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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

COOPERSTOWN—Farmers will have two opportunities to drop off used agricultural film plastic for recycling under a special program offered by Otsego County Solid Waste Department, the Otsego County Soil & Water Conservation District, Otsego County Conservation Association, and Casella Waste Solutions. Collection dates are Thursday, May 10, at the Northern Transfer Station in Cooperstown, and Saturday, May 12, at the Southern Transfer Station in Oneonta. Plastic may be dropped off from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. both days. Acceptable material includes bale wrap, silage bags, bunker cover, greenhouse covers, and wood pellet bags. Material must be sorted by type, and should be relatively clean and dry. The collection is free, but pre-registration is requested. For questions or to register, contact Jeff O’Handley at OCCA, (607) 282-4087, or visit http://occainfo.org/recycling-agricultural-plastics/.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 19, 2018
Contact: Judy Pangman, (607) 432-0114
Mispa Haque, (607) 432-0114

 

Press Release: City of Oneonta Arbor Day event features tree planting, walk, demonstration

 

(ONEONTA) – The City of Oneonta’s annual Arbor Day tree planting ceremony will feature some new events and activities, organizers said.

 

In addition to the traditional tree planting, the event will include a demonstration of how to protect ash trees from the emerald ash borer, and a walk highlighting the importance of urban forests. Arbor Day is a holiday in which individuals and groups are encouraged to plant trees. In New York, Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday in April.

 

“Our trees are highly valued by the people of Oneonta,” said Gary Herzig, Mayor of the City of Oneonta. “We owe many thanks to the staff, professionals, and volunteers who plan, plant, and care for our urban trees.”

 

The event kicks off at 10am at the Swart-Wilcox Historical Park on Wilcox Avenue. City officials will plant a tree, part of a tradition to honor that the City has been a Tree City USA since 1986.

 

At 11am, Craig Vollmer, Arborist from Forecon, Inc., will demonstrate how to inoculate ash trees with insecticides to protect them from the emerald ash borer, an invasive, wood-boring beetle native to eastern Russia and Asia. Discovered in the United States for the first time in 2002, the emerald ash borer has now spread to 15 states, including New York, and has killed millions of trees. Once infested, previously healthy ash trees can be killed in three to five years. Falling branches from weakened trees can cause injury and property damage. Inoculation with certain insecticides has been demonstrated to be a safe, effective method for preventing emerald ash borer infestation.

 

“Ash trees are a significant part of our forest ecosystems, and have long been a popular ornamental for homes, streets and parks,” said James Hawver, Senior Engineering Technician for the City of Oneonta. “Our street and park tree survey of 2014 shows there were 420 ash tree sites within the City of Oneonta, which have since been reduced in our efforts to protect against the threat of the emerald ash borer.”

 

Following the demonstration, Jeff O’Handley, program director for Otsego County Conservation Association will lead a walk to explore the urban forest around the Swart-Wilcox Historic Park. The walk will highlight the importance of urban forests, the threat of invasive species like the emerald ash borer, and what can be done to protect against them.

 

“Emerald ash borer is knocking at Oneonta’s door,” O’Handley said. “This is a good time for people to become familiar with it and take steps to minimize its impacts in the community.”

 

NYSEG is supporting the event by generously providing a limited number of seedlings. Species are white oak, a tree, and rose of Sharon, a flowering shrub, which will be made available to attendees of the demonstration and walk.

 

All events are free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Judy Pangman or Mispa Haque of the City of Oneonta’s Community Development Department at 607 432-0114.

 

The Arbor Day events are made possible by an Urban Community Forestry grant received by the City of Oneonta. The Urban Community Forestry grants are funded through the State Environmental Protection Fund. They are part of New York’s ongoing environmental initiatives to promote clean air, clean water, energy savings and habitat creation and to address invasive species, environmental justice and urban sprawl. UCF grants are awarded by the Department of Environmental Conservation.

Otsego County Conservation Association’s annual Earth Festival returns this Saturday with vendors and exhibitors, recycling opportunities, Spring Garden Day, yoga, a bird walk, clothing swap, pre-Festival movie night and more. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Milford Central School.

Now in its thirteenth year, Earth Festival is an environmentally-focused, interactive event featuring exhibits, activities, vendors and entertainment. This year includes three pre-festival events. Earth Festival Movie Night, sponsored by Otsego 2000 and Glimmerglass Film Days, features Landfill Harmonic, an inspiring, family-friendly film that follows “The Recycled Orchestra” of Paraguay, who create all their instruments from trash. The movie will be shown on Friday, April 20, at 7 p.m. at the Herbert B. Garman, Jr. Performing Arts Center at Milford Central School, and is free.

On Saturday, April 21, Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society leads a pre-festival bird walk. Meet at the main school parking lot at 9 a.m. and carpool to a nearby area in search of birds. Participants will return to the school in time for the official 11a.m. opening of the Earth Festival exhibitor and vendor fair. In addition to the bird walk, the Otsego Regional Cycling Advocates (ORCA) is hosting a bicycle safety class from 9am to 1pm.  If interested, visit the Otsego 2000 website to register.

“We have a really great combination of returning favorites and new exhibitors this year,” said Leslie Orzetti, OCCA’s executive director.

Confirmed exhibitors and vendors include OCCA, the Cooperstown Farmers’ Market, Ideuma Creek Alpacas, Casella Waste Systems, Ariginal Art and the Leather Stocking Bee Keepers Association. A full list can be found at www.occainfo.org/earth-festival. Food vendors include Origins Café and Tickled Pink Barbecue.

The Master Gardener Volunteers of Cornell Cooperative Extension Schoharie and Otsego Counties will be hosting Spring Garden Day in conjunction with Earth Festival. Spring Garden Day is a day devoted to gardening and growing environments, with workshops on a variety of gardening topics built around the theme of “Try Something New.” Workshop topics include gardening with native plants, growing shiitake mushrooms, and herb gardens. Pre-registration and a $10 fee are required for Spring Garden Day workshops. Contact Cornell Cooperative Extension at (607) 547-2536, extension 0 for information or to register.

Recycling is always an important part of Earth Festival. The OCCA Recycling Committee is again offering special recycling opportunities for Styrofoam (clean and white only, including rigid foam, egg cartons, and clean takeout food containers, but not meat trays); tennis balls; inkjet cartridges and small, handheld electronics such as cellphones; pens and markers; dental care items (used toothpaste tubes, dental floss and dental tape containers and packaging, used toothbrushes and packaging); natural wine corks; monofilament fishing line. In addition, the Lions Club of Cooperstown will be collecting eyeglasses, and Hopeful Hearts will be collecting used tubes from toilet paper and paper towel rolls, windowed envelopes, and Wal-Mart bags. Empire Recycling’s Confidata Shredding Truck will be on hand from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to provide free document shredding to individuals (5 boxes, maximum).

New this year is the Earth Festival Community Clothing Swap. Lightly-worn clothing and shoes for all ages and genders will be on display in the school cafeteria. Anyone can take what they need, whether they donate to the swap or not.

“The clothing swap enables us to help people find new homes for their gently-used goods, and to find good quality clothes for themselves and their families,” said volunteer Angelica Palmer, who is running the swap.

Clothing can be dropped off at the school from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday, April 20, or between 9:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. during Earth Festival. The Community Clothing Swap will be open for browsing throughout the event.

Returning after a short hiatus is the Recycled Fashion Show at 2 p.m. Open to all, the Fashion Show seeks to incorporate used items into articles of clothing. To enter, bring your recycled fashion to the auditorium at 1:30 p.m. Recycled fashions can also be entered into the EcoArt display and contest. This popular feature challenges participants to find new life for old items. Entries can be artistic, useful, or both.

Yoga Big and Small will be held in the small gym at 1:30 p.m. Led by local, certified instructors Katherine Walters, of Love Your Life Yoga & Community in Milford, and Karla Andela, the session will be for children and adults, no experience necessary. Mats will be provided. Yoga is free, though pre-registration is appreciated. Pre-register using the form at http://occainfo.org/calendar/earth-festival-2017/.

For a full schedule of activities, vendors, and recycling list, visit http://occainfo.org/earth-festival/.

Earth Festival 2018 is presented by Otsego County Conservation Association, with support from Five Star Subaru, Central New York Tent Rentals, Otsego 2000 and Cooperstown Natural Foods. For further information, visit www.occainfo.org, call (607) 547-4488, or e-mail director@occainfo.org.

Founded in 1968, Otsego County Conservation Association is dedicated to promoting the 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.

 SAVE THE DATE

Highway Cleanup

April 14 – 8:30am – Mohican Farm, Springfield

Help us remove litter from a 2-mile section of State Highway 80 in Springfield and Cooperstown! Bags, gloves and safety equipment provided as part of New York State’s Adopt-A-Highway program. Pre-registration required, 12 years and up only. Meet at OCCA’s office at Mohican Farm, 7207 State Highway 80, Cooperstown, NY. This activity will take two to three hours. Please wear long pants and dress to get dirty.

Register at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/

Earth Festival Movie Night

April 20 – 7pm – Milford Central School Auditorium
For the second year, we are offering a Friday night movie in line with the theme of the festival. This year’s film is being sponsored by sponsored by Otsego 2000 and Glimmerglass Film Festival. Come check out Landfill Harmonic, an inspiring film about “The Recycled Orchestra”, a group of children from a Paraguayan slum who play instruments made entirely of garbage. It is a beautiful story about the transformative power of music, which also highlights two vital issues of our times: poverty and waste pollution. The film and FREE and open to the public. For more information on the film and to view a trailer, visit https://vimeo.com/52711779 or www.youtube.com/landfillharmonic.

 

Earth Festival

April 21 – 11:00am – 3:00pm – Milford Central School
Back for its fourteenth year, Earth Festival is an environmentally focused, interactive event featuring exhibits, workshops, vendors, food and entertainment, all with a fun, earth-friendly twist. Keep an eye on our Earth Festival page (http://occainfo.org/earth-festival/) for updates on vendors, activities, and recycling opportunities.   Check out our line-up:

9am – Pre-Festival Bird Walk (meet in front of school)

9am-1pm – Bike Safety 123 Class (classroom)

1030am – Spring Garden Day Registration (entrance hall)

11am – 3pm – Vendor and Exhibitor Fair (Large gym)

11am – 3pm – 1st Annual Clothing Swap (Cafeteria)

11am & 1pm – Spring Garden Day Workshops (classrooms)

11am – 2pm – Shredding drop off (parking lot)

11am – 3pm – Recycling drop off (various locations)

1215pm – Recycling Basics and You:  How Do I Get Rid Of (Auditorium)

130pm – Yoga Big and Small (small gym)

200pm – Recycled Fashion Show

230pm – EcoArt Winners Announced

Spring Garden Day

April 21 – 10:30am – 2:00pm – Milford Central School
Master Gardener Volunteers of Cornell Cooperative Extension Schoharie and Otsego Counties are sponsoring Spring Garden Day (SGD), a day devoted to gardening and growing environments featuring a variety of workshops, held in conjunction with the OCCA Earth Festival. This year’s theme is “Try Something New.” Workshops will occur at11am and 1pm. Registration fees apply. For more information, visit http://cceschoharie-otsego.org/events/2018/04/21/spring-garden-day-2018

Urban Forestry Hike

April 27 – Time to be announced (check our website) – Swart-Wilcox House, Oneonta
The walk will cover the importance of the urban forest, and the potential impact to it of the emerald ash borer, an invasive insect that targets ash trees. Following the walk is the City of Oneonta’s annual Arbor Day tree planting ceremony, and a demonstration by a trained arborist of inoculating an ash tree against the emerald ash borer. The program is free and open to the public. The City of Oneonta’s Emerald Ash Borer Preventive Maintenance Program is funded by the Urban and Community Forestry Grants Program.

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 10 and 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 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/

ANNOUNCEMENTS

OCCA Goes Green with Electronic Garage Sale

The new “garage sale” website will be officially unveiled at Earth Festival, and you can even shop right there!  Items will also be listed on Craig’s List for those who would like to shop that way.  We need your items to sell! 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 Facebook page and website at www.occainfo.org/reduce-reuse-recycle-garage-sale/.

First Annual OCCA Clothing Swap

April 21 – 11:00am – 3:00pm – Milford Central School

In lieu of clothing donations at our garage sale (now going green) we are holding our first annual Community Clothing Swap at Earth Festival this year.  Organized by Angelica Palmer, the clothing swap is a great way to donate gently used clothing and get some new fashion at the same time.  A great “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” to keep textiles out of the landfills.  You can donate your gently used clothing, including winter coats and boots, prom dresses, and Halloween costumes on Friday April 20 from 4pm-8pm and at the event Saturday April 21 from 930am-1pm.  We will take all family clothing (men, women, boys, girls).  Please have your donations marked with size and gender so we can sort them easily.  The event is FREE and you do not have to donate to partake in the bounty.  We will also have extra fabric and a crafting area to “repurpose” clothing and make it more “your style”! Feeling generous, we will have staff on-hand to take donations, but they are not necessary.  If you have any questions, contact Angelica Palmer at angelica@dzeli.com.

Recycling Opportunities at Earth Festival

Earth Festival is just around the corner! On Saturday, April 21, we’ll be holding the 13th Annual event at Milford Central School. In addition to the exhibitors, vendors, and Spring Garden Day Worskshops, Earth Festival includes recycling! Here are the items you can bring to Earth Festival: Styrofoam (clean and white only), including packing peanuts; tennis balls; non-working Christmas lights; monofilament fishing line; TerraCycle items: pens, mechanical pencils, markers and caps (no wooden pencils, please); dental care items including toothbrushes (not electric), dental floss and tape, empty toothpaste tubes, and packaging; natural wine corks; and Planet Green items: used inkjet cartridges (NO TONER), cell phones and chargers, handheld electronics (up to tablet size). Please place inkjet cartridges in plastic bags or original packaging to prevent leaks. Finally, OCCA is again sponsoring the Confidata document shredding service from 11am to 2pm. Individuals are limited to five boxes of personal documents, which will be shredded for free. Please note that wood pellet bags are not being collected this year; empty wood pellet bags with tops cut off can be placed in the plastic bag/film recycling containers at area Price Chopper, Hannaford, and Tops grocery stores.

In addition to those items, Lions Club of Cooperstown will be collecting eyeglasses; Hopeful Hearts Community will collect paper towel and toilet paper tubes, windowed envelopes, and Wal-Mart bags; Good condition shoes and clothing can be brought in for the Earth Festival clothing swap.

 

Spring Clean Your Medicine Cabinet

Flushing unused or expired medication down the toilet may seem like a safe, secure way to clean out your medication cabinet, but it’s not safe for the environment. Most medications pass through sewage treatment systems and enter our waterways, where they can impact reproduction, development and behavior of fish and other aquatic organisms, even at low concentrations. Now, you don’t have to wait until Household Hazardous Waste Day to get rid of old medication. A new drug take-back kiosk has been placed at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown.

National Drug Take Back Week begins April 22 (Earth Day) and runs through April 28. Do everyone a favor: take a few minutes, go through your medicine cabinets, and clean them out. Start fresh.

Feeling Creative? Take the EcoArt Challenge

Back again at Earth Festival is the EcoArt Challenge. Use items that have outlived their useful life to make something artistic, functional, or both! Download a registration form here (http://occainfo.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/2018-EcoArt-Entry-Form.pdf) and bring your entry to Milford Central School between 9 and 11 am on April 21. Prizes will be awarded in three categories: Child (5-7), Youth (11-17) and Adult (17 and up) as voted on by Earth Festival vendors/exhibitors. Why not make it a family or school event?

CADE Workshop:  Access to Capital

CADE is excited to host a new workshop entitled “Access to Capital” in which farm and food business entrepreneurs will learn about grants and loans available to farming entities and agricultural businesses. The workshop is ideal for entrepreneurs looking for capital in the next 30-60 days to start, operate, or expand their farm or agriculture business. The workshop will take place on Wednesday, April 4th from 1pm to 4pm at the CADE office on 5 Elm Street in Oneonta, NY.  The workshop is free. Pre-registration is required by contacting CADE’s Program Manager Corey Luchetta via email at corey@cadefarms.org

Did You Know?

When will the ice on Otsego Lake melt away and start warming up for the summer swim season? Officially, the “ice on” for Otsego Lake was the evening between December 31and January 1.  If you remember last year, we did NOT have full ice coverage on the lake at all making ice fishing near impossible in some traditional spots. When we have complete ice coverage on the lake that means the temperature is “isothermal” or only varying a degree from top to bottom.  So, when will that lake ice go away?  Well that depends on stream flow, night and daytime temperatures.  If the temperatures keep consistently falling below zero at night, it will take longer for the ice to melt.  The optimist in me would love to say all ice gone by Easter, the realist says tax day. Tag us on Facebook with your guess!

Otsego County Conservation Association’s annual Earth Festival will feature a variety of activities for all ages, event organizers said.

“We’ve always tried to provide valuable, interactive learning experiences as part of Earth Festival,” said Jeff O’Handley, program director for Otsego County Conservation Association, who has been part of the event since its inception in 2006. “In addition to the vendor and exhibitor fair, the workshops put on as part of Spring Garden Day add tremendous value to the event.”

Organized by the Master Gardener Volunteers Cornell Cooperative Extension Schoharie and Otsego Counties, Spring Garden Day is a day devoted to gardening and growing environments. Four workshops are offered in two concurrent sessions; in between, attendees will be free to walk around the exhibit area and learn about the many environmental products and services that are offered in the Otsego County region. There is a $10 registration fee for Spring Garden Day, due by April 16. Please visit http://cceschoharie-otsego.org/events/2018/04/21/spring-garden-day-2018 for specific information on Spring Garden Day.

Earth Festival will also feature a number of other activities. Back for its second year, Earth Festival movie night features the family friendly film, Landfill Harmonic, the inspiring story of a children’s orchestra using homemade instruments made from trash. Sponsored by Otsego 2000 and Glimmerglass Film Days, the movie is Friday, April 20 at 7pm, at Milford Central School, and is free.

On the day of Earth Festival, the traditional pre-Festival bird walk, led by Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society, departs from the school parking lot at 9am sharp. Participants will carpool a short distance to a good birding location, to be determined that morning. Bring binoculars and dress for the weather. Birders will be back at the school in time for the start of Earth Festival at 11am.

Other planned activities include a presentation on solid waste and recycling by OCCA at 12:15 in the auditorium; a demonstration of stream monitoring techniques employed by Milford Central School students as part of OCCA’s Citizen Science Monitoring program; Bicycling Skills 123, a special class sponsored by New York Central Mutual Insurance and requiring pre-registration; yoga for kids and adults; and a mattress deconstruction demonstration. And there is the exhibitor and vendor fair, recycling activities, EcoArt Challenge, and, returning again, the Going Green Fashion Show.

“It’s going to be a full day,” O’Handley said. “Be ready to have fun, and learn a lot.”

Earth Festival is an environmentally focused, interactive event featuring exhibits, workshops, vendors, food and entertainment, all with a fun, earth-friendly twist. Earth Festival will take place onSaturday, April 21, 2018, from 11am to 3pm at Milford Central School. Sponsorship and exhibitor/vendor opportunities are still available. Visit http://occainfo.org/earth-festival/ for details, or contact OCCA Executive Director Leslie Orzetti at (607) 547-4488.

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.

The 14th Annual Earth Festival is fast approaching. In keeping with this year’s theme of recycling, organizers are once again providing opportunities for attendees to recycle hard to get rid of items.

“Recycling has been a part of Earth Festival since the very beginning,” said Martha Clarvoe, chair of OCCA’s recycling committee and a member of the Earth Festival planning committee. “Otsego County has a very good recycling program, but we’re happy to provide alternatives for items that aren’t part of the regular program.”

The following items will be accepted for recycling: clean, white expanded polystyrene foam (Styrofoam), including rigid packing material, egg cartons, coolers, peanuts and takeout food containers. Only white Styrofoam is accepted, and all material must be clean and dry, with all leftover food, tape, and adhesive labels removed.

Also being accepted this year are non-working Christmas lights; toilet and paper towel tubes; window envelopes; used fishing line (no hooks, sinkers, bobbers or reels, please); natural cork; tennis balls; used writing implements (pens, markers, mechanical pencils) dental care items (used toothbrushes and packaging, empty toothpaste tubes, empty dental floss and dental tape containers and packaging); and inkjet cartridges (No toner cartridges, please; check toner packaging for mail-in recycling options or contact OfficeMax or other supply stores), cell phones and chargers, tablets, and other small, handheld electronics.

The Confidata shredding truck will also provide free shredding of personal documents from 11am to 2pm. There is a five box per person limit.

“People really love this service,” Clarvoe said. “Last year, 4300 pounds was shredded, a new Earth Festival record.”

Collection points will be set up both inside and outside the Earth Festival event, which takes place on Saturday, April 21, from 11am to 3pm at Milford Central School. The OCCA Recycling Committee will also have educational displays about recycling, including using “How Do I Get Rid Of…?”, a searchable page on how to dispose of various items once they’re ready to be disposed of, and a display on the bag and film plastic collection program.

“It’s going to be a very busy day,” Clarvoe said. “Anyone who wants to volunteer should contact me at martha.clarvoe@gmail.com.”

Also in keeping with the Recycling theme, back this year at Earth Festival is the EcoArt contest. EcoArt challenges contestants with creating something practical or artistic out of items that have outlived their original purpose. The contest is free to enter.

“The level of creativity displayed by past entrants is amazing,” said Leslie Orzetti, OCCA’s executive director. “I can’t wait to see what this year brings.”

EcoArt is being overseen by The Community Arts Network of Oneonta (CANO). There will be three age categories: Child (ages 5-11 years), Youth (12-17), and Adult (17 and up). Entry forms are available at http://occainfo.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/2018-EcoArt-Entry-Form.pdf. All entries must be original, and can be brought to Earth Festival on Saturday, April 21 between9:30 and 11am. Prizes will be awarded in each age category. Winners will be announced at the end of the event.

An environmentally focused, interactive event featuring exhibits, workshops, vendors, food and entertainment, all with a fun, earth-friendly twist, Earth Festival will take place on Saturday, April 21, 2018, from 11am to 3pm at Milford Central School. Sponsorship and exhibitor/vendor opportunities are still available. Visit http://occainfo.org/earth-festival/ for details, or contact OCCA Executive Director Leslie Orzetti 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 or to donate, visit occainfo.org.

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The Otsego Regional Cycling Advocates (ORCA) is hosting a bicycling skills class, geared mainly for youth, but appropriate for adults as well. The class will be on Saturday, April 21st, 9am – 1pm and will be offered at the Milford Central School, 42 West Main Street in Milford, NY as part of the 14th annual Earth Festival.

The class will follow the “Bicycling Skills 123” curriculum established by the League of American Bicyclists (LAB) and will be taught by local League-Certified instructor, David Wells. Both classroom time and time on bikes are included in this course. Snacks will be provided during a scheduled break.

Prior registration is required by April 13th. Cost of the class is a suggested $30 donation per registered participant and the maximum number of participants will be limited to 15. Participants younger than 14 years must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Each participant must provide their own working bicycle and helmet. A rain date make-up class is scheduled for May 11th at the Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown.

A variety of prizes and giveaways will be provided by our event sponsor NYCM Insurance www.nycm.com.

You may register online at www.otsegooutdoors.org or by mailing the registration form and check to Otsego 2000, PO Box 1130, Cooperstown, NY  13326. For any questions, please contact Martha Clarvoe at 607-293-6654.

Otsego Regional Cycling Advocates, a subcommittee of Otsego 2000, is a bicycling advocacy group that promotes cycling as an enjoyable, healthy, safe, environmentally-friendly activity for people of all ages and abilities in Otsego and surrounding counties

Earth Festival is an environmentally focused, interactive event featuring exhibits, workshops, vendors, food and entertainment, all with a fun, earth-friendly twist. Earth Festival will take place onSaturday, April 21, 2018, from 11am to 3pm at Milford Central School. Sponsorship and exhibitor/vendor opportunities are still available. Visit http://occainfo.org/earth-festival/ for details, or contact OCCA Executive Director Leslie Orzetti at (607) 547-4488.

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.

Steve Kent leads a snowshoe hike to Mud Lake at Robert V. Riddell State Park on Saturday, March 10, 2018 at noon. Steve and his wife, Patricia Riddell Kent, donated the land for the state park in 2005. The walk is part of a series of hikes in outdoor areas sponsored by Otsego County Conservation Association. Participants should dress for the weather and bring their own snowshoes, water, and a snack. If there isn’t enough snow for snowshoes, the hike will proceed on foot.

Parking is on the east side of Gersoni Road, just south of Interstate 88, exit 17. Walkers will follow the trail up to Mud Lake, a pond and sphagnum bog at the top of South Hill, and return to the starting point. The hike is expected to take 3.5 hours and is free, though pre-registration is requested. Visit http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/ to sign up online, or contact Jeff O’Handley, OCCA’s program director, at (607) 282-4087.