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Join Otsego County Conservation Association and Patricia Riddell Kent and Steve Kent for a “Walk on the Flat Side,” a 1.5-mile hike through the northern portion of Robert V. Riddell State Park, on June 21 at 4 p.m. The Kents, who donated the land for the state park, will lead the walk through the 200-acre portion of the park that features scenic vistas, fields, streams and several old homesteads. This will be a fairly easy walk over mostly flat terrain.

“We’re very pleased to continue offering hikes at Robert V. Riddell State Park with Trish and Steve,” said Jeff O’Handley, OCCA’s program director.  “They have a wealth of knowledge about the park and its history.”

The Kents donated the land to New York State in memory of Patricia’s father, Robert V. Riddell, and her grandfather, Alton B. Riddell. The park opened officially in 2005.

The walk on June 21 is the first of three OCCA-sponsored offerings at Robert V. Riddell State Park this season. On October 25 the Kents will lead a 4.5-mile hike to Mud Lake, followed by a rigorous, 5-mile snowshoe hike, also to Mud Lake, on January 17, 2015.

“Programs at Robert V. Riddell State Park are among our most popular,” O’Handley said. “It’s a privilege to have the Kents share their expertise.”

Participants should meet at Robert V. Riddell Road, located off State Highway 28 – to the right just after taking I-88 Exit 17 or, if heading south on State Highway 28, the park entrance is on the left of State Route 28 just past the DOT gravel lot and tourist area at Lifgren Road, located on the right.

For more information, or to pre-register, contact O’Handley at OCCA, (607) 547-4488, or programdirector@occainfo.org.

ECO-BULLETIN FROM OTSEGO COUNTY CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION

June 20, 2014: Vol. 7, No. 10

Eco-bulletin headlines this issue:

HIKE AT ROBERT V. RIDDELL STATE PARK THIS SATURDAY

HORTICULTURAL PLASTICS TO BE COLLECTED AGAIN THIS WEEKEND

OTHER UPCOMING EVENTS

HIKE AT ROBERT V. RIDDELL STATE PARK THIS SATURDAY: Join Otsego County Conservation Association and Patricia Riddell Kent and Steve Kent for a “Walk on the Flat Side,” a 1.5-mile hike through the northern portion of Robert V. Riddell State Park, on June 21 at 4 p.m. The Kents, who donated the land for the state park, will lead the walk through the 200-acre portion of the park that features scenic vistas, fields, streams and several old homesteads. This will be a fairly easy walk over mostly flat terrain. “We’re very pleased to continue offering hikes at Robert V. Riddell State Park with Trish and Steve,” said Jeff O’Handley, OCCA’s program director.  “They have a wealth of knowledge about the park and its history.” The Kents donated the land to New York State in memory of Patricia’s father, Robert V. Riddell, and her grandfather, Alton B. Riddell. The park opened officially in 2005. The walk on June 21 is the first of three OCCA-sponsored offerings at Robert V. Riddell State Park this season. On October 25 the Kents will lead a 4.5-mile hike to Mud Lake, followed by a rigorous, 5-mile snowshoe hike, also to Mud Lake, on January 17, 2015. “Programs at Robert V. Riddell State Park are among our most popular,” O’Handley said. “It’s a privilege to have the Kents share their expertise.” Participants should meet at Robert V. Riddell Road, located off State Highway 28 – to the right just after taking I-88 Exit 17 or, if heading south on State Highway 28, the park entrance is on the left of State Route 28 just past the DOT gravel lot and tourist area at Lifgren Road, located on the right. For more information, or to pre-register, contact O’Handley at OCCA,(607) 547-4488, or programdirector@occainfo.org.

HORTICULTURAL PLASTICS TO BE COLLECTED AGAIN THIS WEEKEND: The Otsego County Conservation Association will conduct the last of two horticultural plastic container recycling collections this weekend at the Cooperstown Farmers’ Market. Used plastic growing containers can be dropped off on June 21 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the farmers’ market, 101 Main Street (in Pioneer Alley next to KeyBank), where they will be collected and sorted. The materials will later be shipped and processed into clean regrind which is then manufactured into new horticultural containers. All containers must be rinsed clean – excess soil, rocks, paper, metal hangers and other foreign materials must be removed; adhesive labels are fine. Mixed color and printed containers are acceptable. Most containers being collected – plastic garden pots, cell packs and trays – have the appropriate recycling symbol molded into the bottom (#2, #5, #6). This program is made possible locally by New York State Flower Industries, Inc. For more information, contact OCCA at (607) 547-4488 or admin@occainfo.org.

OTHER UPCOMING EVENTS:

  • Water chestnut eradiation on Goodyear Lake: July 2, 9, 16, 25; August 5, 6, 22, 23.
  • Otsego Lakes Festival, Lakefront Park, Cooperstown, July 12.
  • Basswood Pond State Forest trail maintenance, July 15
  • “Western Exposure, Fetterley Forest Hike, July 18 (co-sponsored with OLT), 5 p.m.
  • Adopt-a-Highway clean-up, July 19, 9 a.m.
  • “Climb Noah’s What?” hike, July 22, 10 a.m.

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.

OTSEGO COUNTY, NY – The results of the Otsego County Conservation Association’s “What’s In Our Water?” program are in and, following a detailed analysis, two things are clear. First, the overall quality of Otsego County’s drinking water is very good. Second, and perhaps more significant, Otsego County now has a strong, legally defensible baseline of its water chemistry by which contamination can be detected.

“We look at this as an insurance policy of sorts,” said OCCA President Vicky M. Lentz. “We knew we had an abundant supply of good, clean water here. The data now backs this up and the collection and testing protocols are legally certifiable.”

In August of 2013, Community Science Institute – contracted by OCCA following a competitive bidding process – began sampling and testing private and municipal water wells in Otsego County. The series of 84 tests was completed in mid-November. The results of these individual tests have already been shared with participating property owners and municipalities, and now a cumulative analytical report has been compiled and will soon be released.

The report, prepared by Dr. Les Hasbargen of SUNY Oneonta’s Catskill Headwaters Research Institute, includes statistical summaries of the test data and a comparison of chemical parameters in WIOW-sampled wells with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s maximum contaminant levels for those parameters.

According to Hasbargen, OCCA “has established a strong baseline of chemical constituents in local groundwater that can be used to assess possible contamination by shale gas extraction and/or other industrial activities.”

Made possible by private donations, OCCA’s groundwater testing program provided certified baseline testing of drinking water wells in all 24 of Otsego County’s townships. The goal of OCCA’s WIOW program was to collect information on drinking water across Otsego County to provide a defensible chemical baseline against which changes to water chemistry from contamination can be determined. Wells were tested for a total of 21 parameters – including signature chemicals typically associated with hydraulic fracturing for natural gas or other heavy industrial activity – which may or may not already be present in groundwater.

“Overall, groundwater across the county is relatively fresh (dilute) with low concentrations of dissolved inorganic elements and organic compounds,” Hasbargen reported. “The absence of chemical compounds often used in hydraulic fracturing provides a strong comparative baseline if such activities do take place in the future in Otsego County.

However, Hasbargen pointed out that methane was detected in more than half of the wells tested, so its presence is of limited use for detecting contamination from natural gas extraction activities.

Above and beyond a legally defensible baseline, the results of the WIOW program have additional value. The information collected via this project contributes to growing countywide and regional water quality databases which will, over time, lead to a better understanding of groundwater flow systems and mapping of aquifers.

“Relatively little is known about our groundwater,” said OCCA Executive Director Darla M. Youngs. “Most private well owners only test their water when it tastes bad or smells funny. This series of tests – which, for many, would have been cost prohibitive – helps identify common chemical components and any concentrations of concern.”

For example, while data supports that the overall quality of the county’s drinking water is good, 14 percent of wells tested in the WIOW program showed levels of turbidity (cloudiness) which exceed the maximum contaminant levels established by USEPA.

“Higher turbidity levels are often associated with higher levels of disease-causing microorganisms such as viruses, parasites and some bacteria. Clearly, it is a good idea to filter water from private wells,” Hasbargen advised.

“Virtually none of the samples contained detectable quantities of organic molecules associated with gas drilling activities,” Hasbargen noted, “implying that the natural background is very low, and so future detection of such molecules is likely to be a result of human-caused contamination.

“An ensemble of chemical parameters including total dissolved solids, alkalinity, specific conductance, pH, and chemical oxygen demand greatly strengthen the perception that Otsego County has an abundance of high quality drinking water,” he wrote.

The full “Report on Drinking Water Chemical Analyses for OCCA’s‘What’s In Our Water?’ Campaign” will be unveiled and made available to the public at the Otsego Lakes Festival on Saturday, July 12 at Lakefront Park in Cooperstown. For more information, e-mailadmin@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.

lapin headshotCOOPERSTOWN – Danny Lapin has been hired by the Otsego County Conservation Association to fill the organization’s environmental planner position.

Lapin earned his bachelor’s degree in environmental sciences from the University of California, Riverside in 2010 and his master’s degree in environmental policy this spring from the Bard College Center for Environmental Policy. His research experience focused on strengthening the connection between land-use planning and water management in rural communities in Eastern California. Lapin’s career has included environmental planning positions in the Sierra Nevada region of California and a groundwater management post in Southern California.

“My dream has been to integrate strong environmental protections with sustainable economic development in an area as beautiful as Otsego County. Doing my part to ensure that social, economic and environmental principles are incorporated into land-use planning is a top priority,” Lapin said.

Now living in Springfield, Lapin seeks to apply his knowledge and experience to assist communities in Otsego County with their land-use planning needs. He will focus his initial efforts with OCCA on review of the proposed Edic-to-Fraser AC transmission line, facilitating OCCA’s Circuit Rider Planner Program, and on assisting communities with environmentally mindful planning initiatives.

Lapin’s planning background is both multifaceted and extensive, as he has experience in the academic sector through his research on regional water management at Bard College, at the state level through his work with the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board, at the regional level working for the Sierra Nevada Alliance, and at the community level through his experience with the League to Save Lake Tahoe. Lapin has worked on a broad range of issues including the preservation of agricultural lands, the review of transmission line projects, SEQR review, and on California’s Integrated Regional Water Management Program.

“Danny’s education and his overall body of work make him such a good fit for the organization,” said OCCA Executive Director Darla M. Youngs. “He’s a great addition to our team, and we can’t wait for him to get started.”

The position of environmental planner was created by OCCA to help bring environmental concerns to the forefront of community planning decisions, and to work with Otsego County communities on issues relative to them, ranging from comprehensive planning and regulations to environmental reviews.

Lapin’s responsibilities will also entail public outreach on planning issues, research on various environmental issues, grant writing, and fundraising.

“I am honored to be working with OCCA, its partners, and area communities and will work hard to be a strong asset to communities throughout Otsego County,” Lapin said.

In addition to his new role at OCCA, Lapin will continue to serve as a researcher at Bard College and plans on joining the American Planning Association Upstate New York Chapter.

ECO-BULLETIN FROM OTSEGO COUNTY CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION

June 12, 2014: Vol. 7, No. 9

Eco-bulletin headlines this issue:

HORTICULTURAL PLASTICS COLLECTION BEGINS JUNE 14

EXHIBITORS, VENDORS, SPONSORS SOUGHT FOR OTSEGO LAKES FESTIVAL

OLA BOAT PARADE SET FOR JULY 4TH

‘FARM STORIES’ DOCUMENT RICH AGRICULTURAL HISTORY

OTHER UPCOMING EVENTS

HORTICULTURAL PLASTICS COLLECTION BEGINS JUNE 14:  The Otsego County Conservation Association will conduct a horticultural plastic container recycling initiative on two Saturdays in June at the Cooperstown Farmers’ Market. Used plastic growing containers can be dropped off on June 14 and June 21 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the farmers’ market, 101 Main Street (in Pioneer Alley next to KeyBank), where they will be collected and sorted. The materials will later be shipped and processed into clean regrind which is then manufactured into new horticultural containers. All containers must be rinsed clean – excess soil, rocks, paper, metal hangers and other foreign materials must be removed; adhesive labels are fine. Mixed color and printed containers are acceptable. Most containers being collected – plastic garden pots, cell packs and trays – have the appropriate recycling symbol molded into the bottom (#2, #5, #6). This program is made possible locally by New York State Flower Industries, Inc. For more information, contact OCCA at (607) 547-4488 or admin@occainfo.org.

EXHIBITORS, VENDORS, SPONSORS SOUGHT FOR OTSEGO LAKES FESTIVAL: The 7th Otsego Lakes Festival will be held on Saturday, July 12 from noon to 5 p.m. at Lakefront Park in Cooperstown.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 Otsego County’s lakes – educational exhibits, children’s activities, hands-on workshops, and lake tours will all focus on the importance of protecting this county’s waterways and ensuring water quality throughout the region. Good food, music and art will also help celebrate the importance of Otsego County’s lakes. Activities for kids will include the Cooperstown Art Association’s fish painting station, interactive science displays with SUNY Oneonta’s Biological Field Station, and a lake art station and “juried” art contest. Food and drink will be for sale on site, served up by Leatherstocking Envirothon organizers and the Origins Café mobile food truck, among others. The Cherry Valley Community Jazz Ensemble will perform live. To learn more about being a sponsor of the Otsego Lakes Festival, seehttp://occainfo.org/documents/2014LakesFestivalSupportLetter.pdf.Click here for the exhibitor/vendor form:http://occainfo.org/documents/2014VendorInformationForm.pdf.

The Otsego Lakes Festival is made possible thanks to the OCWQCC, 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.

OLA BOAT PARADE SET FOR JULY 4TH: The Otsego Lake Association will sponsor its first annual “We Love Our Lake” decorated, judged boat parade on Friday, July 4 beginning at 6 p.m.The parade will be held rain or shine. Participating decorated boats will gather off-shore at Three Mile Point (three miles north of the Village of Cooperstown on State Highway 80), the start and finish of the parade route. The research vessel “Anondontoides”(made possible by the generosity of the SUNY Oneonta Biological Field Station) will serve as a committee barge of judges and parade officials and will be moored off Three Mile Point. Boats of all sizes and shapes – powered by engine, electric, wind, oar and paddle – are welcome. There are no fees, rules or regulations (except travel slowly, stay in line and be courteous). Participating boats should meet in the waters off Three Mile Point in ample time to be lined up and ready for the start of the parade. Clearly marked lead boats will escort participating vessels past the judges, then line up for a slow speed, in-line promenade from Three Mile Point, heading south along the west shore of Lake Otsego to Lakefront Park; the parade will then reverse course, and reconvene off-shore at Three Mile Point for the awarding of prizes in a variety of categories. Prize winners will then be eligible for the “Float Your Boat” Best of Parade Grand prize. For more information, click on the “Events” tab at http://www.otsegolakeassociation.org/

‘FARM STORIES’ DOCUMENT RICH AGRICULTURAL HISTORY:Interviewees featured in the “New York Farm Stories” audio recordings discuss dairy farming; milk, cheese, and butter production; hops growing; transportation; farm technology; the distribution of goods; family; and community. Many of the recordings include reflections on the transformations in farming within the last 75 years.In particular, many interviewees discuss the transition from small farming to large-scale production. The materials in this collection paint a vivid portrait of farm life and provide a reminder that agriculture has played a key role in New York State history. Most of the materials come from the collections of the New York State Historical Association Research Library and the Cooperstown Graduate Program, a SUNY Oneonta master’s degree program in museum studies. They were collected by students in the graduate program starting in the mid-1960s and continuing to the present.  To hear the full oral histories, visit www.cgpcommunitystories.org.  For more information, contact Will Walker, william.walker@oneonta.edu.

OTHER UPCOMING OCCA EVENTS:

  • “Walk on the Flat Side” hike, Robert V. Riddell State Park, June 21, 4 p.m.
  • Water chestnut eradiation on Goodyear Lake: July 2, 9, 16, 25; August 5, 6, 22, 23.
  • Basswood Pond State Forest trail maintenance, July 15.
  • “Western Exposure, Fetterley Forest Hike, July 18 (co-sponsored with Otsego Land Trust), 5 p.m.
  • Adopt-a-Highway clean-up, July 19, 9 a.m.
  • “Climb Noah’s What?” hike, July 22 (co-sponsored with Susquehanna Chapter, Adirondack Mountain Club), 10 a.m.

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.

The 7th Otsego Lakes Festival will be held on Saturday, July 12 from noon to 5 p.m. at Lakefront Park in Cooperstown. 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 Otsego County’s lakes – educational exhibits, children’s activities, hands-on workshops, and lake tours will all focus on the importance of protecting this county’s waterways and ensuring water quality throughout the region. Good food, music and art will also help celebrate the importance of Otsego County’s lakes. Activities for kids will include the Cooperstown Art Association’s fish painting station, interactive science displays with SUNY Oneonta’s Biological Field Station, and a lake art station and “juried” art contest. Food and drink will be for sale on site, served up by Leatherstocking Envirothon organizers and the Origins Café mobile food truck, among others. The Cherry Valley Community Jazz Ensemble will perform live.

To learn more about being a sponsor of the Otsego Lakes Festival, seehttp://occainfo.org.

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

 

The Otsego County Conservation Association will conduct a horticultural plastic container recycling initiative on two Saturdays in June at the Cooperstown Farmers’ Market. Used plastic growing containers can be dropped off on June 14 and June 21 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the farmers’ market, 101 Main Street (in Pioneer Alley next to KeyBank), where they will be collected and sorted. The materials will later be shipped and processed into clean regrind which is then manufactured into new horticultural containers. All containers must be rinsed clean – excess soil, rocks, paper, metal hangers and other foreign materials must be removed; adhesive labels are fine. Mixed color and printed containers are acceptable. Most containers being collected – plastic garden pots, cell packs and trays – have the appropriate recycling symbol molded into the bottom (#2, #5, #6). This program is made possible locally by New York State Flower Industries, Inc. For more information, contact OCCA at (607) 547-4488 or admin@occainfo.org.

 

MARYLAND – Join Otsego County Conservation Association on Saturday, June 7 for a hike at South Hill State Forest, the latest offering in OCCA’s 2014 Nature Walk Series. Tucked away on the county line in the Town of Maryland, South Hill State Forest offers relatively easy walking through 521 acres of hardwood forest and pine plantations.

“This promises to be a pleasant day on the trail,” said Jeff O’Handley, OCCA’s program director.  “Birds have been especially active lately. It’s always nice to see what’s arriving in our area, as well as what wildflowers are blooming in the forest.”

The walk, a little over two miles of easy terrain, begins at 10 a.m.Participants should meet at the parking area on the forest’s northernmost access road on Davenport Road in Maryland (from State Route 7, turn on Stevens Road to County Route 56, go under the highway, turn on to Burroughs Road, bear left up the hill, then bear left on to Davenport Road). For more information, contact OCCA at 547-4488, or via e-mail,programdirector@occainfo.org.

In addition to this hike, OCCA is offering a number of other programs throughout the summer. Dates and locations include June 21 at Robert V. Riddell State Park and July 18 at Fetterley Forest Conservation Area, the latter in cooperation with the Otsego Land Trust. In addition, OCCA is hosting volunteers to help pull invasive water chestnuts from the Stump Lot in Goodyear Lake on July 9.

The Otsego County Conservation Association’s 2014 Nature Walk Series officially begins this Saturday, May 24 with a “Spring Wildflower Hike” led by OCCA Board member Donna Vogler. This excursion through beautiful Greenwoods Conservancy, co-sponsored by OCCA and the Otsego Land Trust, begins at 10 a.m. Greenwoods is located on Zachow Road in the Town of Burlington. Participants will be guided through its diverse ecology systems by Dr. Vogler, a professor of biology and wetland plant identification and delineation at SUNY Oneonta, as she identifies and talks about the many native wildflowers who call this region home. Light refreshments will be served. Please RSVP to Marcie Foster at (607) 547-2366 ormarcie@otsegolandtrust.org. Next up for OCCA’s 2014 Nature Walk Series is the “County Line Hike” in South Hill State Forest, Maryland, with OCCA Program Director Jeff O’Handley. To learn more, visit http://www.occainfo.org or contact O’Handley at programdirector@occainfo.org or (607) 282-4087.

ECO-BULLETIN FROM OTSEGO COUNTY CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION

May 20, 2014: Vol. 7, No. 8

Eco-bulletin headlines this issue:

BIKE TO WORK DAY IS TOMORROW!

WILDFLOWER HIKE KICKS OFF OCCA NATURE WALK SERIES

BIRDS, BRUNCH, BEER SET FOR JUNE 1

VIDEO TAKES IN-DEPTH LOOK AT PLASTIC POLLUTION

PANEL TO EXPLORE RENEWABLE ENERGY FUTURE

SAVE THE DATE: OTSEGO LAKES FESTIVAL

BLIGHT RESISTANT CHESTNUT TREES A REALITY

‘BEE’ A PART OF THE BEE ACTION CAMPAIGN

SINGLE STREAM RECYCLING VIDEO

OTHER UPCOMING EVENTS

BIKE TO WORK DAY IS TOMORROW! Otsego Regional Cycling Advocates’ Sixth Annual Bike to Work Day for Otsego County will be held tomorrow, Wednesday, May 21 with check-­in sites countywide. BTWD 2014 is sponsored by the Inn at Cooperstown, with support from Five Star Subaru. Both riders and walkers can register at the following check-in locations for BTWD 2014:  Bassett Healthcare, Clark Sports Center, Cooperstown Elementary School, Cooperstown High School, Edmeston Central School, Greater Plains Elementary School, HealthLinks at FoxCare, Laurens Central School, Milford Central School, Morris Central School, the New York State Historical Association, Oneonta Middle/High School, Richfield Springs Central School, Riverside Elementary School, Schenevus Central School, Valley View Elementary School,  and Woodland Cycles.Local bicyclists can also participate in the National Bike Challenge,https://nationalbikechallenge.org, to record miles ridden throughSeptember 30. ORCA is a committee of the Otsego County Conservation Association. 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. To learn more about Bike to Work Day and ORCA, visithttp://www.occainfo.org/ORCA.htm.

WILDFLOWER HIKE KICKS OFF OCCA NATURE WALK SERIES:OCCA’s 2014 Nature Walk Series officially begins this Saturday, May 24 with a “Spring Wildflower Hike” led by OCCA Board member Donna Vogler. This excursion through beautiful Greenwoods Conservancy, co-sponsored by OCCA and the Otsego Land Trust, begins at 10 a.m. Greenwoods is located on Zachow Road in the Town of Burlington. Participants will be guided through its diverse ecology systems by Dr. Vogler, a professor of biology and wetland plant identification and delineation at SUNY Oneonta, as she identifies and talks about the many native wildflowers that call this region home. Light refreshments will be served. Please RSVP to Marcie Foster at (607) 547-2366 ormarcie@otsegolandtrust.org. Next up for OCCA’s 2014 Nature Walk Series is the “County Line Hike” in South Hill State Forest, Maryland, with OCCA Program Director Jeff O’Handley. To learn more, visit http://www.occainfo.org/EnviroEventsCal.htm or contact O’Handley at programdirector@occainfo.org or (607) 282-4087.

BIRDS, BRUNCH, BEER SET FOR JUNE 1: Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society will host its second Birds, Brunch & Beer event at Brewery Ommegang on Sunday, June 1 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.  The day will include a morning bird walk, coffee, raffle and silent auction, brunch, and workshops at a cost of $30 per person. For registration information, call Eleanor Moriarty at (607) 435-2054 or visitwww.doas.us.

VIDEO TAKES IN-DEPTH LOOK AT PLASTIC POLLUTION: Algalita Marine Research Institute is dedicated to the protection and improvement of the marine environment and its watersheds through education and research on the impact of plastic pollution. Algalita’s goal is a global environment that is healthy, sustainable and productive for all living creatures, free from plastic pollution. This video provides an informative, sometimes alarming look at the effect of plastics on the environment:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHg291KeFls.

PANEL TO EXPLORE RENEWABLE ENERGY FUTURE: Sustainable Otsego will sponsor a panel discussion on the 100% Renewable Energy Plan for New York State on Monday, June 2 at 7 p.m. in the County Courthouse, 197 Main Street, Cooperstown. Jannette Barth, economist and a co-author of the 100% Renewable Energy Plan for NYS, and Jessica Azulay of the Syracuse-based Alliance for a Green Economy, will make a joint presentation summarizing the plan and exploring its implications. Lou Allstadt, retired Mobil Oil executive vice-president and member of the Citizens Climate Lobby, will offer commentary. This promises to be an important opportunity to assess the feasibility of a transition from fossil and nuclear fuels to renewables, something of vital concern to all of us, both locally and globally. The 100% Renewable Energy Plan for NYS by Jacobson, et al is, so far, the only systematic attempt to outline how this might happen on a large scale. A chance to hear the plan summarized and discussed should be compelling to everyone concerned about the prospects of solving our energy crisis and moving to a sustainable ecological, economic, social, and political future. This event is free and open to the public.

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.

BLIGHT RESISTANT CHESTNUT TREES A REALITY: The American Chestnut Foundation, a non-profit organization, has worked successfully with SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry to produce a blight resistant chestnut tree. Over the next few years, they will continue to produce as many of these trees as possible for a quick start toward restoration once the trees are approved by government regulators via a rigorous scientific review process. To learn more about the American Chestnut Research and Restoration Project, visit http://www.esf.edu/chestnut/resistance.htm. For information on The American Chestnut Foundation’s New York chapter, see http://www.acf.org/Chapters_ny.php.

‘BEE’ A PART OF THE BEE ACTION CAMPAIGN: According to Friends of the Earth, there are five ways you can help save the bees. See the attached to learn more.

SINGLE STREAM RECYCLING VIDEO: Several OCCA members have inquired recently as to how items are sorted during the single stream recycling process. Visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKbf5arBVZA#t=16 to see, from entry to exit, how the single-stream facility in Utica works.

OTHER UPCOMING OCCA EVENTS:

  • June 7: County Line Hike in South Hill State Forest led by OCCA Program Director Jeff O’Handley.
  • June 21: Walk on the Flat Side. Patricia Riddell Kent and Steve Kent lead an easy, 1.5 mile hike in the northern portion of Robert V. Riddell State Park.
  • July 9: Water chestnut hand pulling, Goodyear Lake.