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The Otsego County Conservation Association has received $350.00 from Stewart’s Holiday Match to help fund children’s activities at the Otsego Lakes Festival, to be held on Saturday, June 11 in Cooperstown’s Lakefront Park. The festival includes educational exhibits, hands-on workshops, presentations, and lake tours, all highlighting the importance of protecting our waterways and ensuring good water quality throughout the region. Great food and live music round out this family-friendly event. Monies awarded by Stewart’s will be put toward supplies for a kids’ lake art station with “juried” art contest, among other activities. The Otsego Lakes Festival, which is free and open to the public, is organized under the umbrella of Otsego County’s Water Quality Coordinating Committee. The OCWQCC 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. Personnel from WQCC member organizations will be on hand June 11 to distribute literature and discuss water quality issues one-on-one with interested parties. The grant application was written by OCCA Executive Director Darla M. Youngs, who serves on the OLF organizing committee. 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. Visithttp://occainfo.org/ or call (607) 547-4488 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!

Eco-bulletin headlines this issue:

Deadline to Register for Presentation on USC Funding is Tuesday
April Hike Planned at Hick State Forest
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
BVA Hosts Informational Talk on Fishers
OCCA Seeks Input on Otsego County Agriculture, Land Protection
Register Now for Free Yoga Sessions at Earth Festival
Lectures on Climate Change, Food Challenges Next Week
Climate, Clean Energy Options to be Discussed at Earth Festival
Spring Garden Day Registration Deadline is April 4
‘Keeping Pace with the REV’
Third Annual Spring Fling Date Set
Dates to Remember

DEADLINE TO REGISTER FOR PRESENTATION ON USC FUNDING IS TUESDAY: Wetlands biologist Jeremy Waddell will give apresentation on water quality improvement project funding available from the Upper Susquehanna Coalition and will highlight past projects supported by USC at the Wednesday, March 30 meeting of the Otsego County Water Quality Coordinating Committee.The Upper Susquehanna Coalition, formed in 1992, is a coalition of 19 county Soil and Water Conservation districts in New York and Pennsylvania covering the headwaters of the Susquehanna River Watershed. USC administers state and federal grants to improve water quality and wildlife habitats, and to provide sustainable agriculture practices within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. The organization’s mission is to protect and improve water quality and natural resources in the Upper Susquehanna River Basin with the involvement of citizens and agencies through planning, education, coordination, funding, project implementation, and advocating for water resources.USC currently has grant funding available for streamside berm removal, wetland creation/restoration and riparian forest buffer establishment. Additionally, working in partnership with The Wetland Trust – a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization – USC administers the TWT In-Lieu Fee Compensatory Wetland Mitigation Program in the Susquehanna River and surrounding watersheds. Waddell will discuss USC-funded programs for berm removal, buffer enhancement, and wetland mitigation available to all landowners as well as programs specific to owners of pasture and crop lands. 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. This event is free and open to the public; pre-registration is required by Tuesday, March 29. Those interested in attending should e-mail WQCC Secretary Darla M. Youngs at admin@occainfo.org or call (607) 547-4488.

APRIL HIKE PLANNED 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.

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.

EARTH FESTIVAL, SPRING GARDEN DAY SET FOR APRIL 9: 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. 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. Again this year, in keeping with the earth-friendly theme, event organizers invite attendees to drop off Styrofoam (clean, white only), bubble wrap, empty inkjet cartridges, cell phones, eyeglasses, reusable shoes, tennis balls, natural cork, and used nylon monofilament fishing line and more. Empire Recycling will return with the free Confidata Shredder service and pellet bags will be collected for recycling. The EcoArt/Trendy Trash Contest and expanded children’s activities will also be featured and the TREP$ Marketplace – a unique, flea-market style event comprised exclusively of Milford Central School eighth-grade vendors who will launch their own “Go Green” businesses for the day – will return as well. 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. To sign up or donate, use the registration form at http://occainfo.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/EarthFestivalFebruaryMailing2016-3.pdf. Call (607) 547-4488 or e-mailadmin@occainfo.org to learn more.

BVA HOSTS INFORMATIONAL TALK ON FISHERS: What’s a fisher? Is a fisher a cat? Are they dangerous? Where do they live? Learn the answers to these and other questions at a Butternut Valley Alliance-sponsored talk on Thursday, March 31. New York State Department of Conservation Biologist Mike Clark will speak at 7 p.m. at the New Lisbon Town Hall, 908 County Highway 16 in Garrattsville. For more information, call (607) 263-5425 or visit www.butternutvalleyalliance.org.

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/.

LECTURES ON CLIMATE CHANGE, FOOD CHALLENGES NEXT WEEK: The Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown will present a lecture on“Climate Change and Agriculture” by Dr. Robert L. Thompson, Visiting Scholar at Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. Dr. Thompson will speak on climate change from a global perspective and how it affects agriculture across the map. The event takes place on Wednesday, March 30 at 7 p.m. in the museum’s Louis C. Jones Center and is a prelude to the museum’s annual agriculture conference in November, this year focusing on regional impact of climate change. The event is free and open to the public. On Thursday, March 31, the SUNY Cobleskill 7th Generation Centennial Lecture Series will feature a presentation by Dr. Thompson, titled “Feeding the World: Challenges and Solutions.” That presentation – set for 7 p.m. in the Bouck Auditorium – is also free and open to the public.

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.

‘KEEPING PACE WITH THE REV’: Governor Cuomo’s ambitious energy policy initiative, known as “Reforming the Energy Vision,” or “REV,” is intended to allow New Yorkers to transition away from a centralized energy system to a more decentralized model as well as to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase energy generated from renewable resources, and reduce energy consumption. Environmental Planner Danny Lapin provides an overview of the REV, New York State’s energy overhaul process, in a recent white paper –http://occainfo.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/OCCA-Keeping-Pace-with-the-REV.pdf.

THIRD ANNUAL SPRING FLING DATE SET: Vendors of food, drink, and arts and crafts, area businesses, and local community groups will share the spotlight as Railroad Avenue is transformed on Saturday, May 21 for the Rotary Club of Cooperstown’s third annual Spring Fling Street Fair. The street fair will run from noon to 5 p.m. Merchants, artists, farmers, craftspeople and non-profit organizations are invited to participate in this community-building event. Live music and a silent auction will also be featured during this celebration of spring, and train rides on the Cooperstown & Charlotte Valley Railroad will be offered, including a round-trip excursion from the C&CVRR station in Milford plus shuttle trains carrying festival goers from the Cooperstown Gateway Center to Glen Avenue. For more information on craft, business and non-profit vending, contact Karen Katz at kkatz@stny.rr.com or (607) 434-3418. Food vendors with trucks or trailers should contact Melanie Boyer at mboyer@nysw.com or (607) 547-2555, ext. 250. Those wishing to learn more about the silent auction should contact Margaret Savoie at margaret.37.ms@gmail.com or 607-547-5622 or 607-437-0651. Rotary International’s main objective is service – in the community, in the workplace, and around the globe. The Rotary Club of Cooperstown was founded in 1924. OCCA Executive Director Darla M. Youngs currently serves as a Rotary Club of Cooperstown director and is Spring Fling publicity chair.

DATES TO REMEMBER:

  • May 7, Ag Plastics Collection, Southern transfer station
  • May 12, Ag Plastics Collection, Northern transfer station
  • May 14, bird walk, Mohican Farm, led by Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society Co-president Becky Gretton, 7 a.m.

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/
Like us on Facebook
O-C-C-YAY!

 

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.

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/
Like us on Facebook
O-C-C-YAY!

ROSEBOOM – 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 at9:15 a.m.

The hike is free, but pre-registration is requested. Dress for the weather, and bring water. For more information or to register, visithttp://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/ or www.susqadk.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!

 

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/
Like us on Facebook
O-C-C-YAY!

MILFORD – 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 from2:30-3 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 at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/.

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. Earth Festival 2016 is presented by Otsego County Conservation Association and Central NY Mobile Marketing in collaboration with the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce and with support from Five Star Subaru. To sign up or donate, use the registration form at http://occainfo.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/EarthFestivalFebruaryMailing2016-3.pdf. Call (607) 547-4488 or e-mail admin@occainfo.org to learn more.

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/
Like us on Facebook
O-C-C-YAY!

Eco-bulletin headlines this issue:

OCCA SEEKS INPUT ON OTSEGO COUNTY AGRICULTURE, LAND PROTECTION
EARTH FESTIVAL, SPRING GARDEN DAY SET FOR APRIL 9
OCCA GARAGE SALE WILL BE APRIL 30-MAY 1
WATERPARK PROPOSAL RESURFACES
BVA HOSTS INFORMATIONAL TALK ON FISHERS
REGISTER NOW FOR FREE YOGA SESSIONS AT EARTH FESTIVAL
FOOD SYSTEMS THE TOPIC OF MARCH LECTURE
CLIMATE, CLEAN ENERGY OPTIONS TO BE DISCUSSED AT EARTH FESTIVAL
SPRING GARDEN DAY REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS APRIL 4
‘KEEPING PACE WITH THE REV’
THIRD ANNUAL SPRING FLING DATE SET
DATES TO REMEMBER

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.

EARTH FESTIVAL, SPRING GARDEN DAY SET FOR APRIL 9: Earth Festival enters its second decade this year and will be held onSaturday, April 9 at Milford Central School in conjunction with Spring Garden Day. 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. Again this year, in keeping with the earth-friendly theme, event organizers invite attendees to drop off Styrofoam (clean, white only), bubble wrap, empty inkjet cartridges, cell phones, eyeglasses, reusable shoes, tennis balls, natural cork, and used nylon monofilament fishing line and more. Empire Recycling will return with the free Confidata Shredder service and pellet bags will be collected for recycling. The EcoArt/Trendy Trash Contest and expanded children’s activities will also be featured and the TREP$ Marketplace – a unique, flea-market style event comprised exclusively of Milford Central School eighth-grade vendors who will launch their own “Go Green” businesses for the day – will return as well. 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. To sign up or donate, use the registration form at http://occainfo.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/EarthFestivalFebruaryMailing2016-3.pdf. Call (607) 547-4488 or e-mailadmin@occainfo.org to learn more.

OCCA GARAGE SALE WILL BE 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. andSunday, 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 climate change.

WATERPARK PROPOSAL RESURFACES: The proposed waterpark resort originally outlined in the MV500 plan for the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council is in the news again this week as more information was released. An article in “The Daily Star” weekend edition discusses the waterpark plan with the property owner, developer and local officials: http://www.thedailystar.com/news/local_news/builder-unveils-hotel-waterpark-plan/article_5d64c9d0-7ae4-590d-82cb-6dee6a671030.html. The project feasibility study was made available earlier this week on the AllOtsego website: http://allotsego.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/WATER-PARK-MARKET-FEASIBILITY-STUDY-REPORT-1.pdf. If it proceeds, this project will first be subject to the State Environmental Quality Review process and permitting, and a Department of Transportation study. More to come.

BVA HOSTS INFORMATIONAL TALK ON FISHERS: What’s a fisher? Is a fisher a cat? Are they dangerous? Where do they live? Learn the answers to these and other questions at a Butternut Valley Alliance-sponsored talk on Thursday, March 31. New York State Department of Conservation Biologist Mike Clark will speak at 7 p.m. at the New Lisbon Town Hall, 908 County Highway 16 in Garrattsville. For more information, call (607) 263-5425 or visit www.butternutvalleyalliance.org.

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/.

FOOD SYSTEMS THE TOPIC OF MARCH LECTURE: On Thursday, March 31, the SUNY Cobleskill 7th Generation Centennial Lecture Series will feature a presentation by Dr. Robert L. Thompson titled “Feeding the World: Challenges and Solutions.” Dr. Thompson – who was a Visiting Scholar at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University – has a lifetime of insights on food systems and the problems addressing a growing world population. This presentation – set for 7 p.m. in the Bouck Auditorium – is free and open to the public. For more information, visit http://www.cobleskill.edu/sustainability/.

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.

‘KEEPING PACE WITH THE REV’: Governor Cuomo’s ambitious energy policy initiative, known as “Reforming the Energy Vision,” or “REV,” is intended to allow New Yorkers to transition away from a centralized energy system to a more decentralized model as well as to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase energy generated from renewable resources, and reduce energy consumption.Environmental Planner Danny Lapin provides an overview of the REV, New York State’s energy overhaul process, in a recent white paper – http://occainfo.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/OCCA-Keeping-Pace-with-the-REV.pdf.

THIRD ANNUAL SPRING FLING DATE SET: Vendors of food, drink, and arts and crafts, area businesses, and local community groups will share the spotlight as Railroad Avenue is transformed on Saturday, May 21 for the Rotary Club of Cooperstown’s third annual Spring Fling Street Fair. The street fair will run from noon to 5 p.m. Merchants, artists, farmers, craftspeople and non-profit organizations are invited to participate in this community-building event. Live music and a silent auction will also be featured during this celebration of spring, and train rides on the Cooperstown & Charlotte Valley Railroad will be offered, including a round-trip excursion from the C&CVRR station in Milford plus shuttle trains carrying festival goers from the Cooperstown Gateway Center to Glen Avenue. For more information on craft, business and non-profit vending, contact Karen Katz at kkatz@stny.rr.com or (607) 434-3418. Food vendors with trucks or trailers should contact Melanie Boyer at mboyer@nysw.com or (607) 547-2555, ext. 250. Those wishing to learn more about the silent auction should contact Margaret Savoie at margaret.37.ms@gmail.com or 607-547-5622 or 607-437-0651. Rotary International’s main objective is service – in the community, in the workplace, and around the globe. The Rotary Club of Cooperstown was founded in 1924. OCCA Executive Director Darla M. Youngs currently serves as a Rotary Club of Cooperstown director.

DATES TO REMEMBER:

  • April 19, hike, Hick State Forest with Adirondack Mountain Club Susquehanna Chapter, led by OCCA Program Director Jeff O’Handley.
  • May 7, Ag Plastics Collection, Southern transfer station
  • May 12, Ag Plastics Collection, Northern transfer station
  • May 14, bird walk, Mohican Farm, led by Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society Co-president Becky Gretton, 7 a.m.

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/
Like us on Facebook
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MILFORD – 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.

Coming from decades of teaching fitness and dance, Walters knew her whole world would change the morning tears of joy fell onto a borrowed yoga mat in class, inspiring her certification with Beth Shaw’s YogaFit and, a few years later, the 200-hour Kripalu Yoga Teacher Training. Walters said she feels eternally grateful for the opportunity to study with masters including Suddha, Rolf Gates and Priti Robyn Ross. She blends her passion and devotion with creativity in leading intelligently designed practices with kindness and compassion, and has a gift for connecting with her students in a way that encourages their inner radiance to shine.

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/.

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. Earth Festival 2016 is presented by Otsego County Conservation Association and Central NY Mobile Marketing in collaboration with the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce and with support from Five Star Subaru. To sign up or donate, use the registration form at http://occainfo.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/EarthFestivalFebruaryMailing2016-3.pdf. Call (607) 547-4488 or e-mail admin@occainfo.org to learn more.

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/
Like us on Facebook
O-C-C-YAY!

OTSEGO COUNTY – Eighty-seven bales of used agricultural plastics were sent from Otsego County to a Brooklyn recycler last month as part of the Recycling Agricultural Plastics Program. Established by Cornell University through funding from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, RAPP is charged with developing sustainable means for New York State farmers to manage their used agricultural plastics by recycling, reusing and otherwise minimizing waste from plastic in agriculture. In Otsego County, RAPP is administered by Otsego County Conservation Association and the Otsego County Soil and Water Conservation District.

“We received plastic from 34 Otsego County farms in 2015,” said Jeff O’Handley, OCCA’s program director and the outreach coordinator for RAPP. “We’re hoping to build on this success and further increase the number of farmers participating this year.”

In the RAPP program, farmers set aside bale wrap, silage bags, bunker cover and other types of film plastic so it can be recycled. When they’ve stockpiled a sufficient amount, they can either bring it to special collection days at one of Otsego County’s solid waste transfer stations, or have staff from SWCD compact the plastic into square bales that are temporarily stored on the farm. The bales are then shipped to a recycler, where they will be given new life as plastic or composite lumber and boards, pavers, or bags.

The program received a boost this year from the participation of the Otsego County Solid Waste Department and Casella Waste Resources in Oneonta, said O’Handley.

“The County and Casella provided much-needed logistical support in the storage and transport of the plastic, as well as promoting RAPP,” O’Handley said. “Their involvement has been instrumental in growing this program.”

SWCD conducted baling operations on 17 farms in 2015. In addition, a number of other farmers took part in the program or brought plastic to the four special collection days held last spring and fall. Finally, approximately 2,400 pounds of wood pellet bags were collected from Otsego County homeowners and sent to the recyclers.

Farmers wishing to participate in RAPP should call O’Handley at OCCA at (607) 282-4087.

“We’ll be collecting on May 7 in Oneonta and on May 12 in Cooperstown,” announced O’Handley.

O’Handley added that there was no fee for the collections, but farmers need to pre-register to participate.

“There are some procedures we have to review with a farmer to make sure their plastic is usable. It’s not hard, but it takes a little more effort than it does to throw the plastic in a dumpster,” he said.

For more information, contact Otsego County Conservation Association at (607) 282-4087 or visit OCCA’s website, www.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.

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/
Like us on Facebook
O-C-C-YAY!

MILFORD – Robyn Reynolds, a sustainability planner with Climate Action Associates, will give a presentation at Earth Festival on Saturday, April 9titled “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 events.

“I’ll give a brief overview of local climate change impacts and resources for communities to take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to plan for the future effects of climate change,” Reynolds said.

Climate Action Associates is a sustainability planning and energy analysis firm based in Watervliet. Reynolds’ expertise in energy and climate policy paired with her local government educational and professional background helps her connect with community leaders and members to drive action and inform decision-making.

Reynolds has spent the last several years working in sustainability and climate action programs in the Capital Region and across New York State and has delivered tailored technical assistance to enable communities to reduce energy consumption and costs, enhance community resilience, adopt clean energy technologies, and advance community goals. She has worked on a number of projects involving organics diversion and recycling, analysis of municipal greenhouse gas operations and energy use, and evaluation of fleet efficiency.

A long-time resident of the Capital Region, Reynolds continues to be inspired by the efforts of local communities to engage with sustainable practices and take action against the future effects of climate change.

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.

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. Earth Festival 2016 is presented by Otsego County Conservation Association and Central NY Mobile Marketing in collaboration with the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce. To sign up or donate, use the registration form at http://occainfo.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/EarthFestivalFebruaryMailing2016-3.pdf. Call (607) 547-4488 or e-mail admin@occainfo.org to learn more.

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/
Like us on Facebook
O-C-C-YAY!

MILFORD – Attendees to the 11th annual Earth Festival will have ample opportunity to rid themselves of unwanted materials that are normally difficult to recycle. In keeping with Earth Festival tradition, a host of items will be accepted for recycling at the event, which takes place at Milford Central School on Saturday, April 9 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“Earth Festival makes it easy to recycle these previously unwanted materials in one convenient location,” said Darla Youngs, executive director of the Otsego County Conservation Association, which is a chief sponsor of the event.

OCCA will be collecting the following items: Styrofoam (clean, white only), bubble wrap, empty inkjet cartridges, cell phones and other small electronics, tennis balls, natural cork from wine bottles, used monofilament fishing line, and wood pellet bags. In addition, OCCA will continue to collect oral care products (toothpaste tubes, toothbrushes, toothbrush packaging, and dental floss containers), cereal bags, and writing implements as part of its ongoing TerraCycle program.

Other groups accepting “unusual” items at Earth Festival for recycling or reuse include The Lions Club of Cooperstown, which will be collecting eyeglasses, and Soles to Share, a local non-profit run by Cooperstown High School students that distributes reusable shoes to those in need. Empire Recycling will also be on hand with the Confidata paper shredding service from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to shred personal documents.

All recycling is offered for free, though donations to help support Earth Festival are appreciated.

“At the end of the day, it’s all about reducing the waste that goes to the landfill through recycling and reuse,” Youngs said. “We’re happy to be part of such a great event.”

Any items brought to Earth Festival must be sorted into bags according to item. Earth Festival admission is free.

Earth Festival is an environmentally-focused, interactive event featuring exhibits, activities, vendors and entertainment, all with a fun, earth-friendly twist. Earth Festival is presented by Otsego County Conservation Association and Central NY Mobile Marketing in collaboration with Otsego County Chamber of Commerce. For more information, call (607) 547-4488, or visit 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!

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/
Like us on Facebook
O-C-C-YAY!