Our Environment.
Our Home.
OUR CHALLENGE.

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(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:

DONATIONS, VOLUNTEERS SOUGHT FOR OCCA GARAGE SALE NEXT WEEK
ITEMS FOUND AT EARTH FESTIVAL
DEC DENIES CONTITUTION PIPELINE WATER QUALITY CERTIFICATION
TEXTILE RECYCLING UPDATE FROM RE-CLOTHE NY
FREE RECYCLING FOR WOOD PELLET BAGS, FARM PLASTICS
OCCA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR TO ASSUME NEW ROLE
SAVE THE DATE – OTSEGO LAKES FESTIVAL

DATES TO REMEMBER

DONATIONS, VOLUNTEERS SOUGHT FOR OCCA GARAGE SALE NEXT WEEK: The Otsego County Conservation Association will hold its annual “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” Garage Sale on Saturday, April 30 and Sunday May 1 in the Cooperstown Farmers’ Market building at 101 Main Street (in Pioneer Alley), Cooperstown. The official collection dates for the OCCA garage sale will be April 25-28 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. All donations are tax deductible: OCCA will provide a donation voucher upon request. Those with questions, or who would like more information about volunteering to assist with the event, should call OCCA Executive Director Darla M. Youngs at (607) 547-4488 or e-mail admin@occainfo.org for further details. Sale hours are Saturday, April 30 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday, May 1from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Unsold items will be available for free on Sunday, May 1 from 3-5 p.m. and on Monday, May 2 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. OCCA is also inviting donations of home-baked pies to be sold at this year’s event. Those wishing to drop off pies may do so at the market space on Friday, April 29 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. In addition to raising funds for OCCA’s countywide environmental programs and initiatives, the garage sale also benefits the environment through waste prevention, or “source reduction.” Source reduction, including reuse, can help reduce waste disposal and handling costs, because it avoids the costs of recycling, municipal composting, land filling, and combustion. Source reduction also conserves resources and reduces pollution, including greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.

ITEMS FOUND AT EARH FESTIVAL: Two colorful tins containing items purchased from Gilson’s Native American Crafts were found at Earth Festival. If they belong to you or someone you know, please contact OCCA to identify and claim them. Call 607-547-4488 or e-mail admin@occainfo.org.

DEC DENIES CONTITUTION PIPELINE WATER QUALITY CERTIFICATION: On Friday afternoon, April 22, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced the denial of the Clean Water Act Section 401 Water Quality Certification for the proposed Constitution Pipeline. Although DEC has granted certificates for other projects, the application by Constitution for these certificates fails to meet New York State’s water quality standards. According to DEC, state officials conducted a rigorous review of Constitution’s application, all supporting materials, and more than 15,000 public comments on the project before reaching this decision. For details, see https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/NYSDEC/bulletins/144fb0f.

CLIMATE, CLEAN ENERGY POWERPOINT AVAILABLE ONLINE: Robyn Reynolds, a sustainability planner with Climate Action Associates, gave a presentation at Earth Festival on April 9 titled “Climate and Energy Action in New York State.” The PowerPoint from that presentation can be viewed online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cbd7tBWZJWk. According to Reynolds, communities across New York State are realizing the opportunities associated with adopting sustainable practices and exploring clean energy options. The host of benefits associated with climate and energy planning range from enhancing ecological quality, reducing energy costs, and increasing local economic growth to being less vulnerable in the case of extreme weather event.

TEXTILE RECYCLING UPDATE FROM RE-CLOTHE NY: In response to a number of recent inquiries about textile recycling, OCCA Executive Director Darla Youngs reached out to representatives of Re-Clothe NY for direction. According to Re-Clothe NY, if you are donating materials directly to a thrift store type location, you should follow the guidance of that organization’s requirements/directions. If you are utilizing donation bins or sheds, you can follow this general guideline as to what is accepted: “Clothing, shoes, and other textiles in any condition; must be dry and odorless.” More specifically, items cannot be damp, wet or excessively smelly and can have permanent stains but should not be dirty or contaminated with oil, paint, etc. Dan Lilkas-Rain, chair of the Re-Clothe NY campaign, explained to us that the vast majority of the clothing and other textiles donated ends up following the path of sorting, processing, and recycling shown in the following infographic: http://www.nysar3.org/uploads/textile_recovery_working_group/1414620389_CTR%20lifecycle%20of%20secondhand%20clothing.png. He added that fabric pieces and scraps are fine, as long as they’re at least a few square inches in size. Tiny scraps are too small to deal with, though cotton cloth can be composted. Loose stuffing is not accepted, but items with stuffing inside are (e.g. stuffed animals or pillows).

FREE RECYCLING FOR WOOD PELLET BAGS, FARM PLASTICS: Farmers wishing to drop off used agricultural plastic for free recycling will have two opportunities to do so this spring. Collection dates are scheduled for Saturday, May 7 at the Southern Transfer Station in Oneonta, and Thursday, May 12 at the Northern Transfer Station in Cooperstown. Collections on both days run from 8-11 a.m. The program is free, but pre-registration is required. Used film plastic such as bale wrap, silage bags, bunker silo cover and greenhouse covers will be accepted, as will empty wood pellet bags. All plastic must be dry, free of excessive dirt, grit or mud, and needs to be sorted according to type. For information on how to participate, contact OCCA Program Director Jeff O’Handley at (607) 282-4087.

OCCA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR TO ASSUME NEW ROLE: Next month, Darla Youngs will step down from her position with the Otsego County Conservation Association as executive director to join the staff of the Southern Tier East Regional Planning Development Board’s nonprofit arm – Tier Information and Enterprise Resources – as that organization’s operations and communications director. TIER, established in 1985 as a 501(c)6, provides services to regional planning and economic development agencies in the eight counties of Broome, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Otsego, Schoharie, Tioga and Tompkins. Youngs will be based in STE’s Oneonta office. To learn more, see http://occainfo.org/occa-executive-director-assume-new-role-sterpdb/.

SAVE THE DATE – OTSEGO LAKES FESTIVAL: The 8th Otsego Lakes Festival will be held on Saturday, June 11 from noon to 5 p.m. at Lakefront Park in Cooperstown. Organized under the aegis of the Otsego County Water Quality Coordinating Committee, the Lakes Festival offers residents and visitors alike a day full of fun and festivities celebrating Otsego County’s lakes – educational exhibits, children’s activities, hands-on workshops, and lake tours will all focus on the importance of protecting this county’s waterways and ensuring water quality throughout the region. Good food, music and art will also help celebrate the importance of Otsego County’s lakes. Stay tuned for full details.

DATES TO REMEMBER:

  • April 30 and May 1, OCCA “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” Garage Sale
  • May 7, Ag Plastics Collection, Southern transfer station
  • May 12, Ag Plastics Collection, Northern transfer station
  • May 14, hike, “Morning Birding at Mohican,” led by Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society Co-president Becky Gretton. 7 a.m., Mohican Farm, Springfield.
  • May 21, Spring Fling Railroad Avenue Street Fair, presented by the Rotary Club of Cooperstown.

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!

OTSEGO COUNTY – Farmers wishing to drop off used agricultural plastic for free recycling will have two opportunities to do so this spring. Collection dates are scheduled for Saturday, May 7 at the Southern Transfer Station in Oneonta, and Thursday, May 12 at the Northern Transfer Station in Cooperstown. Collections on both days run from 8-11 a.m. The program is free, but pre-registration is required. Used film plastic such as bale wrap, silage bags, bunker silo cover and greenhouse covers will be accepted, as will empty wood pellet bags. All plastic must be dry, free of excessive dirt, grit or mud, and needs to be sorted according to type. For information on how to participate, contact OCCA Program Director Jeff O’Handley at (607) 282-4087.

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!

SPRINGFIELD: Next month, Darla Youngs will step down from her position with the Otsego County Conservation Association as executive director to join the staff of the Southern Tier East Regional Planning Development Board’s nonprofit arm – Tier Information and Enterprise Resources – as that organization’s operations and communications director. TIER, established in 1985 as a 501(c)6, provides services to regional planning and economic development agencies in the eight counties of Broome, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Otsego, Schoharie, Tioga and Tompkins.

Originally brought on as administrative director in 2008 and serving as executive director from September 2011 to present, Youngs has shepherded OCCA through major initiatives including “What’s In Our Water?” – a groundwater testing program resulting in a legally defensible baseline of Otsego County’s water chemistry by which contamination can be detected – and review of the proposed Edic to Fraser transmission line which led to the withdrawal of that project from further consideration by the New York State Public Service Commission.

OCCA is an environmental resource to the public, government agencies, and non-profits. Under Youngs, OCCA’s programs have grown in both scope and reach. She has led a number of successful electronic fundraising campaigns, expanded contract work through the Circuit Rider Planner Program, and spearheaded public education programs including last year’s “Clean, Drain and Dry or Kiss the Fish Goodbye!” campaign. Water quality, land-use management and planning, recycling and solid waste management, and natural resource appreciation have been, and will continue to be, the organization’s areas of focus.

“OCCA has further solidified its role as a vital environmental service organization over the past five years. As executive director, I inherited a number of wonderful programs which have since been enhanced and expanded as new programs were added. It has been both an honor and a privilege to work for OCCA on behalf of Otsego County residents to safeguard our natural resources and to promote their sustainable use,” said Youngs, who is a resident of Hartwick.

“I know that I, and the entire Board, will miss Darla’s dedication to OCCA. She has been instrumental in the success of the organization since she became the executive director,” said Vicky Lentz, OCCA Board president.

In her new role with TIER, Youngs will be the agency’s primary staff, working with the planning board in leveraging existing resources to expand economic development opportunities in the eight-county service region. TIER monitors regional economic development trends and assists in making local connections toward transformative change. Presently the organization is working hand in hand with STERPDB on: energy conservation initiatives through NYSERDA’s community partnership program; U.S. Economic Development Administration Revolving Loan Fund utilization; and assisting the Southern Tier in ensuring Appalachian Regional Commission programs achieve widespread outreach and publicity.

“Moving to this new position with Southern Tier East to head its nonprofit service branch is a great opportunity,” said Youngs. “The organization boasts some of the area’s most experienced planning and economic development staff, and the Southern Tier counties – from Tompkins to Schoharie – are among New York State’s finest areas in which to live, work, and do business. I look forward to working through TIER to help leverage and develop the region’s existing natural, economic and social resources while moving forward sustainably.”

In the meantime, Lentz said OCCA’s succession transition has been well planned out and the organization is in more than capable hands.

Jeff O’Handley, OCCA program director since July 2013, will preside as acting executive director effective May 16, with the summer’s service projects and program schedule already mapped out. Environmental Planner Danny Lapin will continue with updates to the Otsego County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan and other planning-related work as OCCA begins its search for an executive director.

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, visitwww.occainfo.org

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 – The Otsego County Conservation Association will hold its annual “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” Garage Sale onSaturday, April 30 and Sunday, May 1 in the Cooperstown Farmers’ Market building at 101 Main Street (in Pioneer Alley), Cooperstown.

The official collection dates for the OCCA garage sale will be April 25-28 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. All donations are tax deductible: OCCA will provide a donation voucher upon request. Those interested in dropping off materials sooner, or who would like more information about volunteering to assist with the event, should call OCCA Executive Director Darla M. Youngs at (607) 547-4488 or e-mail admin@occainfo.org for further details.

Sale hours are Saturday, April 30 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday, May 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. OCCA is also inviting donations of home-baked pies to be sold at this year’s event. Those wishing to drop off pies may do so at the market space on Friday, April 29 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

In addition to raising funds for OCCA’s countywide environmental programs and initiatives, the garage sale also benefits the environment through waste prevention, or “source reduction.” Source reduction, including reuse, can help reduce waste disposal and handling costs, because it avoids the costs of recycling, municipal composting, land filling, and combustion. Source reduction also conserves resources and reduces pollution, including greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.

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!

 

SPRINGFIELD – Becky Gretton, co-president of Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society, will lead a hike around the Mohican Farm property in Springfield on Saturday, May 14 at 7 a.m. The program is part of Otsego County Conservation Association’s 2016 Nature Walk Series.

“Mohican Farm has a nice variety of birds,” said Jeff O’Handley, OCCA program director.

The 135-acre property, owned and managed by the Clark Foundation, includes cultivated fields, woods, wetlands, gardens, and shoreline.

“Becky is a skilled birder and an excellent trip leader,” O’Handley added. “We’re looking forward to an exciting morning.”

Participants should bring their own binoculars and field guide. The program is free, but space is limited and pre-registration is required. For more information or to register, visit http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form or call OCCA at (607) 547-4488.

Founded in 1968, 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, visitwww.occainfo.org

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!

The Otsego County Conservation Association will hold its annual “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” Garage Sale on Saturday, April 30 and Sunday May 1 in the Cooperstown Farmers’ Market building at 101 Main Street (in Pioneer Alley), Cooperstown. The official collection dates for the OCCA garage sale will be April 25-28 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. All donations are tax deductible: OCCA will provide a donation voucher upon request. Those interested in dropping off materials sooner, or who would like more information about volunteering to assist with the event, should call OCCA Executive Director Darla M. Youngs at (607) 547-4488 or e-mailadmin@occainfo.org for further details. Sale hours are Saturday, April 30 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday, May 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. OCCA is also inviting donations of home-baked pies to be sold at this year’s event. Those wishing to drop off pies may do so at the market space on Friday, April 29 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. In addition to raising funds for OCCA’s countywide environmental programs and initiatives, the garage sale also benefits the environment through waste prevention, or “source reduction.” Source reduction, including reuse, can help reduce waste disposal and handling costs, because it avoids the costs of recycling, municipal composting, land filling, and combustion. Source reduction also conserves resources and reduces pollution, including greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.

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!

SPRINGFIELD – Otsego County Conservation Association is seeking volunteers to help clean up a portion of State Route 80 beginning at 8 a.m. onFriday, April 22, which is also Earth Day.

“It’s appropriate that we’re holding our first highway cleanup of the year on Earth Day,” said Jeff O’Handley, OCCA’s program director. “Litter is a major source of environmental pollution.”

OCCA adopted the two-mile stretch of State Route 80 in the towns of Springfield and Otsego in 2013 as part of New York State’s Adopt-A-Highway Program. Volunteers will meet at OCCA’s office at Mohican Farm, on the corner of Route 80 and Allen Lake Road, to collect trash along the roadside. All in all, it should take about three hours, O’Handley said.

“If we have at least four volunteers, it goes faster,” he added.

Trash bags and safety equipment are provided by the New York State Department of Transportation, which administers the statewide program. OCCA will provide water and light refreshments. Participants should wear long pants and sleeves.

“Adopt-A-Highway is an important part of OCCA’s mission to protect, preserve and enhance our environment,” O’Handley said. “It’s a hands-on way to beautify and care for the world around us, and the results are immediately visible.”

To register, call O’Handley at (607) 282-4087 or e-mail programdirector@occainfo.org. The event is open to those ages 12 and up.

Founded in 1968, OCCA is a 501(c)3 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 the last 48 years, OCCA has played a key role in initiating and carrying out programs designed to improve and/or protect Otsego County’s water, land, and air, representing more than 800+ members and volunteers. Visit http://occainfo.org/ for more information.

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!

OTSEGO COUNTY – Farmers wishing to drop off used agricultural plastic for free recycling will have two opportunities to do so this spring. Collection dates are scheduled for Saturday, May 7 at the Southern Transfer Station in Oneonta, and Thursday, May 12 at the Northern Transfer Station in Cooperstown. Collections on both days run from 8-11 a.m. The program is free, but pre-registration is required. Used film plastic such as bale wrap, silage bags, bunker silo cover and greenhouse covers will be accepted, as will empty wood pellet bags. All plastic must be dry, free of excessive dirt, grit or mud, and needs to be sorted according to type. For information on how to participate, contact OCCA Program Director Jeff O’Handley at (607) 282-4087.

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 – The Otsego County Chamber of Commerce and Lions Club of Cooperstown are the latest to partner with Otsego County Conservation Association in a combination recycling/fundraising effort.

“The Otsego County Chamber will be hosting a collection bin at their office in Oneonta,” said OCCA Executive Director Darla M. Youngs. “Rich McCaffery spearheads the effort on behalf of the Cooperstown Lions.”

Through this program, inkjet cartridges and small electronics are collected and sent to Planet Green Recycle. Planet Green remanufacturers or recycles the items, keeping tons of plastic, metal, and toxic compounds out of the landfill, and reimburses the contributing organizations.

“OCCA earns money for the items we ship. We’ve raised nearly $1,000.00 to date through Planet Green and we’re looking forward to working with our new partners,” Youngs said.

E-waste that can be deposited in the bins include but are not limited to inkjet cartridges, cell phones, GPS units, radar detectors, calculators, e-readers and tablets, iPods, iPads, and MP3 players. They can be in good working order or damaged. Toner cartridges are not accepted as part of this collection.

Rich McCaffery reports the Lions Club of Cooperstown enthusiastically agreed to partner with OCCA on this credible and worthy project.

“It reinforces our commitment to enhancing community and to fulfill the ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ environmental message by reducing landfill debris similar to our on-going efforts to collect and recycle eye glasses for those in need around the world,” McCaffery explained.

“The Otsego County Chamber of Commerce is proud to partner with OCCA in their recycling efforts,” said Barbara Ann Heegan, chamber president and CEO. “This is yet another way the Chamber supports its members and the community at large.”

Recycling bins are located at the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce office, 189 Main Street, Oneonta, and can be accessed during normal business hours, which are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

In addition to the proceeds raised by recycling, OCCA can also earn money from customers who purchase remanufactured inkjet and toner cartridges directly from Planet Green, said Youngs.

“When someone buys from Planet Green, they can designate OCCA to receive 15 percent of the purchase price,” Youngs explained.

For the full list of inkjet cartridges, cell phones and small electronics accepted by Planet Green Recycle, visit https://planetgreenrecycle.com/what_we_pay_plain_noSubmit.php?purl=ShopEco.

Founded in 1968, OCCA is a 501(c)3 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 the last 48 years, OCCA has played a key role in initiating and carrying out programs designed to improve and/or protect Otsego County’s water, land, and air, representing more than 800+ members and volunteers. Visit http://occainfo.org/ for more information.

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!

(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:

HIKE PLANNED APRIL 5 AT HICK STATE FOREST
COMPLETE DETAILS AVAILABLE FOR THIS SATURDAY’S EARTH FESTIVAL
TEXTILE RECYCLING UPDATE FROM RE-CLOTHE NY
FREE RECYCLING FOR FARM PLASTICS, WOOD PELLET BAGS
EVENTS PLANNED BY FRIENDS OF GLIMMERGLASS
LATEST ‘LOOKOUT’ EDITION NOW ONLINE
CHILDREN’S YOGA CLASS ADDED TO EARTH FESTIVAL LINEUP
ENTRIES SOUGHT FOR ECOART CONTEST
OCCA GARAGE SALE IS APRIL 30-MAY 1
EARTH FESTIVAL, SPRING GARDEN DAY SET FOR APRIL 9
OCCA SEEKS INPUT ON OTSEGO COUNTY AGRICULTURE, LAND PROTECTION
REGISTER NOW FOR FREE YOGA SESSIONS AT EARTH FESTIVAL
CLIMATE, CLEAN ENERGY OPTIONS TO BE DISCUSSED AT EARTH FESTIVAL
SPRING GARDEN DAY REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS APRIL 4
SAVE THE DATE – OTSEGO LAKES FESTIVAL

DATES TO REMEMBER

HIKE PLANNED APRIL 5 AT HICK STATE FOREST: Join Otsego County Conservation Association Program Director Jeff O’Handley and the Adirondack Mountain Club, Susquehanna Chapter, for a hike in R. Milton Hick State Forest on Tuesday, April 5 at 10 a.m. The 1,300-acre forest was established in the 1930s and contains hemlock groves, hardwood stands, conifer plantations, and a pond. The walk will take approximately two hours, and includes some short stretches with steep grades. Meet at the trailhead on Perry Hill Road in the Town of Roseboom. From I-88, take Exit 18 into Schenevus. Turn left on State Route 7. In .7 miles, turn right on Elk Street (County Route 34). Proceed 10 miles on Elk Street/Route 34 through Westford. Turn left on Josclyn Road. Proceed one mile to the trailhead. From Cooperstown, take County Route 52 to State Route 166. Turn left on 166 and proceed to Roseboom. Turn right on State Route 165. In 1.9 miles, turn right onto LaFleure Road (in the hamlet of Pleasant Brook, just beyond the Pleasant Brook Hotel). Bear left on Perry Hill Road and proceed to the trailhead. To carpool with members of the Adirondack Mountain Club, meet at the parking lot of the Oneonta Price Chopper on State Route 7 at 9:15 a.m.  The hike is free, but pre-registration is requested. Dress for the weather, and bring water. For more information or to register, visit http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/ or www.susqadk.org.

The Fall/Winter 2015-2016 edition of Otsego County Conservation Association’s newsletter, “The Lookout,” is now available via the OCCA website at http://occainfo.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Lookout-Fall-Winter-2015-2016.pdf.

COMPLETE DETAILS AVAILABLE FOR THIS SATURDAY’S EARTH FESTIVAL: Earth Festival enters its second decade this year and will be held on Saturday, April 9 at Milford Central School in conjunction with Spring Garden Day. For complete details on exhibitors, vendors, special features, food and recycling opportunities, see http://occainfo.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/2016-Earth-Festival-Information.pdf. The traditional information and vendor fair will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the gymnasium – kicking off the day will be the Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society’s popular pre-festival bird walk. Master Gardeners of Cornell Cooperative Extension Schoharie and Otsego Counties will return with Spring Garden Day, featuring classes on a wide variety of gardening topics suitable for those both new and experienced to gardening. Barbara Melera, president and CEO of the D. Landreth Seed Company – the oldest seed house in America – will speak at 1 p.m. Her presentation, titled “Sustaining Plant Biodiversity with Heritage and Native Species,” is free and open to the public. Earth Festival is an environmentally-focused, interactive event featuring exhibits, activities, vendors and entertainment, all with a fun, earth-friendly twist. Financial contributions are most welcome, and an open invitation to earth-friendly exhibitors, food, and retail vendors is extended. Earth Festival 2016 is presented by Otsego County Conservation Association and Central NY Mobile Marketing in collaboration with the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce, with support from Five Star Subaru. Call (607) 547-4488 or e-mail admin@occainfo.org to learn more.

TEXTILE RECYCLING UPDATE FROM RE-CLOTHE NY: In response to a number of recent inquiries about textile recycling, OCCA Executive Director Darla Youngs reached out to representatives of Re-Clothe NY for direction. According to Re-Clothe NY, if you are donating materials directly to a thrift store type location, you should follow the guidance of that organization’s requirements/directions. If you are utilizing donation bins or sheds, you can follow this general guideline as to what is accepted: “Clothing, shoes, and other textiles in any condition; must be dry and odorless.” More specifically, items cannot be damp, wet or excessively smelly and can have permanent stains but should not be dirty or contaminated with oil, paint, etc. Dan Lilkas-Rain, chair of the Re-Clothe NY campaign, explained to us that the vast majority of the clothing and other textiles donated ends up following the path of sorting, processing, and recycling shown in the following infographic: http://www.nysar3.org/uploads/textile_recovery_working_group/1414620389_CTR%20lifecycle%20of%20secondhand%20clothing.png. He added that fabric pieces and scraps are fine, as long as they’re at least a few square inches in size. Tiny scraps are too small to deal with, though cotton cloth can be composted. Loose stuffing is not accepted, but items with stuffing inside are (e.g. stuffed animals or pillows).

FREE RECYCLING FOR FARM PLASTICS, WOOD PELLET BAGS: Farmers wishing to drop off used agricultural plastic for free recycling will have two opportunities to do so this spring. Collection dates are scheduled for Saturday, May 7 at the Southern Transfer Station in Oneonta, and Thursday, May 12 at the Northern Transfer Station in Cooperstown. Collections on both days run from 8-11 a.m. The program is free, but pre-registration is required. Used film plastic such as bale wrap, silage bags, bunker silo cover and greenhouse covers will be accepted, as will empty wood pellet bags. All plastic must be dry, free of excessive dirt, grit or mud, and needs to be sorted according to type. For information on how to participate, contact OCCA Program Director Jeff O’Handley at (607) 282-4087.

EVENTS PLANNED BY FRIENDS OF GLIMMERGLASS: Friends of Glimmerglass State Park will host “Sensational Succulents,” a combination workshop/fundraiser, on April 12 at 6:30 p.m. with A Rose is a Rose florist Jackie Hull. Also coming up is a watercolor workshop/fundraiser with artist Joanne Resch on May 6 and “I Love My Park Day” activities on May 7. For more information and to register, visit http://www.friendsofglimmerglass.com/apps/calendar/.

LATEST ‘LOOKOUT’ EDITION NOW ONLINE: A 16-page double issue of OCCA’s newsletter, “The Lookout,” is now available online athttp://occainfo.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Lookout-Fall-Winter-2015-2016.pdf. Headlines include: NAT withdraws Edic to Fraser transmission line proposal; OCCA in the news (Building a better Basswood, Group to honor two for environmental stewardship, ‘Otsego bass’ brought back to Otsego Lake, Energy firm pulls plug on power-line proposal, Students earn trip to camp in OCCA essay contest, Ticks can strike in all seasons); Clarvoe receives lifetime achievement nod from OCCA; Ben Guenther: Living the dream in Otsego County; OCCA names environmental essay contest winners; Recollection in the woods; Community Bank recycles e-waste on behalf of OCCA; 2015 farm plastics shipped to in-state recycler; OCCA, Solid Waste Dept. revise guidance document; OCCA Notes: Recycling is in the (plastic) bag; OCCA assumes lead role in ag, farmland plan revise; Climate, clean energy options to be discussed; Homeowners happy with solar installation, process; Microplastics an emerging water quality concern; Keeping pace with the REV; First ever yoga sessions planned for Earth Festival.

CHILDREN’S YOGA CLASS ADDED TO EARTH FESTIVAL LINEUP: Event organizers announced just last week that Earth Festival 2016 will feature adult yoga classes for the first time ever. Now a children’s yoga class with Kripalu 200-hour certified instructor Karla Andela will be offered as well. Andela, who has 18 months of teaching experience in the Cooperstown area and along the Appalachian Trail, will lead kids in yoga exercises from 2:30-3 p.m. at Earth Festival on Saturday, April 9. Katherine Walters of Love Your Life Fitness will instruct adults in 45-minute beginner’s yoga classes at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.  All yoga sessions are free and will be held in the Milford Central School small gym. Participants should bring comfortable clothing and a great attitude. Eclectic ambient music will be provided by Angelica Palmer and Friends. Pre-registration is preferred. Call (607) 547-4488 or register online athttp://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/.

ENTRIES SOUGHT FOR ECOART CONTEST: Submissions in this year’s EcoArt/Trendy Trash contest, to be displayed at Earth Festival 2016 on Saturday, April 9, will be accepted up to and including the day of the event. As in past years, prizes will be awarded to winners in several categories including “Best of Show,” “Judges’ Choice” and “People’s Choice.” This trash-to-treasure challenge to create something practical or artistic from items that have outlived their original purpose is open at no charge to students, with a $5.00 fee for adults. “Last year’s top vote getter was ‘Fountain of Blood,’ a sculpture created by Rita Ferrugiari of Schenevus from discarded shell casings and mixed media,” said OCCA Executive Director Darla M. Youngs. “The EcoArt /Trendy Trash contest has become an Earth Festival favorite, and we welcome submissions from artists and inventors of all ages,” Youngs said. Earth Festival is a free environmentally-focused, interactive event featuring exhibits, activities, vendors and entertainment, all with a fun, earth-friendly twist. Financial contributions are most welcome, and an open invitation to earth-friendly exhibitors, food, and retail vendors is extended. To learn more and to register entries in the EcoArt/Trendy Trash contest, visit http://occainfo.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/EarthFestivalFebruaryMailing2016-3.pdf.

OCCA GARAGE SALE IS APRIL 30-MAY 1: The Otsego County Conservation Association will hold its annual “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” Garage Sale on Saturday, April 30 and Sunday May 1 in the Cooperstown Farmers’ Market building at 101 Main Street (in Pioneer Alley), Cooperstown. The official collection dates for the OCCA garage sale will be April 25-28 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. All donations are tax deductible: OCCA will provide a donation voucher upon request. Those interested in dropping off materials sooner, or who would like more information about volunteering to assist with the event, should call OCCA Executive Director Darla M. Youngs at (607) 547-4488 or e-mail admin@occainfo.org for further details. Sale hours are Saturday, April 30 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday, May 1from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. OCCA is also inviting donations of home-baked pies to be sold at this year’s event. Those wishing to drop off pies may do so at the market space on Friday, April 29 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. In addition to raising funds for OCCA’s countywide environmental programs and initiatives, the garage sale also benefits the environment through waste prevention, or “source reduction.” Source reduction, including reuse, can help reduce waste disposal and handling costs, because it avoids the costs of recycling, municipal composting, land filling, and combustion. Source reduction also conserves resources and reduces pollution, including greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.

OCCA SEEKS INPUT ON OTSEGO COUNTY AGRICULTURE, LAND PROTECTION: OCCA, in partnership with the Otsego County Soil and Water Conservation District and the Otsego County Planning Department, has assumed the lead role in updating the 1999 Otsego County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan (AFPP). The updated plan will examine the current status of agriculture in Otsego County and establish a comprehensive strategy on farm and farmland protection that takes into consideration needs and trends specific to Otsego County. As a first step, OCCA is inviting farmers, agricultural producers, ag-related businesses, and the public to share their thoughts on the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats facing agriculture and land protection in Otsego County. People are also asked to share their vision for agriculture in Otsego County in 10 years (see links below). According to the 2012 Census of Agriculture, Otsego County is home to 995 farms, with 570 farm operators citing farming as their primary occupation. The 2012 census estimates the market value of Otsego County agricultural products sold at $66,760,000.For further information, contact Environmental Planner Danny Lapin at planner@occainfo.org or (607) 547-4488. This effort is made possible with a grant and assistance from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, a donation by The Scriven Foundation, and a local match provided by working group participants.

REGISTER NOW FOR FREE YOGA SESSIONS AT EARTH FESTIVAL: A healthy earth begins with a healthy body. Learn how to achieve this through yoga at Earth Festival 2016! Sessions will be hosted in the Milford Central School small gym on April 9 by yoga instructor Katherine Walters. Walters, of Love Your Life Fitness, will lead adults in beginner’s yoga classes at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Participants should bring comfortable clothing and a great attitude. Eclectic ambient music will be provided by Angelica Palmer and Friends. Adult yoga classes at Earth Festival will run approximately 45-60 minutes and are free of charge. Pre-registration is preferred. Call (607) 547-4488 or register online at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/.

CLIMATE, CLEAN ENERGY OPTIONS TO BE DISCUSSED AT EARTH FESTIVAL: Robyn Reynolds, a sustainability planner with Climate Action Associates, will give a presentation at Earth Festival on Saturday, April 9 titled “Climate and Energy Action in New York State.”According to Reynolds, communities across New York State are realizing the opportunities associated with adopting sustainable practices and exploring clean energy options. The host of benefits associated with climate and energy planning range from enhancing ecological quality, reducing energy costs, and increasing local economic growth to being less vulnerable in the case of extreme weather event. Reynolds will speak at 2 p.m. on April 9. Her presentation, to be followed by a question and answer session, is free and open to the public. Pre-registration is preferred by April 7; community members, local government staff, elected officials and municipal leaders are welcome to attend. To pre-register, visit http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/ or call OCCA at (607) 547-4488.

SPRING GARDEN DAY REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS APRIL 4: The Master Gardener Volunteers of Cornell Cooperative Extension Schoharie and Otsego Counties will offer six workshops in two concurrent sessions at Spring Garden Day on Saturday, April 9 at Milford Central School. Choices for the 11 a.m. session are “Sustainable and Low-input Growing Techniques for the Home Orchard,” “Insights in Home Garden Design,” and “Composting: Keeping it Real – Practical Advice on Sustainable Composting.” The 2 p.m. session options are: “Nurturing and Sustaining a Perennial Flower Garden: Tips from a Professional Grower,” “Alternatives to Ornamental Invasive Species,” and “Extending the Gardening Season: What We’ve Tried and What We Have Learned So Far.” The cost to register is $10. For more information, call (607) 547-2536.

SAVE THE DATE – OTSEGO LAKES FESTIVAL: The 8th Otsego Lakes Festival will be held on Saturday, June 11 from noon to 5 p.m. at Lakefront Park in Cooperstown. Organized under the aegis of the Otsego County Water Quality Coordinating Committee, the Lakes Festival offers residents and visitors alike a day full of fun and festivities celebrating Otsego County’s lakes – educational exhibits, children’s activities, hands-on workshops, and lake tours will all focus on the importance of protecting this county’s waterways and ensuring water quality throughout the region. Good food, music and art will also help celebrate the importance of Otsego County’s lakes. Stay tuned for full details.

DATES TO REMEMBER:

  • May 7, Ag Plastics Collection, Southern transfer station, 8-11 a.m.
  • May 12, Ag Plastics Collection, Northern transfer station, 8-11 a.m.
  • May 14, hike, “Morning Birding at Mohican,” led by Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society Co-president Becky Gretton. 7 a.m., Mohican Farm, Springfield.
  • May 21, Spring Fling Railroad Avenue Street Fair, presented by the Rotary Club of Cooperstown.

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!

Darla M. Youngs, Executive Director
Otsego County Conservation Association, Inc.
Secretary, Otsego County Water Quality Coordinating Committee
7207 State Highway 80, PO Box 931
Cooperstown, NY 13326
(607) 547-4488; (607) 282-4087
http://occainfo.org/
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