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Nature and family history will be the focus of “A Hike Through History,” the next installment of Otsego County Conservation Association’s summer nature walk series. Patricia Riddell Kent and Steve Kent lead this late afternoon, 1.5-mile walk through the northern portion of the Robert V. Riddell State Park, on Wednesday, August 24 from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. The walk is over mostly flat terrain through woods and fields, and will take in scenic vistas, old homestead sites, and Schenevus Creek, a Class A trout stream.

The Kents donated the land to New York State in memory of Patricia’s father, Robert V. Riddell, and her grandfather, Alton B. Riddell, both of whom lived on the property. It opened as a state park in 2005.

The hike is free and open to all, though pre-registration is preferred. Meet at the park’s main entrance on the east side of State Route 28, just north of I-88 exit 17. Participants should bring water and insect repellent. For information or to register, contact O’Handley at OCCA, (607) 547-4488, or programdirector@occainfo.org, or visit

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

Sign up for this event on our calendar page here.

COOPERSTOWN- Dr. Rebecca M. Gorney will provide a talk on Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) at the Otsego County Water Quality Coordinating Committee (WQCC) public meeting on Wednesday, August 31 at 1 p.m.

Gorney, a research scientist with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Division of Water, will provide a brief background on HABs, cover how to recognize them, discuss the conditions that lead to their growth, and explain possible management options. She will also discuss events associated with recent HABs in Otsego County lakes, monitoring networks for HABs that have been established for several large lakes in the state, and plans for continued surveillance on lakes where blooms have occurred in the past.
HABs occur when colonies of algae—simple plants that live in the sea or freshwater—grow out of control and produce toxic or harmful effects on people, fish, shellfish, animals, and birds. HABs have been reported in every U.S. coastal state, and their occurrence may be on the rise. HAB’s can pose a distinct threat to public health, ecosystems, and the health of local and regional economies.

In Otsego County, HABs have occurred in Canadarago Lake, Casey Park Pond, and Gilbert Lake.

Gorney studied Biology at SUNY Binghamton before traveling around the country to work in a variety of water-related field jobs. After spending time in Hawaii, Colorado and Minnesota, she started graduate school at The Ohio State University. Gorney studied stream systems in agricultural regions for her Master’s Degree, then pursued her Ph.D. at the University of Vermont where she studied food web dynamics and HABs in Lake Champlain. After working for New York City Parks on forest structure and citizen science, she moved to the DEC in September, 2015. She is currently the HABs Program Coordinator for New York.

The WQCC meeting, which begins at 1 p.m. in Classroom A of the Meadows Office building, 140 County Hwy. 33W, Cooperstown, is hosted by the Otsego County Planning Department. The event is free and open to the public; pre-registration is required by Tuesday, August 30. Those interested in attending should email WQCC Facilitator Holly Waterfield at Holly.Waterfield@oneonta.edu or call(607) 547-8778 ext. 333.

The Otsego County WQCC was established in 1992 as a sub-committee of the Otsego County Soil and Water Conservation District. It is comprised of a diverse group of people representing state and local government agencies, non-profit organizations, academic institutions, and lake associations. These members have technical expertise and knowledge and are committed to working to improve and maintain the quality of water in Otsego County through the reduction of nonpoint source pollution within its boundaries.

For more information on the WQCC visit http://www.otsegosoilandwater.com/waterqualitycc.html.

 

ECO-BULLETIN FROM OTSEGO COUNTY CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION

 

August 2, 206: Vol. 9, No. 16

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

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Eco-bulletin headlines this issue:

WATER CHESTNUT PULLING, AUGUST 4 AND 14
SIGN UP FOR POOL WATCH TO DETECT ASIAN LONGHORNED BEETLE
HIGHWAY CLEANUP ON ROUTE 80, AUGUST 20
HIKE AT RIDDELL STATE PARK, AUGUST 24
WQCC TALK TO FOCUS ON HARMFUL ALGAE BLOOMS, AUGUST 27
SAVE THE DATE: HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE DAY

 

WATER CHESTNUT PULLING, AUGUST 4 AND 14: There are two more opportunities to help remove invasive water chestnut plants from the upper reaches of Goodyear Lake: Thursday, August 4, at 9 a.m., and Sunday, August 14, at 1 p.m. Meet at the New York State Fishing Access Site on State Route 28 in Portlandville. Bring your own canoe, or contact us to reserve space in an OCCA canoe. Bring water, sunscreen, and prepare to get wet and dirty. Note: The August 4 pull runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., though you can sign up for half a day. RESERVATIONS REQUIRED. Visit http://occainfo.org/calendar/ for information and registration.

 

SIGN UP FOR POOL WATCH TO DETECT ASIAN LONGHORNED BEETLE: If you own a swimming pool, consider signing up for the Department of Environmental Conservation’s Asian Longhorned Beetle Swimming Pool Survey. Volunteers are asked to check their pool filters now through August 30 to watch for Asian longhorned beetles, a serious forest pest. The beetle has not yet been detected in upstate New York. Visit http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/7255.html for more information.

 

HIGHWAY CLEANUP ON ROUTE 80, AUGUST 20: Roadside trash is unsightly and potentially dangerous to our environment. Help clean up a portion of State Route 80 as part of New York State’s Adopt-A-Highway program. Meet at Mohican Farm, 7207 State Highway 80, Cooperstown, at 9 a.m. Safety vests and helmets, bags, and rubber gloves provided. Visithttp://occainfo.org/calendar/ to sign up.

 

HIKE AT RIDDELL STATE PARK, AUGUST 24: Join Trish Riddell Kent and Steve Kent for an easy-going, later afternoon hike in the “field and creek” portion of Robert V. Riddell State Park in Oneonta. The Kents, who donated the land for the state park, will share their wonderful stories of the land, and the people who lived there. Meet at the Park’s main entrance on State Route 28, just north of I-88 Exit 17 at 5 p.m. Visit http://occainfo.org/calendar/ to register. Free.

 

WQCC TALK TO FOCUS ON HARMFUL AGLAE BLOOMS: Rebecca Gorney, New York State Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) Coordinator, will provide a talk on HABs at the August meeting of the Otsego County Water Quality Coordinating Committee. Gorney’s talk will include background information on HABs, how to recognize them, and discussion of how to manage HABs. This meeting is free and open to the public. Wednesday, August 31 from 1-2 p.m. at the Meadows Office Complex, 140 County Highway 33W, Cooperstown. Contact WQCC Facilitator Holly Waterfield for more information (holly.waterfield@oneonta.edu).

 

SAVE THE DATE: HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE DAY: The Otsego  County Solid Waste Department will be holding its annual Household Hazardous Waste Day on Friday, September 9 from 8:00-11:00 a.m. in Unadilla, and on Saturday, September 10 from 8:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. in Cooperstown. Household items that can be dropped off include oil and latex paints, solvents, pesticides, cleaning chemicals, auto batteries, fluorescent bulbs, and more. For a comprehensive list, visithttp://www.otsegocounty.com/depts/sw/documents/PaperAdvertisement2016.pdf or call the Otsego County Planning and Solid Waste Department at (607) 547-4225.

OCCA RELIES ON your SUPPORT. Got a minute? Visit our website and look at everything OCCA is doing – and please consider an online donation whenever you can. Click on www.occainfo.org and look for the Network for Good logo on the home page to make a donation today.

TAKE THE PLEDGE TO CLEAN, DRAIN AND DRY, AT http://occainfo.org/take-the-pledge-ais-campaign/. Signatures equal leverage for grants, funding support and legislation!

 

Eco-bulletin headlines this issue:

BOAT PARADES!
NY INVASIVE SPECIES AWARENESS WEEK, JULY 10-16
PADDLE AND PULL IN GOODYEAR LAKE
DIGGING KNOTWEED
CANADARAGO LAKE IMPROVEMENT ASSOCIATION SUMMER PICNIC

BOAT PARADES! This weekend features not one but two boat parades! Canadarago Lake Improvement Association’s parade gets under way at 6 p.m. on Saturday, July 2. Meet at the NY State boat launch on Dennison Road. The parade is followed by fireworks at 9:15 p.m. Otsego Lake Association’s boat parade is on Sunday, July 3 at 3 p.m. Meet off Three-Mile Point and proceed to Lakefront Park in Cooperstown. If participating in both parades, be sure to clean, drain, and dry your boat when leaving the water! Visit https://www.facebook.com/canadaragolake or http://www.otsegolakeassociation.org for details.

NY INVASIVE SPECIES AWARENESS WEEK, JULY 10-16: New York State’s 3rd Annual Invasive Species Awareness Week (ISAW) kicks off July 10. The mission of ISAW 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 stop the invasion! Visit http://www.nyis.info/blog/events/ for a calendar of invasive species-related events and activities taking place throughout the state. Speaking of which…

PADDLE AND PULL IN GOODYEAR LAKE: Kick off Invasive Species Awareness Week with a two-hour tour of the Stump Lot–the northernmost portion of Goodyear Lake–and learn about some of the species that threaten aquatic ecosystems. Should we find any, we’ll pull water chestnut plants along the way. Bring your own canoe/kayak, or reserve space in an OCCA canoe. Due to space limitations, pre-registration is required. Meet at the New York State Fishing Access Site on State Highway 28 in Portlandville. Sunday, July 10, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

DIGGING KNOTWEED: Japanese knotweed is one of our most obnoxious plants. Learn to recognize knotweed and help us as we try to get a patch of it under control at Mohican Farm. Bring hand pruners and other hand tools useful for grubbing persistent roots out of the soil. Program is free, but pre-registration is required. Contact OCCA for details or to register.

CLIA SUMMER PICNIC: Canadarago Lake Improvement Association’s summer picnic is on July 16, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Baker’s Beach in the Town of Richfield. The event will also feature the dedication of the Wayne King Pavilion at noon. OCCA, Otsego Land Trust, and other organizations will be on hand to share information about programs and offerings. Come out and see us!

OCCA wishes you a safe and happy Fourth of July!

OCCA RELIES ON your SUPPORT. Got a minute? Visit our website and look at everything OCCA is doing – and please consider an online donation whenever you can. Click on www.occainfo.org and look for the Network for Good logo on the home page to make a donation today.

TAKE THE PLEDGE TO CLEAN, DRAIN AND DRY, AT http://occainfo.org/take-the-pledge-ais-campaign/. Signatures equal leverage for grants, funding support and legislation!

COOPERSTOWN–Otsego County Conservation Association will be observing New York State’s Third Annual Invasive Species Awareness Week with two activities during the week of July 10.

The mission of New York State’s 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 stop the invasion.

On Sunday, July 10, OCCA hosts “Paddle and Pull” at Goodyear Lake. Participants will canoe around the upper portion of Goodyear Lake—known as the Stump Lot—in search of water chestnuts and other invasive species, and will hand-pull any water chestnuts found.

“Water chestnut is disruptive to aquatic ecosystems,” said Jeff O’Handley, OCCA’s interim executive director and the program leader. “The nuts are also extremely painful if stepped on.”

OCCA has been working with volunteers from the Goodyear Lake Association and the community at large for more than ten years in an effort to eradicate water chestnuts from the lake without using herbicides, O’Handley said.

Participants will meet at 3 p.m. at the New York State Fishing Access Site on State Route 28 in Portlandville. Participation is free, but pre-registration is required to reserve space in one of OCCA’s canoes.

For landlubbers, OCCA is “Digging Knotweed” at Mohican Farm in Springfield on July 13 at 5 p.m. in an attempt to get an infestation under control.

“Japanese knotweed is an extremely aggressive plant that is turning up all over the county,” O’Handley said.

The plant, whose stem resembles bamboo, grows in dense clumps that kill off underlying vegetation and can cause soil erosion.

“Japanese knotweed is so difficult to control because it can spread from very small fragments,” O’Handley said. “We’ll be cutting and bagging the plants and very carefully digging up the roots.”

Participants will meet at OCCA’s office, located at 7207 State Highway 80 at 5 p.m. and will walk across the street to the project site.

“Bring pruners, a mattock, or gardening trowel and be prepared to get dirty,” O’Handley said.

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. It is estimated that invasive species cost the United States more than $120 billion in damage each year.

To participate in either program, contact O’Handley at (607) 547-4488, or register online at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/

These programs are the latest in OCCA’s invasive species education and control efforts, which have included water chestnut pulling, funding for boat inspectors, zebra mussel research, and last year’s “Clean, Drain, and Dry” public education campaign. Recently, OCCA, working with multiple partners in Otsego County, received a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Aquatic Invasive Species Spread Prevention Grant, which provides funds for boat inspections at three boat launches in the region, as well as the establishment of two boat decontamination stations in the county.

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

 (If the Eco-bulletin formatting does not translate properly to your e-mail, you can view all Eco-bulletin archives here:
http://us8.campaign-archive2.com/home/?u=f6a14dc5b08a76f1751514109&id=910c414578)

Eco-bulletin headlines this issue:

HIGHWAY CLEANUP, JUNE 18
LUMBERJACKS IN ONEONTA!
DELAWARE-OTSEGO AUDUBON SOCIETY RELEASES VIDEO ON LEAD POISONING
SUMMER SOLSTICE WALK
WATCH FOR TURTLES!
LAST WEEKEND FOR COOPER TRIBUTE
INCREDIBLE INSECTS WORKSHOP
COMPOST WORKSHOP AND TOUR
OTSEGO LAKE ASSOCIATION BOAT PARADE
TAKE THE PLEDGE TO CLEAN, DRAIN AND DRY!

 

HIGHWAY CLEANUP, JUNE 18: Help OCCA keep Otsego Lake and our roadways clean on Saturday, June 18. Meet at Mohican Farm, 7207 State Highway 80, Cooperstown at 9 a.m. We’ll provide bags, safety equipment and water. Approximately two hours. Contact Jeff O’Handley at 547-4488 for information, or sign up to help at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/.

LUMBERJACKS IN ONEONTA! Stihl Timbersports presents the Oneonta Lumberjack Legacy Competition at Damaschke Field in Oneonta this weekend. Competitors from around the world will be chopping and sawing on Saturday, June 18 and Sunday, June 19. Visithttp://www.stihlusa.com/stihl-timbersports/schedules/pro-northeast-qualifier/ for more information.

SUMMER SOLSTICE WALK: Biologist and OCCA board member Dr. Donna Vogler leads a hike through Fortin Park, a 95-acre gem tucked away in the east end of the Town of Oneonta. This easy stroll will take in wetlands, woods, fields and more. Meet 5 p.m. at Fortin Park, at the end of Youngs Road in the Town of Oneonta. Free, but pre-registration requested: http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/.

DELAWARE-OTSEGO AUDUBON SOCIETY RELEASES VIDEO ON LEAD POISONING: Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society and the American Eagle Foundation have teamed up to create a video on the dangers lead bullets pose to eagles in New York and elsewhere. The 13-minute video, “Lead Ammunition: A Needless Danger to Eagles and Ourselves” features interviews with hunters and their families, as well as with wildlife biologists and rehabilitators, and encourages hunters to switch to non-lead ammunition. The video, part of a wider educational effort on the part of DOAS, can be viewed at http://doas.us/lead-ammunition-a-needless-danger-to-eagles-and-ourselves-video/.

WATCH FOR TURTLES! Late spring/early summer is the time when turtles are on the move, searching for suitable places to lay their eggs. Please keep an eye out and do your best to avoid them.

LAST WEEKEND FOR COOPER TRIBUTE: Henry S.F. Cooper, Jr. was a great friend to Otsego County’s natural environment. “Almost Lost Landscapes” is an exhibit that features landscapes Henry helped save. Sponsored by Otsego 2000, the exhibit is at The Smithy, 55 Pioneer Street, Cooperstown, through Sunday, June 19. Visit www.smithyarts.org for hours and information.

INCREDIBLE INSECTS WORKSHOP: SUNY Cobleskill professor Dr. Carmen Greenwood leads this workshop to identify the insects that live at Parslow Road on Saturday, June 25 at 1 p.m. Contact Sara Scheeren, Otsego Land Trust, for details: sara@otsegolandtrust.org.

COMPOST WORKSHOP AND TOUR: Cornell Waste Management Institute is sponsoring a two-day workshop and tour. On June 27, a series of workshops and panel discussions focus on the basics of composting and how to set up community composting operations. On June 28, take a tour of four different composting operations to see how it’s done. You may register for either or both days. Contact Lauri Wellin, Cornell Waste Management Institute for details, (607) 255-1187.

OTSEGO LAKE ASSOCIATION BOAT PARADE: On July 3, Otsego Lake Association will hold their third annual “We Love Our Lake” boat parade. Meet in the waters off Three Mile Point and boat on down to Lakefront Park, Cooperstown. Visit www.otsegolakeassociation.org for details.

TAKE THE PLEDGE TO CLEAN, DRAIN AND DRY! The most effective way to prevent the spread of Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) is to practice “clean, drain and dry” techniques. Visit our website (http://occainfo.org/ais-campaign/) for more information, and take our online pledge to Clean, Drain and Dry!

ONEONTA—Biologist and Otsego County Conservation Association Board member, Dr. Donna Vogler leads a walk at the Town of Oneonta’s Fortin Park on Monday, June 20 at 5 p.m.

“Donna brings a wealth of knowledge and great enthusiasm to her walks,” said OCCA Interim Executive Director Jeff O’Handley.

The walk begins at the main parking area at Fortin Park, located at the end of Youngs Road off of County Road 47 in the Town of Oneonta. Highlights of the walk will include views of the Susquehanna River and Charlotte Creek, woods, fields, and a small but diverse wetland.

The event is free, but pre-registration is requested. Visit http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/ to sign up or contact OCCA at (607) 547-4488.

COOPERSTOWN—Otsego County Conservation Association will be holding a highway cleanup along State Route 80 on Saturday, June 18 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 bring sunscreen.

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