Our Environment.
Our Home.
OUR CHALLENGE.

  • 1

Insects to be subject of OCCA walk

(ONEONTA) – SUNY Oneonta professor, Dr. Jeffrey Heilveil leads a family-oriented search for insects at the Oneonta College Camp on Saturday, July 21 at 10am. The walk is part of Otsego County Conservation Association’s nature walk series.

“Insects are an important part of our world,” said OCCA Program Director, Jeff O’Handley. “Dr. Heilveil is passionate about insects and an excellent teacher.”

Participants will take an easy walk through woods and fields, catching, observing and learning about a variety of insects that call Otsego County home. Dr. Heilveil will talk about insect adaptations, distinguishing characteristics of different groups, where to find the species, and some of the astounding life histories of local insects.

The program will take place at the SUNY Oneonta College Camp, located at 119 Hoffman Road, Oneonta. The 276-acre camp is used for educational, recreational and social opportunities for the college community. The program is free and open to the public. To get to the camp, turn off East Street at Hoffman Road, then bear left and follow the road to the camp. The group will meet near the observatory.

Founded in 1968, 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, planning and practice. For more information on OCCA, or to donate, visit www.occainfo.org.

Otsego County Conservation Association (OCCA), The City of Oneonta, and the Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership (CRISP) are combining to hold an Invasive Species Teach-In on Saturday, July 14 from 11am to 3pm at the small pavilion in Wilber Park, Oneonta. The event is free and open to everyone.

“We’re very excited to be offering this new program,” said Jeff O’Handley, OCCA’s program director. “

Local botanist and OCCA board member Donna Vogler and her team of students from SUNY Oneonta will share their expertise about invasive plants with displays, activities, and a plant identification booth. Attendees will learn how to report infestations and what is being done to control them. In addition, there will be a nature walk focused on urban forestry and invasive plants at noon. Activities will be ongoing throughout the day.

“One of the highlights will be the identification station,” O’Handley said. “If you have a suspicious plant, you can either bring a good quality cellphone photo or the plant itself, tightly sealed in a Ziploc bag, for identification. Suspicious insects can also be brought for later identification, provided it is in a baggie and has been frozen overnight.”

Invasive species are plants or animals that are not native to an area and cause or are likely to cause harm to the environment, the economy, and human health. In the United States, invasive species are responsible for approximately $120 billion dollars a year in damages.

The Invasive Species Teach-In is free and open to the public. For information, visit occainfo.org.

Otsego County Conservation Association is sponsoring three invasive species events as part of the fifth annual New York State Invasive Species Awareness Week (ISAW).

On Sunday, July 8, OCCA hosts a “Paddle and Pull” on Goodyear Lake aimed at finding and removing water chestnut (Trapa natans), an invasive plant from eastern Europe. Participants will meet at the New York State Fishing Access Site on Route 28 in Portlandville and head out into the ‘Stump Lot,’ the northernmost portion of the Lake. Any water chestnut plants found will be pulled by hand and composted. The event takes place from 1 to 4 p.m.Volunteers should bring sunscreen, a hat and water, and should wear clothes that can get wet and/or muddy. OCCA has a limited number of canoes available for participants to use, or they may bring their own canoe/kayak.

On Wednesday, July 11, OCCA will be tackling Japanese knotweed at Mohican Farm in Springfield from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Japanese knotweed grows in dense clumps and spreads rapidly, crowding out native vegetation. OCCA and Mohican Farm have been working together for the last two years to try to bring this stubborn invasive under control without the use of herbicide. Participants may bring hand tools such as pruners, loppers, and picks or mattocks.

Invasive Species Awareness Week draws to a close on Saturday, July 14 with the “Invasive Species Teach-In” at the small pavilion in Wilber Park, Oneonta. This event will include educational displays, an urban forest/invasive species-themed nature walk, activities for children and adults, and a plant identification booth. The Invasive Species Teach-In will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is sponsored by OCCA, the Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership (CRISP) and the City of Oneonta.

All events are free and open to the public. Pre-registration is required to reserve canoe space in the “Paddle and Pull,” and is preferred for the Japanese knotweed removal. To sign up, either call Jeff O’Handley at (607) 282-4087 or use the form on OCCA’s web page: (http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/).

Invasive species are organisms that are not native to an area and cause or are likely to cause harm to the environment, the economy, or human health. Invasive species cost the United States more than $120 billion in damage and control costs each year.

The mission of Invasive Species Awareness Week is to promote knowledge and understanding of invasive species and the harm they can cause by engaging citizens in a wide range of activities across the state, and empowering them to take action to help stop the spread.

Founded in 1968, 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, planning and practice. For more information on OCCA, or to donate, visit www.occainfo.org.

July 2, 2018:  Vol. 12, No. 7

 Save the Date

Goodyear Lake Paddle and Pull

July 8 – 1pm:  Portlandville Fishing Access Site

Kick off Invasive Species Awareness Week with a water chestnut pull in the Stump Lot portion of Goodyear Lake. OCCA and the Goodyear Lake Association have been partnering for a decade on removing the highly invasive water chestnut (Trapa natans) by hand. Come enjoy the results on a leisurely paddle, and we’ll pull any water chestnuts we find. Bring your own canoe/kayak, or reserve space in one of ours! Bring water, sunscreen, and a hat. Please pre-register @ https://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/

Mohican Farm Knotweed Pull

July 11 – 6:30pm:  Mohican Farm, 7207 State Highway 80, Cooperstown, NY (corner of 80 and Allen Lake Road)

Japanese knotweed is a highly-invasive plant that is spreading rapidly across the region. Learn to recognize knotweed, and get your hands dirty as we try to control a patch of it here at Mohican Farm. Bring hand pruners and hand tools useful for grubbing tough, persistent roots out of the ground. Contact Jeff O’Handley for information or to register.

Invasive Species Teach-In

July 14 – 11am:  Wilber Park

Celebrate New York State’s fifth Invasive Species Awareness Week with an Invasive Species Teach-In at the small pavilion in Wilber Park, Oneonta. Local botanist and OCCA board member Donna Vogler and her team from SUNY Oneonta will share their expertise about invasive plants with displays, activities for kids and adults, and a plant identification booth. See examples of common invasive plants, discover how to report new infestations, and learn what is being done to control them. You may bring suspicious plants or weeds for identification—bring either a good cell phone photo or bring the plant sealed in a gallon Ziploc bag. Also part of the program is a tree identification walk. Unknown insects may also be dropped off for later identification. Insects must be sealed in a bag and frozen overnight, i.e., they must be dead). This event is free and open to the public. Sponsored by OCCA, the Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership (CRISP), and the City of Oneonta.

Bug Walk

July 21 – 10am:  SUNY Oneonta College Camp

Come on a leisurely walk around the College Camp with Dr. Jeffrey Heilveil, Chair of the Biology Department at SUNY Oneonta and resident entomologist, and catch, observe and learn about many of the late summer insects that reside in Otsego County. Insects are fascinating creatures: some are vital to the foods we eat and flowers we love. Others are important food sources for other animals, or we are important food sources for them. Dr. Heilveil will talk about distinguishing characteristics, where to find the species, and some of the astounding life histories of local insects. Register @ https://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/

Announcements

 

OCCA Goes Green with Electronic Garage Sale

The new online green “garage sale” website was unveiled at Earth Festival, and you can get shopping!  You can also find these Items on Craig’s List for those who would like to shop that way.  We still need your items to sell, and will continue accepting items year round! To donate, just call OCCA at 547-4488, snap a photo of your item, and email it to occagaragesale@gmail.com.  We will post your item on our store site, and sell the item for you.  If you would like the items out of your home ASAP, you can bring them to OCCA, and we’ll store them for you.  We hope all our donors and shoppers will still participate in our event and help keep items out of the landfill.  For more information see our website at www.occainfo.org/reduce-reuse-recycle-garage-sale/.

OCCA Citizen Science Stream Monitoring Program Seeking Volunteers

We’re about to finish up our first year of monitoring, and we couldn’t be happier with our stream team and the results they have collected so far!  Not long ago we received a grant to help us expand our program, and we’re looking for more volunteers to help us monitor an additional 5-10 sites around Otsego County.  If you’re interested in getting your feet wet, learning about water quality and the health of one of our local streams, this program is for you.  The project is perfect for school groups, church groups, scouts, and just your average joe looking to do something to get out into the environment.  Volunteers can expect to monitor sites once a month throughout the year as conditions allow.  A time commitment of approximately 3-4 hours a month is required.  Interested in being a Stream Team member, call Leslie Orzetti at 547-4488 to sign up!

Community Shared Solar Opportunities

Southern Tier Solar

Community solar is a program that greatly increases equitable access to locally produced solar energy. Community solar links a customer’s utility bill directly to a local solar farm, allowing them to go solar without installing solar on their home. A customer’s share of the electricity produced on the solar farm is credited directly to their NYSEG utility bill each month. Any NYSEG customer can sign up: renters, homeowners, businesses, and non-profits. To learn more about how you can save money on your electric bill, protect the environment, and support the local solar economy, check out our event schedule for Otsego County:

 

Solstice

Solstice is a mission-driven organization dedicated to bringing affordable solar power to the 80% of Americans who cannot install a rooftop system. Solstice conducts comprehensive marketing campaigns to educate communities about community solar projects in their area, partnering with trusted local organizations to distribute community solar to their membership, conducting outreach efforts and managing the customer experience. There is currently an opportunity to buy into a new solar installation right in your own back yard in Laurens.  To learn more, contact Jackie Burke at 607-345-4816 or jackie@solstice.us. Tim Brown at 607-241-0125 ortim@solstice.us

Monitoring and Managing Ash (MaMA) Workshp

Learn how to contribute to ash conservation. The Ecologicial Research Institute (ERI) presents this single-session training workshop. Attendees will learn how to establish ash mortality monitoring plots as part of a Monitoring Plot Network extending through the Catskills and beyond. The workshop includes training in how to recognize ash and detect the emerald ash borer (EAB); how to report EAB via the MaMA Ash/EAB Surveys Anedcata project; introduction to MaMA’s “Potential Lingering Ash Toolkit” to protect possible lingering ash from being felled; and MaMA’s other tools and integrated approach to EAB management and ash conservation. The program includes hands-on demonstrations of project techniques used to establish mortality plots, conduct Ash/EAB surveys, and report lingering ash. Workshop is presented by MaMA’s orginators, Jonathan Rosenthal (ERI Director) and Dr. Radka Wildova (ERI Senior Scientist). Free, but pre-registration is required. Tuesday, July 24, 1-4pm at Mohican Farm.

 

ORCA Ride-On for Complete Streets

On Sunday September 9th from 8am-5pm, ORCA and a group of partners will host a “Ride-On” for the Complete Streets Program.  The day will consist of a variety of length rides for cyclists of all ages and abilities.  Complete Streets is a program designed to promote the safe use of our roads for all modes of transportation including pedestrians, cyclists, public transport and private vehicles.  The event will start at Richfield Springs Central School at 8am. For more information and to register go to: http://otsegooutdoors.org/event/orcas-ride-on-for-complete-streets/

 Did You Know?

Its almost blueberry season.  Yay!!!!  We just love blueberries in our house.  Sometimes I think more end up in our bellies than in the bucket when we are picking.  While “blueberries” are native to the east coast of the United States, New Jersey claims to be the “Blueberry Capitol of the World”, and Maine accounts for 10% of the cultivated blueberries in the North America.  As I’m sure many of you are aware, the typical harvest season is Mid-July through August for these sweet treats, and Otsego County has some great picking places if you don’t have them in your own backyard.  So what’s so great about that tasty bluish purple treat?  Well, aside from the fact that its great in smoothies, pies, cobbler and whatever else you can come up with, they have some great health benefits as well. These little guys are high in anti-oxidants which mean they go around your body gobbling up “free radicals”…what you say?  I’m not radical!  Ah yes, you are!  Free radicals are uncharged little particles in your body that are highly reactive and can bond with just about anything they come into contact with.  The more you can eat food that can gobble them up, the better as they contribute to the aging process and can contribute to the formation and/or spread of cancer.  Several studies have shown that exposing cancer cells to blueberry extract can slow their growth.  Blueberries can also help with weight loss and help with brain and heart health, alleviate inflammation and support good digestion.  All in all, we think blueberries are one of the best things out there in the summer, so go out, put on your sunscreen and get picking over the next few weeks.   And…..save some for us!

Otsego County Conservation Association is seeking volunteers to help hand pull water chestnut plants at Silver Lake Sanctuary in New Berlin, on Friday, June 22 from 10am to 1pm.

“We’ll be working with volunteers who are developing Silver Lake Sanctuary along with members of the Silver Lake Swimming Club to remove the water chestnut,” said Jeff O’Handley, OCCA’s program director. “We’re trying to help restore this lake and to keep water chestnut from spreading to other water bodies.”

An invasive aquatic plant from eastern Europe introduced into the United States in the mid-1800s, water chestnut forms rosettes of leaves that float on the water’s surface. Left uncontrolled, the rosettes block sunlight and crowd out native vegetation. In late summer, the plant develops spiny nuts that fall to the bottom and can potentially cause injury to swimmers.

Canoes and kayaks will be provided by OCCA, the lake’s owners and local residents. No other outside watercraft will be allowed.

“Invasive species are frequently transported by improperly cleaned watercraft,” O’Handley said. “The lake owners are trying to prevent invasive species from coming in to or going out of the lake.”

The plants will be pulled out of the lake by hand, then dried and composted. Lunch will be provided.

“We have a limited amount of space in our canoes, so anyone interested in volunteering should sign up soon,” O’Handley said. “This also lets us know how many to expect for lunch.”

Silver Lake Sanctuary is a 40-acre lake, wetland and riparian forest on the western edge of Otsego County. Volunteers are developing a trail system and seeking to improve the property for wildlife.

Volunteers can sign up at occainfo.org or by calling OCCA at (607) 282-4087.

Founded in 1968, Otsego County Conservation Association is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the appreciation and sustainable use of Otsego County’s natural resources through education, research, resource management, advocacy, planning and practice. For more information, or to donate, visit www.occainfo.org.

###

(COOPERSTOWN)—Otsego County Conservation Association has released its schedule of public programs and volunteer opportunities for the month of June:

Saturday, June 9, 8am: Highway cleanup, Springfield. OCCA adopted a 2-mile portion of State Highway 80 as part of New York State’s Adopt-A-Highway program. Meet at OCCA at 8am, have an enjoyable walk, and help keep our road clean! After, enjoy a free coffee and a muffin at Sunflower Café. Wear long pants and sturdy shoes. Safety equipment, bags and gloves provided.

Friday, June 22, 10am: Water chestnut control at Silver Lake. Water chestnut is a highly-invasive plant that can take over shallow lakes and ponds. Volunteers are needed to help pull water chestnut at Silver Lake in New Berlin. Canoes and lunch will be provided.

Wednesday, June 27, 10am-11:30am: Get the Kids Out, Nature Identification. Kids of all ages are welcome to this program in Wilber Park, Oneonta. Explore different habitats in the park, learn about the plants and animals that live there, and use a journal to record observations. Meet at the lower parking lot at the Spruce Street entrance.

Saturday, June 30, 10am: Butternut Creek paddle. Join OCCA and the Butternut Valley Alliance for a relaxing and informative paddle through forests and valleys. This 4+mile paddle departs at the Bailey Road Bridge in Morris and ends at County Road 8 in Gilbertsville. Bring your own canoe or kayak, or reserve space in an OCCA canoe. Bring lunch and water.

All programs are free. Pre-registration is required for water based programs. Visit occainfo.org or call (607) 547-4488 for details.

Founded in 1968, 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, planning, and practice. For more information on OCCA, or to donate, visitwww.occainfo.org.

###

Save the Date

Nature Hike

June 2 – 900am – Basswood Pond State Forest

Take a 2-mile walk on the lower loop in Basswood Pond State Forest in Burlington Flats. The forest includes pine and spruce plantations, mixed hardwoods, a beaver pond and wetlands. Enjoy late spring wildflowers and look for signs of the abundant wildlife in the forest. Meet at 9 am at the Day Use area on Conservation Road. While pre-registration is not necessary, you can sign up at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/

Highway Cleanup 

June 9 – 8-10am – Mohican Farm

Help keep a 2-mile section of Route 80 in Cooperstown/Springfield looking good! Afterward, enjoy a complimentary coffee and a muffin courtesy of our friends at Sunflower Café in Springfield. Gloves, bags, and equipment provided. Ages 12 and up only.

Water Chestnut Control at Silver Lake

June 22 – 10am – 1pm – Silver Lake, New Berlin

Join OCCA us for our first water chestnut control event of the year at Silver Lake in New Berlin. Learn about water chestnut and other aquatic invasive species and help keep them from spreading to other water bodies. Pull water chestnuts from 10am to 1pm, then enjoy lunch courtesy of the lake’s owner. Space is limited, please sign up using the form at https://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/ to reserve a space in an OCCA canoe. No other outside canoes are permitted.

Get the Kids Out!

June 27 – 10am – 1130am – Wilber Park

Explore Wilber Park’s different habitats and learn about the common plant and animal species that call Otsego County home. In this guided exploration, participants will visit a stream, woods and fields and learn about the different types of plants and animals found there. All participants will receive a journal to record their observations and will use field guides to identify what they see. Meet at the first parking lot on the lower level of the park (Spruce Street entrance). The program is free and open to all ages, pre-registration required (https://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/).

Butternut Creek Paddle

June 30 – Time and Launch locations to be determined

Join OCCA and the Butternut Valley Alliance for a relaxing and informative paddle on Butternut Creek. Bring your own canoe/kayak, or reserve a space in an OCCA canoe. The paddle will take about 2 hours, launch and end points to be announced.

Announcements

 

Otsego County Recycling at Risk!

The current state of recycling in Otsego County is at risk.  The current purchaser of our recycling items has notified the county that our recycled items do not meet the standards required for the commodities market.  Did you know that you NEED to clean your recyclables BEFORE you put them in your recycle bins?  All jars, plastics, tin foil, etc. must be at least rinsed out so no food residue is present.  This also goes for paper and cardboard!  How many of you think you’re doing a great thing recycling your pizza boxes?  Think again!!  You must cut the dirty bottom off before you can recycle the clean top…..throw that bottom in the garbage.  All of this is precipitated by the Chinese Government changing their policy on plastics contamination.  The largest single market for plastics is China, and they have lowered their contamination rate from 5% to 0.3%.  What does this mean for you?  Right now, residents can still take their recyclables to the transfer station free of charge.  If a hauler picks up your recyclables, they are going to be charged $55 a ton to drop recyclables.  Eventually, this cost may be passed on to YOU the consumer.  Help Otsego County help you!!!!  We are asking you to make an effort to:

  1. CLEAN your recyclables.
  2. DO NOT bag your recyclables.
  3. Recycle the correct items. Rule of thumb in our County….look for the symbol with a number 1-7 on it.  If you can’t find that, check out http://occainfo.org/mobile-recycling-lookup/ for the answers to your ‘what can I recycle’ questions.  If you still can’t find your answer…..when in doubt, throw it out.

 

OCCA Goes Green with Electronic Garage Sale

The new online green “garage sale” website was unveiled at Earth Festival, and you can get shopping!  You can also find these Items on Craig’s List for those who would like to shop that way.  We still need your items to sell, and will continue accepting items year round! To donate, just call OCCA at 547-4488, snap a photo of your item, and email it to occagaragesale@gmail.com.  We will post your item on our store site, and sell the item for you.  If you would like the items out of your home ASAP, you can bring them to OCCA, and we’ll store them for you.  We hope all our donors and shoppers will still participate in our event and help keep items out of the landfill.  For more information see our website at www.occainfo.org/reduce-reuse-recycle-garage-sale/.

Invasive Species Coordinator Sought

Capitol Mohawk PRISM is currently accepting applications for an Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator. Apply by June 15, 2018 – AQUATIC Invasive Species Coordinator Click on the link for details.  All applications for employment with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Saratoga County and other county extension associations must be submitted through the Cornell University Employment system.

Plastics Webinar

Plastic bags are everywhere. They litter our environment, endanger wildlife, jam equipment at recycling facilities, and leach chemicals into our food and water. Increasingly, municipalities within New York State, across the United States, and around the world are adopting measures to reduce plastic bag consumption and promote recycling. Is there a solution to our plastic bag problem? Join us on Tuesday, June 12 at 2pm for a webinar about the problems single-use bags cause and the reduction measures being debated across the state. We will hear the perspective of a solid waste facility manager, environmental health official, legislator, and grocery industry representative. This is a discussion you will not want to miss.
https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/4555279264015858433

 Did You Know?

Otsego Lake starts the headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay watershed?  June 2 – 11 is Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week, and we in Otsego County NEED to be aware!  YOU are a member of the 18.1 million people in the 64,000 square mile watershed.  Otsego Lake is approximately 524 miles from the end of the Bay watershed at Norfolk, Virginia, and YOU are part of the Susquehanna watershed which is the largest source of freshwater to the Bay contributing about 19 million gallons of water per minute.  The watershed supports over 3600 different species of plants and animals and the estuary is the most productive estuary in the world. According to the Chesapeake Bay Program, who has been tracking the health of the Bay since 1998, the overall health of the Bay as compared to the Chesapeake  of John Smith’s time in the early 1600’s, the current conditions receive a grade of C- (34/100).  Bay researchers, policymakers, and advocates realize conditions will never return to the John Smith years, but are striving for a Bay resilient enough to “withstand the storms of nature and humankind and is rich enough to nurture diverse cultures and contribute abundantly to our economy.”  This condition is considered a score of 70, a far cry from the 34 we are at currently.  SO, the next time you want to fertilize that lawn, throw some trash on the ground, or not recycle, just think about our neighbors downstream and be considerate.  We have some of the best water quality in the Bay, and we should strive to keep it that way. For more information, check out the State of the Bay Report at http://www.cbf.org/about-the-bay/state-of-the-bay-report/.

Local business leaders are invited to a stakeholder meeting on Thursday, May 17, 2018 from 6:30-8:00 p.m. at the Schenevus VFW, 16 Main Street, Schenevus. The Town of Maryland Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee is seeking input on important issues facing the business community.

The Town of Maryland is currently updating its 2008 Comprehensive Plan. When complete, the Comprehensive Plan will outline a vision for the Town’s future as well as a set of specific goals and objectives. As part of this planning process, the Town is working with its Steering Committee and planning consultant, the Otsego County Conservation Association.

“Obtaining input from the public is a critical component of the Comprehensive Planning process; the more information we receive from the business community, the better,” said Danny Lapin, environmental planner with the Otsego County Conservation Association.

“The information we receive from town business owners will provide the Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee with useful information as we begin to develop the plan and develop a list of objectives,” said Stephen Barton, chairman of the Town of Maryland’s Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee. The Plan, which is scheduled to be completed in early 2019, will help identify challenges and opportunities facing the Town of Maryland, shape the its growth, and enhance the quality of life in the Town.

The Stakeholder Meeting will include a brief presentation on the current status of the Plan Update, a discussion on how the Comprehensive Plan could benefit the business community, and an opportunity for additional discussion.

For more information, please visit the Town of Maryland’s website http://www.marylandny.org or contact the Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee via email at sbarton312@gmail.com. The Committee’s outreach process will continue this fall with a third Public Workshop, details of which will be announced on Facebook and the Town’s website, in the coming weeks.

May 1, 2018:  Vol. 12, No. 5

 

Save the Date

Ag Plastic Recycling

May 10 and 12 – Northern and Southern Transfer Stations (respectively)
Farmers have two opportunities to drop off their used bale wrap, silage bags, greenhouse film, or bunker cover for free recycling. Plastic needs to be relatively clean, dry, and sorted by type. This program is offered for free through a partnership between OCCA, Otsego County Solid Waste Department, Otsego County Soil and Water Conservation District, and Casella Waste Systems. To participate, please contact OCCA Program Director Jeff O’Handley at (607) 282-4087 for instructions.

Morning Birding at Mohican

May 12 – 7am – Mohican Farm, Springfield

The early birder gets the best birds! Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society Co-president Becky Gretton leads this walk around the varied habitat at Mohican Farm. Birds of woodlands, grasslands and shorelines are often seen—sometimes eagles! Space is limited, so sign up early.  Register at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/

Be Informed! Lecture Series

May 16 – 630pm – Clark Sports Center

Come join us to learn about container food gardens!  Learn what plants are best for our climate, when to start your planting, and how to take care of your garden for best results.    Register at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/

Nature Hike

June 2 – 900am – Basswood Pond State Forest

Take a 2-mile walk on the lower loop in Basswood Pond State Forest in Burlington Flats. The forest includes pine and spruce plantations, mixed hardwoods, a beaver pond and wetlands. Enjoy late spring wildflowers and look for signs of the abundant wildlife in the forest. Meet at 9 am at the Day Use area on Conservation Road. While pre-registration is not necessary, you can sign up at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/

Highway Cleanup 

June 9 – 8-10am – Mohican Farm

Help keep a 2-mile section of Route 80 in Cooperstown/Springfield looking good! Afterward, enjoy a complimentary coffee and a muffin courtesy of our friends at Sunflower Café in Springfield. Gloves, bags, and equipment provided. Ages 12 and up only.

Water Chestnut Control at Silver Lake

June 22 – 10am – 1pm – Silver Lake, New Berlin

Join OCCA us for our first water chestnut control event of the year at Silver Lake in New Berlin. Learn about water chestnut and other aquatic invasive species and help keep them from spreading to other water bodies. Pull water chestnuts from 10am to 1pm, then enjoy lunch courtesy of the lake’s owner. Space is limited, please sign up using the form at https://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/ to reserve a space in an OCCA canoe. No other outside canoes are permitted.

Butternut Creek Paddle

June 30 – Time and Launch locations to be determined

Join OCCA and the Butternut Valley Alliance for a relaxing and informative paddle on Butternut Creek. Bring your own canoe/kayak, or reserve a space in an OCCA canoe. The paddle will take about 2 hours, launch and end points to be announced.

Announcements

 

Earth Festival a Great Success!

A great big thank you to all of you who participated in the 2018 Earth Festival.  We had a record amount of vendors, exhibitors, and visitors this year!!!  With great new programming, wonderful partners, fantastic organizing committee and a citizenry dedicated to protecting Otsego County’s natural resources, how could we go wrong?  This year’s festival saw the debut of the Clothing Swap, which was wildly successful and will continue, along with the Friday night movie sponsored by Otsego 2000.  Our special recycling opportunities were also a big hit again this year with volunteers from our recycling committee collecting:  15 pounds of cork, 118 pounds of Teracycle, a 20-foot truck full of Styrofoam, 65 tennis balls, 44 pounds of small electronics, six large boxes of holiday lights, and 6500 pounds of paper shredded paper.  Check out our website over the next couple weeks as we post photos from the event.

 

OCCA Goes Green with Electronic Garage Sale

The new online green “garage sale” website was unveiled at Earth Festival, and you can get shopping!  You can also find these Items on Craig’s List for those who would like to shop that way.  We still need your items to sell, and will continue accepting items year round! To donate, just call OCCA at 547-4488, snap a photo of your item, and email it to occagaragesale@gmail.com.  We will post your item on our store site, and sell the item for you.  If you would like the items out of your home ASAP, you can bring them to OCCA, and we’ll store them for you.  We hope all our donors and shoppers will still participate in our event and help keep items out of the landfill.  For more information see our website at www.occainfo.org/reduce-reuse-recycle-garage-sale/.

Fly Fishing School

May 12 – 9am-5pm, Hanford Mills Museum

Trout Unlimited, Dave Brandt Chapter is sponsoring an introduction to fly fishing course at the Hanford Mills Museum. The course will include class room instruction on balances fly outfits (rod, reel, line), basic entomology, necessary knots, stream reading and fly fishing paraphernalia.  Hands on casting techniques will be taught on the museum pond. Class is limited to 35 people, costs $50, and pre-registration is preferred by May 8. To register call David Krupa at 607.643.2004.

Otsego Land Trust Spring Clean-Up Days

May 6 & 12 – Brookwood Point and Fetterley Forest

The Otsego Land Trust is looking for volunteers to help with their Spring Clean-Up Days at Brookwood Point (May 6, 1-4pm) and Fetterley Forest (May 12, 10am-2pm).  A range of work is slated for the days including gardening, mulching, raking and trail blazing.  If interested see the Otsego Land Trust page at: http://otsegolandtrust.org/the-news/programs-a-events/411-volunteer-spring-cleanup-days-may-6-may-12

 

Did You Know?

Spring? As I sit looking out my window at Mohican Farm at the snow falling on April 30th, I am wondering what happened to spring. Time and again this winter, Mother Nature as fooled us with crazy swings in weather from a balmy 60° week in February to a brutal March and an April that has left us wondering….where is spring?  I know some of our readers are on the skeptical side of climate change, and are thinking “really, you call this global warming,” but let us not kid ourselves, these large swings in temperature and precipitation patterns are attributable to global climate change and are becoming the trend, not the occasional Mother’s Day blizzard. I for one, wouldn’t mind a warming trend at this point, so come on Mother Nature, throw us a bone!     …..and a bone indeed is coming this week, so get on out and thank Mother Nature for the beautiful weather week we’re about to get!!!  Happy Spring….finally!

(SPRINGFIELD) – Becky Gretton, co-president of Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society, will lead a bird walk at Mohican Farm in Springfield on Saturday, May 12 at 7 a.m. The program is part of Otsego County Conservation Association’s 2018 Nature Walk Series.

“A lot of birds have been returning to the area over the last few weeks,” said OCCA Program Director, Jeff O’Handley. “This is an exciting time of year to go birding.”

The 135-acre property, owned and managed by The Clark Foundation, includes cultivated fields, woods, wetlands, gardens, and shoreline.

“Becky is a skilled birder and an excellent trip leader,” O’Handley said. “We’re looking forward to a great morning.”

Participants should bring their own binoculars and field guide. The program is free, but space is limited and pre-registration is required. For more information or to register, visit http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form or call OCCA at (607) 547-4488.

Founded in 1968, Otsego County Conservation Association is dedicated to promoting the appreciation and sustainable use of Otsego County’s natural resources through education, advocacy, resource management, research, planning and practice. For more information on OCCA, or to donate, visit www.occainfo.org