Our Environment.
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OUR CHALLENGE.

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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.

 

SAVE THE DATE

Lakes Festival

June 1010am-3pm – Glimmerglass State Park

This year’s Otsego Lakes Festival will be on Saturday, June 10, at Glimmerglass State Park, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sponsored by the Otsego County Water Quality Coordinating Committee, Lakes Festival is an opportunity to celebrate the beauty and value of our lakes, ponds, rivers and streams, and to learn about the many organizations working to understand, manage and protect them. The Festival will be held in conjunction with the Clark Sports Center’s Race the Lake marathon. For more information, including how to donate, visit http://occainfo.org/otsego-lakes-festival/

Birding By Ear

June 11 – 830am -12pm – Davis State Park

Learn to tell birds by their songs and calls with the Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society. Educational session includes slides, recordings and handouts, followed by a bird hike with DOAS experts, a “bruncheon” buffet, and raffles. Pre-paid reservations required. Space is limited. Visit doas.us for details, or contact DOAS Co-President Becky Gretton at 547-5648.

Pour Beer, Listen to Great Music, Help OCCA

On June 17, OCCA staff and volunteers will be pouring beer at The Shins concert at Brewery Ommegang. All tips received will help us carry out our mission of protecting Otsego County’s natural environment. If you would like to help, contact Program Director Jeff O’Handley at programdirector@occainfo.org by June 9. Thanks to our friends at Ommegang for the opportunity, and thanks to all of you who will help out!

 

Save The Date

July 9 – Paddle and Pull, Goodyear Lake, 1pm

July 15 – Deowongo Island Paddle – 10am

July 19 – Get the Kids Out!, Gilbert Lake State Park, 10am

July 22 – Amazing Insect All Around Us, SUNY College Camp, 10am

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

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.  OCCA is looking for volunteers to help us monitor our waterways!  Volunteers can expect to monitor sites once a month throughout the year as conditions allow.  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!

 

EPA Announces Grants to Reduce Emissions from Diesel Engines

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is soliciting proposals nationwide for projects that significantly reduce diesel emissions and exposure. The agency encourages applications from fleets in areas designated as having poor air quality. Priority will be given to projects that engage local communities and applicants that demonstrate their ability to continue efforts to reduce emissions after the project has ended. The application deadline is June 20, 2017. Visit www.epa.gov/cleandiesel/clean-diesel-national-grants to learn more.

 

Did You Know?

Rain, rain, go away! According to local climate data we are well on our way to one very wet year.  Average precipitation totals from January to June are approximately 17 inches.  This year we are totaling over 29 inches so far! What can cause us to go from a relatively dry year to a wet one?  The Pacific Ocean….what?  How can the Pacific Ocean affect weather in Otsego County?  One of the biggest drivers of our weather on a seasonal scale from year to year is a cycle of water temperature changes that takes place in the tropical Pacific Ocean, from the coast of South America to the International Dateline. This cycle has two phases, with names that you are probably familiar with if you follow the weather regularly: El Niño and La Niña. Together they make up a larger pattern called the El Niño Southern Oscillation, or ENSO.  Because of a strong El Niño event in the 2015/2016 year, and a weak La Niña, we have some odd weather patterns to contend with this year. A quick return to a warm pattern so soon after the last very warm event creates unique challenges for this summer’s forecast. Typically the La Niña event following a strong El Niño results in cooler ocean temperatures across the northern hemisphere. This time, however, those cool ocean temperatures never truly got a chance to set in, and there’s still a considerable amount of lingering warmth on the map instead.  Meteorologists have not seen this type of warm-over-warm pattern since reliable global records have been kept.  What does that mean for us?  All bets are off, and no one really knows.  But hey, climate change is a hoax.  Right?

 

May 4, 2017:  Vol. 11, No. 4

SAVE THE DATE

Ag Plastic Collection, Coming This Spring

May 6  – 8am11am – Southern Transfer Station, May 118am-11am – Northern Transfer Station

Farmers, start saving your film plastic! OCCA, in cooperation with Otsego County Solid Waste, Otsego County Soil and Water, and Casella, is holding collection days for Ag Plastic in May. Acceptable plastics include bale wrap, bunker silo cover, silage bags, and greenhouse covers. Plastic must be sorted according to type. For details on storage and transport, contact Program Director Jeff O’Handley at (607) 282-4087.

Carl B. Good Cooperstown Boat Wash Station Dedication

May 125pm – Fish Road, Cooperstown, NY

OCCA in conjunction with the Otsego Lake Association and the Village of Cooperstown will hold a dedication event for the Otsego Lake boat wash station in honor of the late Carl B. Good.  The dedication event will take place at the boat wash station on Fish Rd.

 

OCCA Bird Walk

May 137 – 9am – Mohican Farm, Corner of Rte. 80 and Allen Lake Road

Join DOAS co-president Becky Gretton for this early morning walk around Mohican Farm’s varied habitats in search of birds. Meet at OCCA at 7 a.m.Bring binoculars and a field guide. Free. Pre-register at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/

Be Informed!  Lecture Series

May 176:30pm – Mohican Farm, Corner of Rte. 80 and Allen Lake Road

Mohican Farm Manager Bob Sutherland will cover a variety of tips and tricks for keeping pests out of your plants. Meet at the workshop at Mohican Farm. Free, but space is limited. Pre-register at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/.

Detect and Manage Invasive Species Workshop

May 276:30pm – Mohican Farm, Corner of Rte. 80 and Allen Lake Road

Learn to identify common invasive species in our area, and explore current best management practices used to control them. Led by Dan Snider, Field Projects Manager for the Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership (CRISP). Space is limited, registration is free. Workshop is at the Cornell Cooperative Extension Center, 173 South Grand Street, Cobleskill. Contact CCE to register at (518) 234-4303, ext. 0. Also offered on June 3 at the CCE Education Center, 123 Lake Street, Cooperstown.

OCCA Basswood Pond State Forest Hike

June 39am – Basswood Pond State Forest

OCCA program director Jeff O’Handley leads a 2-mile walk on the blue trail at Basswood Pond State Forest in Burlington. Meet at the small parking area on Basswood Road, approximately 1/3 of a mile from County Road 16 in Burlington. Free.

Lakes Festival

June 1010am-3pm – Glimmerglass State Park

Planning is underway for this year’s Otsego Lakes Festival.  The festival will again be held in conjunction with the Race The Lake Marathon sponsored by the Clark Sports Center.  The event celebrates Otsego County’s lakes with outdoor activities, environmental education, local artisans, music, food and fun.  The festival begins at 10am and will take place at Glimmerglass State Park.  If you are interested in being a sponsor, exhibitor or vendor see OCCA’s website at www.occainfo.org/Otsego-lakes-festival.

Lakes Festival

June 11 – 830am -12pm – Davis State Park

Learn to tell birds by their songs and calls with the Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society. Educational session includes slides, recordings and handouts, followed by a bird hike with DOAS experts, a “bruncheon” buffet, and raffles. Pre-paid reservations required. Space is limited. Visit doas.us for details, or contact DOAS Co-President Becky Gretton at 547-5648.

Save The Date

June 17 – OCCA Highway Clean-Up

June 24 – OCCA Citizen Science Stream Monitoring Program Kick-Off Event

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Ommegang Concert Charity Pour Seeking Volunteers

OCCA is the newest recipient of Brewery Ommegang’s charity pour program!  We have the opportunity to pour beer and earn tips during one of the coveted summer concerts.  This year OCCA will be pouring during The Shins on June 17, and we need your help!  We have to recruit approximately 100 helpers with your glowing personalities to help turn this into a great fundraiser for our programs.  If you’re interested in hearing a great show and helping OCCA at the same time call 547-4488.  Keep in mind you need to be 21 to attend this event.  Thanks!

 

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.  OCCA is looking for volunteers to help us monitor our waterways!  Volunteers can expect to monitor sites once a month throughout the year as conditions allow.  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!

 

Rotary Spring Fling

Visit us at Rotary Spring Fling! OCCA will have a table on Saturday, May 20 at the fourth annual Cooperstown Rotary Spring Fling! Stop by and visit and find out what we’re up to!

 

Otsego County Soil and Water Conservation District Internship Program

The Otsego County Soil and Water Conservation District is looking for a summer intern to help out on a variety of projects.  The position will provide experience in watershed assessment methods, riparian forest monitoring and maintenance methods, and other OCSWCD projects as assigned.  If interested, please contact Jordan Clements at 547-8337 extension 4.

 

Brookwood Point Grand Reopening

Otsego Land Trust invites the community for a day of family fun to celebrate Brookwood Point conservation area on Otsego Lake. The day is packed full of unique programs and activities to kick off the grand re-opening of the property for the summer season. Property and garden tours, kids activities, music and lawn games will be available throughout the day, as well as wood-fired pizza available for purchase from Mangia Macrina’sCanoe and Kayak Rentals and Sales kick off their season by providing canoe, kayak and stand up paddle board rentals and free demos. John Sullivan and Friends will provide lively folk music throughout the afternoon. See the Otsego Land Trust website for more information.

 

EPA Announces Grants to Reduce Emissions from Diesel Engines

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is soliciting proposals nationwide for projects that significantly reduce diesel emissions and exposure, the agency encourages applications from fleets in areas designated as having poor air quality. Priority will be given to projects that engage local communities and applicants that demonstrate their ability to continue efforts to reduce emissions after the project has ended. The application deadline is June 20, 2017. Visit www.epa.gov/cleandiesel/clean-diesel-national-grants to learn more.

 

Applications Now Available for $255 million in Grants for Drinking Water and Wastewater Governor Cuomo announced that applications are now available for $155 million in funding for critical drinking water and wastewater infrastructure upgrades. $115 million is available for drinking water projects and the other allocated for wastewater infrastructure projects and $30 million available for the new Intermunicipal Grant Program (IMG) program, which will provide grants for water quality infrastructure projects undertaken by cooperating municipalities. The EFC will host webinars to present the WIIA and IMG programs on Tuesday, May 9, 2017, at 11:00 A.M. and Thursday, June 1, 2017, at 2:00 p.m. Please visitwww.efc.ny.gov/NYSWaterGrants to learn more

 

Butternut Watershed Assessment Volunteers and Public Meetings

The Otesgo County Soil and Water Conservation District (OCSWCD) will be holding a training for volunteers interested in becoming part of the Butternut Creek watershed assessment.  The training is being held Sunday May 21 from 1-5pm at the Morris Volunteer Fire Department.  OCSWCD,OCCA, and Butternut Valley Alliance are hosting a public information meeting on Thursday, May 11 at 6:30 p.m. at the Butternut Valley Grange Hall, 7 Bloom Street, Gilbertsville to discuss the continuing project to study the Butternut Valley watershed.

 

Did You Know?

Most of Otsego County is in either Hardiness Zone 5a or 5b for growing plants?  Hardiness zones are a great tool to determine when is the best time to start your garden planting, how long your gardens will grow, and when you should turn over your garden in the fall.  The USDA offers a hardiness zone interactive map that you can put your zip code into to find you hardiness zone. Here in Otsego County, you can expect a growing season between mid-late April through September.   Of course, different plants will require different growing conditions, so just because mid-April is a beginning date for planting, that doesn’t mean that all your garden veggies can be planted at that time.  Cornell Cooperative Extension of Otsego and Schoharie Counties has a great site that will tell you when to get those prized tomatoes in the ground.  See http://cceschoharie-otsego.org/gardening/food-gardening/first-planting-dates for that information.  Happy gardening!

 

 

Leslie L. Orzetti, Ph.D., Executive Director
Otsego County Conservation Association, Inc.
7207 State Highway 80, PO Box 931
Cooperstown, NY 13326
(607) 547-4488; (607) 282-4087
http://occainfo.org/

 

 SAVE THE DATE

OCCA Highway Cleanup

April 88am – Mohican Farm (7207 State Highway 80 – next to OCCA office)

Join OCCA as we clean up the roadside on a two-mile section of State Route 80 spanning the towns of Springfield and Otsego. Enjoy a nice, brisk walk, and help the environment, too! Safety vests and helmets, bags, and gloves will be provided. Wear long pants and sturdy shoes. Meet at Mohican Farm at 8 a.m.; we will aim to finish up by 11.

 

Get the Kids Out

April 1910am – Thayer Farm Upland Interpretive Center (State Highway 80 – ~ 7 miles up Otsego Lake)

Get The Kids Out during mid-winter recess. OCCA is holding a special program, Get The Kids Out—Winter Wonderland at Robert V. Riddell State Park in Oneonta. Designed for elementary school kids and their families, this program will explore the life of the forest, past, present and future. 10 a.m. to noon. Free and open to the public. Register at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/

 

OCCA Movie Night

April 21 – 7pm – Milford Central School Auditorium

New this year is Earth Festival Movie Night, on Friday, April 21. The Josh Fox film, How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change will be screened at 7 p.m. in the Herbert B. Garman, Jr. Performing Arts Center at Milford Central School. Documentarian Josh Fox (Gasland) travels the globe to meet global climate change warriors who are committed to reversing the tide of global warming. Funny and tragic, inspiring and enlightening, the film examines the intricately woven forces that threaten the stability of the planet and the lives of its inhabitants. The film is two hours long. Admission to Earth Festival Movie Night is free. The movie is sponsored by OCCA, Otsego 2000, and the Environmental Stewardship Team of the First Presbyterian Church of Cooperstown. Visit our Earth Festival page (http://occainfo.org/earth-festival/) for more information.

 

OCCA Earth Festival

April 2211am3pm – Milford Central School

Back for its 13th year, Earth Festival is an environmentally-focused interactive event featuring exhibits, activities, vendors and entertainment, all with a fun, earth-friendly twist. This event attracts over 1000 people every year, and more than 30 exhibitors and vendors. This year’s activities will include the pre-festival bird walk, the EcoArt contest, yoga for beginners and children, and recycling opportunities. To be a vendor, exhibitor, or event sponsor, visit our Earth Festival page (http://occainfo.org/earth-festival/) and download a form, or contact OCCA at (607) 547-4488.

 

OCCA Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Garage Sale

April 29/30 – 9am – 4pm – Cooperstown Farmers Market

OCCA’s Reduce, Reuse & Recycle Garage Sale will be on Saturday and Sunday, April 29 and 30, 2017 at the Cooperstown Farmers’ Market. Bargains galore abound at this annual event, which helps OCCA raise money for our county-wide environmental programs while also reducing waste.  Check OCCA’s website (http://occainfo.org/reduce-reuse-recycle-garage-sale/)for details on how and when to donate items for the garage sale and how to volunteer For more information contact OCCA Executive Director Leslie Orzetti at (607) 547-4488, or e-mail director@occainfo.org.

 

Ag Plastic Collection, Coming This Spring

May 6 – 8am11am – Southern Transfer Station

Farmers, start saving your film plastic! OCCA, in cooperation with Otsego County Solid Waste, Otsego County Soil and Water, and Casella, is holding collection days for Ag Plastic in May. Acceptable plastics includes bale wrap, bunker silo cover, silage bags, and greenhouse covers. Plastic must be sorted according to type. For details on storage and transport, contact Program Director Jeff O’Handley at (607) 282-4087.

 

Save The Date

May 12 – Carl B. Good Cooperstown Boat Wash Station Dedication

May 13 – Bird Walk led by Becky Gretton

May 17 – Be Informed! Lecture Series with Bob Sutherland: Integrate Pest Management for the Home Greenhouse and Garden

May 27 – CCE and CRISP Invasive Species Workshop:  Detect and Manage Invasive Species

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

What Is Recyclable at Earth Festival

Again this year, OCCA and our partners will be doing a recyclefest at Earth Festival. Below is a list of items you can bring to Earth Festival for recycling for FREE!  Save the planet….recycle!

  • Clean, white Expanded Polystyrene Foam (#6); includes packing material (not peanuts), egg cartons, takeout food containers, foam cups. MUST BE WHITE only, MUST BE #6 EPS (i.e., looks like little tiny beads), MUST BE CLEAN and dry.
  • Tennis balls
  • Natural wine bottle corks
  • Used toothbrushes and toothbrush packaging (non-electric toothbrushes), empty toothpaste tubes, empty dental floss and dental tape containers
  • Used pens, markers, and highlighters, used mechanical pencils
  • Eyeglasses (look for the Cooperstown Lion’s Club table)
  • Used inkjet cartridges (NOT TONER CARTRIDGES), cell phones, small, handheld electronics (up to tablet size)
  • Wood pellet bags
  • Monfilament fishing line
  • Gently used shoes (in pairs only, please)
  • Document Shredding

How Do I Get Rid Of? Feature on OCCA Website

The new and improved OCCA website is featuring a “How Do I Get Rid Of” app that lets citizens know how to appropriately dispose of a variety of items from compostable material, recyclable materials and other household items.  You can access this app by clicking on the recycle  button on the top left of every page or by visiting our recycling web page at:  http://occainfo.org/recycling/.  Our Recycling Committee will at Earth Festival showing patron how to use the new app.  Go visit and check it out!

 

TerraCycle Update

The OCCA TerraCycle collection only accepts the following items: used pens, markers and mechanical pencils; natural corks from wine bottles; empty toothpaste tubes, discarded toothbrushes (non-electric only), and packaging from toothbrushes and dental floss. Cereal bags are no longer being accepted, but can be taken to any grocery store that collects plastic bags. The TerraCycle collection bin is located outside the Cooperstown Farmers’ Market, 101 Main Street, Cooperstown.

 

Otsego County Demographic Data

The Cornell University Program on Applied Demographics recently released their 2017 county-level profiles for New York. These profiles cover sociological, economic, and demographic data categories. The data contained in these profiles will be useful in obtaining a snapshot of your respective communities. Please follow this link to learn more: https://pad.human.cornell.edu/profiles/index.cfm

 

Census Data Webinar

The American Planning Association is conducting a webinar series on how to utilize Census data for your day-to-day planning and economic development needs. These webinars cover a broad range of topics ranging from income and poverty-related statistics to analyzing census block group data. The webinar series can be accessed by clicking the following link: https://planningpa.org/news/2017-spring-webinar-series-census-data-users/

 

Climate Change Presentations at SUNY Oneonta

There will be two presentations at Hunt Union Red Dragon Ballroom regarding issues in climate change.

  • April 186pm – Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director or Food and Water Watch, author of Foodopoly, and Frackopoly.
  • April 20 – 4:30pm – Divesting from Fossil Fuel:  An Example for the Village of Cooperstown

Did You Know?

Otsego Lake did not completely freeze again this year.  This marks the third year without complete ice cover since records began in 1842.  The three years on record without ice cover have all been since 2000 (winter 2001/2, 2011/12 and 2016/2017).  Additionally, Otsego Lake was included in the Environmental Protection Agency report on climate change indicators for lake ice, a national database of sites tracking climate change in the United States.  For more information on Otsego Lake data, see the SUNY Oneonta Biological Field Station website (http://www.oneonta.edu/academics/biofld/otsegolake.asp)

 

March 6, 2017:  Vol. 11, No. 2

SAVE THE DATE

Well Spent Wednesdays

March 2211am10pm – 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!

 

Winter Tree ID Hike

March 259:30-11:30am – Thayer Farm Upland Interpretive Center (State Highway 80 – ~ 7 miles up Otsego Lake)

Do you know your ash from your elderberry? A beech from a birch? Can you tell a dogwood from its bark? Join OCCA Program Director Jeff O’Handley a walk at Thayer Farm in Springfield, and learn how to identify some common trees and shrubs. Register at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/

 

OCCA Highway Cleanup

April 88am – Mohican Farm (7207 State Highway 80 – next to OCCA office)

Join OCCA as we clean up the roadside on a two-mile section of State Route 80 spanning the towns of Springfield and Otsego. Enjoy a nice, brisk walk, and help the environment, too! Safety vests and helmets, bags, and gloves will be provided. Wear long pants and sturdy shoes. Meet at Mohican Farm at 8 a.m.; we will aim to finish up by 11.

 

Get the Kids Out

April 1910am – Thayer Farm Upland Interpretive Center (State Highway 80 – ~ 7 miles up Otsego Lake)

Get The Kids Out during mid-winter recess. OCCA is holding a special program, Get The Kids Out—Winter Wonderland at Robert V. Riddell State Park in Oneonta. Designed for elementary school kids and their families, this program will explore the life of the forest, past, present and future. 10 a.m. to noon. Free and open to the public. Register at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/

 

OCCA Earth Festival

April 2211am3pm – Milford Central School

Back for its 13th year, Earth Festival is an environmentally-focused interactive event featuring exhibits, activities, vendors and entertainment, all with a fun, earth-friendly twist. This event attracts over 1000 people every year, and more than 30 exhibitors and vendors. This year’s activities will include the pre-festival bird walk, the EcoArt contest, yoga for beginners and children, and recycling opportunities. To be a vendor, exhibitor, or event sponsor, visit our Earth Festival page (http://occainfo.org/earth-festival/) and download a form, or contact OCCA at (607) 547-4488.

 

OCCA Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Garage Sale

April 29/30 – 9am – 4pm – Cooperstown Farmers Market

OCCA’s Reduce, Reuse & Recycle Garage Sale will be on Saturday and Sunday, April 29 and 30, 2017 at the Cooperstown Farmers’ Market. Bargains galore abound at this annual event, which helps OCCA raise money for our county-wide environmental programs while also reducing waste.  Check OCCA’s website for details on how and when to donate items for the garage sale. If you would like to volunteer at this event or donate items, contact OCCA Executive Director Leslie Orzetti at (607) 547-4488, or e-mail director@occainfo.org.

 

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

TerraCycle Update

The OCCA TerraCycle collection only accepts the following items: used pens, markers and mechanical pencils; natural corks from wine bottles; empty toothpaste tubes, discarded toothbrushes (non-electric only), and packaging from toothbrushes and dental floss. Cereal bags are no longer being accepted, but can be taken to any grocery store that collects plastic bags. The TerraCycle collection bin is located outside the Cooperstown Farmers’ Market, 101 Main Street, Cooperstown.

 

Ag Plastic Collection, Coming This Spring

Farmers, start saving your film plastic! OCCA, in cooperation with Otsego County Solid Waste, Otsego County Soil and Water, and Casella, will be holding collection days for Ag Plastic in May. Acceptable plastics includes bale wrap, bunker silo cover, silage bags, and greenhouse covers. Plastic must be sorted according to type. For details on storage and transport, contact Program Director Jeff O’Handley at (607) 282-4087.

 

Did You Know?

Woven polypropylene bags, commonly used for pet and animal food bags (Purina dog chow, Beneful, for example) are not currently collected as part of our recycling programs. These bags are sturdy, water resistant, and can be repurposed for many different uses, such as shopping bags, tarpaulins and wood pile covers, and over-the-door shoe organizers, and more. Feed bags will be collected at Earth Festival. If you would like some of these bags, please contact former OCCA President, Martha Clarvoe, at (607) 293-6654, or at martha.clarvoe@gmail.com.

 

NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Adopts New Fishing Regulations

On February 28, 2017, the DEC announced that new freshwater fishing regulations will go into effect April 1, 2017. According to the DEC, the new regulations are a result of a two-year process that included biological assessments, discussions with anglers, and a 45-day public comment period. The regulations will be published in the 2017-18 Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide that will be available at all license sales vendors and online in March. Please follow this link to learn about the highlights of the new regulations: http://www.dec.ny.gov/press/109392.html.

 

DEC Proposing Amendments to the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA)

The DEC recently announced a proposal to amend the regulations that implement SEQR (Title 6 NYCRR Part 617). According to the DEC, the main purpose of the amendments is to streamline the SEQR process without sacrificing meaningful environmental review. Comments on the proposed amendments can be submitted to the DEC’s Division of Environmental Permits, Attn: James J. Eldred, Environmental Analyst, 625 Broadway Albany, NY 12233-1750 or via email to: seqra617@dec.ny.gov. Comments will be accepted until the close of business on May 19, 2017. There will also be a public hearing on March 31, 2017 at the Broadway address listed above. Please follow this link to learn more: http://www.dec.ny.gov/permits/83389.html.

 

Yale University Releases Interactive Map Detailing Public Perception of Climate Change

Researchers from Yale University recently released an interactive map highlighting the public’s opinion on climate change. Public opinion polling is generally done at the national level, because local level polling is very costly and time intensive. Yale’s team of scientists, however, has developed a model to drill down to the state, congressional district, and county levels. Follow this link to learn what Otsego County residents think about climate change: http://climatecommunication.yale.edu/visualizations-data/ycom-us-2016/.