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COOPERSTOWN – The Otsego County Conservation Association has announced that it will send eight Otsego County school students to Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Environmental Education Camp this coming summer through a countywide competitive essay contest.

Otsego County students ages 11-13 are invited to compete for camperships via the essay contest (campers must be 11 by December 16, 2017). This year’s contest question is “What would you tell President-elect Donald Trump is the most important environmental issue facing the United States today?” Contest winners will receive a week-long stay at New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Summer Camp, where they will spend their week immersed in the natural environment and enjoy a balance of environmental education, sportsman education, and outdoor fun.

“It’s very important for kids to get outside and connect with nature,” said OCCA Executive Director Leslie Orzetti. “I’m thrilled that OCCA can continue to offer our children this great opportunity. Our past winners have loved the experience they had at DEC camps.” In 2016, OCCA provided camperships for nine students.

Winning essays will be chosen from participating Otsego County schools and Otsego County applicants at large. The deadline for essay submissions is January 27, 2017. Winning essays will be chosen by February 1 and notified immediately. Contest winners will be given a special code by OCCA which will be used to register for DEC camp.

“We’re hoping teachers will be able to incorporate the essay contest into their classroom lessons, but recognize there’s a quick turnaround,” Orzetti said. “Camp registration opens on January 25 and we know they fill up fast.”
Complete contest rules and requirements are available by e-mailing director@occainfo.org or by calling (607) 547-4488. Teachers who plan to assign the essay to their students are asked to contact OCCA in order to be recognized as a participating school.

OCCA is a private, non-profit environmental membership organization dedicated to promoting the appreciation and sustainable use of Otsego County’s natural resources through education, advocacy, resource management, research, planning and practice. For more information on OCCA, or to support programming, call (607) 547-4488 or visit www.occainfo.org.






New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Accepting Applications for Urban Forestry Projects

The Environmental Protection fund is investing $2.3 million in tree planting, maintenance grants, tree inventory, and community forestry management plans. Tree inventories and community forestry maintenance projects have no required match. Tree planting and maintenance projects require a 25% match.

  • Applications are due March 1, 2017 at 3:00 p.m.
  • Eligible entities: municipalities, public benefit corporations, public authorities, school districts, soil and water conservation districts, community colleges, not-for-profit organizations, and Indian nations or tribes.
  • Awards range from $11,000 to $75,000 depending on municipal population.

The DEC’s Urban Forestry Program will host a webinar on Thursday, January 5 at 2:00 p.m. to educate potential applicants on the grants process and answer questions. To register, please follow this link: https://meetny.webex.com/mw3000/mywebex/default.do?service=1&siteurl=meetny&nomenu=true&main_url=%2Fmc3000%2Fe.do%3Fsiteurl%3Dmeetny%26AT%3DMI%26EventID%3D516769132%26UID%3D0%26Host%3DQUhTSwAAAALEa5AUqtj42H1tFPDCTn0aPsMndUDgYmcjSgRTdIQhAJJcwWwMR_7-y6vMC4NvwMp4TN4kPobCtp2byfGc7wHw0%26RG%3D1%26FrameSet%3D2%26RGID%3Drb01dbcfb520aee2a273dd76ab2f8c20d.

NY-SUN Affordable Solar Predevelopment and Technical Assistance

NY-SUN is now accepting applications for the Affordable Solar Predevelopment and Technical Assistance program. This new funding opportunity supports the development of solar projects for multifamily affordable housing and community solar projects serving low-to-moderate income (LMI) households, with up to $200,000 for each approved proposal.

Applications may be submitted by local governments, affordable housing, community organizations and service providers working to make solar accessible to LMI communities in New York. NY-SUN will accept and review applications on a rolling basis until all funds are exhausted. Visit the following link for more details and the application: https://www.nyserda.ny.gov/ASPTA.

Circuit Rider Planner Program

OCCA’s Circuit Rider Planner Program provides ad hoc and project-specific land use planning support for Otsego County municipalities. Our Environmental Planner can be retained by your municipality at minimal cost in order to provide committed, continuous support for your community’s land use initiatives.  For more information see our website at:  http://occainfo.org/circuit-rider-planner-program/



14th Annual Catskill Regional Agriculture Conference, January 12, 2017

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Delaware County, in partnership with the Watershed Agricultural Council, will host the 14th Annual Catskill Regional Agriculture Conference Thursday, January 12, 2017, from 10:00 A.M. to 3:30 P.M. at Farrell Hall, on the SUNY-Delhi campus.  For more information or conference details please visit https://ccedelaware.org/ag/crac/, or call Kim Holden at (607)865-7090, ext. 241. Pre-registration fee is $25 per person, and includes lunch and materials. Conference registration will begin at 9:30 A.M. with a chance to attend one of three early bird sessions that begin at 10:00 A.M.


December 2, 2016: Vol. 10, No. 19

Snowshoe Hike to Mud Lake

March 4, 2017 – Meet at side of Gersoni Rd. just south of I-88. 12pm

Hosted by Steve Kent and OCCA. Hike up South Hill to Mud Lake and back. Highlights of the walk are Steve’s tales of the property before it became a state park, a 30-foot high waterfall, and Mud Lake, a sphagnum bog at the top of the hill. Snowshoes are optional if the snow is not too deep. Provide your own snowshoes and bring water, a snack, and weather-appropriate clothing. This walk will take approximately 3.5 hours to complete. Program is free, though pre-registration is requested. Visit http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/ to sign up.


Grant Writing Basics Workshop sponsored by CADE (Center for Agricultural Development & Entrepreneurship)

Friday, December 3, 2016, 10-12.  5 Elm Street, Oneonta, NY

Step-by-step approach to develop a grant letter of interest or application right for your farm. Participants should bring project ideas and funding amounts needed. Visit http://www.cadefarms.org/events-1/2016/12/2/grant-writing-basics to register, or contact Sonia@cadefarms.org or 607-433-2545.

In case you can’t make that workshop, Cornell Cooperative Extension Schoharie and Otsego Counties hosts Free Money?, a workshop for farm owners seeking grants to support their farm business. This free workshop is offered on Wednesday, December 14, from 10 a.m. to noon at the CCE Extension Center, 173 Grand Street, Cobleskill. Visit http://enych.cce.cornell.edu/events.php for information or to register.


Festival of Trees

Friday December 2 – 6:30-8:30pm (Family Night), Saturday and Sunday December 3, 4 – 12-4pm

Glimmerglass State Park Nature Center

OCCA decorated a tree for the Friends of Glimmerglass State Park’s annual Festival of Trees event. The event kicks off at Glimmerglass State Park on Friday, December 2 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. with wagon rides to view the holiday lights displays, hot cocoa, Santa and his elves, and more. Over the weekend, trees decorated by local organizations (including OCCA) will be raffled off to benefit the Glimmerglass State Park nature center. Visit http://www.friendsofglimmerglass.com/ for more information.


Used Laptops Needed for Guatemala Service Project

Long-time OCCA member Ilse Funk is seeking 10-12 used, working laptops for a service project in Guatemala, and one used projector. IF you are replacing your laptop with something new this holiday season, please consider donating the old one to this worthy program. Please e-mail Ilse at guateviniendo@gmail.com if you have a working laptop you would like to donate.


Volunteers Make Holiday Tote Bags

In November, 25 OCCA volunteers turned pet food bags into nearly 200 sturdy, reusable totes bags. The tote bags were donated to Family Services Association of Oneonta, who used them to deliver holiday supplies to local families in need. A huge thank you to everyone who helped!


DEC Announces “Greening Your Holiday”  Tip for and Eco-Friendly Holiday Season


-Replace your holiday lights with LED lights, which require 1/50 of the electricity of conventional lights

-Carpool or use public transportation when heading out on a shopping expedition

-Combine purchases in a single bag, or bring your own bags rather than get a new bag at each store

-Buy less—give gifts of your time, or tickets to events, or look for items with less packaging


-Wrap gifts creatively, in old magazines, newspapers or posters, or use fabric

-Save gift bags, boxes, wrapping paper and ribbon to use next year (and use what you saved from last year, too!)

-Use last year’s holiday cards to create ornaments, decorations, or gift tags

-Save packing material (air pillows, foam peanuts, etc) to use when shipping gifts to others

-Use reusable cups, plates and utensils for holiday gatherings

-Hold a “regift” party with friends and family for unwanted/unused gifts (just be nice about it!)


-Purchase wrapping paper, cards, etc., with the highest percentage of post-consumer recycled content

-Non-metallic wrapping paper, ribbon and bows can be put out with curbside recycling or taken to the transfer stations for recycling

-Check http://occainfo.org/desktop-recycling-lookup/ (or http://occainfo.org/mobile-recycling-lookup/ if you’re on your phone) if you have questions about how to recycle in Otsego County


Leslie L. Orzetti, Ph.D., Executive Director
Otsego County Conservation Association, Inc.
7207 State Highway 80, PO Box 931
Cooperstown, NY 13326
(607) 547-4488; (607) 282-4087
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November 1, 2016


Contact: Martha Clarvoe, (607) 293-6654; martha.clarvoe@occainfo.org


Volunteers, bags needed for special project


COOPERSTOWN–The Recycling Committee of Otsego County Conservation Association is currently seeking volunteers to help make tote bags from used plastic pet and animal food bags. The newly-made tote bags will be distributed to 200 Otsego County families along with Thanksgiving dinner supplies by the Family Services Association this November.


“Family Services needs 200 tote bags by November 14,” said Martha Clarvoe, chair of OCCA’s recycling committee. “Making the bags isn’t difficult. All it takes is a pair of scissors, some thread, and a sewing machine. The finished tote bags are attractive and durable, and can be used as shopping bags.”


Finished tote bags can be delivered directly to Family Services Association, located at 277 Chestnut Street, Oneonta, or at the offices of Otsego County Conservation Association, 7207 State Highway 80, Cooperstown. Other drop off sites can be arranged by calling Martha Clarvoe at 293-6654, or by e-mailing Martha at martha.clarvoe@gmail.com. Bags need to be delivered to Family Services Association by November 14.


Anyone interested in making tote bags, or donating empty, clean pet food bags to donate, should contact Clarvoe.


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

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November 1, 2016: Vol. 10, No. 18


SAVE THE DATE for Ecobulletin

Upper Susquehanna Watershed Forum

November 3, 2016 – SUNY Oneonta

Upper Susquehanna Watershed Forum will take place at SUNY Oneonta from 9:45 – 3:30 with field trip and happy hour to follow.  The forum will discuss pertinent issues in the watershed and have presentations from local and regional citizens regarding the state of the watershed.  For more information see:  https://allianceforthebay.org/2016/09/upper-susquehanna-watershed-forum/


Ag Plastic and Wood Pellet Bag Collection Day

Nov. 5, 8-11am (Southern Transfer Station); Nov. 10, 8-11am (Northern Transfer Station)

Used separated ag plastic will be collected at both the northern and southern transfer stations in Otsego County.  Types of plastic accepted:  silage wrap/bunker covers, bale wrap, greenhouse/hoophouse covers, wood pellet bags.  Call 607-282-4087 to register. This is FREE for Otsego County residents.


Farmers Museum Conference on Food and Farming

Nov. 5, 9-330 – Farmers’ Museum, Cooperstown

Come visit OCCA at this one day workshop that will discuss climate change and its impact on farming in central New York. The event is free and open to the public.  To find out more and reserve your spot see: http://www.farmersmuseum.org/food-farm.


Nature Hike

November 8, 10am — Clark Tower Property

Join OCCA for a hike the Clark Tower property. Meet at Beaver Meadow Road, just south of County Road 52.  Event is free and open to the public.  Hike lasts approximately 2 hours. Bring water and a snack.


ANNOUNCENMENTS for ecobulletin

Volunteers Needed

Butternut Creek Watershed Assessment

Volunteers needed to help with Butternut Creek physical assessment.  Experience not necessary, but does help. Volunteers will walk stream banks, take photos, and assess bank conditions.  Contact Jordan Clements at


OCCA Names Conservationist of the Year – Tom Salo

Each year, OCCA celebrates a Conservationist of the Year, this year Tom Salo is our winner.  Salo is being honored for his dedication to environmental issues in Otsego County and abroad.  He is being honored at our Annual Member Dinner and Meeting.  For more information see our website at:  http://occainfo.org/salo-named-occa-conservationist-year/


OCCA Fundraiser Underway

The annual OCCA fundraiser is currently underway and seeking your donations.  Our theme is year is “Go Wild with OCCA.”  We are sending our own Danny Lapin out to the trail to show you some of our favorite “wild areas” of Otsego County. Your donation will help us continue our wonderful programs and help us preserve natural resources in Otsego County.  We are accepting donation through our website:  http://occainfo.org/special-fundraising-campaigns/, Crowdrise: https://www.crowdrise.com/go-take-a-hike/fundraiser/OCCA; or via check to – PO Box 931, Cooperstown, NY 13326.  Thank you for your support!


 (If the Eco-bulletin formatting does not translate properly to your e-mail, you can view all Eco-bulletin archives here:



Cooperstown– The Otsego County Conservation Association will honor Tom Salo on Tuesday, November 15 during the Annual Dinner and Meeting Templeton Hall, 63 Pioneer Street, Cooperstown.

OCCA is recognizing Salo for lifetime achievement and dedication to environmental excellence, leadership, and accomplishment. Salo is being celebrated as a community partner for his work with the Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society, Franklin Mountain Hawkwatch, and the Appalachian Eagle Project to name a few.

The evening will also include a vote by OCCA members to confirm the organization’s 2017 slate of Board directors, a brief recap of 2016 programs and achievements, and a Silent Auction.

OCCA’s Annual Dinner and Meeting is open to members. Tickets are $45 per person and pre-registration is required by Monday, November 7. Call OCCA at 547-4488 to register for the dinner. All proceeds from this event will support OCCA’s environmental programs. OCCA members who cannot attend may cast their vote for the slate of directors online at http://occainfo.org/slate-of-directors-2016-2018/.




 Tuesday, October 25, 2016                                                             


Contact: Leslie Orzetti, (607) 547-4488, director@occainfo.org

 Salo named OCCA Conservationist of the Year


COOPERSTOWN—The Otsego County Conservation Association will present its 2016 “Conservationist of the Year” award to Tom Salo of Burlington. Salo will receive the award at OCCA’s Annual Dinner on Tuesday, November 15.

“I am delighted that Tom Salo is receiving the OCCA Conservationist of the Year Award,” said OCCA President Vicky Lentz. “He deserves recognition for the many wonderful environmental projects he has worked on throughout the years.”

Salo has been involved in environmental issues and politics since the first Earth Day in 1970. A long-time member of the Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society (DOAS), he joined the DOAS board in the 1980s and has served the organization as president, secretary, education chair and field trip chair. Currently, Salo is co-chair of the Franklin Mountain Hawkwatch, and is the New York State coordinator of the Appalachian Eagle Project, which uses baited wildlife cameras to define the winter distribution of scavengers, especially golden eagles. He has written articles for The Conservationist and several ornithological journals. He lives in Burlington with his wife, Jo, in a passive solar house they built in 1982.

For the past decade, Salo has focused on understanding and conserving raptors in New York, particularly golden eagles. He is currently spearheading a DOAS effort to reduce accidental lead poisoning in bald eagles by promoting the use of non-lead ammunition for deer hunting.

“Ever since I was a teen, I felt compelled to leave the world a better place,” said Salo. “I’m one of seven billion now, and still trying to do my tiny part.”

OCCA has been awarding the Conservationist of the Year since 1989. The award is given to an individual, citizens’ group or grassroots organization, governmental body, non-profit organization or business that has made a positive difference in environmental protection, preservation or education in Otsego County.

Salo will be honored at OCCA’s Annual Dinner and Meeting, which will be held at Templeton Hall in Cooperstown. The event includes a silent auction fundraiser, an overview of OCCA’s activities for the year, and a member vote of OCCA Board of Directors. Doors open at 6 p.m. with cocktail hour and silent auction preview. Dinner will be served at 7, with awards presentation to follow. For information on the dinner, 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, and planning. For more information on OCCA, or to donate, visit www.occainfo.org

COOPERSTOWN–Farmers will have two opportunities to drop off their used agricultural plastic for recycling this November through a special program arranged by the Otsego County Department of Solid Waste, Otsego County Conservation Association, Casella Resource Solutions, Otsego County Soil & Water Conservation District, and the New York State Recycling Agricultural Plastics Program (RAPP). The collections are scheduled for Saturday, November 5 at the Southern Transfer Station in Oneonta, and Thursday, November 10 at the Northern Transfer Station in Cooperstown. Collections on both days will run from 8-11 a.m. Participation is free, though pre-registration is required.

Agricultural film plastics are used to prevent spoilage of feed, and as covers for hoop houses and greenhouses. These plastics have long been ignored by traditional recyclers; over the last several years, however, markets have developed that use them as raw materials to create a variety of products including plastic lumber, plywood and sidewalk pavers.

Seasonal collections are held in Oneonta and Cooperstown twice per year. Once collected, the plastic is compacted into bales weighing between 800 and 1,000 pounds using a mobile baling machine before being shipped to a recycler. More than ten tons of plastic have been collected this way since the first collection in March, 2015.

Plastic being accepted this fall includes bale wrap, silage bags, bunker silo cover and greenhouse covers. In addition, farmers and homeowners can bring in empty wood pellet bags. For information on participating or to sign up for a time slot, contact OCCA at (607) 282-4087.

About OCCA

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

COOPERSTOWN—Otsego County Conservation Association will be holding a highway cleanup along State Route 80 on Saturday, October 22 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

The cleanup is part of New York State’s Adopt-A-Highway program. OCCA adopted this portion of the road in 2013. Volunteers will meet at OCCA’s office at Mohican Farm, at the corner of Route 80 and Allen Lake Road, and will collect trash along a two-mile stretch of the road.

Bags, water, and safety equipment are provided. Participants should wear long pants and sturdy shoes, and dress appropriately for the weather.

If interested in participating, contact Jeff O’Handley at (607) 547-4488, or at programdirector@occainfo.org.

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