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Save the Date

Winter Carnival Snowshoe Walk

February 11 – 10:30 – 12:00pm – Clark Sports Center

Have the winter time blues?  Bundle up and hit the woodland trail Winter Carnival weekend at the Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown with OCCA Program Director Jeff O’Handley.  This themed hike will focus on signs of life past, present and future. Look for animal tracks and scat (aka, poop!), nests, evidence of feeding and more. The event is free and open to the public.  Meet in the lobby of the Clark Sports Center. Pre-registration is appreciated but not required.  Register at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/

Get the Kids Out – Winter Scavenger Hunt

February 21 – 10:00am – 12:00pm – Riddell State Park

Take a break from school vacation week with a winter scavenger hunt with OCCA in Riddell State Park. Discover the hidden life of forests and fields, and get some fresh air, too! Meet at the parking lot in Robert V. Riddell State Park and dress for the weather! The event is free and open to the public.  Pre-registration is appreciated but not required.  Register at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/

Be Informed! Lecture Series – Ticks and Lyme Disease:  What You Need to Know

February 21 – 6:30pm – Community Room, Clark Sports Center, Coopersown

Spring is right around the corner, and that means ticks will soon be back out in force. Learn about the biology and ecology of ticks, their role in the transmittal of diseases, and how to protect yourself and your family. Speakers include Dr. Carmen Greenwood, Associate Professor, SUNY Cobleskill, and Theresa Oellrich, RN, Communicable Disease Coordinator of Otsego County.

Mud Lake Snowshoe Walk

March 10 – 12:00pm – 4:30pm – Riddell State Park

Join Steve Kent for this hike up to Mud Lake at Robert V. Riddell State Park. Along the way, Steve will share interesting tales of the life of the land when it was part of the Riddell family. Steve and his wife, Patricia Riddell Kent, donated the land to the state in 2005. Bring your own snowshoes, as well as water, a snack, and appropriate clothing. If there is not sufficient snow, we will proceed on foot. Sign up at https://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/.

 

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.

Announcements 

New rules for wood pellet bags

The OCCA-Ace Hardware wood pellet bag collection has come to an end, but that doesn’t mean you can’t continue recycling your pellet bags. Several stores in Otsego County, including Price Chopper, Hannaford, and Tops, accept wood pellet bags as part of their film plastic recycling program. To prepare your wood pellet bags properly: cut the top completely off the bag and discard; completely empty the bag of pellets and residue (turning inside out may help); store flat or in tight rolls; drop off at the film plastic recycling containers at Price Chopper, Hannaford or Tops with your other film plastic recyclables. For information on other types of film plastics that can be recycled, and for a directory on where to recycle them, visit https://www.plasticfilmrecycling.org/recycling-bags-and-wraps/find-drop-off-location/

 

OCCA Goes Green with Electronic Garage Sale

In an effort to lower our carbon footprint, OCCA is going green this year and moving our Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Garage on to the web.  Instead of using vehicles to pick up, drop off and move items, we will be hosting an online store where you can still get donate and purchase items for a great deal!  Over the past  few years, we have had an overwhelming outpouring of donations from our supporters.  This year we are trying to refine the process so we do not have so many things left over at the end of the yard sale to find good homes for.  After the yard sale, many items were donated to the SAS, local shelters and the Salvation Army, but we still had many unwanted items to take to the dump…..certainly not the intention of the yard sale.  So, this year YOU can sit back and donate and shop from the comfort of your own home.  We will be accepting household items for donation that are in good condition from March 1 until May 1 with the sale ongoing until our items are sold.  To donate, just call OCCA at 547-4488, snap a photo of your item, and email it to one of our team members.  The team will then 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.  OCCA will not be accepting small items such as clothing and books, but we have other options for you (see clothing swap below).  We hope all our donors and shoppers will still participate in our event and help keep items out of the landfill.  Stay tuned for more information via email, our website (www.occainfo.org/reduce-reuse-recycle-garage-sale/) and Facebook for more information.

 

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 and at the event Saturday April 21.  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.  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.

Grilled Cheese for a Good Cause

February 11 – 5:00 – 7:00pm – Cooperstown Farmer’s Market

Go join Otsego 2000 for an evening of community fun and comfort food, featuring local chefs preparing scrumptious grilled cheese sandwiches and soups. Click here to purchase tickets. This year’s event will benefit Otsego Outdoors.

Cold Winter, Warm Community Winter Carnival Ice Breaker

February 11 – 2 – 4:30pm – Cooperstown Distillery

View Otsego Land Trust’s “Picture Perfect” exhibit, a display of wonderful photographs taken around our community. At 3pm, take part in a fun 30-minute trivia contest about the area’s wildlife and environment. At 4pm, The Freeman’s Journal presents the award to the winner of the Winter Carnival Medallion Search.

Recycling Opportunities at Earth Festival

In keeping with the Earth Day Network’s theme for this year’s Earth Day, Earth Festival’s theme will be Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.  To that end, we will be offering many opportunities for recycling that you might now know about.  We will still have our paper shredding (5 box limit); clean, white Styrofoam; shoes; Christmas lights, toilet and paper towel rolls; windowed envelopes; small, handheld electronics; ink jet cartridges; fishing line; tennis balls; natural cork.

 

Positions Available

The Natural Heritage Trust is seeking candidates for the position of Water Resources Coordinator to help monitor and maintain the water quality, safety, and recreational uses of New York state park watebodies. Applications due February 16, 2018. For full position description and how to apply, call Natural Heritage Trust at (518) 474-0409.

Invasive Species Strike Teams: The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation is seeking to fill a number of positions on their invasive species strike teams. Strike Team Specialists and Supervisors will primarily be involved in manual invasive plant removals, surveys, education and other activities on State Park lands. These are seasonal, full-time positions from late May through mid-November. Closing date is March 9. See https://parks.ny.gov/employment/park-employment.aspx for detailed job descriptions, contact information, and how to apply.

Friends of Recreation, Conservation and Environmental Stewardship (FORCES), a program of The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation is seeking applicants for positions as FORCES Stewardship Corps Members and Supervisors for the summer May through August). FORCES Stewardship Corps will be working alongside State Parks staff on projects in Taughannock Falls, Buttermilk Falls, and Robert H. Tremain State Parks. Closing date is March 9; however, interviews will begin in February, so apply ASAP. For detailed information, contact rebecca.siber@parks.ny.gov.

(COOPERSTOWN)—Otsego County Conservation Association is seeking sponsors, vendors and exhibitors for the 14th annual Earth Festival, event organizers said.

Established in 2005, Earth Festival is an environmentally-focused, interactive event featuring exhibits, activities and vendors. This year’s theme is Reduce, ReUse Recycle, and will take place onSaturday, April 21 at Milford Central School, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“Earth Festival is an opportunity to network with like-minded individuals and organizations, and to promote your environmentally-friendly products, services, and practices to an ever-growing audience,” said Leslie Orzetti, OCCA’s executive director.

Contributions and sponsors are being sought to help defray the costs of the event, which includes table and chair rentals, facility fees, promotion and advertising, and charges for the event’s popular recycling programs. Sponsors will receive recognition on Earth Festival promotional materials, Orzetti said.

In addition to sponsorships, Orzetti said registration is now open for vendors and exhibitors interested in attending the event. Each vendor and exhibitor will have an eight-foot table for their display.

“The event attracts over eight hundred people each year,” Orzetti said. “We look forward to seeing the outpouring of support from the community to rally around the conservation of natural resources.”

The vendor and information fair takes place in the school gym, while special workshops and activities occur throughout the building. New this year is a clothing swap, to help people find new homes for unwanted but good condition clothes. Returning activities include a morning bird walk led by members of the Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society; Spring Garden Day, a special program of the Master Gardeners of Cornell Cooperative Extension Schoharie Otsego Counties; the Eco-Art/Trendy Trash exhibit and competition; and special recycling opportunities, including paper shredding.

Returning for the second year is Earth Festival movie night, sponsored by Otsego 2000. Held on Friday, April 20, this year’s film will be “Landfill Harmonic.” The award winning documentary follows the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura, a Paraguayan musical group that plays instruments made out of items scavenged from the local landfill.

“This is an inspiring film. I’m thrilled we’ll be able to share it with the public,” Orzetti said.

Sponsorships are being accepted through April 13. For information on how to get involved, either as a sponsor or vendor/exhibitor, contact Orzetti at (607) 547-4488, or visit occainfo.org/earth-festival/.

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’s upcoming events focus on enjoying winter weather with three snowshoe hikes and a special kids’ program.

On Saturday, January 27, OCCA will participate in the third annual Cabin Fever Winter Fest at Gilbert Lake State Park. OCCA will lead two snowshoe hikes around the lake for beginners, one at 11:30 and a second at 1:30. A limited supply of snowshoes is available to borrow courtesy of Five Star Subaru. The entire Cabin Fever Winter Fest event runs from11am to 3pm and includes cross country skiing, winter camping demonstrations, crafts for kids, and more. The event is free and open to the public.

OCCA also leads a snowshoe hike as part of the Cooperstown Winter Carnival on Sunday, February 11. The walk will take place along trails through the woods and along the Susquehanna River behind the Clark Sports Center, 124 County Road 52, Cooperstown. Meet at the main entrance of the sports center at 10:30. Bring your own snowshoes.

On Wednesday, February 21, OCCA leads Get the Kids Out! Winter Wonders at Robert V. Riddell State Park in Oneonta. This special scavenger hunt program will be a search for signs of life in the midst of winter. Meet at the main entrance to Riddell State Park on State Route 28, just north of I-88 Exit 17 at 10 am.

Finally, on Saturday, March 10, Steve Kent leads a snowshoe hike to Mud Lake at Robert V. Riddell State Park in Oneonta. Meet at noon on County Road 48 (Gersoni Road) just south of Interstate 88 exit 17. This 5-mile hike will traverse some steep areas to Mud Lake, a bog at the top of South Hill, and return to the cars.

In the event there is not enough snow for any of the snowshoe walks, programs will proceed on foot. All OCCA hikes are free. For further information, visit occainfo.org or call (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

SAVE THE DATE

Well Spent Wednesday

January 24 –11am – 10pm – Alex’s Bistro (149 Main Street, Cooperstown)

Come join OCCA for a meal at Alex’s Bistro in Cooperstown.  Alex has generously offered to donate 15% of your bill to OCCA.  This can only work if you come out for a wonderful meal at Alex’s!  We LOVE Alex’s eclectic menu and hope that you will as well.  Just mention OCCA when you dine.  We’ll have an OCCA employee at the restaurant for most of the day if you want to stop by and say hello!

Cabin Fever Fest Snowshoe Walk

January 27 –11:30am and 1:30pm – Gilbert Lake State Park

Join OCCA at Five Star Subaru’s Cabin Fever Fest at Gilbert Lake State Park for a snowshoe hike or two.  Again this year, OCCA will be leading two snowshoe walks around Gilbert Lake.  No snowshoes, no problem!  You can borrow some from the Mt. Otsego Ski Shop.  Program Director Jeff O’Handley will lead these walks and give fun ecological facts about Otsego County and point out neat wintertime nature finds along the way.  There will be two hikes, 11:30 and 1:30.  Join us for this fun free event!

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

Winter Carnival Showshoe Walk

February 11 – 10:30 – 12:00pm – Clark Sports Center

Have the winter time blues?  Bundle up and hit the woodland trail Winter Carnival weekend at the Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown with OCCA Program Director Jeff O’Handley.  This themed hike will focus on signs of life past, present and future. Look for animal tracks and scat (aka, poop!), nests, evidence of feeding and more. The event is free and open to the public.  Meet in the lobby of the Clark Sports Center. Pre-registration is appreciated but not required.  Register at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/

ANNOUNCEMENTS

50th Anniversary Annual Appeal a Success!

A big and hearty thanks to everyone who shared your holiday cheer with OCCA!!  Our 50th Anniversary Annual Appeal is off to a great start.  With a goal of $50,000 for our 50th Anniversary year, we have a lot of work to do and we’re off and running because of our generous donors.  We are about to top the $10,000 mark in just our first month!  As always, your donations go to helping OCCA put on all of its FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC programs like nature hikes, lectures, festivals and much, much more.  It’s not too late to donate to OCCA for our 50th Anniversary year! If you would like to donate online, please see our Annual Appeal campaign page @ https://occainfo.networkforgood.com/projects/43100-2017-annual-appeal. Any and all donations are welcome, and no gift is too small.   Pass the word on to your friends this year  that you value the work OCCA does and challenge them to match your donation to our efforts.

 

Recycle Your Christmas Lights

If you’re finding more and more strings of Christmas lights that aren’t working, look to recycle them! Lights can be dropped off at Lowe’s stores, or boxed and mailed to companies like Holiday LEDs (holidayleds.com), the Christmas Light Source (christmas-light-source.com) or Environmental LED (environmentalled.com).  You can also bring your spent holiday lights to OCCA and we will take them to Lowe’s for you.  Drop your lights off at Mohican Farm location (Corner of Rte. 80 and Allen Lake Road) until January 24.

Otsego County Soil and Water Conservation District Seeking Winter/Spring Intern

This internship position will support Otsego County Soil and Water Conservation District (OCSWCD) with various projects in Otsego County. The position will provide experience in watershed assessment methods, riparian forest monitoring and maintenance methods, and other OCSWCD projects as assigned.  For more information see: http://www.otsegosoilandwater.com/Internship_OCSWCD_2018.pdf.

Upper Susquehanna Coalition Seeking Spring Intern

The Upper Susquehanna Coalition is seeking resumes for a current job opening as a riparian buffer intern. The position will begin in March and is slated to terminate in the late fall, with the possibility of an extension. The job will be based out of the Tioga County Soil and Water Conservation Office.  Interested parties should contact Lydia Brinkley at the Upper Susquehanna Coalition Buffer Coordinator, at Lbrinkley@u-s-c.org.

NY DEC Seeking Trees for Tributaries Program Coordinator

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) in partnership with the Natural Heritage Trust is seeking to hire a Stream Buffer Restoration / Resiliency Planting Program Coordinator to oversee DEC’s Trees for Tributaries program.  Trees for Tribs works to restore stream buffers throughout New York.   Contact OCCA for a position description.  Applications are due January 8th, 2018 to treesfortribs@dec.ny.gov.

Did You Know?

Baby its cold outside!  With this rash of cold, cold, cold weather we’ve been having, and more sub-zero temps to come, Otsego County’s lakes are just about frozen.  On my drive back from Western New York yesterday, my kids and I had a bet whether Otsego Lake was completely frozen yet.  Answers ranged from 50% (my ever conservative science brained son) to 100% (my ever optimistic daughter), with mine in between at 80%.  The bets were predicated by observing Canadarago Lake with its ice fishing huts lining the lake and beautiful ice waves along the surface.  As many of you know, Otsego Lake is usually the last to completely freeze over due to its depth and many streams feeding it.  Last year the lake did not actually completely freeze over (no, not even the 4 feet of snow in March did it!).  Lake ice and the ecological phenomena under the ice in lakes in Otsego County  and in other fresh water systems is now being recognized as an important research question that needs to be answered to determine what shifts in both the planktonic (floating) and benthic (bottom) communities that is and may still occur in the face of a warming climate.  Warming you say?  This week?  Bah!  But it is true. While many researchers have avoided winter research on lakes (I’ve done my time chipping ice off boats, and it’s not fun) more and more ecologists are heading out during the winter months to see what food web dynamics are occurring under the ice.  In fact, the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis has put together an entire working group for just this question (https://www.nceas.ucsb.edu/featured/hampton).  As the winter drones on, just keep in mind (as many of you ice fisherman know) there’s life teeming under that surface of ice.  And for you betting people out there….we have word from the SUNY Biological Field Station that Otsego Lake is indeed 100% frozen.  Now get out there carefully and ice fish!

 

SAVE THE DATE

Sleeping Lion Trail Hike

December 5 – 10am – Glimmerglass State Park

Program Director Jeff O’Handley will lead a walk on the Sleeping Lion trail at Glimmerglass State Park for the Susquehanna Chapter, Adirondack Mountain Club. This 2.5-mile trail traverses several forest types and offers breathtaking views of Otsego Lake. Free. For information on carpooling from the Oneonta area, contact Julie Smith, outings chair of ADK.  Register at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/

 

Well Spent Wednesday

January 24 –11am – 10pm – Alex’s Bistro (149 Main Street, Cooperstown)

Come join OCCA for a meal at Alex’s Bistro in Cooperstown.  Alex has generously offered to donate 15% of your bill to OCCA.  This can only work if you come out for a wonderful meal at Alex’s!  We LOVE Alex’s eclectic menu and hope that you will as well.  Just mention OCCA when you dine.  We’ll have an OCCA employee at the restaurant for most of the day if you want to stop by and say hello!

Where Have All the Birds Gone?

December 6 – 6:30 – 7:30pm – Brandow’s Feed & Seed

Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society Co-President, Andy Mason will discuss winter birds, including birds typically seen at feeders in our area. Topics will include various bird seed types and other food, feeders, and problems at feeders.Also discussed will be the common question this fall: “Where are all the birds?” as well as how feeder watchers can contribute to knowledge of bird populations and distributions. VISIT www.doas.usfor more information about other programs.

ANNOUNCEMENTS 

2017 Giving Tuesday a Success!

The new #GivingTuesday campaign for 2017 was a success!!  Today, OCCA raised over $2500 and your generous donations are still coming in.  As always, your donations go to helping OCCA put on all of its FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC programs like nature hikes, lectures, festivals and much, much more.  It’s not too late to donate to OCCA for the 2017 tax year, our annual appeal and brand new annual report are going out in the mail this week.  If you would like to donate online, please see our Annual Appeal campaign page @ https://occainfo.networkforgood.com/projects/43100-2017-annual-appeal. Any and all donations are welcome, and no gift is too small.   Pass the word on to your friends this giving season that you value the work OCCA does and challenge them to match your donation to our efforts.

Reduce Your Food Footprint

Have too many leftovers?  Is your fridge getting cram packed with food already for the holiday season?  The Natural Resources Defense Council estimates that American throw away over 204 MILLION pounds of just turkey meat during the Thanksgiving holidays.  This estimate doesn’t even include the time between Thanksgiving and the New Year holiday, OR the amount of food that can be composted in your own backyard!  To reduce wasted food this holiday season, the NY DEC suggests….

  • Plan ahead:  Have an accurate head count to plan portions accordingly. Use Save the Food’s new Guest-imator calculator to help estimate how much food you will need based on the head count and number of desired leftovers.
  • Cook with Imperfections:  Purchase imperfect produce to use in cooked dishes, such as bruised apples for apple pie.
  • Share:  Encourage your guests to bring a container they can take leftovers home in.
  • Make Creative Leftovers:  Enjoy your Thanksgiving leftovers days after by creating new dishes like turkey soup or hot turkey sandwiches.
  • Freeze:  Be realistic about the leftovers you can eat; freeze the extra that won’t last in the fridge.

 

Recycle Your Christmas Lights

If you’re finding more and more strings of Christmas lights that aren’t working, look to recycle them! Lights can be dropped off at Lowe’s stores, or boxed and mailed to companies like HolidayLEDs (holidayleds.com), the Christmas Light Source (christmas-light-source.com) or Environmental LED (environmentalled.com).  You can also bring your spent holiday lights to OCCA and we will take them to Lowe’s for you.  Drop your lights off at Mohican Farm location (Corner of Rte. 80 and Allen Lake Road) until January 24.

Otsego Reuse Center Now Open!

A project of the Arc Otsego, The Otsego ReUse Center envisions providing affordable, gently used materials to the general public while keeping materials out of the waste stream. The store is open Tuesday through Friday10 am-6 pm and Saturday from 9am-1pm, and is located at 23 Duane Street, Oneonta. Call 607-353-7831 or visit otsegoreusecenter.org for more information.

County Manager/Executive to Be Discussed Locally

Dr. Gerald Benjamin, SUNY New Paltz Associate Vice President/Regional Engagement, will make a presentation outlining the discussion surrounding hiring a “County Manager” versus electing a “County Executive.” The presentation will take place on Thursday, December 14 at 8 a.m. at the Springbrook family Engagement Center located on Route 28 in Milford Center. The event is sponsored by the Freeman’s Journal/Hometown Oneonta, with cosponsors including the League of Women Voters (Cooperstown and Oneonta Chapters) and the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce.

Did You Know?

The Winter Solstice is coming!  The winter solstice (AKA hibernal solstice) is an astronomical phenomenon marking the day with the shortest period of daylight and the longest night of the year. This year, in the Northern Hemisphere we can officially celebrate the solstice on December 21 at 11:27am. Why would you want to celebrate the shortest time of daylight of the year you ask?  While we at OCCA appreciate the solstice for its astronomical properties, many other cultures throughout human history have had a different take on the solstice.  For many people around the world, the solstice is celebrated as the beginning of the return of the sun and darkness turning to light. In pre-Christian Scandinavia, the Feast of Juul, or Yule, lasted for 12 days celebrating the rebirth of the sun and giving rise to the custom of burning a Yule log. In Europe, the winter months were considered a time of famine with little to no crop growth. It was at this time that most cattle were slaughtered so they would not have to be fed during the winter months, thus making the solstice a time of slaughter and plentiful meat and many celebrations for the upcoming months. In ancient Rome, the winter solstice was celebrated at the Feast of Saturnalia, to honor Saturn, the god of agricultural bounty. One of the most famous celebrations of the winter solstice in the world today takes place in the ancient ruins of Stonehenge, England. Thousands of Druids and Pagans gather there to chant, dance and sing while waiting to see the spectacular sunrise.  No matter how you slice it, let’s plan to celebrate the winter solstice this year as homage to our county’s rich agricultural history, a time of the return of the sun, and to longer days giving way to a bountiful spring.

 

COOPERSTOWN—Otsego County Conservation Association has the following programs coming up:

On Friday, November 10 OCCA Program Director Jeff O’Handley leads a guided walk at Mohican Farm in Springfield at 2 p.m.Offered in conjunction with Glimmerglass Film Days, the walk will investigate Mohican Farm as a “home.” Meet at the OCCA office at 7207 State Highway 80.

The OCCA/Mohican Farm Be Informed! Lecture Series concludes for 2017 on Wednesday, November 15 at Mohican Farm. “The What, Why and How of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle” explores how we can reduce our solid waste output and features Karen Sullivan, director of the Otsego County Solid Waste Department; Karey Foster, Operations Analyst with Casella Resource Solutions; and Bob Sutherland, Manager of Mohican Farm, The Clark Foundation. The program begins at 6:30 p.m.

OCCA’s final walk of 2017 will be on the Sleeping Lion trail at Glimmerglass State Park on Tuesday, December 5 at 10 a.m. Offered in conjunction with the Adirondack Mountain Club Susquehanna Chapter, the 2.5-mile hike travels through a variety of forest environments and offers a wonderful view of Otsego Lake.

OCCA is currently accepting entries for their annual essay contest for “camperships” to DEC camps. Open for Otsego County students ages 11-14, contestants must submit an essay (up to 750 words) that addresses the following question: “What could you do personally to help protect the environment and what kind of impact would it make?” Winners will receive a week-long stay at a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation summer camp. The deadline for entries is December 1.

OCCA is also hosting two agricultural plastic collection days in the month of November. Farmers with used film plastic, including bale wrap, silage bags, bunker cover, greenhouse covers and wood pellet bags can bring it to the Southern Transfer Station in Oneonta on Saturday, November 11, or to the Northern Transfer Station in Cooperstown on Thursday, November 16. Collection time for both days is 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. The plastic must be sorted according to type.

All programs are free, though pre-registration is required. For more information or to register, visit http://occainfo.org/calendar/ or call(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.

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Film Festival Mohican Farm Hike

November 10 – 2:00pm – Mohican Farm (Corner of Allen Lake Road and Rte. 80 – Cooperstown)

In the spirit of celebrating this year’s Glimmerglass Film Days theme “Home”, OCCA Program Director Jeff O’Handley will lead a hike introducing you to OCCA’s home – Mohican Farm.  Jeff will lead participants around our lovely “home” and highlight the flora and fauna of the site, and give a history of the property.    Program is free and open to the public. Register at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/.

 

Ag Plastic Collections

November 11 – 8-11am (Southern Transfer Station); November 16 – 8-11am – (Northern Transfer Station)

Farmers have two chances to drop off used agricultural film plastic in the month of November.  Acceptable materials include bale wrap, bunker silo cover, silage bags, greenhouse covers and wood pellet bags. Material must be sorted by type and as clean and dry as possible. Free, but pre-registration is requested. For information on how to properly prepare the material for recycling or to register, contact OCCA at (607) 282-4087.

 

Be Informed! Lecture Series

November 15 – 6:30pm Mohican Farm (7207 St. Rte. 80; Corner of Allen Lake Road and Rte. 80 –Cooperstown)

Join us on National Recycling Day for an informative lecture entitled:  The What, Why and How of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Guest speakers include: Karey Foster (Casella); Karen Sullivan (Otsego County Solid Waste and Planning); and Bob Sutherland (Mohican Farm). Each will talk about how you can lower your solid waste footprint by recycling, composting, and other tricks of the trade.  Come find out “what goes where” in the world of household trash disposal. Program is free and open to the public. Register at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/.

 

Sleeping Lion Trail Hike

December 5 – 10am – Glimmerglass State Park

Program Director Jeff O’Handley will lead a walk on the Sleeping Lion trail at Glimmerglass State Park for the Susquehanna Chapter, Adirondack Mountain Club. This 2.5-mile trail traverses several forest types and offers breathtaking views of Otsego Lake. Free. For information on carpooling from the Oneonta area, contact Julie Smith, outings chair of ADK.  Register at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/

 

OCCA Citizen Science Stream Monitoring Inaugural Sampling Weekend a Success!

Over 20 volunteers braved the water and sampled nine Otsego County stream sites over the weekend of October 19.  Volunteers collected data on water temperature, specific conductance, oxygen levels, pH, water clarity, and nutrient levels.  This was the first sampling occasion of the program, and volunteers will be monitoring monthly.  Keep an eye out for them in a creek near you!  For more information on the program and to get involved see our website at: http://occainfo.org/citizen-science-stream-monitoring/

 

 

OCCA Wins Grant for Citizen Science Stream Monitoring Program

OCCA just got news that we received a $5000 grant from the Change Happens Foundation for the Citizen Science Stream Monitoring program.  Funds from this grant will help purchase additional monitoring kits, defray the cost of staff time, and help pay for additional safety equipment for our volunteers.  We are excited to be carrying out this program for Otsego County, and hope to provide valuable data for our citizens, local and state governments, and the Chesapeake Monitoring Network, so that we can do our part to help protect the Chesapeake Bay.  For more information on the program and to get involved see our website at:http://occainfo.org/citizen-science-stream-monitoring/

 

As part of our year end appeal, OCCA is launching a new #GivingTuesday campaign.  Giving Tuesday has become the second largest time of charitable giving across the globe, and you can get in on the action by becoming an OCCA donor.  If you already support of OCCA – THANK YOU!!!!  Pass the word on to your friends this giving season that you value the work OCCA does and challenge them to match your donation to our efforts.  Check out our #GivingTuesday page at:  https://occainfo.networkforgood.com/projects/39055-giving-tuesday-2017 to make a donation today!

 

    Climate Smart Communities Webinar

The NY State Department of Environmental Conservation is holding a webinar series that explores the relationship between climate change, agriculture, and municipal policies in New York State.  It will describe the types of plans and policies that local governments can adopt to protect farmland and support low-emission, sustainable farming in communities. If you are interested, provide your name and community affiliation, either via email or telephone to the DEC Office of Climate Change at climatechange@dec.ny.govor 518-402-8448. 

 

To join the webinar on November 9th, follow these steps:

  1. First, click on this link: https://meetny.webex.com/meetny/onstage/g.php?MTID=efc4353c76cbe0aa931978df0180b20d5
  2. Enter your name and email address.
  3. Enter the meeting password: NYSDEC1
  4. Click “Join“.
  5. Audio by phone: Click “Call Me” in the onscreen “Audio Connection” box and enter your phone number to have the system call you. Alternatively, call 1-844-633-8697 and enter the Event Number: 643 005 988, followed by your Attendee ID (which will be displayed on your screen in the Event Info tab) to join the audio portion. (The Attendee ID is recommended but not required.)
  6. Audio via computer: To listen via your computer’s built-in audio or via VoIP, go to the Audio menu and select “Call Using Computer“. For more details, review this short video: https://help.webex.com/videos/1290

 

 Glimmerglass Film Days

Glimmerglass Film Days encourages environmental stewardship through encounters and lively collaboration with world-class artists, activists and scholars to bring cultural events–screenings, hikes, talks, bike rides, and exhibits–of world class quality to our region. This year’s festival theme is home, where filmmakers will take us on a global tour of the places people live. We’ll meet people joining together to defend a way of life as well as individuals seeking to transform communities. Films follow people along trajectories that compel them (and us) to assess what is community, what is family, what is home.  The festival runs from November 9-13, tickets are on sale now.  See http://www.glimmerglassfilmdays.org/ for more information.  The Otsego Land Trust will also be hosting a hike on November 13 at 11am.  See www.otsegolandtrust.org for more information.

 

Brookwood Clean-Up Day

The Otsego Land Trust is looking for volunteers for a day of clean-up at Brookwood Point to get everything ready for winter. All are welcome; those who can spend just a few minutes helping to those who can stay the entire duration.  No gardening experience necessary.  OLT will provide tools, expertise and refreshments.  This event will be held rain or shine, so please dress appropriately. Please RSVP to Sara at 607-547-2366 or sara@otsegolandtrust.

Natural Gas Transportation Public Meeting

Otsego County officials will be holding a public meeting regarding the transportation of natural through Otsego County.  The meeting will be an opportunity to hear presentations of facts by local experts and corporate executives. Participants will include representatives from XNG, New York State Department of Transportation, the New York State Police, the Otsego County Office of Emergency and others.  The meeting will be held on November 16 from 6:00-8:00pm at the Milford Central School auditorium.

 

Conference on Food and Farming

Have you ever considered a career in Agriculture? If so, the Farmers’ Museum is hosting its annual Conference on Food and Farming on November 4, 2017 from 9:00 A.M.-3:30 P.M. The conference will show attendees the broad range of careers available in agriculture, and give them the opportunity to connect with local agricultural agencies. Origins Café and the Youth Food Movement will deliver the keynote address. The event is free and open to the public. 

Plastic Bag and Film Collection

There will be a plastic bag and film collection at the New York State Association for Reduce, Reuse & Recycle (NYSAR3) Conference at the Otesaga Hotel. All are invited to bring single-use grocery bags (non-biodegradable), newspaper sleeves, dry cleaning bags, wood pellet bags, bread bags, frozen food bags, package wrap, produce bags, and more. Bags and film plastic must be clean and dry, and must have all strings, rigid plastic handles, and food residue removed. For more details, visit http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/50042.html . Collection will be on Wednesday, November 8, from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm.

 

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Clean Water Webinars

The Trump administration will hold 10 teleconferences and one in-person meeting to solicit input as it prepares to write a new rule defining which streams and wetlands are subject to federal protection. The schedule for the Waters of the US webinars is as follows:

 

Did You Know?

Many of you have seen cute and cuddly pictures of Pandas chewing on sprigs of bamboo. In addition to being a favorite food of these loving animals, bamboo has the potential to yield immense savings as a climate mitigation tool. Bamboo has the ability to sequester 2.9 tons of carbon per year, has the tensile strength of steel, and the compressive strength of concrete. If we were to invest $24 billion in planting bamboo worldwide, we could yield a 30-year return of $265 billion! Talk about a bang for your bamboo.

Reference:  http://www.drawdown.org/solutions/land-use/bamboo

 

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 Saturday, November 11, at the Southern Transfer Station in Oneonta, and Thursday, November 16 at the Northern Transfer Station in Cooperstown. 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/.

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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 11-14 are invited to compete for camperships via the essay contest (campers must be 11 by December 16, 2018). This year’s contest question is “What could you do personally to help protect the environment and what kind of impact would it make?”  Contest winners will receive a week-long stay at a 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 had a wonderful time at DEC camp.” In 2017, OCCA provided camperships for eight students.

Winning essays will be chosen from participating Otsego County schools and Otsego County applicants at large. The deadline for essay submissions is December 1, 2017. Winning essays will be chosen by December 8 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 this year’s theme into their classroom learning.  In these uncertain times, it is important for all students to know that what they do has an impact on the larger community,” Orzetti said. “Camp registration opens in January  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.

COOPERSTOWN–Reducing our solid waste footprint will be the subject of the next Otsego County Conservation Association/Mohican Farm Be Informed! Lecture Series on Tuesday, November 15 at Mohican Farm.

“The What, Why and How of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle” will feature speakers Karey Foster of Casella Resource Solutions; Karen Sullivan, Director of Otsego County’s Department of Solid Waste and Recycling; and Bob Sutherland, Mohican Farm Manager. In addition to covering what can and can’t be recycled, the program will include tips on how to reduce solid waste overall through practices such as composting and reuse.

“Despite all the attention given to recycling, only about thirty-four percent of solid waste is recycled nationwide,” said Leslie Orzetti, OCCA’s executive director. “We’re doing what we can to help improve that rate.”

“The What, Why and How of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle” takes place on Wednesday, November 15 at 6:30 p.m. in the workshop at Mohican Farm, 7207 State Highway 80, Cooperstown. The program is free, though pre-registration is requested. Contact OCCA at (607) 547-4488 or via programdirector@occainfo.org for details.

Founded in 1968, OCCA is a private, non-profit 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 donate, visit www.occainfo.org

The Mission of The Clark Foundation’s Mohican Farm is to promote broad-based sustainable practices throughout the Clark Foundation, the Village of Cooperstown, and the surrounding region in cooperation with like-minded institutions and organizations.

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