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SAVE THE DATE

Goodyear Lake Paddle and Pull

Aug 4 – 1pm:  Portlandville Fishing Access Site

Help in the fight against invasive species and enjoy a pleasant day on the water! Join OCCA and the Goodyear Lake Association as we paddle around in the “Stump Lot,” the northernmost portion of Goodyear Lake in pursuit of water chestnut, an aquatic invasive plant. You may reserve a space in an OCCA canoe by using the registration form, or can bring your own canoe or kayak. Meet at 1pm at the New York State Fishing Access Site on State Route 28 in Portlandville (approximately .15 miles south of Route 35A). Wear clothes that can get wet/muddy, a hat, and bring sunscreen and water. Please pre-register @ https://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/

OCCA 50th Anniversary Garden Party – Get Your Tickets Now!

August 11 – 5 – 8pm:  Mohican Farm, 7207 State Highway 80, Cooperstown, (corner of 80 and Allen Lake Road)

Come help OCCA celebrate 50 years of natural resource conservation with an exclusive garden party in the beautifully restored Spaulding Estate gardens at Mohican Farm.  We’ll have live music, great food, memories, and lots of friends on hand.  Tickets are $75. Please RSVP by August 4th at https://occainfo.networkforgood.com/events/6114-50th-anniversary-garden-party

Be Informed!  Lecture Series – Heat Smart Otsego

August 22 – 6:30pm: Clark Sports Center, 124 County Road 52, Cooperstown

Modern, updated technologies such as ground source heat pumps, air source heat pumps, and pellet stoves and boilers can reduce heating and cooling costs, reduce emission of greenhouse gases, and can reduce the release of dangerous volatile organic compounds and particulate matter. This program will introduce you to the technologies available, the environmental and economic benefits of those technologies, and provide you with the roadmap for finding the right technology and incentive program for making your home more comfortable and efficient. Bennett Sandler, Campaign Director for Heat Smart Otsego, and a former founding partner of Equity Energy leads the program.  For more information contact Bennett Sandler at campaigndirector@occainfo.org.

Walk on the Flat Side

August 23 – 630pm: Robert V. Riddell State Park

Join OCCA Board member Patricia Riddell Kent and Steve Kent, who donated the land for the state park, on this early evening walk around the northern portion of Robert V. Riddell State Park. Visit historic structures, walk through fields, forests, and along Schenevus Creek, and learn about the interesting history of the land on this 1.5-mile, mostly flat walk. Meet at 6:30 p.m. at the Park’s main entrance on State Route 28, just north of I-88 Exit 17. Register @ https://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/

NEWS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

A Special Note from the President on the Oneonta Natural Gas Project

OCCA is aware of the recent proposal to expand natural gas infrastructure in Oneonta, and we are monitoring the project very closely.  We have been asked to serve on the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce Energy Committee where we have a seat at the table and a direct voice advocating for more sustainable solutions for Otsego County.  OCCA has always had a reputation for thorough research and discourse when it comes to issues that have an effect on our environment; to this end, our Board of Directors have been in discussions about this issue and will be preparing a statement of our stance once we have gathered all the facts and studied the impacts and alternatives thoroughly.  Know that OCCA takes pride in our commitment to carefully measure situations and make the best decision we can.  If you have questions or would like any information, please call or email us.  We will be happy to speak with you.

Thank you for your continuing support of OCCA.

Vicky Lentz

OCCA Board President

Come to the Butternut Valley Alliance Harvest Festival

August 16 – 3-6pm:  Guy Rathbun Park (behind Morris Firehouse)

The Butternut Valley Alliance is hosting a great local summer harvest festival. Join in the fun with live music, local craftsman and organization displays, farmers’ market, kids Zoomobile, and FREE FOOD!  This is a can’t miss local event.  Go and support our partner the Butternut Valley Alliance!

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!

Susquehanna River Clean Up Seeking Volunteers

Volunteers are needed on Saturday, August 18 to help with a cleanup of the Susquehanna River in Cooperstown, between the Mill Street Bridge and the Main Street bridge. Volunteer tasks include using canoes to identify and mark large items for removal and helping pull items to shore (OCCA will provide canoes), working on shore to unload items from canoes and a barge, and loading items into a trailer. Two shifts available: 8-10am and 10am to noon. The cleanup is being organized by the Cooperstown Lions Club and partners OCCA, SUNY Biological Field Station Volunteer Dive Team, Otsego Sailing Club, the Village of Cooperstown, the Otsego County Department of Planning and Solid Waste, and River Street and Mill Street Neighbors. For more information or to volunteer, contact John Rowley at jd16rowley@aol.com.

 

Household Hazardous Waste Day Seeking Volunteers

Otsego County’s annual Household Hazardous Waste Day will be held on Friday, September 7, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. in Unadilla, and Saturday, September 8 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Cooperstown. This free event allows County residents to dispose of hazardous wastes, including pesticides, paints, antifreeze, batteries, electronics, and more. Check http://www.otsegocounty.com/depts/sw/HHW.htm for details. Volunteer Opportunity: Volunteers are needed on Saturday, September 8 to help with the annual latex paint recycling collection at Household Hazardous Waste Day. Volunteers will sort, open cans, and mix paint, and will also help direct traffic, flatten cardboard, and other tasks. Contact Jeff O’Handley programdirector@occainfo.org, to sign up.

Did You Know?

Currently, 0.4% of global electricity generation comes from solar. If Photovoltaic generation grows to 10% of global electricity generation, it could save $81 billion when compared to fossil fuel plants. Additionally, this change could lead to a 36.9 gigaton reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, and save $5 trillion in operational costs by 2050. Source: Project Drawdown.

(PORTLANDVILLE) – Otsego County Conservation Association is seeking volunteers to help hand-pull water chestnut plants at Goodyear Lake in Portlandville on Saturday, August 4 from 1 to 4pm.

“We removed two hundred pounds of plants in early July, it’s time to get out and take out the regrowth,” said Jeff O’Handley, OCCA’s program director. “We’re need to get as much out of it before it drops seeds later this summer.”

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. OCCA and the Goodyear Lake Association have been working together since 2006 to eradicate the plant and keep it from spreading.

OCCA has a limited number of canoes for volunteers to borrow, or they can bring their own. Volunteers can sign up at occainfo.org or by calling OCCA at (607) 282-4087.  Meet at the Goodyear Lake Fishing Access Site on State Route 28 in Portlandville, just south of County Road 35A.

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.

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(SPRINGFIELD)—Otsego County Conservation Association is celebrating its 50th Anniversary with a garden party at Mohican Farm in Springfield. The party will take place on Saturday, August 11, from 5-8pm.

“Looking at the past 50 years of OCCA activities makes me proud to be a part of the organization and confident that our supporters will continue to help us keep Otsego County a wonderful place to be,” said Vicky Lentz, President of OCCA’s Board of Directors.

OCCA was founded in 1968 by a group of citizens who were concerned with sustainable forestry and land-use issues in Otsego County. The organization quickly expanded its scope, establishing the Lake Otsego Committee in 1972, a glass reclamation center in Cooperstown in 1973, and sponsoring student interns and research at the SUNY Oneonta Biological Field Station. OCCA maintains a strong interest in these areas today, and also conducts programs in invasive species control, environmental education, and provides planning assistance to municipalities and citizens’ groups.

“Our focus has shifted depending on the interests of the board and the needs of the community,” said Lentz, who has been President since 2011. “Our flexibility and responsiveness are keys to our success and longevity.”

Dr. Leslie Orzetti, OCCA’s Executive Director since 2016, said, “I’m proud to be part of an organization that has been serving Otsego County’s citizens since 1968, and I look forward to being part of sustaining our mission and moving us into our next 50 years.”

OCCA’s 50th Anniversary Garden party takes place at Mohican Farm in Springfield. The site of the former Spaulding Estate, Mohican Farm is owned and operated by The Clark Foundation. Sponsors include Five Star Subaru, Cooperstown Dreams Park, Steve Zerby Design/Build, LLC., Otsego Lake Association, Rich McCaffery, Community Bank, NA, Metro Cleaners, and L.M. Townsend Catering. Dinner is provided by L.M Townshend Catering. The Angus Mackie Trio will provide music.

Tickets for the OCCA 50th Anniversary Party are $75 and can be purchased at https://occainfo.networkforgood.com/events/6114-50th-anniversary-garden-party.

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.

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Otsego County Conservation Association is pursuing funding through the Consolidated Funding Application to create and enhance trails at four sites in Otsego County, organization officials said. If successful, the grant would bring in upwards of $100,000 to the community. The grant is being offered through the Environmental Protection Fund through the New York State Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation.

The proposal includes rehabilitation of the boardwalk trail in Goodyear Swamp Sanctuary, improvements to the lower loop foot and cross country ski trail in Basswood Pond State Forest, creating a link between existing trails in Harvey Bilderbeck County Forest and Arnold Lake State Forest and make improvements to both. The project is a partnership amongst OCCA, the SUNY Oneonta Biological Field Station, and the Otsego County Soil & Water Conservation District.  The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Region 4 Forestry office is providing technical expertise for our efforts in the state forests.

“OCCA is excited to be entering into this process with our longtime partners,” said OCCA Executive Director, Leslie Orzetti. “By combining resources and coming together to submit this proposal, we’re hoping to bring funding into the County to enhance year-round outdoor recreation opportunities for residents and tourists.”

Overall, the project would create or make improvements to almost ten miles of multi-use trails in the state and county forest parcels. Work includes widening the trails, increasing overhead clearance, removal of tree stumps and rocks from within the trail, improving drainage on the trails and creating a functional, safe connection between Harry Bilderbeck County Forest and Arnold Lake State Forest. These trails will be suitable for walking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and horseback riding. Once completed, maintenance of the trails in the state forests will be carried out by volunteers under a Volunteer Stewardship Agreement between OCCA and DEC.

At Goodyear Swamp Sanctuary, approximately 600 feet of raised, wooden walkway that carries visitors over sensitive wetlands will be replaced, creating a safe space for walkers, researchers and school groups that visit the sanctuary. It will also include making improvements to a landing for non-motorized watercraft, providing a link between the sanctuary and sites such as Glimmerglass State Park.

“We believe very strongly that people should get out and explore our natural environment,” Orzetti said. “These trails will be a great benefit to our community.”

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.

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OCCA to host workshop on Monitoring and Managing Ash, July 24

(COOPERSTOWN) – Otsego County Conservation Association, Mohican Farm and Cornell Cooperative Extension Schoharie and Otsego Counties are hosting a training workshop for the Monitoring and Managing Ash (MaMA) program on Tuesday, July 24, from 1-4pm at Mohican Farm, 7207 State Highway 80, Cooperstown.

MaMA, developed and directed by the Ecological Research Institute (ERI), provides a framework of actions that can be taken to conserve ash and mitigate damage from the emerald ash borer (EAB), an invasive insect that is spreading across New York.

“Emerald ash borer is a significant threat to our region,” said Jeff O’Handley, OCCA’s program director. “As it spreads it will fundamentally alter the composition of our forests, parks and city streets.”

Attendees will learn how to recognize ash and detect emerald ash borer, how to report emerald ash borer via the MaMA Ash/EAB Surveys Anecdata project, how to establish ash mortality monitoring plots that form part of the MaMA Monitoring Plot Network, how to report “lingering ash,” and more. The workshop will include classroom and field activities, and will be presented by ERI Director, Jonathan Rosenthal and ERI Senior Scientist, Dr. Radka Wildova.

The workshops are open to the public with an emphasis on land and forest owners, Master Gardeners, high school and college students, and other seeking to play an active role in invasive species management. The program is free, but pre-registration is required.  For more information or to register, contact OCCA Program Director Jeff O’Handley at (607) 282-4087 or sign up at https://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/. This program is provided for free through funding by the Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership (CRISP)

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

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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.

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