Our Environment. Our Home. OUR CHALLENGE.

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Be Empowered to Save Energy Forums

Be empowered to make informed decisions about your home’s energy usage! Lean how free energy audits can help lower energy bills, how heat pumps save money while adding comfort and safety to your home, and how solar energy can reduce your energy bill while contributing to a healthy planet. Finally, learn about current New York state and federal incentives for all of these energy improvements. Speakers include Bennett Sandler, Campaign Director, Heat Smart Otsego, along with representatives from Revolution Solar, Delaware River Solar, Mohawk Valley Economic Development District. Workshops will be held at 6:30pm on December 4 at Red Shed Brewery, Cooperstown, as well as January 8, 2020 in Richfield Springs, and January 9, 2020 in Sidney.


New Executive Director Announced!

After reviewing many qualified applications, the Search Committee of the Otsego County Conservation Association has chosen Amy Wyant as their new Executive Director.  Amy is currently the Outreach Coordinator for the Clean Energy Communities Program for the Mohawk Valley Economic Development District. She is also the Chairperson for the Richfield Springs Community Food Cooperative. Amy brings with her a wealth of knowledge and a great enthusiasm for natural resources and the local community.  OCCA has happy to bring Amy aboard.  She will be starting after the new year, so help us welcome her at that time.

Essay Contest for “Campership” to DEC Summer Camp Now Open

Otsego County students ages 11-13 are invited to compete for camperships to a week-long, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Summer Camp in 2020. To enter, students must submit an essay of up to 750 that addresses the question: How can I reduce my carbon footprint and why is it important to do so? Entries will be accepted electronically or in hard copy format through December 20, 2019. Winners will be selected and notified in early January. For full contest rules, visit occainfo.org/essay-contest/ … For information on DEC summer camps, please see https://www.dec.ny.gov/education/29.html.

OCCA Annual Appeal

Tis the season for the Annual Appeal.  Each year OCCA sends an annual appeal to our members, followers, and donors seeking support for our many programs.  This year’s theme is “Reduce your Footprint, not your giving.”  In a world with the over utilization of resources, energy, and mass consumption, we’re taking on the challenge to educate you on how to reduce your footprint.  Many of our current programs already do this, but we’re hoping to expand and be a part of the “reduction revolution.”  This not only pertains to energy, but anything you can think of including waste, plastics, online shopping (and the resultant delivery), food, etc.  Help us in our campaign to reduce all our footprints by donating to OCCA today! 

County-Wide Composting Now Available!

BINS AVAILABLE: OCCA and the Otsego County Department of Solid Waste and Planning are offering food waste bins for sale. Bins are available in two sizes: Two gallon ‘Kitchen Collector’ ($6) or six gallon ‘EcoCaddy’ ($15). Each container has a hinged lid that locks into place to reduce odors and a sturdy handle for easy transport. These bins are a great way to keep your home odor and pest free while building up food scraps for your backyard compost pile or Otsego County’s new compost facility (see below). Bins are currently available for sale at the Southern Transfer Station in Oneonta, Northern Transfer Station in Cooperstown, Oneonta Town Hall, the Richfield Springs Food Co-op, and at the Meadows Office Complex. Call the Solid Waste Department at (607) 547-4225 for more information.

COMPOST DROP OFF: Otsego County now has functional food composting operation in Oneonta! Household food waste that can be composted include fruit, vegetables, coffee grounds and filters, and grains. Remove stickers from fruit and vegetables. Do not include any paper products (aside from coffee filters), packaging, compostable/biodegradable bags, plates or cutlery, or meat, bones or dairy. At this time, food scraps can only be dropped off at the Southern Transfer Station in Oneonta ($1/container tip fee). Scraps will be transported to a nearby composting facility. For more information, visit https://www.otsegocounty.com/departments/solid_waste/index.php or contact the Solid Waste Department at (607) 547-4225.

Holiday Recycling Reminders

The downside of the season of giving? Garbage. Approximately 25 million extra tons of waste is generated during the holiday season. As you shop for the holidays, consider gifts that generate minimal waste; use last year’s packaging to ship your gifts; reuse wrapping paper and ribbons, and look for minimally-packaged products. When it’s finally time to dispose of something, please check to find if it can be recycled in your municipality’s program. Here are some seasonal items and how to dispose of them:

Wrapping paper and ribbons: consider alternatives to traditional wrapping paper (fabrics, newspaper, old maps) or open packages carefully in order to reuse your wrapping paper from year to year. In Otsego County, paper (non-metallic) wrapping paper, ribbons and bows can be placed in your curbside recycling bin or taken to your local transfer station.

Christmas lights: Working light strings that are no longer wanted may be accepted for resale by charitable organizations such as Goodwill, or area thrift stores. Please call them first to be sure! Christmas lights are not accepted as part of Otsego County’s recycling program, but several recycling options are available: they can be shipped to HolidayLEDS or Christmas Light Source for recycling. In exchange, you will receive a coupon good for a discount on new lights purchased through those outlets. See HolidayLEDS.com or www.christmas-light-source.com/Christmas-Lights-Recycling-Program_c_210.html for details on how to participate. Locally, Lowe’s Home Improvement stores will be collecting Christmas lights for recycling through December 24. Look for recycling containers at the front of the store. As of today, Home Depot had not announced whether they would be collecting Christmas lights. Call your local store to find out as we get closer to the holiday.

Christmas trees: Many localities offer special collections of natural Christmas trees, beginning typically in early January. Watch for announcements in local news outlets for dates and how to participate. Otsego County will allow residents to drop off natural trees with all lights, ornaments, tinsel, etc. removed at the Northern and Southern Transfer Stations during normal operational hours. Dates available will be announced soon.

(COOPERSTOWN) – The Otsego County Conservation Association has announced that it will send eight Otsego County school students to Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Environmental Education Camp this coming summer through a countywide competitive essay contest.

Otsego County students ages 11-13 are invited to compete for camperships via the essay contest (campers must be 11 by December 16, 2020). This year’s contest question is “How can I reduce my carbon footprint and why is it important to do so?  Contest winners will receive a week-long stay at a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Summer Camp, where they will spend their week immersed in the natural environment and enjoy a balance of environmental education, sportsman education, and outdoor fun.

“We are pleased to once again be able to offer these ‘camperships,'” said OCCA Program Director, Jeff O’Handley. “DEC summer camps provide a wonderful opportunity for children to immerse themselves in the natural world and experience a wide variety of outdoor activities.”

Winning essays will be chosen from participating Otsego County schools and Otsego County applicants at large. The deadline for essay submissions is December 20, 2019. Winners will be selected by January 7, 2020, and will be given a special code by OCCA which will be used to register for DEC camp. Registration for summer camps opens January 26 and fills up fast; winners are encouraged to select their camp and register as soon as possible.

“While we’re hoping teachers will be able to incorporate the essay into their classroom lessons, it’s important to note that eligible children can participate independently,” O’Handley said.

Complete contest rules and requirements are available by e-mailing programdirector@occainfo.org or by calling (607) 547-4488. Teachers who plan to assign the essay to their students are asked to contact OCCA in order to be recognized as a participating school.

OCCA is a private, non-profit environmental membership 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 support programming, call (607) 547-4488 or visit www.occainfo.org.


Clean energy workshops to be held across Otsego County this heating season

This fall, Otsego County residents have an opportunity to ‘Be Empowered’ to make informed decisions about their home’s energy usage at three workshops across Otsego County. Participants will learn how free energy audits can help lower energy bills, how heat pumps save money while adding comfort and safety to their home, and how solar energy can reduce their energy bills while contributing to a healthier environment.

Finally, participants will learn about current New York State and Federal Incentives for all of these energy saving improvements.

Contact: Bennett Sandler, 607-435-1364, campaigndirector@occainfo.org


Clean energy workshops addressing a range of affordable energy upgrade options for your home.


Bennett Sandler, Campaign Director, Heat Smart Otsego

Mary Jo Cronin, Principal, Revolution Solar

Jackie Burke & Jennifer Hill, Community Outreach Coordinators, Delaware River Solar

Cabryn Gurdo, Community Energy Advisor, Mohawk Valley Economic Development District, Inc.



Red Shed Brewery Cooperstown Taproom

Wednesday, December 4, 2019 (6:30 PM to 8:00 PM)

709 Co Hwy 33, Cooperstown, NY 13326

Richfield Springs

Richfield Springs Food Coop

Wednesday, January 8, 2020 (6:30 PM to 8:00 PM)

140 W Main St, Richfield Springs, NY 13439


Awestruck Cider

Thursday, January 9, 2020 (6:30 PM to 8:00 PM)

8 Winkler Rd, Sidney, NY 13838

Refreshments available at each event.  Admission is free but please let us know you plan to attend by signing up here.



Heat Smart Otsego is a NYSERDA funded project of the Otsego County Conservation Association.  Our mission is to educate residential and commercial building owners on the many benefits of converting to clean heating and cooling technologies such as heat pumps that are cheaper, cleaner, and safer to operate; a smarter choice. Visit https://www.heatsmartotsego.org for lots of technical and financial information about clean heating and cooling technologies or to enroll for a free site assessment from one of our pre-vetted installer partners.

Revolution Solar has been serving Central New York since 2008 with residential, commercial, and agricultural rooftop and ground mounted solar (PV) systems.  We are a small business that is proud to call Otsego County home. We are dedicated to helping homeowners, business owners, and farmers utilize clean, renewable energy while maximizing state incentives and federal tax credits to reduce upfront costs.

Delaware River Solar is a solar company focused on building community solar projects throughout New York State. Our community solar farms bring green, renewable energy to residents and businesses while saving them money on their electric bills. We are currently building over 40 community solar farms throughout the NYSEG and RGE electric service territories in Western and Upstate New York through 2019 and 2020.

Community Energy Advisors help residents, businesses and multifamily building owners reduce their energy use and energy costs and make informed energy decisions. In partnership with NYSERDA, they are dedicated to helping residents save money, live and work more comfortably and connect to NYS renewable energy incentive programs.

Mohawk Valley Economic Development District, Inc. was established in 1966 as a private, not-for-profit organization dedicated to infrastructure planning and development, business loans and assistance, and local government training and assistance.  More recently, MVEDD has added energy efficiency services to their scope of services with particular focus on helping municipalities and small businesses. 

Otsego County Conservation Association (OCCA) and Mohican Farm continue their 2019 Be Informed! Lecture Series with a program on the known and anticipated impacts of two different invasive species on Wednesday, November 20, from 6:30-8:00pm at the Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown.

In A Decade of Zebra Mussels: Impacts and Challenges in Otsego Lake, Holly Waterfield, Research Support Specialist at the SUNY Oneonta Biological Field Station will discuss ecological changes that have taken place in Otsego Lake since the establishment of zebra mussels around 2007, and will touch on the challenges this invader has created for those who play and work on the water.

Also on the agenda is Emerald Ash Borer: Current Status and the Way Forward. Jonathan Rosenthal, Director of the Ecological Research Institute, will discuss the current status of emerald ash borer in Otsego and adjacent counties, what can be expected in terms of its spread and impacts, and what can be done to best prepare for and respond to this pest.

The free program takes place in the community room at the Clark Sports Center, 124 County Road 52, Cooperstown. For more information or to pre-register, visit www.occainfo.org, or call (607) 282-4087.

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.

Mohican Farm is part of The Clark Foundation. Its mission is to promote sustainable activities within The Clark Foundation, the community and Otsego County.



Otsego Residential Clean Energy Tour

November 2, 1100-300pm

Join Heat Smart Otsego Campaign Director, Bennett Sandler on a tour of three homes in the Cooperstown area that have installed ground or air source heat pumps. This is a great opportunity to see what they look like, how they sound, and learn how they can save you money. The tour is free, but pre-registration is required. See this link or contact Bennett at campaigndirector@occainfo.org for information or to register.

Food for Thought:  Decreasing Plastics in Our Lives

November 10, 1200-300pm – Unitarian Universalist Society of Oneonta, 12 Ford Avenue, Oneonta

Program Director, Jeff O’Handley, will give a talk on a brief history of plastics and their impacts on our world. Enjoy a complimentary lunch featuring several soups and accompaniments and visit with exhibitors to learn about products that can replace plastics. Free samples will be given out as long as supplies last. The event is being sponsored by UUSO Social Action Team and the Green Sanctuary Task Force. There is no charge to attend this event.

Get the Kids Out! – Glimmerglass Film Day Version

November 11, 1145 am – Village Hall, 22 Main Street, Cooperstown, NY

How do plants and animals survive and thrive in their environment? Adaptations! Join us on this walk through Cooperstown as we look for examples of adaptation. This walk is offered in conjunction with Glimmerglass Film Days and Otsego 2000, and will follow the screening of the kids’ film. This year’s kids’ film is “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” and has a local connection with co-producer Molly Cooper who will be present at the film.

Be Informed!  Lecture Series – Invasive Species, Past, Present and Future

November 20, 630 – Clark Sports Center, Cooperstown, NY

Catch up on what’s happened—and what’s likely to happen—in our area with regard to invasive species. Holly Waterfield, SUNY Oneonta Biological Field Station, will discuss ecological changes that have taken place since the establishment of the zebra mussel. Dr. Jonathan Rosenthal, Ecological Research Institute, will present on the current status of emerald ash borer, what can be expected in terms of its spread and impacts, and what can be done to best prepare for and respond to this pest as it increases in our region. This program is co-sponsored by Mohican Farm and the Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership.


Executive Director, Leslie Orzetti, Steps Down

After three years at the helm of OCCA, Executive Director Leslie Orzetti will step down in late December.  Orzetti is moving to the Buffalo area to be closer to family and seek new challenges in the conservation arena.  During her time with the organization she began the Be Informed! Lecture Series, Get the Kids Out nature walk program, citizen science water quality monitoring program, the Otsego County Environmental Collaborative, and was appointed to the Leadership Committee of the Otsego County Energy Taskforce. While she is excited to be moving to spend more time with family, she is sad to be leaving this great organization. 

OCCA Seeks Executive Director

OCCA is seeking a new Executive Director to begin as early as mid-December.  The successful candidate ideally has a background in environmental science or a related field, experience in non-profit management, and a passion for natural resource conservation.  For more information on duties and specific qualifications, see our position announcement at:  http://occainfo.org/position-announcement-executive-director/.  If interested, send cover letter, resume, and references to Search Committee at occainfo1@gmail.com.

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 to use, or you can bring your own if you prefer.  All other materials will be provided.  You may keep any bags you make, or you may donate them to be sold as a fundraiser for OCCA. Contact Martha Clarvoe for more information and to register at (607) 293-6654 or martha.clarvoe@gmail.com.

Recook Café

November 4, 7:30-9pm – Iroquois Room, Otesaga Hotel, 60 Lake Street, Cooperstown.

Learn how to prevent wasted food—and save money! Jim Perillo, Executive Chef at the Otesaga Hotel will discuss how he stretches the menu with leftover parts most people throw away. This will include dishes to sample. Following Jim, Jan Ryder, Master Food Preserver, Cornell Cooperative Extension Schoharie and Otsego Counties will discuss food preservation techniques. This program is free and open to the public, with registration, as part of the New York State Association for Reduction, Reuse and Recycling’s (NYSAR3) annual conference.

Second Annual Plastic Film Recycling Challenge

OCCA, the Otsego County Planning & Solid Waste Department and Casella are once again sponsoring the Plastic Film Recycling Challenge for schools in Otsego County. During the challenge, school communities are asked to collect film plastic (bags, package wraps, bubble wrap, etc.) for recycling. Participating schools will receive a collecting bin courtesy of Casella, and the winning school will receive a prize. Schools can also sign up to participate in a national challenge sponsored by Trex. The Film Plastic Recycling Challenge runs from November 15 through April 15, 2020. For more information or to register, contact Otsego County Recycling Coordinator, Shane Digan at (607) 547-4256, or at digans@otsegocounty.com.

County Compost Project Begins

Otsego County residents can now recycle food scraps at the Southern Transfer Station in Oneonta! Food scraps, such as fruit, vegetables, coffee grounds and filters, and grains can be dropped off at the Southern Transfer Station. The scraps will be taken to a local composting facility. To help keep your food scraps contained, OCCA and the Otsego County Planning & Solid Waste Department have food waste bins available for sale. These bins have sturdy handles for easy transport, a hinged lid that locks into place, and are easy to clean. Bins can be purchased at the Southern Transfer Station in Oneonta and are available in 2-gallon and 6-gallon sizes for $6 (2-gallon size), $15 (6-gallon) or $20 for one of each.

Application review begins November 1

Organization: Otsego County Conservation Association
Posted: October 17, 2019 Location: Cooperstown, New York

Position: Executive Director
Salary: Commensurate with experience
Website: www.occainfo.org
Application Deadline: Until filled
Employment Level: Full time

Otsego County Conservation Association (OCCA) is a private, non-profit environmental conservation organization dedicated to promoting the appreciation and sustainable use of Otsego County’s natural resources through education, advocacy, resource management, research, and planning, and practice. Our major pillars of practice include Education and Outreach; Research and Management; and Policy and Planning. OCCA is active on numerous fronts including solid waste reduction, composting and recycling, energy, environmental education, water quality and watershed planning, agriculture, and invasive species. Since 1968, OCCA has been involved in virtually every major environmental issue facing the county, including high volume hydro fracturing, energy planning, watershed preservation and planning, invasive species management, and solid waste, and we have accumulated a long list of accomplishments in the arena of environmental improvement, protection, and education.

OCCA’s financial documents can be seen online at https://www2.guidestar.org/profile/23-7250655

Job Description

The Executive Director is the Chief Executive Officer of OCCA and is responsible for daily and long-term management and planning for OCCA, including, but not limited to,
• matters of finance
• programs
• personnel (two full-time, one part-time employees, and contract employees)
• office management
• fund development
• public relations
• special activities

The Executive Director provides the vision and leadership to advance all aspects of the organization. The ideal candidate will have
• a passion for the mission of OCCA
• strong management and administration skills
• a commitment to and excellence in fundraising with a specific focus on grant writing
• an overarching strategic vision

The Executive Director
• Reports to OCCA’s Board of Directors
• Acts as staff liaison to the Board, the Executive Committee, and other committees of the Board
• Suggests policies and procedures to govern OCCA operations and works with OCCA staff to develop and implement them
• Is a non-voting member of committees elected or appointed by the Board
• Will keep abreast of changes in energy, public lands, and water issues affecting the Otsego County region
• Will be knowledgeable about administrative, legislative, and legal avenues to advance OCCA’s conservation and environmental campaigns
• Works with staff to devise appropriate campaign strategies and oversees their implementation for OCCA’s conservation priorities
• Provides the campaign oversight for OCCA’s varied conservation, environmental and education agendas in the Otsego County region
• Provides direct supervision of OCCA’s campaign and program staff to develop annual work plans, implement campaigns and to set measurable benchmarks for success
• Represents OCCA within the community and within coalitions and oversees OCCA’s communication strategies, including print and web-based media
• Prepares annual organizational budget and assists External Affairs Committee with annual fundraising plan
• Prepares grant proposals and pursues new funding opportunities,
• Oversees implementation of major donor program, including identifying and cultivating major donor prospects and gift donations
• Other duties as assigned


• Minimum B.A. or B.S. in an environmental field, or equivalent work experience, is required with preference given to those with non- profit/business management and/or public administration
• 2+ years experience as an Executive Director, or comparable management experience, with preference given for experience relevant to OCCA’s mission
• Proven track record of fundraising success, including foundation solicitations, major donor campaigns, and/or success in grant procurement
• Comfortable working with media, including developing strategic messaging for the organization
• Knowledge of and experience with conservation issues and geography of Otsego County, including energy development, public lands management, land use planning, wilderness and water issues
• Understanding of the cultural and economic diversity of the region
• Strong organizational skills to plan, schedule and prioritize tasks including managing time sensitive projects or grants with overlapping deadlines
• Ability to balance a complex budget through skillful use of available resources
• Excellent writing and oral skills and demonstrated success managing communications and public relations for an organization
• Experience managing staff with diverse talents and backgrounds, strong interpersonal skills
• Demonstrated capacity to involve and motivate volunteers, patrons, community leaders, and peers in shared endeavors and values

Compensation and Benefits

Salary commensurate with experience. Benefits include health and employer matched Individual Retirement Account, holidays, and a vacation package. Application Process Please provide cover letter, resume and a list of references via e-mail to occainfo1@gmail.com with “Executive Director Job Application” in the subject line.

Application review will begin November 1 and continue until the position is filled. See www.occainfo.org for additional information.

To Download and Print this Announcement, visit: http://occainfo.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Executive-Director-Position-Description-2019.pdf

Otsego County Conservation Association’s Nature Walk series continues on Sunday, October 27 in Robert V. Riddell State Park in Davenport. Steve Kent leads this 3.5-mile hike to Mud Lake, a sphagnum bog on top of South Hill. The walk traverses a variety of forest types and will make a stop at a spectacular waterfall. Along the way, Steve will share the history of the land that was in the Riddell family for five generations. Steve and his wife, Trish Riddell Kent donated the land to the state in 2005. Participants should bring water, a snack, and wear appropriate clothing and footwear. Portions of the trail are steep and may be muddy, depending on weather. Meet at 1pm at the parking area of the Pine Lake Environmental Campus of Hartwick College, 1894 Charlotte Creek Road, and carpool to the hike’s starting point.

The program is free, though pre-registration is requested. For more information, visit www.occainfo.org, or call OCCA at (607) 547-4488.

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



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.


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.


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.