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COOPERSTOWN – Otsego County Conservation Association is sponsoring 10 hikes this year, spread throughout Otsego County.

On May 24, Dr. Donna Vogler will lead a spring wildflower hike at Greenwoods Conservancy in Burlington. Dr. Vogler will guide hikers through a variety of ecosystems, locating and identifying the many wildflowers found there. This walk is jointly sponsored by OCCA and the Otsego Land Trust. Meet at 10 a.m. at 800 Zachow Road, Burlington. For information or to register, contact Marcie Foster at OLT, (607) 547-2366 ormarcie@otsegolandtrust.org.

OCCA Program Director Jeff O’Handley will lead the next hike on Saturday, June 7 at 10 a.m. at South Hill State Forest. This 521-acre forest straddles the Otsego-Delaware line and offers up a variety of mixed hardwoods and softwood plantation. Despite being on a hill, the going is relatively easy and flat. Meet at the northern-most parking area on Davenport Road, 3.8 miles from State Route 7. For more information, contact OCCA at (607) 282-4087.

Also in June, Patricia Riddell Kent and Steve Kent will lead a pleasant hike in the northern portion of The Robert V. Riddell State Park in Davenport. The Kents donated the land to the state in memory of Patricia’s father, Robert V. Riddell, and grandfather, Alton B. Riddell. The route will take hikers along a Class A trout stream and past the ruins of old homesteads. Meet at 4 p.m.at the main park entrance on State Route 28.

“We’re aiming to spread the hikes out a little bit throughout the county, and to partner with other organizations,” said OCCA Executive Director Darla M. Youngs. “One of our goals is to bring people to parts of the county they might not normally experience, and to showcase the great beauty found all around Otsego County.

Since 2001, OCCA has organized and/or co-sponsored nature walks on local trails. Other confirmed dates, venues and hike leaders for 2014 are: July 18, Fetterley Forest Conservation Area, Sara Scheeren, Otsego Land Trust, and Jeff O’Handley, OCCA; July 22, Noah’s Rump in Plainfield State Forest co-sponsored with the Susquehanna Chapter, Adirondack Mountain Club;August 2, Lacava Nature Center, Cooperstown, with Jeff O’Handley;September 6, invasive species hike led by Master Gardener Susan Burdsall, co-sponsored with Otsego Land Trust; October 4, Leatherstocking Golf Course with Bernie Banas, course manager; October 25, Mud Lake hike at The Robert V. Riddell State Park with Trish and Steve Kent. For a complete nature walk schedule, details and directions, visit http://www.occainfo.org/ or e-mail admin@occainfo.org.

In addition to the hike series, OCCA is an organizer of the Otsego Lakes Festival on July 12, and will be continuing invasive species removal efforts on Goodyear Lake and its Adopt-A-Highway program throughout the summer. Details are available at www.occainfo.org.

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

SPRINGFIELD – Otsego County Conservation Association is looking for volunteers to help with a clean-up of State Route 80 in Springfield onSaturday, May 17, at 9 a.m.

“Sadly, there’s a fair amount of trash along the road,” said Jeff O’Handley, OCCA’s program director. “It’s ugly, and a potential environmental hazard.”

OCCA adopted the stretch of road in 2013 under the auspices of the Adopt-A-Highway program, which is administered by the New York State Department of Transportation. DOT provides bags, rubber gloves and safety equipment. Light refreshments will be served.

“Our section of road is 2 miles long,” O’Handley said. “All told, it should take us about 3 hours.”

To register, call OCCA at (607) 282-4087, or e-mail O’Handley at programdirector@occainfo.org.  Volunteers will meet at OCCA’s office at Mohican Farm, on the corner of State Highway 80 and Allen Lake Road, at 9 a.m.

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.

 

ECO-BULLETIN FROM OTSEGO COUNTY CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION

May 2, 2014: Vol. 7, No. 6

Eco-bulletin headlines this issue:

OCCA SEEKS VOLUNTEERS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL PROJECTS

DINING TO DONATE EVENT IS NEXT MONDAY

SIXTH BIKE TO WORK DAY SET FOR MAY 21

SURVEY KICKS OFF FARM PLAN REVISION PROCESS

BOAT STEWARD, ANGLER INSPECTION TRAINING AVAILABLE

OCCA TO EXHIBIT AT ROTARY’S SPRING FLING

SALE WILL BENEFIT SCHOOL TO BE BUILT OUT OF REPURPOSED TRASH

SAVE THE DATE: OTSEGO LAKES FESTIVAL

OTHER UPCOMING EVENTS

OCCA SEEKS VOLUNTEERS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL PROJECTS:Otsego County Conservation Association is seeking volunteer help for several environmental projects in the coming weeks. First up is a trail maintenance day at Basswood Pond State Forest in Burlington onMay 3 at 10 a.m.

Jeff O’Handley, OCCA’s program director, said the maintenance is needed to help restore trails after a difficult winter.

“We’ll be clearing some overgrowth, moving downed logs, replacing trail markers, and repairing a section of damaged boardwalk on one of the trails. Nothing too strenuous,” explained O’Handley.

Volunteers must pre-register, O’Handley said. “Not only do we need to know how many hands we’ll have for the day, the Department of Environmental Conservation requires that all volunteers have a form on file in advance. You can get a form by calling our office, or by downloading an individual volunteer application from DEC’s website.”

OCCA has been the steward for Basswood Pond State Forest since 2012, under a DEC program that seeks to help preserve, maintain and enhance the lands under its care through public participation. OCCA’s stewardship agreement was recently renewed for five more years.

“This is our first time out this year,” O’Handley said. “We expect to schedule a few days later in the summer as well, depending on how much additional work is needed.”

In addition to the project in Basswood Pond State Forest, OCCA is looking for volunteers to help with a clean-up of State Highway 80 in Springfield on Saturday, May 17. Volunteers will meet at OCCA’s office at Mohican Farm, on the corner of State Highway 80 and Allen Lake Road at 9 a.m.

“A fair amount of trash has been uncovered by the melting snow,” O’Handley said. “Garbage is ugly, and also a potential environmental hazard that can end up in Otsego Lake.”

The Adopt-A-Highway program is administered by the New York State Department of Transportation.

“DOT provides bags, rubber gloves, and safety vests and helmets,” O’Handley said. “OCCA will provide refreshments and water. All told, it should take us about three hours to cover our stretch of road.” Round trip, volunteers will cover four miles, O’Handley said. “One of the nice things about the highway clean-up is you can see the difference right away. It’s very rewarding,” he added.

To register, call OCCA at (607) 282-4087, or e-mail O’Handley atprogramdirector@occainfo.org.

DINING TO DONATE EVENT IS NEXT MONDAY: 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 onSaturday, 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.

 

SIXTH BIKE TO WORK DAY SET FOR MAY 21: The Sixth Annual Bike to Work Day for Otsego County will be held on Wednesday, May 21with check-­in sites at more than 20 locations countywide. For the second year, organizers of the event – Otsego Regional Cycling Advocates, a committee of OCCA – have joined forces with the National Bike Challenge, presented by the League of American Bicyclists. 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 onnationalbikechallenge.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. 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.

SURVEY KICKS OFF FARM PLAN REVISION PROCESS: Updating of the Otsego County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan will begin in 2014 and farmer involvement via a survey distributed in April to Otsego County farmers is critical. The original plan, adopted in January 1999, was designed to protect, preserve, and enhance farming in the county, and to ensure that Otsego County remains home to productive agriculture in the future.

“Direct involvement of the farming community is very important. It has to be a bottom-up process, and farmers have to have a real voice,” said Scott Fickbohm, manager for the Otsego County Soil and Water Conservation District, adding, “We’d like to invite farmers, local food industry and those representing agricultural organizations to participate in the process. We appreciate how busy farmers are and that they have already filled out a few other surveys lately, but the county-wide survey that was just sent out will provide the local perspective by reflecting local issues.”

Fickbohm, who serves as project lead, pointed out that from 1997-2007, the county lost 31,000 acres of farmland and 44 percent of its cow population between 1997 and 2010.

“If agriculture in Otsego County is to be among the driving forces of our local economy and remain an important feature in our landscape, then additional efforts have to be made,” said Rebecca Morgan, director of the Center for Agricultural Development and Entrepreneurship and the lead on economic development. Morgan added, “We think this is timely and believe that the update will fit in nicely with other economic development activities taking place in the county and throughout the state right now.”

The current strategy outlines seven goals: 1) improve awareness and recognition of the importance of the economic and environmental roles of agriculture ; 2) improve profitability and the economic viability of farms  and encourage new farming and agriculturally-related enterprises; 3) ensure that farming can continue as an industry and strengthen the role of agriculture in Otsego County’s economic development; 4) implement long term, cost effective farmland protection measures; 5) ensure and improve sustainability of the agricultural infrastructure that supports farming; 6) enhance farm-transfer programs so that needs of retiring and new farm operators are; and 7) sustain the rural landscape and the natural resources that support both farm and non-farm uses.

“Many of the goals in the current plan are still very worthwhile, but after a while most strategies are due for an update,” said Chris Harmon, local beef farmer, member of the county’s Farmland and Protection Board, and Town of Milford supervisor, adding, “The revised plan will probably include many of the current long-term goals, but it has to be updated with short-term actions that take advantage of today’s economic and agricultural trends and opportunities.”

The grant funding for this initiative is being administered on behalf of the Otsego County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Board by the County Planning Department and in partnership with local agricultural agencies. Currently, local agencies and officials concerned with farming in the county are meeting to discuss the update process.

Upcoming actions for updating the plan include:  review of 2012 USDA agricultural census data; interviews with county farmers and agri-business operators; map revisions; local inter-municipal reviews; farmer forums; and engagement of local municipalities as well as the development and updating of strategies to address the key issues facing agriculture in the county today.

This effort is made possible with funding from the Department of Agriculture and Markets, a donation by The Scriven Foundation, and a local match provided by working group participants including OCCA. For more information or to request a survey, contact Scott Fickbohm, Otsego County SWCD, at (607) 547 8337, ext 4.

BOAT STEWARD, ANGLER INSPECTION TRAINING AVAILABLE:SUNY Oneonta has contracted with The Catskill Center for Conservation & Development to provide boat steward and angler inspection training for lake associations and other interested groups. To provide this training, Watershed Steward Program Coordinator Paul Lord is contractually obligated to enter into a “Memorandum of Understanding.” Funding for this training is provided by the Catskill Center for Conservation & Development. This incurs no direct expense to your organization. Participant organizations agree to:

  1. Make your watershed stewards available for one day’s training at a site mutually convenient to your watershed program and the WSPC.
  2. Inform the WSPC of planned watershed steward hours as you schedule them.
  3. Coordinate, before May 26, with the WSPC to ensure the water access data collection form meets the requirements of your participating watershed program and the WSPC.
  4. Collect waterbody access data required by the NYS Watershed Stewards Program’s coordinating group and submit it to the WSPC every three weeks while watershed stewards work at access sites.
  5. Allow WSPC access to the watershed stewards while they work at their waterbody access sites.
  6. Allow WSPC access to the leader of your participating watershed steward program to discuss observations and to facilitate WSP improvements.

For more information, contact WSPC Lord at paul.lord@oneonta.eduor (607) 435-4989.

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.

SALE WILL BENEFIT SCHOOL TO BE BUILT OUT OF REPURPOSED TRASH: A garage sale will be held at 26 Elm Street, Cooperstown onSaturday, May 10 to benefit the nonprofit organization Long Way Home. Working with a community in rural Guatemala, Long Way Home is constructing an education center using repurposed garbage – including tires and plastic waste – while implementing an environmental education curriculum and teaching people in the community about environmental stewardship. To learn more about Long Way Home, visit www.lwhome.org.

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 OCCA EVENTS:

  • May 24: Spring Wildflower Hike at Greenwoods Conservancy. Co-sponsored with Otsego Land Trust.
  • June 7: County Line Hike in South Hill State Forest led by OCCA Program Director Jeff O’Handley.

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 will hold its annual “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” Garage Sale fundraiser this Saturday andSunday, April 26 and 27.

This Otsego County tradition draws hundreds of shoppers each year to browse the bargains in more than a dozen different categories, including household items, glassware, appliances, furniture, clothing, books, toys, knick knacks, sporting goods, linens, holiday decorations, games, tools, sporting goods, and more.

Merchandise is donated by county residents and businesses, and 100 percent of the proceeds from this event go toward OCCA’s programming to protect and preserve the environment.

Sale hours are Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.OCCA is also inviting donations of home-baked pies to be sold at this year’s garage sale. Those wishing to drop off pies may do so at the OCCA offices, 101 Main Street, Cooperstown (in Pioneer Alley, next door to the market space) on Friday, April 25 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

In addition to raising funds for OCCA’s countywide environmental programs and initiatives, 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.

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

OTSEGO COUNTY – Otsego County Conservation Association is seeking volunteer help for several environmental projects in the coming weeks. First up is a trail maintenance day at Basswood Pond State Forest in Burlington on May 3 at 10 a.m.

Jeff O’Handley, OCCA’s program director, said the maintenance is needed to help restore trails after a difficult winter.

“We’ll be clearing some overgrowth, moving downed logs, replacing trail markers, and repairing a section of damaged boardwalk on one of the trails. Nothing too strenuous,” explained O’Handley.

Volunteers must pre-register, O’Handley said. “Not only do we need to know how many hands we’ll have for the day, the Department of Environmental Conservation requires that all volunteers have a form on file in advance. You can get a form by calling our office, or by downloading an individual volunteer application from DEC’s website.”

OCCA has been the steward for Basswood Pond State Forest since 2012, under a DEC program that seeks to help preserve, maintain and enhance the lands under its care through public participation. OCCA’s stewardship agreement was recently renewed for five more years.

“This is our first time out this year,” O’Handley said. “We expect to schedule a few days later in the summer as well, depending on how much additional work is needed.”

In addition to the project in Basswood Pond State Forest, OCCA is looking for volunteers to help with a clean-up of State Highway 80 in Springfield onSaturday, May 17. Volunteers will meet at OCCA’s office at Mohican Farm, on the corner of State Highway 80 and Allen Lake Road at 9 a.m.

“A fair amount of trash has been uncovered by the melting snow,” O’Handley said. “Garbage is ugly, and also a potential environmental hazard that can end up in Otsego Lake.”

The Adopt-A-Highway program is administered by the New York State Department of Transportation.

“DOT provides bags, rubber gloves, and safety vests and helmets,” O’Handley said. “OCCA will provide refreshments and water. All told, it should take us about three hours to cover our stretch of road.”

Round trip, volunteers will cover four miles, O’Handley said.

“One of the nice things about the highway clean-up is you can see the difference right away. It’s very rewarding,” he added.

To register, call OCCA at (607) 282-4087, or e-mail O’Handley atprogramdirector@occainfo.org.

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.

ECO-BULLETIN FROM OTSEGO COUNTY CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION

April 17, 2014: Vol. 7, No. 5

Eco-bulletin headlines this issue:

CORRECTION ON GARAGE SALE COLLECTION DATES

OCCA DINING TO DONATE EVENT IS MAY 5

SIXTH BIKE TO WORK DAY SET FOR MAY 21

OCCA GARAGE SALE FAST APPROACHING

POSTER CONTEST FOCUSES ON RECYCLING

AWARD-WINNING FILM TO BE SHOWN APRIL 22

OCCA TO EXHIBIT AT ROTARY’S SPRING FLING

SAVE THE DATE: OTSEGO LAKES FESTIVAL

OTHER UPCOMING EVENTS

CORRECTION ON GARAGE SALE COLLECTION DATES: Donations for OCCA’s annual “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” Garage Sale will be accepted from Monday, April 21 through Thursday, April 24 at the Cooperstown Farmers’ Market building (101 Main Street, Pioneer Alley). No one will be in attendance on Sunday, April 20 as previously published. We apologize for any inconvenience.

OCCA DINING TO DONATE EVENT IS MAY 5: Join the Otsego County Conservation Association from 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. on Monday, May 5at 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 onSaturday, 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.

SIXTH BIKE TO WORK DAY SET FOR MAY 21: The Sixth Annual Bike to Work Day for Otsego County will be held on Wednesday, May 21with check-­in sites at more than 20 locations countywide. For the second year, organizers of the event – Otsego Regional Cycling Advocates, a committee of OCCA – have joined forces with the National Bike Challenge, presented by the League of American Bicyclists. 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 onnationalbikechallenge.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. 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.

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 (Pioneer Alley). The official collection dates for the OCCA garage sale will be April 21-24 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. All donations are tax deductible: OCCA will provide a donation voucher upon request. Those who would like more information about volunteering to assist with the event should call (607) 547-4488 or 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_002.pdf.

POSTER CONTEST FOCUSES ON RECYCLING: All New York State public and private school children and youth organizations are invited to showcase their artistic talent and their commitment to the environment by participating in the 11th Annual New York Recycles Poster Contest sponsored by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the New York Recycles Steering Committee. This poster contest helps achieve a goal of higher excellence in recycling, composting, and buying recycled products and packaging. Themes for this year’s contest include: New York Recycles; Composting – Be A Rot Star; Recycling on the Go; Textile Mascot and Slogan (students can develop a mascot and slogan to increase recycling of clothes, towels and other textiles that are not good enough to be reused); Recycle at School; Reuse It Again and Again; Litter – Let’s Pick it Up New York. The contest deadline isMay 16. For more information, see http://www.dec.ny.gov/education/32506.html.

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 www.journeyoftheuniverse.org.

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.

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 OCCA EVENTS:

  • May 3: Trail Maintenance at Basswood Pond State Forest.
  • May 17: Adopt-a-Highway Clean-up.
  • May 24: Spring Wildflower Hike at Greenwoods Conservancy. Co-sponsored with Otsego Land Trust.

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.

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.