Our Environment.
Our Home.
OUR CHALLENGE.

  • 1

ONEONTA – Join the Otsego County Conservation Association from 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. on Monday, May 5 at Applebee’s® in Oneonta and Dine to Donate. This is a fund-raising benefit and 10% of your check (excluding tax and tip) will be donated to OCCA in support of its mission to promote the appreciation and sustainable use of Otsego County’s natural resources through education, advocacy, resource management, research, and planning.

To qualify, you need a Dining to Donate voucher for each of your family and friends. These will be available at the annual OCCA “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” Garage Sale on Saturday, April 26 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on Sunday, April 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Cooperstown Farmers’ Market building, Pioneer Alley in Cooperstown. Vouchers are available as well at OCCA’s main office, 7193 State Highway 80, Cooperstown (Mohican Farm, corner of Allen Lake Road, 547-4488) or the satellite office at 101 Main Street in Pioneer Alley next to the farmers’ market (547-4020). Dining to Donate vouchers may also be obtained at Otsego Bicycles, 74 Water Street, Oneonta (see owner Ed Lorenz, 432-1731).

Mark your calendar for OCCA’s Dining to Donate event on May 5 at Applebee’s®. “Eatin’ Here is Good for the Neighborhood” and you’ll be benefiting OCCA, www.occainfo.org.

The Sixth Annual Bike to Work Day for Otsego County will be held on Wednesday, May 21 with check-­in sites at more than 20 locations countywide. For the second year, organizers of the event – Otsego Regional Cycling Advocates (ORCA), a committee of Otsego County Conservation Association (OCCA) – have joined forces with the National Bike Challenge, presented by the League of American Bicyclists.

“Let Bike to Work Day be the day you start your riding season! This year, everyone can record their miles ridden on the local page of the National Bike Challenge website, not only for Bike to Work Day, but every day through September 30,” announced Martha Clarvoe, Bike to Work Day chair.

“I know we’re all looking forward to spring and if it’s biking weather before May 21, by all means start riding your bike,” added ORCA President William Walker. “But if you haven’t started by the 21st, ORCA members are hoping everyone will get out their bikes and join us that day for a ride to work, or on an errand, or just for fun,” Walker said.

The National Bike Challenge is an exciting health and wellness initiative that encourages people to bike for transportation and recreation. Riding a bike helps burn calories without burning fossil fuels, reduces stress, and provides a fun and free outdoor health and wellness program. Registering with the National Bike Challenge also joins people across the country together in a clean, green transportation effort.

This year, the National Bike Challenge goal is to have 50,000 riders nationwide pedaling 30 million miles from May 1 until September 30. Every time challenge participants get on their bikes, their miles count toward that goal. Whether for fitness, fun, or transportation, or whether riding as an individual or in a team, Otsego County bicyclists are invited to join and log miles on nationalbikechallenge.org and should look for “Otsego Regional Cycling Advocates Bike Challenge” to sign up as part of the local effort. Miles pedaled on a stationary bike or trainer do not count.

The aim of Bike to Work Day is to encourage people to choose an alternative “green” mode of transportation – biking, walking or even skateboarding – to get to work or school, to run errands, or just for fun on May 21 in particular and as a lifestyle choice in general.

As in previous years, there will be multiple Bike to Work Day check-­in locations countywide, including many local businesses, public schools, hospitals and fitness centers.

ORCA encourages all riders to wear bright clothing, travel in the direction of traffic and follow ALL traffic laws. Predictable riding is safe riding; bicyclists should behave like cars – riding in the direction of automobile traffic and riding on the right hand side of the lane unless changing lanes – and motorists should treat bicycles as they would a motor vehicle. The recognized hand signal for a left­-hand turn is to hold the left arm straight, parallel to the ground. For a right-­hand turn, the left arm should be held out and bent at the elbow, hand pointing to the sky. To indicate a stop, the left arm should be out, elbow bent, hand pointing to the ground.

ORCA’s mission is to promote bicycling and walking in the Otsego County region as an enjoyable, healthy, safe, and environmentally friendly activity for people of all ages and abilities. OCCA is a private, non-­profit environmental membership organization dedicated to promoting the enjoyment and sustainable use of Otsego County’s natural resources through education, advocacy, resource management, research, and planning.

Those wishing to learn more about Bike to Work Day or to register as a check-­in location should contact Martha Clarvoe at the OCCA satellite office in Cooperstown, (607) 547­-4020, or via e­-mail, martha.clarvoe@gmail.com.

ECO-BULLETIN FROM OTSEGO COUNTY CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION

April 9, 2014: Vol. 7, No. 4

Eco-bulletin headlines this issue:

EARTH FESTIVAL FUN FOR FAMILIES, GOOD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT

OCCA GARAGE SALE FAST APPROACHING

LATEST EDITION OF “THE LOOKOUT” NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE

AWARD-WINNING FILM TO BE SHOWN APRIL 22

HANDS NEEDED FOR TAPE DECONSTRUCTION PROJECT

OCCA TO EXHIBIT AT ROTARY’S SPRING FLING

ENTRIES SOUGHT FOR ECOART CONTEST

OCCA ANNOUNCES GRANT FROM STEWART’S HOLIDAY MATCH

SAVE THE DATE: OTSEGO LAKES FESTIVAL

OTHER UPCOMING EVENTS

EARTH FESTIVAL FUN FOR FAMILIES, GOOD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT: For the ninth consecutive year, Earth Festival will be held this month at Milford Central School. And, again this spring, the event offers something for the entire family in an earth-friendly way. Saturday, April 12 kicks off with the Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society’s popular pre-festival bird walk led by Bob Donnelly. At 9:30 a.m., Master Gardeners of Cornell Cooperative Extension Schoharie and Otsego Counties welcome Barbara Melera. Her presentation, “Seedy Business: Plants That Do Best When Grown from Seed,” is free and open to the public. Melera is president and CEO of D. Landreth Seed Company, the oldest seed house in America. Master Gardeners’ Spring Garden Day workshops – held in conjunction with Earth Festival – begin at 10:45 a.m. The traditional Earth Festival information and vendor fair will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the school gymnasium. More than 40 area businesses and organizations are set to participate in Earth Festival, from companies specializing in solar power and bio fuels, to local anglers and beekeepers, to artisans of recycled jewelry and Native American crafts. For an up-to-date list of exhibitors and vendors, seehttp://occainfo.org/documents/EarthFestivalInformation2014_002.pdf.Again this year, in keeping with the earth-friendly theme, Earth Festival organizers invite attendees to drop off Styrofoam (clean, white only), bubble wrap, empty inkjet cartridges, cell phones, eyeglasses, reusable shoes, videotapes and CDs, and used nylon monofilament fishing line for repurposing. The free Confidata Shredder service will return from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and, for the first time ever, pellet bags will be collected for recycling. The popular EcoArt/Trendy Trash Contest and expanded children’s activities will also be featured. Adults as well as students are invited to enter their trash-to-treasure creations – whether practical or artistic. There is no charge to students, with a $5.00 fee for adults.The Milford Central School Environmental Club will lead fun environmental education projects for kids, and many of the exhibits will feature activities for the young and the young at heart. Earth Festival is an environmentally-focused, interactive event featuring exhibits, activities, vendors and entertainment, all with a fun, earth-friendly twist. Financial contributions are most welcome, and an open invitation to earth-friendly exhibitors, food, and retail vendors is extended. Earth Festival 2014 is sponsored by Otsego County Conservation Association, the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce and Central NY Mobile Marketing, with support from Five Star Subaru. To sign up as a vendor, exhibitor or EcoArt participant, or to donate, use the registration form at http://occainfo.org/documents/EarthFestivalRegistrationLetter2014.pdf. Call (607) 547-4488 or e-mail admin@occainfo.org to learn more.

OCCA GARAGE SALE FAST APPROACHING: OCCA’s Annual “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” Garage Sale will be held on Saturday andSunday, April 26 and 27 in the Cooperstown Farmers’ Market building at 101 Main Street, Cooperstown. Please begin setting aside items now! The official collection dates for the OCCA garage sale will be April 20-24. All donations are tax deductible: OCCA will provide a donation voucher upon request. Those interested in dropping off materials sooner, or who would like more information about volunteering to assist with the event, should call (607) 547-4488or e-mail admin@occainfo.org for further details. In addition to raising funds for OCCA programming, the garage sale also benefits the environment through waste prevention, or “source reduction.” Source reduction, including reuse, can help reduce waste disposal and handling costs, because it avoids the costs of recycling, municipal composting, land filling, and combustion. Source reduction also conserves resources and reduces pollution, including greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.http://occainfo.org/documents/GarageSaleFlyer2014_000.pdf.

LATEST EDITION OF ‘THE LOOKOUT’ NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE: The Winter 2013/2014 edition of OCCA’s newsletter, “The Lookout,” is available on the OCCA website at http://occainfo.org/documents/LookoutWinter2013-2014.pdf. Articles include an update on OCCA’s groundwater testing program, “What’s In Our Water?” and recognition of David Hutchison and Richard McCaffery, OCCA’s 2013 Conservationists of the Year. The front page features photos from the OCCA Annual Dinner and Meeting, held in November.

AWARD-WINNING FILM TO BE SHOWN APRIL 22: “Journey of the Universe” will be shown at the First Presbyterian Church Chapel (at the intersection of Elm and Pioneer streets) on Tuesday, April 22 at 7 p.m. This film is being sponsored by the church’s Environmental Stewardship team and will be followed by discussion. The Emmy award winning documentary is about the birth and development of the universe and the earth. The film dramatically reimagines the universe story and reframes the human connection to the cosmos. It was created by a renowned team of scientists, scholars and film makers. Evolutionary philosopher Brian Thomas Swimme and Yale historian of religions Mary Evelyn Tucker have created a narrative that both illuminates and celebrates the profound role humans play in the flourishing of the earth. The story of the universe inspires wonder as we understand the complexity through science and appreciate the beauty through poetry, art, history, religion and philosophy. In a time of growing environmental and social crisis, we think about the impact humans have on the planet today. The questions arise: what is our role, our responsibility? The film is designed to inspire a new and closer relationship with Earth. How do we create sustainability? How can the Earth Community flourish? What is our moral responsibility? What might be the role of the Faith Communities of the world religions? For questions about the event, contact the Rev. Elsie Rhodes at (607) 547-8401. For more information on the film, visit websites: journeyoftheuniverse.org.

HANDS NEEDED FOR TAPE DECONSTRUCTION PROJECT: This year at Earth Festival on Saturday, April 12, OCCA members Florence Carnahan and Martha Clarvoe are hoping to deconstruct 1,000 VCR and audio tape cassettes for recycling. It is estimated that at least 10 volunteers will be needed every half hour from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.to process 600-1,000 tapes. These broken down materials will be recycled with Edison Electronics of Oneonta. If you can help, e-mailmartha.clarvoe@gmail.com for details.

OCCA TO EXHIBIT AT ROTARY’S SPRING FLING: OCCA will be among the local community groups, vendors of food, drink, and arts and crafts, and area businesses to share the spotlight as Railroad Avenue is transformed on Saturday, May 17 for the Rotary Club of Cooperstown’s first-ever Spring Fling Street Fair. Merchants, artists, farmers, craftspeople and non-profit organizations are invited to participate in this community-building event. Live music and a silent auction will also be featured during this celebration of spring. For more information on craft, business and non-profit vending, contact Karen Katz at kkatz@stny.rr.com or (607) 434-3418. Food vendors with trucks or trailers, or those wishing to learn more about the silent auction, should contact Melanie Boyer atmboyer@nysw.com or (607) 547-2555, ext. 250. Rotary International’s main objective is service – in the community, in the workplace, and around the globe. The Rotary Club of Cooperstown was founded in 1924.  To learn more about the Spring Fling Street Fair, visit: http://occainfo.org/documents/SpringFlingInvite.pdf.

ENTRIES SOUGHT FOR ECOART CONTEST: Submissions in this year’s EcoArt/Trendy Trash contest, to be displayed at Earth Festival 2014 on Saturday, April 12, will be accepted up to and including the day of the event. As in past years, prizes will be awarded to winners in several categories including “Best of Show,” “Judges’ Choice” and “People’s Choice.” This trash-to-treasure challenge to create something practical or artistic from items that have outlived their original purpose is open at no charge to students, with a $5.00 fee for adults. “Last year’s winners included ‘revivification jewels’ incorporating broken metals and a to-do planner made from a discarded shutter,” said OCCA Executive Director Darla M. Youngs. “The EcoArt /Trendy Trash contest has become an Earth Festival favorite, and we welcome submissions from artists and inventors of all ages,” Youngs said. Visit the Otsego County Conservation Association home page, www.occainfo.org, for an entry form, e-mail admin@occainfo.org or call (607) 547-4488 to learn more. Earth Festival is an environmentally-focused, interactive event featuring exhibits, activities, vendors and entertainment, all with a fun, earth-friendly twist. Financial contributions are most welcome, and an open invitation to earth-friendly exhibitors, food, and retail vendors is extended. Earth Festival 2014 is sponsored by Otsego County Conservation Association, the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce and Central NY Mobile Marketing.

PUBLIC POLICY FORUM FOCUSES ON EXTREME WEATHER:Congressman Paul Tonko will be the keynote speaker on Monday, April 14 at the University at Albany when a panel of presenters addresses the topic of extreme weather: http://www.albany.edu/research/assets/2014-04-14-Facing_the_Storm.pdf?WT.source=home. To register for “Facing the Storm: Preparing for Increased Extreme Weather in Upstate New York,” call (518) 443-5258 or e-mailmichele.charbonneau@rockinst.suny.edu.

OCCA ANNOUNCES GRANT FROM STEWART’S HOLIDAY MATCH:Otsego County Conservation Association has received $300.00 from Stewart’s Holiday Match toward its summer EcoTeam Paddle, a two-hour canoe trip on the Susquehanna River for up to 10 OCCA EcoTeam members. “Part recreation, part education and part work day, we’ll paddle just over three miles from Milford to the Crumhorn boat launch,” said OCCA Program Director Jeff O’Handley. Along the way, OCCA staff will provide education and interpretation on river ecology, wildlife and plant species, and environmental issues. “We’ll also spend some time looking for and documenting the location of aquatic invasive vegetation, notably water chestnut, hydrilla, and Eurasian watermilfoil,” O’Handley added. “Should conditions be appropriate, we’ll attempt spot removal of any invasive species encountered. We’ll pull canoes out of the water at the Crumhorn boat launch site for a box lunch.” OCCA EcoTeam was initiated in 2012 for students 18 and under. The program goals are for participants to: 1) develop a greater understanding of and respect for animals, plants, water, soil, air, and energy systems; 2) comprehend the positive and negative environmental effects of our actions; 3) acquire knowledge of practical, sustainable living strategies which consciously and carefully utilize our natural resources; and, 4) obtain information on nature programs, centers, and organizations. “In spring of 2014, OCCA will be ramping up our efforts to recruit EcoTeam members throughout Otsego County,” said OCCA Executive Director Darla M. Youngs. Students joining EcoTeam automatically get a membership to OCCA, which includes a quarterly newsletter and regular eco-bulletins, and the ability to participate in OCCA programs. In addition, EcoTeam members will have the opportunity to take part in special programs just for them, including the paddle. “Participants in the EcoTeam Paddle will enjoy a day of fresh air and exercise on a river of national significance. They’ll learn water safety skills and develop an appreciation of the river and its importance,” O’Handley said. For more information or to join OCCA’s EcoTeam, contact O’Handley at(607) 282-4087 or e-mail programdirector@occainfo.org. Stewart’s has collected and matched donations in its shops from Thanksgiving until Christmas since 1986. They credit the success of the Holiday Match program to customers for their generous contributions, to dedicated shop partners who work diligently to collect the funds, and to media partners who help spread the word.

SAVE THE DATE: The seventh Otsego Lakes Festival will be held this year on Saturday, July 12 at Lakefront Park in Cooperstown fromnoon to 5 p.m. Organized under the aegis of the Otsego County Water Quality Coordinating Committee, the Lakes Festival offers residents and visitors alike a day full of fun and festivities celebrating our lakes – educational exhibits, children’s activities, hands-on workshops and lake tours will all focus on the importance of protecting our waterways and ensuring water quality throughout our region. OCCA Executive Director Darla M. Youngs serves as WQCC facilitator and on the Lakes Festival Planning Committee. To make a financial contribution toward the Lakes Festival, or to register as an exhibitor or vendor, please contact Youngs at admin@occainfo.org or (607) 547-4488.

OTHER UPCOMING EVENTS:

  • May 5: OCCA Dining to Donate fundraising event at Applebee’s, Oneonta.

For more information on OCCA-organized volunteer opportunities and hikes, visit http://www.occainfo.org/EnviroEventsCal.htm or e-mail admin@occainfo.org.

OCCA RELIES ON YOUR SUPPORT. Got a minute? Visit our website and look at everything OCCA is doing – and please consider an online donation whenever you can. Click on www.occainfo.org and look for the Network for Good logo at the top left of the home page to make a donation today.

 

MILFORD – For the ninth consecutive year, Earth Festival will be held this month at Milford Central School. And, again this spring, the event offers something for the entire family in an earth-friendly way.

Saturday, April 12 kicks off with the Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society’s popular pre-festival bird walk led by Bob Donnelly. At 9:30 a.m., Master Gardeners of Cornell Cooperative Extension Schoharie and Otsego Counties welcome Barbara Melera. Her presentation, “Seedy Business: Plants That Do Best When Grown from Seed,” is free and open to the public. Melera is president and CEO of D. Landreth Seed Company, the oldest seed house in America.

Master Gardeners’ Spring Garden Day workshops – held in conjunction with Earth Festival – begin at 10:45 a.m. The traditional Earth Festival information and vendor fair will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the school gymnasium.

More than 40 area businesses and organizations are set to participate in Earth Festival, from companies specializing in solar power and bio fuels, to local anglers and beekeepers, to artisans of recycled jewelry and Native American crafts. For an up-to-date list of exhibitors and vendors, seehttp://occainfo.org/documents/EarthFestivalInformation2014_000.pdf.

Again this year, in keeping with the earth-friendly theme, Earth Festival organizers invite attendees to drop off Styrofoam (clean, white only), bubble wrap, empty inkjet cartridges, cell phones, eyeglasses, reusable shoes, videotapes and CDs, and used nylon monofilament fishing line for repurposing. The free Confidata Shredder service will return from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and, for the first time ever, pellet bags will be collected for recycling.

The popular EcoArt/Trendy Trash Contest and expanded children’s activities will also be featured. Adults as well as students are invited to enter their trash-to-treasure creations – whether practical or artistic. There is no charge to students, with a $5.00 fee for adults. The Milford Central School Environmental Club will lead fun environmental education projects for kids, and many of the exhibits will feature activities for the young and the young at heart.

Earth Festival is an environmentally-focused, interactive event featuring exhibits, activities, vendors and entertainment, all with a fun, earth-friendly twist. Financial contributions are most welcome, and an open invitation to earth-friendly exhibitors, food, and retail vendors is extended.

Earth Festival 2014 is sponsored by Otsego County Conservation Association, the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce and Central NY Mobile Marketing, with support from Five Star Subaru. To sign up as a vendor, exhibitor or EcoArt participant, or to donate, use the registration form at http://occainfo.org. Call (607) 547-4488 or e-mail admin@occainfo.org to learn more.

ECO-BULLETIN FROM OTSEGO COUNTY CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION

March 27, 2014: Vol. 7, No. 3

Eco-bulletin headlines this issue:

EARTH FESTIVAL SCHEDULE TAKING SHAPE

LATEST EDITION OF “THE LOOKOUT” NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE

OCCA ANNOUNCES GRANT FROM STEWART’S HOLIDAY MATCH

ENTRIES SOUGHT FOR ECOART CONTEST

ENERGY PLAN EXAMINED

PELLET BAGS TO BE COLLECTED AT EARTH FESTIVAL, RECYCLED

OCCA TO CLEAN UP HIGHWAY

HANDS NEEDED FOR TAPE DECONSTRUCTION PROJECT

REPORT OUTLINES POTENTIAL CONSEQUENCES OF PLANETARY WARMING

OTHER UPCOMING EVENTS

EARTH FESTIVAL SCHEDULE TAKING SHAPE: More than 30 exhibitors and/or vendors have already registered for Earth Festival 2014, which is scheduled for Saturday, April 12 at Milford Central School! The attached document includes information as of March 26– please stay tuned for updates and details as we get closer to the event date. Registrants and sponsors are still being accepted. Information on Spring Garden Day is also included in the attached.

LATEST EDITION OF ‘THE LOOKOUT’ NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE: The Winter 2013/2014 edition of OCCA’s newsletter, “The Lookout,” is available on the OCCA website at http://occainfo.org/documents/LookoutWinter2013-2014.pdf. Articles include an update on OCCA’s groundwater testing program, “What’s In Our Water?” and recognition of David Hutchison and Richard McCaffery, OCCA’s 2013 Conservationists of the Year. The front page features photos from the OCCA Annual Dinner and Meeting, held in November.

OCCA ANNOUNCES GRANT FROM STEWART’S HOLIDAY MATCH:Otsego County Conservation Association has received $300.00 from Stewart’s Holiday Match toward its summer EcoTeam Paddle, a two-hour canoe trip on the Susquehanna River for up to 10 OCCA EcoTeam members. “Part recreation, part education and part work day, we’ll paddle just over three miles from Milford to the Crumhorn boat launch,” said OCCA Program Director Jeff O’Handley. Along the way, OCCA staff will provide education and interpretation on river ecology, wildlife and plant species, and environmental issues. “We’ll also spend some time looking for and documenting the location of aquatic invasive vegetation, notably water chestnut, hydrilla, and Eurasian watermilfoil,” O’Handley added. “Should conditions be appropriate, we’ll attempt spot removal of any invasive species encountered. We’ll pull canoes out of the water at the Crumhorn boat launch site for a box lunch.” OCCA EcoTeam was initiated in 2012 for students 18 and under. The program goals are for participants to: 1) develop a greater understanding of and respect for animals, plants, water, soil, air, and energy systems; 2) comprehend the positive and negative environmental effects of our actions; 3) acquire knowledge of practical, sustainable living strategies which consciously and carefully utilize our natural resources; and, 4) obtain information on nature programs, centers, and organizations. “In spring of 2014, OCCA will be ramping up our efforts to recruit EcoTeam members throughout Otsego County,” said OCCA Executive Director Darla M. Youngs. Students joining EcoTeam automatically get a membership to OCCA, which includes a quarterly newsletter and regular eco-bulletins, and the ability to participate in OCCA programs. In addition, EcoTeam members will have the opportunity to take part in special programs just for them, including the paddle. “Participants in the EcoTeam Paddle will enjoy a day of fresh air and exercise on a river of national significance. They’ll learn water safety skills and develop an appreciation of the river and its importance,” O’Handley said. For more information or to join OCCA’s EcoTeam, contact O’Handley at(607) 282-4087 or e-mail programdirector@occainfo.org. Stewart’s has collected and matched donations in its shops from Thanksgiving until Christmas since 1986. They credit the success of the Holiday Match program to customers for their generous contributions, to dedicated shop partners who work diligently to collect the funds, and to media partners who help spread the word.

ENTRIES SOUGHT FOR ECOART CONTEST: Submissions in this year’s EcoArt/Trendy Trash contest, to be displayed at Earth Festival 2014 on Saturday, April 12, will be accepted up to and including the day of the event. As in past years, prizes will be awarded to winners in several categories including “Best of Show,” “Judges’ Choice” and “People’s Choice.” This trash-to-treasure challenge to create something practical or artistic from items that have outlived their original purpose is open at no charge to students, with a $5.00 fee for adults. “Last year’s winners included ‘revivification jewels’ incorporating broken metals and a to-do planner made from a discarded shutter,” said OCCA Executive Director Darla M. Youngs. “The EcoArt /Trendy Trash contest has become an Earth Festival favorite, and we welcome submissions from artists and inventors of all ages,” Youngs said. Visit the Otsego County Conservation Association home page, www.occainfo.org, for an entry form, e-mail admin@occainfo.org or call (607) 547-4488 to learn more. Earth Festival is an environmentally-focused, interactive event featuring exhibits, activities, vendors and entertainment, all with a fun, earth-friendly twist. Financial contributions are most welcome, and an open invitation to earth-friendly exhibitors, food, and retail vendors is extended. Earth Festival 2014 is sponsored by Otsego County Conservation Association, the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce and Central NY Mobile Marketing, with support from Five Star Subaru.

ENERGY PLAN EXAMINED: On March 5, the Tompkins County Environmental Management Council, Tompkins County Council of Governments and Social Ventures sponsored a public forum, “New York’s Energy Plan: Scaling up Renewable Energy or Business as Usual?” Governor Cuomo’s Draft 2014 NY Energy Plan sets some bold goals for clean energy and increased energy efficiency. However, it also predicts continued and accelerated expansion of natural gas infrastructure in New York State. Experts presented both strengths and weaknesses in the plan, and explained how the public can voice their opinions. To watch the presentation, visithttp://www.shaleshockmedia.org/2014/03/17/new-yorks-energy-plan-scaling-up-renewable-energy-or-business-as-usual/. Read the Draft 2014 NY Energy Plan at www.energyplan.ny.gov

PELLET BAGS TO BE COLLECTED AT EARTH FESTIVAL, RECYCLED:OCCA has added wood pellet bags to the list of items being collected for recycling at Earth Festival 2014. Pellet bags can be dropped off to OCCA representatives from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 12 at Milford Central School at no charge. To learn more, see http://occainfo.org/documents/OCCAToCollectPelletBagsatEarthFestival.pdf.

OCCA TO CLEAN UP HIGHWAY: OCCA is seeking volunteers to help clean up a two-mile stretch of State Route 80 in Springfield on April 5, from 9 a.m. to noon. OCCA adopted the portion of road in 2013 as part of New York State’s Adopt-A-Highway program. Volunteers will meet at OCCA’s office at Mohican Farm, at the corner of State Highway 80 and Allen Lake Road, and walk two miles south, collecting trash along the way. At that point, the group will cross the highway for the return journey. All in all, it should take about three hours, said Jeff O’Handley, OCCA’s program director. “I expect we’ll find a large amount of trash that’s been covered up by the snow all winter,” O’Handley added. “Adopt-A-Highway represents an important part of OCCA’s mission to protect, preserve and enhance our environment,” O’Handley said. “It’s a hands-on way to beautify and care for our environment, and the results are immediately visible.” Trash bags and safety equipment are provided by the New York State Department of Transportation, who administers the statewide program. OCCA will provide water and light refreshments. To register, call O’Handley at (607) 282-4087, or e-mail programdirector@occainfo.org by Friday, April 4. The cleanup is open to those ages 12 and up.

HANDS NEEDED FOR TAPE DECONSTRUCTION PROJECT: This year at Earth Festival on Saturday, April 12, OCCA members Florence Carnahan and Martha Clarvoe are hoping to deconstruct 1,000 VCR and audio tape cassettes for recycling. It is estimated that at least 10 volunteers will be needed every half hour from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.to process 600-1,000 tapes. These broken down materials will be recycled with Edison Electronics of Oneonta. If you can help, e-mailmartha.clarvoe@gmail.com for details.

REPORT OUTLINES POTENTIAL CONSEQUENCES OF PLANETARY WARNING: The American Association for the Advancement of Science released a report last week on the science of global warming and human-caused climate change. According to The New York Times, “The report warns that the effects of human emissions of heat-trapping gases are already being felt, that the ultimate consequences could be dire, and that the window to do something about it is closing.” To read the article in its entirety, seehttp://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/18/science/scientists-sound-alarm-on-climate.html?_r=0

OTHER UPCOMING EVENTS:

  • April 1: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission public hearing on the Constitution Pipeline proposal. 7 p.m. Oneonta High School, 130 East Street, Oneonta.
  • May 5: OCCA Dining to Donate fundraising event at Applebee’s, Oneonta.

For more information on OCCA-organized volunteer opportunities and hikes, visit http://www.occainfo.org/EnviroEventsCal.htm or e-mail admin@occainfo.org.

OCCA RELIES ON YOUR SUPPORT. Got a minute? Visit our website and look at everything OCCA is doing – and please consider an online donation whenever you can. Click on www.occainfo.org and look for the Network for Good logo at the top left of the home page to make a donation today.

COOPERSTOWN – Otsego County Conservation Association has received $300.00 from Stewart’s Holiday Match toward its summer EcoTeam Paddle, a two-hour canoe trip on the Susquehanna River for up to 10 OCCA EcoTeam members.

“Part recreation, part education and part work day, we’ll paddle just over three miles from Milford to the Crumhorn boat launch,” said OCCA Program Director Jeff O’Handley.

Along the way, OCCA staff will provide education and interpretation on river ecology, wildlife and plant species, and environmental issues.

“We’ll also spend some time looking for and documenting the location of aquatic invasive vegetation, notably water chestnut, hydrilla, and Eurasian watermilfoil,” O’Handley added. “Should conditions be appropriate, we’ll attempt spot removal of any invasive species encountered. We’ll pull canoes out of the water at the Crumhorn boat launch site for a box lunch.”

OCCA EcoTeam was initiated in 2012 for students 18 and under. The program goals are for participants to: 1) develop a greater understanding of and respect for animals, plants, water, soil, air, and energy systems; 2) comprehend the positive and negative environmental effects of our actions; 3) acquire knowledge of practical, sustainable living strategies which consciously and carefully utilize our natural resources; and, 4) obtain information on nature programs, centers, and organizations.

“In spring of 2014, OCCA is ramping up our efforts to recruit EcoTeam members throughout Otsego County,” said OCCA Executive Director Darla M. Youngs.

Students joining EcoTeam automatically get a membership to OCCA, which includes a quarterly newsletter and regular eco-bulletins, and the ability to participate in OCCA programs. In addition, EcoTeam members will have the opportunity to take part in special programs just for them, including the paddle.

“Participants in the EcoTeam Paddle will enjoy a day of fresh air and exercise on a river of national significance. They’ll learn water safety skills and develop an appreciation of the river and its importance,” O’Handley said.

For more information or to join OCCA’s EcoTeam, contact O’Handley at(607) 282-4087 or e-mail programdirector@occainfo.org.

Stewart’s has collected and matched donations in its shops from Thanksgiving until Christmas since 1986. They credit the success of the Holiday Match program to customers for their generous contributions, to dedicated shop partners who work diligently to collect the funds, and to media partners who help spread the word.

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, and planning. For more information on OCCA, or to support programming, call (607) 547-4488 or visit www.occainfo.org.

COOPERSTOWN – SUNY Oneonta Biological Field Station Researcher Holly Waterfield will report on the status of the Goodyear Lake Management Plan at the next Otsego County Water Quality Coordinating Committee meeting on Wednesday, March 26.

The WQCC meeting, which begins at 1 p.m. in Classroom A of The Meadows Office Building, 140 County Hwy. 33W, Cooperstown, is hosted by the Otsego County Planning Department. This event is free and open to the public; pre-registration is required by Tuesday, March 25. Those interested in attending should e-mail WQCC Facilitator Darla M. Youngs atadmin@occainfo.org or call (607) 547-4488.

Waterfield will provide an overview of the ongoing work by Caitlin Stroosnyder to study Goodyear Lake and develop a comprehensive management plan for the lake and its watershed. Stroosnyder is a graduate student in SUNY Oneonta’s Lake Management Master of Science Program; her research to this point has largely focused on determining the current state of affairs in the lake and surveying the perceptions and opinions of residents both lakeside and in the upstream watershed. In the coming months, Stroosnyder will be working with local communities, the Goodyear Lake Association, and the Otsego County Soil and Water Conservation District to draft a plan for the future management of this important local resource.

This event is made possible thanks to the Otsego County WQCC which, in order to better satisfy the educational component of its mission, has restructured its monthly meetings to include public information sessions. The OCWQCC 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.

For more information on the WQCC, visit www.otsegosoilandwater.com/waterqualitycc.html

 

The Leatherstocking Beekeepers Association will hold a beginner’s beekeeping class on Saturday, March 22 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at a location to be announced. Pre-registration is required. The registration fee of $20.00 includes lunch, a beekeeper’s book, and other materials. For more information and to register, call (607) 435-9371 or e-mail nemecj@hughes.net. The Otsego County Conservation Association is a co-sponsor of this event.

SPRINGFIELD – Otsego County Conservation Association is seeking volunteers to help clean up a two-mile stretch of State Route 80 in Springfield on April 5, from 9 a.m. to noon.

OCCA adopted the portion of road in 2013 as part of New York State’s Adopt-A-Highway program. Volunteers will meet at OCCA’s office at Mohican Farm, at the corner of State Highway 80 and Allen Lake Road, and walk two miles south, collecting trash along the way. At that point, the group will cross the highway for the return journey. All in all, it should take about three hours, said Jeff O’Handley, OCCA’s program director.

“I expect we’ll find a large amount of trash that’s been covered up by the snow all winter,” O’Handley added. “Last year, we typically filled two bags with trash, and another with redeemable bottles, cans, and other recyclables.”

“Adopt-A-Highway represents an important part of OCCA’s mission to protect, preserve and enhance our environment,” O’Handley said. “It’s a hands-on way to beautify and care for our environment, and the results are immediately visible.”

Trash bags and safety equipment are provided by the New York State Department of Transportation, who administers the statewide program. OCCA will provide water and light refreshments.

To register, call O’Handley at (607) 282-4087, or e-mailprogramdirector@occainfo.org by Friday, April 4. The cleanup is open to those ages 12 and up.

The 9thAnnual Earth Festival will be held on Saturday, April 12 at Milford Central School. The traditional information and vendor fair will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the gymnasium – kicking off the day will be the Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society’s popular pre-festival bird walk. Master Gardeners of Cornell Cooperative Extension Schoharie and Otsego Counties will return with Spring Garden Day in conjunction with Earth Festival, featuring classes on a wide variety of gardening topics suitable for those both new and experienced to gardening. Barbara Melera, president and CEO of the D. Landreth Seed Company – the oldest seed house in America – will speak at9:30 a.m. Her presentation is free and open to the public. Again this year, in keeping with the earth-friendly theme, event organizers invite attendees to drop off Styrofoam (clean, white only), bubble wrap,empty inkjet cartridges, cell phones, eyeglasses, reusable shoes, videotapes and CDs, used nylon monofilament fishing line and more.Empire Recycling will return with the free Confidata Shredder service and, for the first time, pellet bags will be collected for recycling. The EcoArt/Trendy Trash Contest and expanded children’s activities will also be featured. Earth Festival is an environmentally-focused, interactive event featuring exhibits, activities, vendors and entertainment, all with a fun, earth-friendly twist. Financial contributions are most welcome, and an open invitation to earth-friendly exhibitors, food, and retail vendors is extended. Earth Festival 2014 is sponsored by Otsego County Conservation Association, the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce and Central NY Mobile Marketing. To sign up or donate, use the registration form at http://occainfo.org. Call (607) 547-4488 or e-mail admin@occainfo.org to learn more.