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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.

ECO-BULLETIN FROM OTSEGO COUNTY CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION

May 16, 2014: Vol. 7, No. 7

Eco-bulletin headlines this issue:

VOLUNTEERS STILL NEEDED FOR TOMORROW’S HIGHWAY CLEAN-UP

BIKE TO WORK DAY IS NEXT WEDNESDAY

OCCA TO EXHIBIT AT ROTARY’S SPRING FLING

SAVE THE DATE: OTSEGO LAKES FESTIVAL

OTHER UPCOMING EVENTS

VOLUNTEERS STILL NEEDED FOR TOMORROW’S HIGHWAY CLEAN-UP: Otsego County Conservation Association still has room for three 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.”

Although pre-registration is preferred, those wishing to lend a hand tomorrow can meet O’Handley 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.

BIKE TO WORK DAY IS NEXT WEDNESDAY! Otsego Regional Cycling Advocates’ Sixth Annual Bike to Work Day for Otsego County will be held next Wednesday, May 21 with check-­in sites countywide. BTWD 2014 is sponsored by the Inn at Cooperstown, with support from Five Star Subaru.

“We are proud to be a part of Bike to Work Day,” said Inn at Cooperstown owners Marc and Sherrie Kingsley. “We hope for great weather and that this day gives people the impetus to start riding their bicycles for transportation, on errands, or just for fun, for the rest of the bicycling season here in Otsego County.”

“Don’t miss out on the fun and excitement of bicycling to work,” added Martha Clarvoe, Bike to Work Day committee chair. “It’s a great way to get in your exercise, arriving at work energized and proud that you have reduced your carbon footprint.”

“After a year lull in my bike-riding career, I’m back in the saddle and loving it more than ever,” Clarvoe said.

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,  Woodland Cycles, and Worcester Central School.

Local bicyclists can also participate in the National Bike Challenge,https://nationalbikechallenge.org, to record miles ridden throughSeptember 30.

“I love participating in the National Bike Challenge because it allows me to record my miles, chart my progress and compete for prizes,”said ORCA President William Walker, who staffs the check-in table at NYSHA in Cooperstown. “I feel like I’m part of something big that is happening all over the country, not just here in Otsego County.”

Walker rides his bike to work every day, rain or shine, and encourages more people to do the same.

ORCA is a committee of 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.

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. To learn more about ORCA, visithttp://www.occainfo.org/ORCA.htm.

OCCA TO EXHIBIT AT ROTARY’S SPRING FLING: Framed and unframed photographs, Native American crafts, hand-dyed cotton wearables, stained glass and mosaics, record albums, plants, and fine art are among the diverse merchandise to be sold at the Spring Fling Street Fair later this month.

Almost 50 vendors of food, drink, and arts and crafts, area businesses, and local community groups – including OCCA – have registered and will 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. Spring Fling will be held rain or shine from noon until 5 p.m. as Railroad Avenue is transformed into a pedestrian way, with booths lining the street. Parking will be available and admission is free.

The Cooperstown Central School Jazz Band, Stoddard Hollow String Band and The Little Big Band are set to play, the Utica ZooMobile will be on hand from noon to 3 p.m., and a silent auction will also be held.

Merchants, artists, farmers, craftspeople and non-profit organizations are participating in this community-building event. Tastings of local wines, beers, and spirits will be featured and the mouth-watering smell of barbecue, pizza, empanadas and other foods will be difficult to resist.

“Between the food vendors, beverages from the distillery and local breweries, and artists and crafters – plus live music – this is shaping up to be a fantastic street fair,” said Vending Committee Chair Karen Katz. “We hope everyone in Cooperstown and the surrounding area will stop by to join the Cooperstown Rotary as we officially welcome spring.”

“We are excited about this event and the way in which it brings together such a wonderful group of local vendors, artists, authors, businesses, community groups, and more,” said Katz. “Our goal is that Spring Fling will become a major annual springtime event in the Village of Cooperstown, and we’re off to a great start!”

Spring Fling is sponsored by Cooperstown Distillery, Cooperstown Beverage Trail, The New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway, Tickled Pink BBQ, Stewart’s Shops, The Freeman’s Journal, Cooperstown Family Dentistry-Dr. Kathleen Evans, Pizza Genie, Miss Dawn’s Salon and Cooperstown Wine & Spirits. To donate to the auction or become a sponsor of Spring Fling, contact Melanie Boyer at mboyer@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.

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.

OTSEGO COUNTY – Otsego Regional Cycling Advocates’ Sixth Annual Bike to Work Day for Otsego County will be held nextWednesday, May 21 with check-­in sites countywide. BTWD 2014 is sponsored by the Inn at Cooperstown, with support from Five Star Subaru.

“We are proud to be a part of Bike to Work Day,” said Inn at Cooperstown owners Marc and Sherrie Kingsley. “We hope for great weather and that this day gives people the impetus to start riding their bicycles for transportation, on errands, or just for fun, for the rest of the bicycling season here in Otsego County.”

“Don’t miss out on the fun and excitement of bicycling to work,” added Martha Clarvoe, Bike to Work Day committee chair. “It’s a great way to get in your exercise, arriving at work energized and proud that you have reduced your carbon footprint.”

“After a year lull in my bike-riding career, I’m back in the saddle and loving it more than ever,” Clarvoe said.

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@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,  Woodland Cycles, and Worcester Central School.

Local bicyclists can also participate in the National Bike Challenge,https://nationalbikechallenge.org, to record miles ridden throughSeptember 30.

“I love participating in the National Bike Challenge because it allows me to record my miles, chart my progress and compete for prizes,”said ORCA President William Walker, who staffs the check-in table at NYSHA in Cooperstown. “I feel like I’m part of something big that is happening all over the country, not just here in Otsego County.”

Walker rides his bike to work every day, rain or shine, and encourages more people to do the same.

ORCA is a committee of 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.

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.

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.