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COOPERSTOWN—Otsego County Conservation Association has a variety of programs and events through early September.

On August 17 at 6 p.m. Trish Riddell Kent and Steve Kent lead “A Walk on the Flat Side” at Robert V. Riddell State Park. The Kents, who donated the land for the state park, will lead this easy hike through fields, forests, and along Schenevus Creek, and will highlight the park’s interesting history. Meet at Riddell Park’s main entrance on State Route 28 in Oneonta, just north of I-88 exit 17, at 6 p.m.

OCCA Executive Director Leslie Orzetti is the featured speaker at OCCA’s Be Informed! Lecture Series on August 23 at 6 p.m. Orzetti’s presentation, “Up the Creek,” will cover the basics of stream ecology, our connection to the Chesapeake Bay, an overview of OCCA’s upcoming Citizen Science Monitoring Program, and will also include a field walk to explore a nearby creek. Meet at 6 p.m. at the workshop at Mohican Farm, 7207 State Highway 80, Cooperstown.

On Saturday, August 19, volunteers are needed to help clean up a 2-mile stretch of State Highway 80 as part of New York State’s Adopt-A-Highway program. Meet at OCCA’s office at 7207 State Highway 80, Cooperstown. Bags, gloves, safety vests and hard hats are provided. Starting time is 10 a.m.

On Saturday, September 9, OCCA is seeking volunteers to assist with Otsego County’s annual Household Hazardous Waste Day. Shifts are available from 8 to 11 a.m. or from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Volunteers are provided with breakfast and lunch.

On Sunday, September 10, OCCA will hold its first Annual Picnic in the large picnic shelter at Gilbert Lake State Park from 1 – 4 p.m. The event includes naming of the Conservationist of the Year, a Chinese auction, nature hike, games, and food by L.M. Townsend Catering. Tickets are $25 for ages 10 and up, $15 for ages 5-9 and free for 4 and under, and areavailable at: https://occainfo.networkforgood.com/events/2944-occa-2017-annual-picnic.

All programs (other than the Annual Picnic) are free, though pre-registration is required. For more information or to register, visit http://occainfo.org/calendar/ or call (607) 547-4488.

Founded in 1968, OCCA is a private, non-profit membership group dedicated to promoting the appreciation and sustainable use of Otsego County’s natural resources through education, advocacy, resource management, research, planning, and practice. For more information on OCCA, or to donate, visit www.occainfo.org.

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Otsego County Conservation Association’s “Be Informed” lecture series continues with a presentation and walk focusing on creek ecology led by OCCA’s Executive Director Dr. Leslie Orzetti. The program will be Wednesday, August 23 at 6:00 p.m. at Mohican Farm, 7207 State Highway 80, Cooperstown.

“We’re very excited to be offering such a broad array of environmental programs,” said Jeff O’Handley, OCCA’s program director. “Many Otsego County residents have streams on their properties and would like to learn more about them.”

The program will cover the basics of stream ecology, our connection to the Chesapeake Bay, as well as an overview of OCCA’s upcoming Citizen Science Monitoring Program. As part of the program, Orzetti will lead a field walk to explore a creek on Mohican Farm.

“The best way to really understand a stream is by getting your feet wet,” Orzetti said.

Orzetti took over as OCCA’s Executive Director in August, 2016. She holds a doctorate in Environmental Science and Policy from George Mason University. She has served as an assistant professor at Northern Virginia Community College and as an adjunct professor at George Mason University. Prior to serving as a professor, Orzetti served as a Fish and Wildlife Biologist in the District of Columbia, as a senior scientist in a Chesapeake Bay-based non-profit, and as a contractor for the Department of Defense, conducting research and restoration on military lands.

“I have always been interested in aquatic ecology, and have been working in streams for much of my professional life,” said Orzetti.

“Up the Creek” is the third program in the Be Informed! lecture series, sponsored by OCCA. Previous topics have included climate smart communities and integrated pest management. The final program in the series for the year will be in November.

“The reception to the program so far has been excellent,” said O’Handley. “We’re getting good attendance, good feedback, and are looking forward to continuing this program in 2018.”

Founded in 1968, OCCA is a private, non-profit membership group dedicated to promoting the appreciation and sustainable use of Otsego County’s natural resources through education, advocacy, resource management, research, planning, and practice. For more information on OCCA, or to donate, visit www.occainfo.org.

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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!

The Otsego County Conservation Association is seeking nominations for its annual Conservationist of the Year award. The award will be given to an individual, citizens’ group or grassroots organization, governmental body, non-profit organization with 501 (c)(3) standing or a business that has made a positive difference in environmental protection, preservation or education in Otsego County. OCCA will present the award at their Annual Picnic on September 10th at Gilbert Lake State Park.

OCCA Executive Director Leslie Orzetti says “The Conservationist of the Year award is a wonderful way to recognize citizens and organizations that do so much not only for the environment itself, but also in educating our citizens on the importance of natural resource conservation.” In 2016, Tom Salo of Burlington was named Conservationist of the Year for his work with DOAS on reducing accidental lead poisoning of bald eagles.”  OCCA is now seeking nominations for the 2017 awardee(s). Nominations must be submitted by August 18.

Preference will be given to nominees residing in Otsego County. Environmental professionals and businesses are not eligible to be nominated based on achievements accomplished for their compensated employment or profit making enterprise. Nominations may be made by individuals, citizens’ groups or grassroots organizations, governmental bodies, non-profit organizations with 501 (c)(3) standing or businesses. The OCCA Board of Directors will review nominations and designate the Conservationist of the Year.

No monetary award will be given to the recipient of the award; however the recipient(s) will be the guests of OCCA at its annual picnic and will be publically recognized at this event. A press release will be issued announcing the recipient, and an announcement will appear in first annual OCCA Annual Report at the end of the year.

To obtain a nomination form, contact OCCA at 547-4488 or e-mail director@occainfo.org.  Forms may also be downloaded from the OCCA website at: http://occainfo.org/coy/.

Founded in 1968, OCCA is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the appreciation and sustainable use of Otsego County’s natural resources through education, advocacy, resource management, research, planning and practice. For more information on OCCA, or to donate, visit www.occainfo.org.

 

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.

 

(COOPERSTOWN)—Water chestnut and Japanese knotweed are being targeted by the Otsego County Conservation Association in two separate events as part of the fourth annual New York State Invasive Species Awareness Week (ISAW).

On July 9, OCCA will host a “Paddle and Pull” on Goodyear Lake in search of water chestnut (Trapa natans), an invasive plant from eastern Europe. Participants will meet at the New York State Fishing Access Site on Route 28 in Portlandville and head out into the ‘Stump Lot,’ the northernmost portion of the Lake. Any water chestnut plants found will be pulled by hand and composted. The event takes place from 1 to 3 p.m.

“Ten years ago, water chestnut covered several acres of the Stump Lot,” said Jeff O’Handley, OCCA’s program director. “Through the diligence of many volunteers, we’ve been able to reduce its population significantly.”

The plant forms floating mats of vegetation that shades out native plants. In late summer, it produces a nut with sharp spines that can cause injury if stepped on.

“If you want a guaranteed spot in one of our canoes, we need to hear from you in advance,” O’Handley said. “You could also meet us there with your own canoe or kayak.”

On July 11, OCCA will be “Digging Knotweed” from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at Mohican Farm in Springfield. Japanese knotweed grows in dense clumps and spreads rapidly, crowding out native vegetation.

“We’re hoping to find ways to control and eradicate this plant that doesn’t require herbicide,” said O’Handley.

Volunteers will spend the time cutting down knotweed plants, and digging roots out of the soil. All plant parts will be bagged and dried prior to disposal. Volunteers should bring their own gardening gloves and hand shovels or grubbing tools. Participants will meet at OCCA’s Mohican Farm office at 7207 State Highway 80 (corner of Allen Lake Road and Route 80) and walk across the street to the project site.

The mission of Invasive Species Awareness Week 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 help stop the spread.

Invasive species are organisms that are not native to an area and cause or are likely to cause harm to the environment, the economy, or human health. It is estimated that invasive species cost the United States more than $120 billion in damage each year.

Participation in either event is free, but pre-registration is requested. To sign up for either event, either call O’Handley at (607) 282-4087, or use OCCA’s online program registration page (http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/).

Founded in 1968, OCCA is a private, non-profit membership group dedicated to promoting the appreciation and sustainable use of Otsego County’s natural resources through education, advocacy, resource management, research, and planning. For more information on OCCA, or to donate, visit www.occainfo.org.

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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?

Otsego County Water Quality Coordinating Committee
967 County Highway 33, Cooperstown, NY 13326
(607) 547-8778

For Immediate Release

Lakes Festival to be held at Glimmerglass State Park

COOPERSTOWN– The 9th Otsego Lakes Festival will be held in Glimmerglass State Park in Springfield onSaturday, June 10, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. This year’s event is being coordinated with the Clark Sports Center’s 4th Annual “Race the Lake” marathon and half-marathon around Otsego Lake, which ends in the park.

Organized under the umbrella of the Otsego County Water Quality Coordinating Committee, the Otsego Lakes Festival celebrates the value of our lakes, rivers, streams and ponds, and is an opportunity for visitors to learn about the many organizations in Otsego County working to protect these important resources. WQCC members will be on hand to distribute information and literature, discuss water quality issues one on one, and provide an overview of the various programs offered to help ensure the continued well-being of our water resources.

Activities this year include free paddle board demonstrations and lessons by Canoe & Kayak Rentals and Sales of Portlandville, “touch tanks” featuring live fish, plants and aquatic invertebrates found in Otsego Lake, offered by SUNY-Oneonta Biological Field Station and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, adventure activities by the Clark Sports Center, and a guided nature walk in the park. A DJ will provide music throughout the day, and there will be food and beer sampling from local vendors. Admission to Otsego Lakes Festival is free; a special event parking pass for the festival is available on the OCCA website.

Exhibitors, vendors, and sponsors are still needed. Confirmed exhibitors and vendors at the Otsego Lakes Festival thus far include Otsego County Conservation Association, Otsego Soil and Water Conservation District, Otsego Lake Association, Otsego Land Trust, SUNY Oneonta Biological Field Station, Canoe & Kayak Rentals and Sales, and the Dave Brandt Chapter of Trout Unlimited. For information on how to sponsor or exhibit/vend at the event, visit http://occainfo.org/otsego-lakes-festival/.

For more about the Otsego Lakes Festival, or for further details on sponsorship and volunteer opportunities, contact OCCA Executive Director Leslie Orzetti at (607) 547-4488.

For information on Race the Lake, including how to register, contact Event Director Doug McCoy at the Clark Sports Center, (607) 547-2800, ext. 111.

The Otsego County Water Quality Coordinating Committee was established in 1992 as a sub-committee of the Otsego County Soil and Water Conservation District. It is comprised of a diverse group of people representing state and local government agencies, non-profit organizations, academic institutions, and lake associations. These members have technical expertise and knowledge and are committed to working to improve and maintain the quality of water in Otsego County through the reduction of nonpoint source pollution within its boundaries. The Otsego Lakes Festival is designed to educate the public on the importance of water resource protection.

The Clark Sports Center opened in 1891 as the Alfred Corning Clark Gymnasium. In 1983, The Clark Foundation announced its intention to build a larger facility. The community’s growth and the need for modernized facilities dictated a much larger building. With the dedication on October 5, 1986, the new ACG Gymnasium opened on Susquehanna Avenue. In June of 1994, the ACG Gymnasium was renamed The Clark Sports Center. In 2015, the Sports Center began a renovation and expansion project adding 56,000 square feet to the existing building. The new facility will open on June 17, 2017.

It is the primary mission of The Clark Sports Center to take an active role in the health, fitness, recreational and educational life of the Village of Cooperstown and its surrounding area. Specific objectives include safe, high quality youth, adult, and family programming as well as outreach programs aimed at addressing the needs of the underserved local populations.

The Otsego County Conservation Association will be hosting an early morning bird walk, led by Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society co-president Becky Gretton, at Mohican Farm in Springfield on Saturday, May 13, from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.

“Mohican Farm has woods, fields, gardens and wetlands,” said Jeff O’Handley, OCCA’s program director. “As a result, it has a nice variety of birds. And Becky is really good at finding them.”

Participants should bring binoculars, a field guide, and should dress for the weather. The program begins at OCCA’s Mohican Farm office, 7207 State Highway 80, Cooperstown, at 7 a.m. Space is limited. To attend, either call OCCA at (607) 547-4488 or register at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/.

Founded in 1968, Founded in 1968, OCCA is a private, non-profit membership group dedicated to promoting the appreciation and sustainable use of Otsego County’s natural resources through education, advocacy, resource management, research, planning, and practice. For more information on OCCA, or to donate, visit www.occainfo.org

The Otsego County Conservation Association/Mohican Farm Be Informed Lecture Series continues with a talk and demonstration on Integrated Pest Management for homeowners on Wednesday, May 17 at Mohican Farm in Springfield. The program begins at 6:30 p.m.

“Integrated Pest Management for the Home Greenhouse and Garden” focuses on how the casual gardener can reduce damage from a variety of garden pests. The program, led by Bob Sutherland, manager of The Clark Foundation’s Mohican Farm, will include a lecture and Powerpoint presentation, along with a visit to Mohican Farm’s greenhouse to see some of the techniques put into action.

“For many gardeners, pest management is reactive,” said Sutherland. “People see a problem and react, usually with pesticides. Integrated Pest Management is proactive, and relies much more on prevention.”

Prior to joining The Clark Foundation, Sutherland was an instructor at the Plant Science Department at SUNY Cobleskill. Under his management, Mohican Farm has become a leader in The Clark Foundation’s sustainability efforts.

The Be Informed Lecture Series is a partnership between OCCA and Mohican Farm. The series kicked off in February with a presentation on Climate Smart Communities. The program, which takes place in the workshop at Mohican Farm, 7207 State Highway 80, Springfield, is free, but space is limited. Those interested in attending should pre-register by visiting http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/ or by calling (607) 547-4488.

Founded in 1968, Founded in 1968, OCCA is a private, non-profit membership group dedicated to promoting the appreciation and sustainable use of Otsego County’s natural resources through education, advocacy, resource management, research, planning, and practice. For more information on OCCA, or to donate, visit www.occainfo.org