, local forester.  Program is free and open to the public. Register at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/ 

 

Mud Lake Hike

October 14 – 6:00pm – Riddell State Park/

Join Patricia Riddell Kent and Steve Kent, who donated the land for the state park, on this early evening walk around the northern portion of Robert V. Riddell State Park. Visit historic structures, walk through fields, forests, and along Schenevus Creek, and learn about the interesting history of the land. Meet at 6 p.m. at the Park’s main entrance on State Route 28, just north of I-88 Exit 17. Register at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/

 

Save the Date

November 11 (Southern Transfer Station) and November 16 (Northern Transfer Station) – Ag Plastic Collection

Announcements

Sutherland Named Conservationist of the Year.

OCCA has named Bob Sutherland of The Clark Foundation—Mohican Farm as its 2017 Conservationist of the Year. As manager of Mohican Farm, Sutherland has spearheaded The Clark Foundation’s sustainability efforts. He has established a composting operation that has recycled over a million pounds of food scraps and green waste since 2010, manages invasive species, and uses the farm’s greenhouse to support community agriculture. A former instructor in the Plant Science Department at SUNY Cobleskill, Sutherland continues to support education through his involvement on the steering committee of the Farmers’ Museum’s annual Food and Farming Conference, and regularly speaks at round tables, lectures and events. Sutherland has worked closely with OCCA staff on numerous projects, and gave a talk on “Integrated Pest Management for the Home Garden and Greenhouse” as part of OCCA’s Be Informed! lecture series. Sutherland will receive his award at OCCA’s Annual Picnic and Meeting on Sunday, September 10 at Gilbert Lake State Park. For information on the picnic, visit http://occainfo.org/annual-picnic/

 

Volunteers Needed!

OCCA is coordinating volunteers to help at Household Hazardous Waste Day. Primary responsibilities involve sorting, opening, and stirring latex paint as part of the paint recycling program. Two shifts available: 8-11:30, or 11:30 to 1 p.m. Contact OCCA Program Director Jeff O’Handley at (607) 282-4087.

 

OCCA Citizen Science Stream Monitoring Program Seeking Volunteers

OCCA in partnership with the Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring and a stakeholder team of the Otsego Land Trust, Otsego County Soil and Water Conservation District, SUNY Oneonta Biological Field Station, Trout Unlimited and SUNY Oneonta Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences are setting up a Citizen Science Stream Monitoring Program and we are looking for volunteers to help us monitor our waterways. Volunteers can expect to monitor sites once a month throughout the year as conditions allow. An introductory program to stream ecology and citizen monitoring will be August 23 and a volunteer training on September 23. A time commitment of approximately 3-4 hours a month is required. Interested in being a Stream Team member, call Leslie Orzetti at 547-4488 to sign up!

 

Household Hazardous Waste Day

The twentieth annual Household Hazardous Waste Day will be held on Friday, September 8, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. in Unadilla, and Saturday, September 9 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Cooperstown. This free event allows County residents to dispose of hazardous wastes, including pesticides, paints, antifreeze, batteries, electronics, and more. Checkhttp://www.otsegocounty.com/depts/sw/HHW.htm for details. Volunteer Opportunity: On September 9, volunteers are needed to help with the annual latex paint recycling collection at Household Hazardous Waste Day. Volunteers will sort, open cans, and mix paint, and will also help direct traffic, flatten cardboard, and other tasks. Contact Jeff O’Handleyprogramdirector@occainfo.org, to sign up.

 

Film Plastic Collection

Each year, the New York State Association for Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle (NYSAR3) holds its annual conference at the Otesaga Hotel in Cooperstown. Conference organizers are sponsoring a special film plastic collection this year as part of raising awareness of New York State’s Wrap Recycling Action Program, which involves recycling plastic bags, plastic film packaging, etc. A collection station will be set up at the conference on Wednesday, November 8. Watch our website for more details!

 

Ride On! For Complete Streets

Otsego Regional Cycling Advocates (ORCA) and Otsego 2000 are hosting a multi-distance bike ride on September 10. Cyclists of all ages and abilities can participate. The ride starts from Richfield Springs and promotes Complete Streets, a program that seeks to make roads safe for all users while reducing our carbon footprint and promoting healthy lifestyles. For more information or to register, visit http://otsegooutdoors.org/event/rideon-for-complete-streets/.

 

Recycle Your Tennis Balls!

OCCA board member Herb Marx has been promoting recycling of tennis balls. For the last two years, Dr. Marx has been collecting tennis balls at the Emery Herman tennis courts on Brooklyn Avenue in Cooperstown. This year, the Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown has also agreed to put out a collecting bin for tennis balls. Thus far, Dr. Marx has shipped 600 tennis balls to reBounces, an Arkansas-based company that repressurizes old tennis balls so that they can be reused, or recycles tennis balls that can’t be salvaged. Recycled tennis balls are being used for material in new or refurbished tennis courts.

 

Help the Birds, Help Your Local Audubon Society

Delaware Otsego Audubon Society is holding its annual bird seed sale/fundraiser now through October 28. Proceeds help support a wide variety of DOAS programs including field trips, NY Golden Eagle Project, Non-Lead Ammo Initiative and more. Visit www.doas.us/store or contact Susan O’Handley (607) 643-5680 for more information.

Paddle and Pull
August 6—1:00pm – Portlandville Fishing Access Site
Water chestnut continues to threaten our waterways. Join us at Goodyear Lake as we paddle the Stump Lot in our ongoing effort to eliminate this invasive plant. Meet at the State Fishing Access Site on Route 28 in Portlandville, just south of County Road 35A. Reserve space in an OCCA canoe by calling or using our online registration form at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/. If necessary, an additional date may be added later in August—watch our website for details!

A Walk on the Flat Side
August 17 – 6:00pm – Riddell State Park
Join Patricia Riddell Kent and Steve Kent, who donated the land for the state park, on this early evening walk around the northern portion of Robert V. Riddell State Park. Visit historic structures, walk through fields, forests, and along Schenevus Creek, and learn about the interesting history of the land. Meet at 6 p.m. at the Park’s main entrance on State Route 28, just north of I-88 Exit 17. Register at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/

Be Informed! Lecture Series
August 23 – 6:00pm – Mohican Farm Workshop
Join OCCA Executive Director Leslie Orzetti as she introduces you to the world of stream ecology with her talk: Up the Creek. Orzetti will teach participants all about water quality, stream habitat and the creatures that live there with a short lecture and then a trip to Mohican Farm’s stream to do some hands-on stream sampling. Be prepared to get wet and have fun! Orzetti will also introduce OCCA’s new Citizen Science Stream Monitoring program where volunteers sign up to adopt-a-stream and monitor water quality helping to ensure clean water in Otsego County. Program is free and open to the public. Register at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/

2017 OCCA Annual Picnic
September 10 – 1-5pm – Gilbert Lake State Park (Large Picnic Shelter)
Come join OCCA as we celebrate our 49th year with our first Annual Picnic. We’re shifting gears this year to be able to come together outside and celebrate the natural resources we all work so hard to protect. New this year is a Chinese auction, educational nature hike, face painting and corn hole. Keeping with tradition, we will announce our Conservationist of the Year, and give a recap our all our great accomplishments. All are welcome. Tickets are $25 (10 and up), $15 (5-9), under 5 free. Buy tickets at: https://occainfo.networkforgood.com/events/2944-occa-2017-annual-picnic.

Citizen Monitoring Volunteer Training
September 23 – 9am-1pm – Mohican Farm Workshop
If you are looking for a volunteer opportunity, this training is for you. This four hour training will cover all you need to accomplish on each monthly sampling trip to your adopted stream site. Techniques covered are: in-stream sampling, water chemistry analysis (can be at home or at the site), data entry, and equipment handling. All volunteers are required to attend this training event. If interested call or email Executive Director Leslie Orzetti at 547-4488 or director@occainfo.org.

Clean Water Campaign Fundraiser!
Did you know that Otsego County has over 1000 miles of streams? Over 20 designated trout streams? And our streams are the headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay watershed? This year our summer fundraising campaign is all about clean water. We have a goal of $5000 to help us protect Otsego County’s streams. Your donation will help us not only raise awareness about Otsego County’s streams and what you can do to protect them, but also help us set up our brand new Citizen Science Stream Monitoring Program. Check out our fundraising webpage at https://occainfo.networkforgood.com/projects/30827-water-an-essential-element-what-is-it-worth to make your donation today!

OCCA Citizen Science Stream Monitoring Program Seeking Volunteers
OCCA in partnership with the Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring and a stakeholder team of the Otsego Land Trust, Otsego County Soil and Water Conservation District, SUNY Oneonta Biological Field Station, Trout Unlimited and SUNY Oneonta Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences are setting up a Citizen Science Stream Monitoring Program and we are looking for volunteers to help us monitor our waterways. Volunteers can expect to monitor sites once a month throughout the year as conditions allow. An introductory program to stream ecology and citizen monitoring will be August 23 and a volunteer training on September 23. A time commitment of approximately 3-4 hours a month is required. Interested in being a Stream Team member, call Leslie Orzetti at 547-4488 to sign up!

Household Hazardous Waste Day
The twentieth annual Household Hazardous Waste Day will be held on Friday, September 8, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. in Unadilla, and Saturday, September 9 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Cooperstown. This free event allows County residents to dispose of hazardous wastes, including pesticides, paints, antifreeze, batteries, electronics, and more. Check http://www.otsegocounty.com/depts/sw/HHW.htm for details. Volunteer Opportunity: On September 9, volunteers are needed to help with the annual latex paint recycling collection at Household Hazardous Waste Day. Volunteers will sort, open cans, and mix paint, and will also help direct traffic, flatten cardboard, and other tasks. Contact Jeff O’Handley programdirector@occainfo.org, to sign up.

Work Commences at Basswood
If you enjoy Basswood Pond State Forest in Burlington, you may face some detours on your next visit. The Department of Environmental Conservation is doing substantial work in the forest, which will result in better access and improved facilities. Heavy equipment may be on the scene, and some of the trails may be diverted temporarily. Thanks for your patience!

Look Out for the ALB!
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is once again asking pool owners to be on the lookout for the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB), an invasive wood boring insect that feeds on a variety of hardwoods including maple, birch, elm and other species. The beetle is about 1.5 inches long, black, shiny, and has white spots on its wing covers. In New York, ALB has only been found around New York City and Long Island, but DEC is concerned that it may spread. Pool owners are asked to check their skimmers and filters and send a photo of suspected to ALB to foresthealth@dec.ny.gov. For more information, visit http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/7255.html.

Did You Know?
There is a total solar eclipse coming to a neighborhood near you! On August 21 we earthlings will be treated to a solar eclipse. A solar eclipse occurs when the moon comes directly between us and the sun, blocking out the sun from our view for a short time. Upstate New York isn’t in the “path of totality”, but you don’t need to travel too far to see it. Check out NASA’s website for where to go https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/ (just don’t expect to find many hotel rooms left in Nashville!). Here in Otsego County, we’ll have a partial eclipse that will block 50-75% of the sun, which is nothing to scoff at. Should you look directly at the sun to view this great natural phenomenon? NO! There are several SAFE ways to view the eclipse, including special eclipse glasses and various homemade methods. To get more facts on this year’s eclipse, where and when the best viewing is, and safe ways to see the eclipse, check out NASA’s website. Happy viewing and blessed eclipse!

 

SAVE THE DATE

 

Invasive Species Awareness Week

July 9-15 is the fourth annual New York Invasive Species Awareness Week (ISAW). The mission of ISAW is to promote knowledge and understanding of invasive species and the harm they can cause by engaging citizens in a wide range of activities across the state, and empowering them to take action to stop the invasion! OCCA is hosting two events for ISAW:

 

Sunday, July 91-3 p.m., Paddle and Pull – Goodyear Lake

OCCA has been working with the Goodyear Lake Association to control water chestnut, a highly invasive aquatic plant, in the Stump Lot. We’ll meet at the fishing access site on Route 28 in Portlandville and set forth. Bring your own canoe or kayak, or borrow one of ours. Space is limited—register today (no charge).

 

Wednesday, July 116:30-8:00 p.m. – Mohican Farm

Digging Knotweed. Japanese knotweed is one of our most persistent and aggressive terrestrial invaders. Learn to recognize knotweed, and get your hands dirty as we try to control a patch of it here at Mohican Farm. Bring hand pruners and hand tools useful for root grubbing. Meet at OCCA’s office at Mohican Farm, 7207 State Highway 80, Cooperstown.

Both programs are free, though pre-registration is appreciated (and required, if you want a guaranteed space in our canoe!). Use the sign up form at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/ to register. For more information about Invasive Species Awareness Week, or for a listing of statewide events, visit https://stoptheinvasionny.com/.

 

Get the Kids Out!

July 19 – 10-11:30am – Gilbert Lake State Park

With virtual reality playing a bigger role in our everyday lives, we often lose sight of the beautiful real world that surrounds us. In this program, we will open our eyes, ears, noses and fingertips to gain a greater appreciation for nature. Dress to play in the woods! Program is free, though park admission fees may apply.  Register at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/

 

Canadarago Lake Day Ecology Paddle

July 22 – 1:30pm – Baker’s Beach

Come paddle with us at Canadarago Lake for a paddle along the shores and a talk about lake ecology.  We’ll be joining the Canadarago Lake Improvement Association picnic and Deowongo Island Day to help celebrate the lake and all it has to offer.  We will have some canoe’s available, but if you have your own canoe or kayak, please feel free to bring it and join us!

 

Nature Walk: Amazing Insects All Around Us

Saturday, July 22 — 10:00 a.m. – SUNY Oneonta College Camp (Hoffman Road)

Join Dr. Jeffrey Heilveil, Chair of the Biology Department at SUNY Oneonta and resident entomologist, for an exciting program. Catch, observe, and learn about many of the late summer insects that reside in Otsego County. Dr. Heilveil will talk about the distinguishing characteristics of different groups of insects, where to find different species, and some of their astounding life histories. College Camp/Hoffman Road is located off East Street, roughly opposite the northern intersection of East Street and Lower Reservoir Road. Free.

 

Save The Date

August 17 – A Walk on the Flat Side, Riddell State Park – 6:30pm

August 23 – Be Informed! Lecture Series – Stream Ecology and Citizen Monitoring Introduction – 6pm

September 10 – OCCA Annual Picnic, Gilbert Lake State Park — 1pm

September 23 – Citizen Monitoring Volunteer Training – 9am-1pm

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Clean Water Campaign Fundraiser!

Did you know that Otsego County has over 1000 miles of streams?  Over 20 designated trout streams? And our streams are the headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay watershed?  This year our summer fundraising campaign is all about clean water. We have a goal of $5000 to help us protect Otsego County’s streams.  Your donation will help us not only raise awareness about Otsego County’s streams and what you can do to protect them, but also help us set up our brand new Citizen Science Stream Monitoring Program. Check out our fundraising webpage at https://occainfo.networkforgood.com/projects/30827-water-an-essential-element-what-is-it-worth to make your donation today!

 

You Did It!

On June 17, OCCA staff and volunteers poured beer at The Shins concert at Brewery Ommegang. With your help, we raised over $2000 to help us carry out our mission of protecting Otsego County’s natural environment. According to Ommegang, we did a great job, and are in the running for a concert again next year!  Thanks to all our great volunteers who came out to help! And a great big thanks to Ommegang for having us this year.  We had a ball!

 

OCCA Citizen Science Stream Monitoring Program Seeking Volunteers

OCCA in partnership with the Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring and a stakeholder team of the Otsego Land Trust, Otsego County Soil and Water Conservation District, SUNY Oneonta Biological Field Station, Trout Unlimited and SUNY Oneonta Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences are setting up a Citizen Science Stream Monitoring Program and we are looking for volunteers to help us monitor our waterways. Volunteers can expect to monitor sites once a month throughout the year as conditions allow. An introductory program to stream ecology and citizen monitoring will be August 23 and a volunteer training on September 23. A time commitment of approximately 3-4 hours a month is required.  Interested in being a Stream Team member, call Leslie Orzetti at 547-4488 to sign up!

 

Public Comment Deadline for AFPP!

The draft Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan 2017 Update is available for public review! OCCA, working as part of a committee with Otsego County Department of Planning and Solid Waste, the Otsego County Soil & Water Conservation District, and others, completed a draft update of the Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan (AFPP). If adopted, the AFPP will help prioritize programs that will encourage development of sustainable agriculture for the forseeable future.  The draft plan is available online at http://occainfo.org/agriculture-farmland-protection-plan/. We encourage anyone with an interest in agriculture to review the plan and submit comments to OCCA or Otsego County Planning Department by July 31.

 

Household Hazardous Waste Day

The twentieth annual Household Hazardous Waste Day will be held on Friday, September 8, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. in Unadilla, and Saturday, September 9 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Cooperstown. This free event allows County residents to dispose of hazardous wastes, including pesticides, paints, antifreeze, batteries, electronics, and more. Check http://www.otsegocounty.com/depts/sw/HHW.htm for details. Volunteer Opportunity: On September 9, volunteers are needed to help with the annual latex paint recycling collection at Household Hazardous Waste Day. Volunteers will sort, open cans, and mix paint, and will also help direct traffic, flatten cardboard, and other tasks. Contact Jeff O’Handley programdirector@occainfo.org, to sign up.

 

TerraCycle Update.

TerraCycle is a company that specializes in recycling hard-to-recycle waste.  OCCA currently maintains a TerraCycle collection bin outside the Farmers’ Market building at 101 Main Street, Cooperstown. We currently collect natural wine corks, writing implements (pens, mechanical pencils, markers) and oral care products (used toothbrushes and toothbrush packaging, empty toothpaste tubes and dental floss containers. The YMCA in Oneonta also has a TerraCycle collection. They accept the following: Brita water filters; Solo drink cups; energy bar wrappers; cereal bags; Febreze packaging; beauty/personal care containers; and snack bags (w/foil liner ONLY). These items must be separated and deposited in the proper containers at the Y. For information on TerraCycle, visit terracycle.com. For questions about the Oneonta YMCA’s collection program, contact Lynn Bailey @ 432-0010.

 

Did You Know?

That the Town of Springfield has almost 10,000 acres of prime farmland? Did you know some of our county’s most viable farmland is in the Butternut Valley? Identifying and prioritizing agricultural land for protection can be a scary and daunting task. In 2017, OCCA in partnership with SUNY Oneonta, developed a computer model to accomplish this task. The model identified six priority areas for conservation in the County. One may ask: why is this important? To answer this question, every dollar generated in agricultural output distributes an additional 45 cents throughout the community. That’s a 145% return! On top of that, according to an American Farmland Trust study, 92% of farmers in New York State do not have an identified successor. As land changes hands, it will be important to know which pieces of agricultural land are in the direst need of protection.