Our Environment. Our Home. OUR CHALLENGE.

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Hit the Links

October 2, 800 am – Leatherstocking Golf Course, Cooperstown, NY

Enjoy the Leatherstocking Golf Course without the frustration of trying to hit out of the rough! Golf Course Superintendent Mike O’Neill will lead a tour of the grounds showcasing its beauty and will share projects and management practices designed to keep the links “green” as well as green. In addition to the lush scenery and spectacular views of Otsego Lake, we’ll see sediment retention ponds, lake bank stabilization efforts, and more.  Meet at the golf course maintenance shop.

Get the Kids Out!

October 14, 1000 am – Mohican Farm (Corner of Rte. 80 and Allen Lake Road), Cooperstown, NY

Trees! Need something to do on Columbus Day? Come to Mohican Farm and explore the world of trees. We’ll search the property and learn how to tell different kinds from each other using science and our senses, will understand the role trees play in our world, and we’ll have fun!

Solar System Walk – The Earth as a Peppercorn

October 19, 1000 am – Compton Bridge (County Road 11C, railroad tracks)

Travel from the sun to all the way to Pluto–on foot! Former OCCA board member Bill Ralston leads this thousand-yard walk that models our solar system accurately, and at a scale that makes the reality of our neighborhood in space both understandable and awe-inspiring. Common objects like a bowling ball, walnuts and peppercorns are used to represent the sun and planets in scale. Suitable for adults and children 9 and up, whether you know anything about astronomy or not. Meet at the parking area by the railroad tracks on County Road 11C, Cooperstown, and walk along the railroad right of way. Rain date: 10/20.

Mud Lake Hike

October 27, 100 pm – Robert V. Riddell State Park

Join Steve Kent and OCCA for this vigorous, 4.5-mile walk to Mud Lake—and beyond! —in Robert V. Riddell State Park. Steve will share stories of the land before it was donated to the state by he and his wife, Trish Riddell Kent. Along the way, we’ll pass through beautiful hemlock, maple, and oak forests, stop at a spectacular waterfall, and visit Mud Lake, a fascinating sphagnum bog on top of the hill. Dress appropriately, bring water and a snack.  Meet at the Pine Lake Campus on Charlotte Creek Road, 1894 Charlotte Creek Road, Oneonta.  We will carpool to the starting location and hike back to the meeting location.

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Upper Susquehanna Watershed Forum

Tuesday, October 1 at 9:00am, SUNY Binghamton Center of Excellence

SAVE THE DATE!  The Upper Susquehanna Watershed Forum moves to SUNY Binghamton this year with a day full of presentations related to how to tackle the next phase of restoring and conserving our portion of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.  The day will include field trips, overviews of the NEW Phase III Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan, and panel sessions on communications, innovative practices, partnerships, research and funding.  To find out more and register, go to: www.occainfo.org/watershedforum.

Hawkwatch Open House

On Saturday, October 5 from 10 AM to 2 PM, the Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society will host an open house at the DOAS Sanctuary and Hawkwatch on Grange Hall Spur Road, Oneonta. The day will include Live Birds of Prey, Hawk ID Workshop, Bird Mask Making, Trail Walk.  The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be available throughout the day. Visit www.doas.us for details.

Hartwick College Water Symposium

Hartwick College and the Global Water Alliance have teamed up for the Water Symposium – Water & Peace, The Art of Sharing Water.  The forum will be held on October 14 from 8:00 am – 1:00 pm at the Hartwick College Anderson Center for the Art.  For more information, please contact Godlove Fonjweng at globaleducation@hartwick.edu.

Hartwick Hamlet Sewing Bee

With the ban on grocery store plastic bags beginning on March 1, 2020, many will be looking for reusable bags to purchase.  A sewing bee to teach how to create bags from various feed bags will be offered in Hartwick. The sewing bee will be held on November 5 at 9:30am at the Former O.S. Burch Store at 3097 Co Hwy 11.  Four sewing machines are available for sewers use but you are free to bring your own if you prefer.  All other materials will be provided.  Sewer will own the bag they make.   These bags are made and sold for a fundraiser for the Otsego County Conservation Association.  But knowing how to make these bags is the other purpose of the sewing bee.  Contact Martha Clarvoe for more information and to register (607-293-6654 or martha.clarvoe@gmail.com).

Hartwick Clean Sweep

Saturday, October 5 from 8AM to 2PM, Hartwick Town Hall

Open to residents of the Town of Hartwick, the Clean Sweep is an opportunity for Hartwick residents to dispose of backyard trash, green waste, scrap metal, electronics and more. In addition, a yard sale of second-hand goods will be held in front of town hall beginning at 9am. For information on how to participate, contact Andrea Vazquez, town clerk, at (607) 293-8123. In addition, volunteers are needed to help empty cars, crush glass, sort recyclables, and set up the yard sale. To volunteer, contact Martha Clarvoe at (607) 293-6654 or at martha.clarvoe@gmail.com.

Southern Tier 8 Business Energy Survey

The Southern Tier 8 Regional Planning Commission has embarked upon an energy infrastructure plan for the Southern Tier 8 region.  As part of this planning process, they have asked local businesses to take part in a short survey to determine attitudes, needs and general understanding of the business community in terms of energy. If you are a business owner or know one, please considering taking and sharing this survey.  https://southerntier8.org/businessinfrastructuresurvey/

Otsego County Soil and Water Conservation District Seeks Forest Technician

General Duties:  Performs a variety of technical duties related to the establishment of conservation practices concerning forest lands on public and private properties; Develops forest management plans for county tracts; does related work as required. Prepares monthly progress reports for the County Highway Superintendent to provide to the Public Works Committee.  For more information and a link to full job description see: https://www.otsegosoilandwater.com/job-volunteer-opportunities

The fourth annual Upper Susquehanna Watershed Forum is being held at Binghamton University Center of Excellence on October 1, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  The forum, a program of the Choose Clean Water Coalition, will focus on how to move forward with the Phase III Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan. Otsego County Conservation Association, in its role as the New York Outreach Lead, is planning the forum in partnership with a number of regional organizations such as the Upper Susquehanna Coalition, Otsego Land Trust, SUNY Oneonta, Binghamton University, Chemung River Friends, the New York League of Conservation Voters and the Binghamton Center for Integrated Watershed Studies. 

“We are so fortunate to be working with such a dedicated group of people to plan this year’s event.  We’re looking forward to a day jam-packed with information on how to be great stewards of our part of the Bay watershed,” said Leslie Orzetti, Executive Director of OCCA and New York Outreach Lead for the Choose Clean Water Coalition.

This year’s forum includes morning and afternoon sessions covering a variety of topics, including current research in the watershed, innovative practices that enhance water quality, unique partnerships that preserve natural resources, the art of communicating the need for watershed conservation, and funding mechanisms available to carry out all this work. The day also includes poster sessions, networking opportunities, and a walking field trip to view stormwater management practices being implemented on Binghamton University’s campus.

“We encourage anyone with an interest in the Chesapeake Bay watershed to attend,” Orzetti said.

The forum is open to the public. Registration is $15 until September 27, $20 at the door, and includes all sessions, field trip, and lunch.

For more information and to register for the forum, please visit the forum’s webpage at http://occainfo.org/watershedforum/ or contact Leslie Orzetti at director@occainfo.org.

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A trip through the night sky and a walk on a golf course highlight September programs from Otsego County Conservation Association.

OCCA Vice President Jim Hill leads ‘Naked Eye Astronomy—the Autumn Sky’ at Mohican Farm in Springfield on Friday, September 27. The program begins with a brief, indoor introduction, then heads outside, where Hill will point out individual stars, constellations, and visible planets, such as Saturn and Jupiter.

“People are fascinated with the night sky, but many have no idea what they’re seeing,” said OCCA Program Director, Jeff O’Handley. “This will be a great introduction to stargazing.”

Hill taught high school science—including astronomy—for 30 years at Richfield Springs. The program starts at 7:30 p.m. at the workshop at Mohican Farm, 7207 State Route 80 in Springfield. Participants should dress for the weather, and should bring a blanket or chair for sitting on. Binoculars are optional. In the event of rain or cloudy weather, the program will take place on September 28.

OCCA’s nature walk series returns to earth on Wednesday, October 2, for ‘Hit the Links,’ a guided tour of the Leatherstocking Golf Course in Cooperstown. Course Superintendent, Mike O’Neill will highlight many of the practices he employs to minimize the course’s environmental impact while keeping it an attractive and desirable place to play. These practices include managing runoff, conserving water, and minimizing pesticide and fertilizer use.

“Mike and his crew are working hard to keep the golf course ‘green’, so to speak,” O’Handley said. “This walk is enjoyable and interesting.”

Participants will meet at 8 a.m. at the golf course workshop. Take the entrance for the Cooperstown Country Club at 5748 State Highway 80, then bear left at the fork.

Both programs are free and open to the public, but pre-registration is appreciated. For more information or to register, visit occainfo.org, or contact OCCA at (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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Household Hazardous Waste Day Volunteer Opportunity

September 21 – The Meadows Office Building, Cooperstown, NY

OCCA is coordinating volunteers to assist at Otsego County’s Household Hazardous Waste Day collection. Volunteers are needed to help primarily with latex paint recycling, but may also be asked to direct traffic; assist with unloading cars; sorting recyclable paints from other materials; opening and stirring paint; flattening cardboard; collecting other materials. The event runs from 8am-1pm.  Please consider signing up for early (7:30-11am) or late (10:30-1:00pm) shifts.  Call Jeff O’Handley at 607-282-4087 to sign up.

Naked Eye Astronomy—the Autumn Sky

September 27, 730 pm – Mohican Farm, Cooperstown, NY

Can you find the North Star? How about Arcturus? Can you find constellations, like Cygnus the swan, Ursa Major, Draco, Pegasus or Andromeda? What about Jupiter and Saturn? All these celestial objects will be in the evening sky this autumn, and you can learn how to find them! Join OCCA Vice President Jim Hill for a beginner’s guide to the autumn sky. Bring blankets or a chair and dress warmly, as we will spend time outside, and the best viewing is often while lying on your back or sitting in a lawn chair. No telescopes; binoculars are optional but not necessary, this is naked eye astronomy, after all! Call Jeff O’Handley at 607-282-4087 to sign up. In the event of poor weather or cloudy skies, we will offer the program on September 28 at 730 pm.

Hit the Links

October 2, 800 am – Leatherstocking Golf Course, Cooperstown, NY

Enjoy the Leatherstocking Golf Course without the frustration of trying to hit out of the rough! Golf Course Superintendent Mike O’Neill will lead a tour of the grounds showcasing its beauty and will share projects and management practices designed to keep the links “green” as well as green. In addition to the lush scenery and spectacular views of Otsego Lake, we’ll see sediment retention ponds, lake bank stabilization efforts, and more.  Meet at the golf course maintenance shop.

Get the Kids Out!

October 14, 1000 am – Mohican Farm (Corner of Rte. 80 and Allen Lake Road), Cooperstown, NY

Trees! Need something to do on Columbus Day? Come to Mohican Farm and explore the world of trees. We’ll search the property and learn how to tell different kinds from each other using science and our senses, will understand the role trees play in our world, and we’ll have fun!

Mud Lake Hike

October 27, 100 pm – Robert V. Riddell State Park 

Join Steve Kent and OCCA for this vigorous, 4.5-mile walk to Mud Lake—and beyond! —in Robert V. Riddell State Park. Steve will share stories of the land before it was donated to the state by he and his wife, Trish Riddell Kent. Along the way, we’ll pass through beautiful hemlock, maple, and oak forests, stop at a spectacular waterfall, and visit Mud Lake, a fascinating sphagnum bog on top of the hill. Dress appropriately, bring water and a snack.  Meet at the Pine Lake Campus on Charlotte Creek Road, 1894 Charlotte Creek Road, Oneonta.  We will carpool to the starting location and hike back to the meeting location.

Household Hazardous Waste Day

September 20 and 21 – Unadilla Town Barn and The Meadows Office Building, Cooperstown, NY

Otsego County Solid Waste is again sponsoring the Otsego County Household Hazardous Waste Day.  This widely attended event allows local residents the opportunity to bring household hazardous waste, enamel paints, pesticides, antifreeze, batteries and much more FREE of CHARGE for disposal. To see a full list of items that will be accepted at this year’s HHWD, see Otsego County’s website at https://www.otsegocounty.com/Ledger%20Event%20Poster%202019.pdf

Upper Susquehanna Watershed Forum

Tuesday, October 1 at 9:00am, SUNY Binghamton Center of Excellence

SAVE THE DATE!  The Upper Susquehanna Watershed Forum moves to SUNY Binghamton this year with a day full of presentations related to how to tackle the next phase of restoring and conserving our portion of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.  The day will include field trips, overviews of the NEW Phase III Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan, and panel sessions on communications, innovative practices, partnerships, research and funding.  We are still accepting applications to present posters and to exhibit.  Please contact Leslie Orzetti for more information or see the forum website at: www.occainfo.org/watershedforum.

Fly Space Cinema Survey

A small group of folks is working on the idea of bringing a cinema back to town. They’ve created a quick survey to collect data on whether there is sufficient interest in the community to sustain a cinema year-round and are now trying to distribute this as broadly as to determine whether it’s feasible before trying to raise what would be considerable funds. They have tons of programming ideas if it were to happen, but need a dose of reality to know whether it would be supported long-term by the community.  Please complete the online survey no later than September 10. Thank you!

Southern Tier 8 Business Energy Survey

The Southern Tier 8 Regional Planning Commission has embarked upon an energy infrastructure plan for the Southern Tier 8 region.  As part of this planning process, they have asked local businesses to take part in a short survey to determine attitudes, needs and general understanding of the business community in terms of energy. If you are a business owner or know one, please considering taking and sharing this survey.  https://southerntier8.org/businessinfrastructuresurvey/

Position Announcements

The Center for Agricultural Development & Entrepreneurship (CADE) based in Oneonta, NY is hiring two new positions: Full-Time Program Manager, Farm to School Supply Chain Development and Part-time Office Manager.  Please see the links associated with those positions for more information and how to apply.

Hartwick College Water Symposium

Hartwick College and the Global Water Alliance have teamed up for the Water Symposium – Water & Peace, The Art of Sharing Water.  The forum will be held on October 14 from 8:00 am – 1:00 pm at the Hartwick College Anderson Center for the Art.  For more information, please contact Godlove Fonjweng at globaleducation@hartwick.edu.

Otsego County Conservation Association has the following programs/volunteer activities coming up. For further information or to register, contact OCCA Program Director, Jeff O’Handley at (607) 282-4087 or visit occainfo.org. All programs are free and open to the public.

Otsquago Creek: Geology in Action

August 11, 1:00 – 3:00pm – Robert Woodruff Learning Center at Owen D. Young Central School, State Route 80, Van Hornesville
Witness the results of thousands of years of geologic processes in action on this walk at the Robert Woodruff Learning Center at Owen D. Young Central School in Van Hornesville. Rain falls and seeps into rocks, dissolving them. The water finds its way to the surface and forms the Otsquago Creek. As it flows it shapes the land, leaving tufa deposits and carving waterfalls, terraces and caves. The result is a spectacular landscape that is still changing today. This walk is led by Dr. Les Hasbargen, who teaches geology and geomorphology at SUNY Oneonta. Van Hornesville is one of his favorite places to bring students on field trips.

Call for Volunteers

OCCA has been diligently working to help control the spread of invasive species in Otsego County for over 15 years.  We can’t do any of this work without dedicated volunteers like you!  Consider helping us at one of our upcoming invasive species management programs. TO SIGN UP FOR ANY VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES, please use the form on our website: https://occainfo.org/signup/

Chop and Cheese, Japanese Knotweed Removal at Mohican Farm

August 14, 6:00 – 8:00pm – Mohican Farm, 7207 State Highway 80, Cooperstown

Chop down Japanese knotweed—one of our most aggressive terrestrial invasive plants—then enjoy light refreshments of cheese and crackers overlooking Otsego Lake. Dress to get dirty. Some tools (loppers, hand pruners) will be provided, but you may bring your own. Meet at OCCA’s office at Mohican Farm, 7207 State Highway 80, Cooperstown.

Paddle and Pull, Silver Lake

August 17, 9:00 am -noon – 162 Silver Lake Road, New Berlin

Please help us as we continue removing water chestnut and European frog-bit, two highly-invasive aquatic plants, from Silver Lake in New Berlin. Bring water, sunscreen, and dress to get wet and dirty. At the request of property owners, you must use OCCA canoes. Please register for this event by using the sign-up form on our website.

Household Hazardous Waste Day Volunteer Opportunity

September 21 – The Meadows Office Building, Cooperstown, NY

OCCA is coordinating volunteers to assist at Otsego County’s Household Hazardous Waste Day collection. Volunteers are needed to help primarily with latex paint recycling, but may be asked to direct traffic; assist with unloading cars; sorting recyclable paints from other materials; opening and stirring paint; flattening cardboard; collecting other materials. The event runs from 8am-1pm.  Please consider signing up for early (7:30-11am) or late (10:30-1:00pm) shifts.  Call Jeff O’Handley at 607-282-4087 to sign up, or use the form at our website (see above).

Call for Volunteers

OCCA has been diligently working to help control the spread of invasive species in Otsego County for over 15 years.  We can’t do any of this work without dedicated volunteers like you!  Consider helping us at one of our upcoming invasive species management programs. TO SIGN UP FOR ANY VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES, please use the form on our website: https://occainfo.org/signup/

Paddle and Pull, Goodyear Lake

August 3, 9:00 am-noon – Portlandville Fishing Access Site, State Route 28, Portlandville

Help control and prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species! Water chestnut, a highly-invasive aquatic plant, continues to be a problem in Goodyear Lake. Volunteers will paddle in and around the Stump Lot portion of Goodyear Lake, search for water chestnut, and remove plants when they are found. Dress to get wet and dirty, and bring sunscreen and water. You may bring your own canoe or kayak, or reserve space in an OCCA canoe by using the sign-up form on our website. Meet at the New York State Fishing Access Site on New York State Route 28 in Portlandville, just south of the County Route 35A bridge.

Paddle and Pull, Silver Lake

August 17, 9:00 am -noon – 162 Silver Lake Road, New Berlin

Please help us as we continue removing water chestnut and European frog-bit, two highly-invasive aquatic plants, from Silver Lake in New Berlin. Bring water, sunscreen, and dress to get wet and dirty. At the request of property owners, you must use OCCA canoes. Please register for this event by using the sign-up form on our website.

Chop and Cheese, Japanese Knotweed Removal at Mohican Farm

August 14, 6:00 – 8:00pm – Mohican Farm, 7207 State Highway 80, Cooperstown

Chop down Japanese knotweed—one of our most aggressive terrestrial invasive plants—then enjoy light refreshments of cheese and crackers overlooking Otsego Lake. Dress to get dirty. Some tools (loppers, hand pruners) will be provided, but you may bring your own. Meet at OCCA’s office at Mohican Farm, 7207 State Highway 80, Cooperstown.

Household Hazardous Waste Day Volunteer Opportunity

September 21 – The Meadows Office Building, Cooperstown, NY

OCCA is coordinating volunteers to assist at Otsego County’s Household Hazardous Waste Day collection. Volunteers are needed to help primarily with latex paint recycling, but may be asked to direct traffic; assist with unloading cars; sorting recyclable paints from other materials; opening and stirring paint; flattening cardboard; collecting other materials. The event runs from 8am-1pm.  Please consider signing up for early (7:30-11am) or late (10:30-1:00pm) shifts.  Call Jeff O’Handley at 607-282-4087 to sign up, or use the form at our website (see above).

Aquatic Invasive Species Boat Washing Demo

August 7, 6:00-8:00pm – Brookwood Point, 6000 State Route 80, Cooperstown

This free program, offered in collaboration with Otsego Land Trust, Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership (CRISP), Otsego Area Rowers, Canoe & Kayak Rentals and Sales, Otsego Lake Association, Otsego Sailing Club, Canadarago Lake Improvement Association and OCCA provides information on how to identify various aquatic invasive species that threaten our waterways, along with hands-on demonstrations of steps everyone should take to prevent the spread of these species. For further information or to RSVP for this free event, contact Marcie Foster, Otsego Land Trust, (607) 547-2366 est.103, or email marcie@otsegolandtrust.org.

Otsquago Creek: Geology in Action

August 11, 1:00 – 3:00pm – Robert Woodruff Learning Center at Owen D. Young Central School, State Route 80, Van Hornesville
Witness the results of thousands of years of geologic processes in action on this walk at the Robert Woodruff Learning Center at Owen D. Young Central School in Van Hornesville. Rain falls and seeps into rocks, dissolving them. The water finds its way to the surface and forms the Otsquago Creek. As it flows it shapes the land, leaving tufa deposits and carving waterfalls, terraces and caves. The result is a spectacular landscape that is still changing today. This walk is led by Dr. Les Hasbargen, who teaches geology and geomorphology at SUNY Oneonta. Van Hornesville is one of his favorite places to bring students on field trips.

Household Hazardous Waste Day

September 20 and 21 – Unadilla Town Barn and The Meadows Office Building, Cooperstown, NY

Otsego County Solid Waste is again sponsoring the Otsego County Household Hazardous Waste Day.  This widely attended event allows local residents the opportunity to bring household hazardous waste, enamel paints, pesticides, antifreeze, batteries and much more, FREE of CHARGE for disposal. To see a full list of items that will be accepted at this year’s HHWD, see Otsego County’s website at https://www.otsegocounty.com/Ledger%20Event%20Poster%202019.pdf

More Recycling Options

Got Sneakers – OCCA is partnering with the Oneonta YMCA to expand their athletic shoes recycling program.  Two new sites at the Clark Sports Center and the Cooperstown Farmers’ Market are being added to the original site at the Oneonta YMCA (Ford Avenue) to collect new, used, and unwearable athletic shoes. Your old running shoes, trainers, rubber cleats, and kids’ sneakers can be taken to any of these three locations for recycling with the GotSneakers.com program.  All shoes are sent to their Miami facility for sorting, with the useable ones being sent to people in need and unusable ones being repurposed into athletic surfaces.   Clean out your closets today and bring you old shoes to any of these three locations!

Terracycle – The Cooperstown Farmers’ Market and the Oneonta YMCA are your collection points for Terracycle items.  For a list of items that are accepted at each location, please contact or visit that location before dropping off your items.

Get ready for the bag ban—pack your bags

In March, 2020 New York’s ‘bag ban’ is set to go into effect. This plan will end the distribution by retailers of most single-use plastic bags with sales. The ban is expected to save natural resources used in the manufacture of bags, reduce costly breakdowns and repairs in recycling and trash facilities, and cut down on unsightly and dangerous pollution. Now is a good time to start stocking up on durable, reusable bags, and getting into the habit of taking them with you. When you go to the store—any store—remember to “pack your bags” to help protect the environment.

Upper Susquehanna Watershed Forum

Tuesday, October 1 at 9:00am, SUNY Binghamton Center for Excellence

SAVE THE DATE!  The Upper Susquehanna Watershed Forum moves to SUNY Binghamton this year with a day full of presentations related to how to tackle the next phase of restoring and conserving our portion of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.  The day will include field trips, overviews of the NEW Phase III Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan, and panel sessions on communications, innovative practices, partnerships, research and funding.  We are now accepting applications to present in oral or poster form.  Please contact Leslie Orzetti for more information. Details coming soon on registration and the day’s agenda.

 Volunteer opportunities with Otsego County Conservation Association

Otsego County Conservation Association is seeking volunteers for the following dates and activities:

On Saturday, August 3, OCCA is recruiting volunteers to help with water chestnut removal in Goodyear Lake. Volunteers will use canoes or kayaks to paddle in the upper portion of the lake, known as the Stump Lot, and will hand-pull any water chestnuts found. Water chestnut (Trapa natans) is an invasive aquatic plant that disrupts native ecosystems, interferes with boating, fishing and swimming, and can cause injury if stepped on. This event runs from 9am to noon. Volunteers can bring their own canoe/kayak, or reserve space in an OCCA canoe.

It’s back to the water on Saturday, August 17, as OCCA works to control water chestnut and European frog-bit (Hydrocharus morsus-ranae) at Silver Lake in New Berlin. Frog-bit, newly-discovered at the lake in 2018, is a free-floating aquatic plant that can impact local ecosystems. Only OCCA canoes are being permitted on the lake for this event, and pre-registration is required. The event runs from 9am-noon.

Finally, on Saturday, September 21, OCCA is seeking volunteers to assist with Otsego County’s 22nd annual Household Hazardous Waste Day collection. Volunteers will be primarily engaged with sorting, opening, stirring and pouring paint as part of the county’s latex paint recycling program. Volunteers may also be asked to direct traffic, help unload cars, break up cardboard boxes, and assist with non-hazardous special collections. Volunteers are asked to sign up for either an early (7:30-11am) or late (10:30am-1pm) shift. This event takes place at the Meadows Office Complex in Cooperstown.

For more information about these events, visit occainfo.org or contact OCCA Program Director, Jeff O’Handley at (607) 282-4087. To register, use the form available at occainfo.org/signup/.

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, visitwww.occainfo.org.

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Otsego County residents can now drop off used athletic shoes for recycling at two new locations in the Cooperstown area through a partnership between Otsego County Conservation Association and the Oneonta YMCA. These new drop off sites are in addition to the original location at the YMCA in Oneonta.

“Recycling athletic shoes is an easy way to help keep these hard to break-down items out of our landfills,” said OCCA Executive Director, Leslie Orzetti. “We are happy to be able to partner with the Oneonta YMCA on this effort.”

The new collection sites at the Clark Sports Center and the Cooperstown Farmers’ Market in Cooperstown join the original collection site at the YMCA in Oneonta. Each facility has a specially marked bin for shoes. Types of shoes that can be dropped off for recycling include any type of sneaker, as well as rubber soccer and baseball cleats. Shoes can be any condition: new, gently used, or unwearable, but pairs must be complete.

Once collected, the shoes are shipped to Got Sneakers in Miami, Florida. Good condition shoes are distributed to less fortunate people in South and Central America, the Caribbean, west Africa and Europe. Shoes deemed ‘unwearable’ are recycled into various products, including athletic surfaces such as tracks and playgrounds.

Got Sneakers pays for shipping and provides a reimbursement to the Oneonta YMCA for each pair of shoes received.

“In addition to helping keep things out of our waste stream, this is also a fundraiser for the YMCA, and we’re excited to be able to help another non-profit organization,” said Orzetti.

For more information on Got Sneakers, visit https://gotsneakers.com/.

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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POSTPONED: NEW DATE IS SUNDAY, AUGUST 11 at 1:00 PM.

Otsego County Conservation Association is sponsoring the walk, “Otsquago Creek: Geology in Action” on Saturday, July 20 from 10am to noon Sunday, August 11 from 1-3pm. The walk will take place on the nature trail at the Robert D. Woodruff Outdoor Learning Center at Owen D. Young Central School in Van Hornesville and will be led by Dr. Les Hasbargen. Dr. Hasbargen teaches geology and geomorphology at SUNY Oneonta. Suitable for all ages, participants will learn some basic geology and will get to explore terraces, waterfalls and limestone caves formed over the years.

The program is free, but pre-registration is appreciated. Visit occainfo.org for more information. Participants should meet at the parking area to the Robert D. Woodruff Outdoor Learning Center, 2316 State Highway 80, Van Hornesville.

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.

Invasive Species Awareness Week, July 7-13

Sponsored by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Department of Agriculture and Markets, Invasive Species Awareness Week (ISAW) is a statewide event that encourages New Yorkers to help protect the state’s resources from the negative impacts of invasive species. OCCA has the following activities planned:

Paddle and Pull, Goodyear Lake

July 7, 1-4:00 pm – Portlandville Fishing Access Site, State Route 28, Portlandville

Take to the water and help control water chestnut in Goodyear Lake’s “Stump Lot.” Water chestnut (Trapa natans) is an aggressive aquatic plant that impacts fish, wildlife and recreation. Bring your own canoe or kayak, or reserve space in one of our canoes. Bring sunscreen, water and dress to get wet.

Spotting the Lanternfly: Early Detection Training for our Newest Invader

July 9, 6:00-8:00pm – Mohican Farm, 7207 State Highway 80, Cooperstown

Spotted Lanternfly is a newly-introduced invasive insect that could have considerable harmful effects on New York’s agriculture and forests. With populations confirmed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, it is essential to stay on the lookout for this insect and its preferred host tree, the invasive tree-of-heaven. Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership Field Projects Manager Dan Snider will teach us about Spotted Lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula), the tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima), and how you can help prevent the spread of this invasive pest into our region. We will discuss region of origin, identification, risks of spread, and the free mobile reporting app iMap Invasives. This program is useful to landowners, land managers, and anyone interested in helping prevent the spread of invasive species.

Chop and Cheese, Japanese Knotweed Removal at Mohican Farm

July 10 6:00 – 8:00pm – Mohican Farm, 7207 State Highway 80, Cooperstown

Japanese knotweed is one of the most difficult to control invasive species in Otsego County. Join us at Mohican Farm for an hour or two chopping down Japanese knotweed, then enjoy cheese, crackers and a spectacular view of Otsego Lake afterward. Participants should dress to get dirty and should bring work gloves, pruners and their preferred beverage.

Sweet Frog Fundraiser

July 12, 4:00 – 8:00pm – Sweet Frog Frozen Yogurt, Southside Mall, Oneonta

Help OCCA celebrate Invasive Species Awareness Week with a “sweet” fundraiser with Sweet Frog.  All you have to do is go to Sweet Frog at Southside Mall in Oneonta and mention “I’m here for OCCA” before you check out.  If you do, 20% of all sales between 4 – 8pm will be donated to OCCA.  Who doesn’t love a little “froyo” on a Friday night in the summer!!  Come help us out.  Thanks in advance for your support.

Invasive Species Teach-In

July 13 11:00am – 3:00pm – Large Pavilion, Wilber Park, Oneonta

Displays and exhibits will highlight some of the invasive plants and animals that threaten our lands and waters. See examples of common invasive plants, discover how to report new infestations, and learn what is being done to control them. Activities for children and adults include matching games, Invasive Species Bingo, and a short walk to look for invasives in the park. At the ID table, you may bring suspicious plants or weeds for identification—bring either a good cell phone photo or bring the plant sealed in a gallon Ziploc bag. Unknown insects may also be dropped off for later identification. Insects must be sealed in a bag and frozen overnight, i.e., they must be dead. This event is free and open to the public.

To sign up for our events, visit occainfo.org/signsup/. For more information on Invasive Species, visit the New York Invasive Species Information website (nyis.info). For a listing of events statewide, visit https://stoptheinvasionny.com/calendar-of-events/

Otsquago Creek: Geology in Action

July 20 10:00am – 12:00pm – Robert Woodruff Learning Center at Owen D. Young Central School, State Route 80, Van Hornesville
Witness the results of thousands of years of geologic processes in action on this walk at the Robert Woodruff Learning Center at Owen D. Young Central School in Van Hornesville. Rain falls and seeps into rocks, dissolving them. The water finds its way to the surface and forms the Otsquaga Creek. As it flows it shapes the land, leaving tufa deposits and carving waterfalls, terraces and caves. The result is a spectacular landscape that is still changing today. This walk is led by Dr. Les Hasbargen, who teaches geology and geomorphology at SUNY Oneonta. Van Hornesville is one of his favorite places to bring students on field trips.

Get ready for the bag ban—pack your bags

In March, 2020 New York’s ‘bag ban’ is set to go into effect. This plan will end the distribution by retailers of most single-use plastic bags with sales. The ban is expected to save natural resources used in the manufacture of bags, reduce costly breakdowns and repairs in recycling and trash facilities, and cut down on unsightly and dangerous pollution. Now is a good time to start stocking up on durable, reusable bags, and getting into the habit of taking them with you. When you go to the store—any store—remember to “pack your bags” to help protect the environment.

OCCA and Heat Smart Otsego Seeking Volunteers

Bennett Sandler, Campaign Director of Heat Smart Otsego, is looking to recruit volunteers to help spread the word on the value of clean heating and cooling technologies (heat pumps and wood burning systems).  He is especially interested in individuals who can help coordinate outreach events within their own town.  Outreach events could be general public information presentations, presentations to Town Boards, tabling at community events, arranging for home tours of installed technologies or any other creative format for sharing information.  Volunteers will receive technical training on clean heating and cooling technologies, so anyone with time and interest is encouraged to join the team.  You can learn more about Heat Smart Otsego on our website athttps://heatsmartotsego.org.  If interested, please contact Bennett by email at campaigndirector@occainfo.org or by phone (607) 435-1364.

The Great Healthy Yard Project

Wednesday, July 10 at 10AM at Templeton Hall

The Lake and Valley Garden Club is hosting a program with the Dr. Diane Lewis, author of The Great Healthy Yard Project. Dr Lewis will describe in cogent, nuanced terms how we are polluting our drinking water and how it’s putting our children’s future at risk—and she offers a surprisingly easy way to chart a happier, healthier course forward, starting with changing the way we steward our yards.

Delaware-Otsego Audubon Summer Camp Registration

The DOAS is again holding summer camps for kids entering grades 1-6.  The camps run through July and August and provide fun, hands-on experiences in natural science and environmental education through field investigations, crafts and games.  Campers will explore a variety of habitats and learn about creatures that live there.  For more information and to register see:http://doas.us/2019-audubon-day-camp/.

Session 1: July 15, 16, 17, 18 – 9:30am-3pm at DOAS Sanctuary on Franklin Mountain, Oneonta
 (for children entering grades 3 and 4) – 4 SPOTS LEFT

Session 2: July 29, 30, 31, August 1 – 9:30-3pm at DOAS Sanctuary on Franklin Mountain, Oneonta
(for children entering grades 5 and 6) – 1 SPOT LEFT

Session 3: August 19, 20, 21, 22 & 23 – 9am – noon at Oneonta World of Learning, Fortin Park
(for children entering grades 1 and 2) – 7 REMAINING

DOAS Program:  Learn to Identify Dragonflies & Damselflies with Audubon

Friday, July 19 at 4:00 – 5:30pm, Franklin Mountain Sanctuary

Dr. Peter Fauth, biology professor and chairperson of the biology department at Hartwick College, will review methods to identify the adult odonates (damselflies and dragonflies). Participants will meet at the Sanctuary barn, where they will learn about the major families of odonates in this area, and then will learn how to catch, handle and identify species. Insect nets and snacks will be provided. Boots for wading into the wetland are recommended.

Upper Susquehanna Watershed Forum

Tuesday, October 1 at 9:00am, SUNY Binghamton Center for Excellence

SAVE THE DATE!  The Upper Susquehanna Watershed Forum moves to SUNY Binghamton this year with a day full of presentations related to how to tackle the next phase of restoring and conserving our portion of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.  The day will include field trips, overviews of the NEW Phase III Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan, and panel sessions on communications, innovative practices, partnerships and funding mechanisms.  Details coming soon on registration and the day’s agenda.

Otsego County Energy Taskforce

OCCA Executive Director, Leslie Orzetti, has been a member of the Otsego County Energy Taskforce Leadership Committee since its inception in late 2018.  We have been working diligently with the four other members of the leadership committee (Representatives Meg Kennedy and Michele Farwell, Town of Oneonta Supervisor Bob Wood, and City of Oneonta Engineer Greg Mattice) to put together a balanced taskforce to tackle the daunting task of creating a stakeholder-based energy plan for the county.  To date, the taskforce has members of the environmental, business, education, and municipal sectors who are divided into four working groups:  Buildings & Efficiency, Environment, Economic Development, and Supply & Distribution.  Currently, the workgroups are gathering data and doing background research on topics related to their workgroups.  The county has dedicated funding to hiring a consultant to help usher us through this process bearing in mind that the taskforce, and the stakeholders who are a part of this group, are the authors of the resulting energy plan.  The mission statement of the plan is:  The Otsego County Energy Workgroup and resulting Energy Plan will address the needs of the community to become energy secure and resilient while taking into consideration the long-term health of citizens, economic growth, and environmental sustainability of Otsego County.  Full taskforce meetings are open to the public, and unless otherwise noted, are on the first Wednesday of every other month.  The next full taskforce meeting will be September 4, at Oneonta Town Hall at 5pm.  If you have any questions regarding the Otsego County Energy Taskforce, please feel free to reach out to Leslie at 547-4488.