ECO-BULLETIN FROM OTSEGO COUNTY CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION
AUGUST 20, 2014: Vol. 7, No. 14
Eco-bulletin headlines this issue:
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED TO PULL WATER CHESTNUT THIS WEEK
PLANNING UNDERWAY FOR INAUGURAL BIKE OTSEGO EVENT
HIKE OF BASSWOOD BLUE TRAIL SET FOR SEPTEMBER 6
REGISTER NOW FOR TWO-PART ECOTEAM PROGRAM
OBSOLETE HARDWARE IS THE NEW ‘URBAN MINE’
‘LIKE’ OCCA ON FACEBOOK AND STAY CONNECTED
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED TO PULL WATER CHESTNUT THIS WEEK:With summer winding down, Otsego County Conservation Association and the Goodyear Lake Association are seeking volunteers to help hand pull water chestnut from the northern portion of Goodyear Lake on Friday and Saturday, August 22 and 23. Water chestnut is a non-native invasive plant capable of rapidly taking over water bodies if left unchecked. “Plant numbers are significantly down from the past, which is due to the hard work of many people,” said Jeff O’Handley, OCCA’s program director. “However, water chestnut is a tough plant, and it grows fast. There are some parts of the lake we’ve pulled plants from two or three times this summer, and yet they keep coming back.” Control is made difficult by the plant’s ability to grow from stem and root fragments. Even small pieces can quickly develop into new plants, each one capable of producing 20 sharply-spiked nuts. The nuts sink to the bottom and anchor into the sediment, where they can lie dormant for 12 years before growing. If left alone, water chestnut populations could soon rebound to levels seen back in 2008, when volunteers removed 12 tons of the plant. “We’re lucky if we get 12 pounds now,” says O’Handley. “But if we don’t catch them before they set seed, we could find ourselves overwhelmed again.” Volunteers are needed for both Friday and Saturday. OCCA has several canoes available, or people can show up with their own canoe or kayak. Meeting time is 9 a.m. at the DEC fishing access site on State Route 28 in Portlandville, just south of the County Route 35 bridge. Volunteers should expect to get wet and dirty. If interested, call O’Handley at (607) 282-4087.
PLANNING UNDERWAY FOR INAUGURAL BIKE OTSEGO EVENT:Registrations are now being taken for Bike Otsego 2014, to be held onSaturday, September 20. A choice of five bicycle rides ensures there will be something for everyone! The “Grand Slam” event covers 75 miles and takes riders into the Village of Cooperstown. A challenging 31-mile ride offers intermediate riders some gorgeous scenery, and a family friendly 12-mile ride is suitable for all ages and levels. In addition, mountain bike riders have a choice between a beginner’s route and an advanced route through Oneonta. All registered riders will receive a free T-shirt, full rider support including rest stops, and a post-race meal. For more information and to register, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.bikeotsego.com. OCCA is a sponsor of Bike Otsego 2014.
HIKE OF BASSWOOD BLUE TRAIL SET FOR SEPTEMBER 6: Working with the Headwaters Youth Conservation Corps, OCCA trimmed and cleared 5 miles of walking and cross country ski trails in Basswood Pond State Forest this summer. Partake in the fruits of our labor onSaturday, September 6 with a 1.5-mile walk along the Blue Trail, which winds through spruce groves, along a lovely stream, and up to Basswood Pond itself. On the way we’ll keep an eye out for early fall migrants along with the interesting animals and plants that live in this 711-acre forest. Meet at the southern parking area at 9 a.m.Directions: take State Route 80 to the blinking light in Burlington. Turn north on County Road 16. In 1.5 miles, turn left onto Basswood Road – THIS GRAVEL ROAD IS NOT MARKED! The parking area is 0.1 miles on the right. Bring binoculars, water and insect repellent. Call (607) 547-4488 for details or email@example.com. Free and open to the public.
REGISTER NOW FOR TWO-PART ECOTEAM PROGRAM: Learn wilderness survival skills with local science teacher and naturalist Eamonn Hinchey during “Back to the Basics: Wilderness Survival.”This hands-on OCCA EcoTeam workshop will be held on two consecutive Saturdays in September. Skills include fire building by such methods as friction and flint and steel; making cordage from plant fibers; simple A-frame shelter construction; trap building; and more. The two-part program runs on September 20 and 27 from 9-11 a.m. in Wilber Park, Oneonta and is free to EcoTeam members, but pre-registration is required (ages 8 and up). Space is limited to 15 and we expect it will fill up quickly, so register fast to secure your space! Call (607) 547-4488 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
OBSOLETE HARDWARE IS THE NEW ‘URBAN MINE’: Urban mining is the process of claiming compounds and elements from products, buildings, and waste. Urban mining lessens environmental impact, rids landfills of reusable materials, lowers energy costs and conserves natural resources. Learn more at: http://urbanmining.org/how-urban-mining-works.
‘LIKE’ OCCA ON FACEBOOK AND STAY CONNECTED: You can stay informed about Otsego County Conservation Association events and activities and current environmental issues through weekday posts on Facebook and/or Twitter. “Like” us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter at AdmDirector.
OTHER UPCOMING EVENTS:
- “Greener Golfing,” hike of The Leatherstocking Golf Course with Manager Bernie Banas, October 4.
- “Mud Lake Hike” of Robert V. Riddell State Park with Patricia Riddell Kent and Steve Kent, October 25.