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 Otsego County Water Quality Coordinating Committee
967 County Highway 33, Cooperstown, NY 13326
(607) 547-8778

For Immediate Release: May 24, 2016

COOPERSTOWN–The Otsego Lakes Festival returns to Lakefront Park with new activities, old favorites, and a new partner.

The 8th Otsego Lakes Festival will be held in Lakefront Park in Cooperstown on Saturday, June 11, from noon to 5 p.m. This year, the event is being coordinated with the Clark Sports Center’s 3rd Annual “Race the Lake” marathon and half-marathon around Otsego Lake. A trolley will provide transportation between Clark Sports Center and Lakefront Park from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

New activities this year include free paddleboard demonstrations and lessons by Canoe & Kayak Rentals and Sales, who will also have canoes, kayaks and paddleboards available to rent. The Otsego Lake Association is running a children’s scavenger hunt throughout the day, and will also offer a tour of the lake buffer strip. Also planned is a demonstration of Cooperstown’s new boat decontamination station.

Returning to Otsego Lakes Festival are the lake ecology barge tours and the “touch tanks” featuring live fish, plants and aquatic invertebrates found in Otsego Lake, offered by SUNY-Oneonta Biological Field Station. The Cooperstown Art Association will be providing art activities such as fish printing for kids and adults. Musical entertainment will be provided by Flux Capacitor at noon and Fritz Henry at 3 p.m.

Organized under the umbrella of the Otsego County Water Quality Coordinating Committee, the Otsego Lakes Festival offers all the components of a festive occasion – music, art, children’s activities, good food and camaraderie – while providing valuable educational opportunities about lake protection and regional water quality programs from those who work to protect these resources. WQCC member organizations will be on hand both to distribute literature and to discuss water quality issues one-on-one with interested parties. Admission is free.

Exhibitors, vendors, and sponsors are still needed. Confirmed exhibitors and vendors at the Otsego Lakes Festival thus far include Canadarago Lake Improvement Association, Cooperstown Art Association, Friends of Glimmerglass State Park, Inc., Mel’s at 22, Otsego County Conservation Association, Otsego Soil and Water Conservation District, Otsego Lake Association, Otsego Land Trust, Pig Dog Food Truck, and SUNY Oneonta Biological Field Station.

OLF sponsors are Five Star Subaru, Otsego County Conservation Association, Otsego Land Trust, Otsego 2000, SUNY Oneonta Biological Field Station, and Clark Sports Center. Donors include: Ashley-Connor Realty, Community Bank, NA, Cooperstown Natural Foods, Hubbell’s Real Estate, Rich McCaffery, Lake Front Motel/Glimmerglass Queen/Lakefront Restaurant, Smith Cooperstown, Inc., Stagecoach Coffee, Stewart’s Holiday Match.

The Otsego County Water Quality Coordinating Committee 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. The Otsego Lakes Festival is a biennial event designed to educate the public on the importance of water resource protection.

For more about the Otsego Lakes Festival, or for further details on sponsorship and volunteer opportunities, contact Interim Executive Director Jeff O’Handley, Otsego County Conservation Association, at (607) 547-4488.

For information on Race the Lake, including how to register, contact Event Director Doug McCoy at the Clark Sports Center, (607) 547-2800, ext. 111.

 FROM OTSEGO COUNTY CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION

(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:

LAKES FESTIVAL EXHIBITORS, VENDORS SOUGHT
BASKETS FROM PLASTIC WORKSHOP
EAB AWARENESS WEEK
BLUE TRAIL AT BASSWOOD
BEAVER POND SENSORY TRAIL DEDICATION
CCE PLANT SALE

EXHIBITORS, VENDORS, SPONSORS SOUGHT FOR 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 all of Otsego County’s lakes – educational exhibits, children’s activities, hands-on workshops, and lake tours will 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 and other water bodies. Activities will include a fish printing and art station, interactive science displays with SUNY Oneonta’s Biological Field Station, and free paddleboard demonstrations by Canoe & Kayak Rentals and Sales. Food and drink will be for sale on site, served up by Pig Dog Food Truck and Mel’s at 22. To learn more about being a sponsor of the Otsego Lakes Festival, see http://occainfo.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/2016-Lakes-Festival-Fund-Letter-and-Donor-Card.pdf. Click here for the exhibitor/vendor form:http://occainfo.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/2016-ExhibitorVendor-Information-Form.pdf. The Otsego Lakes Festival is made possible thanks to the OCWQCC, established in 1992 as a sub-committee of the Otsego County Soil and Water Conservation District. The WQCC 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. Additional support for the Lakes Festival is provided by Five Star Subaru.

WORKSHOP TEACHES BASKET MAKING FROM PLASTIC BAGS: Learn how to make sturdy, attractive baskets from used plastic feedbags with Martha Clarvoe on Thursday, June 2 from 7-9pm in the art room at First United Methodist Church, 66 Chestnut Street, Oneonta. All materials will be provided free of charge, and participants can take their baskets home. The workshop is sponsored by the Otsego County Conservation Association Recycling Committee and the FUMC United Methodist Women Green Team. For information or to register for this free workshop, contact Martha Clarvoe at 607-293-6654, or via e-mail at martha.clarvoe@gmail.com.

EAB AWARENESS WEEK: May 22-28 is the Sixth Annual Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week. The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is a highly-destructive insect pest that has killed over fifty million ash trees in the U.S. since its discovery in 2002. For information on the EAB and what you can do to prevent the spread of this pest, visit DEC’s Emerald Ash Borer page at http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/7253.html.

BLUE TRAIL AT BASSWOOD: Celebrate American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day® on a guided tour along the Blue Trail at Basswood Pond State Forest with OCCA Program Director Jeff O’Handley onSaturday, June 4 at 9 a.m. Follow the two-mile loop through a variety of forest habitats. Meet at the main parking area, 500 Conservation Road, Burlington. The walk is free, but pre-registration is preferred. Visithttp://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/

American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day® is a nationally recognized trail awareness program that occurs annually on the first Saturday of June and inspires the public to discover, learn about, and celebrate trails while participating in outdoor activities, clinics, and trail stewardship projects. National Trails Day® is a registered trademark of American Hiking Society.

BEAVER POND SENSORY TRAIL DEDICATION: Celebrate the groundbreaking of a new, multi-sensory, accessible trail in Glimmerglass State Park on June 4 at noon. The day features an unveiling of the new kiosk and bench, an overview of the trail, a demonstration of an Audio Tour Eco-box which was donated by the Cooperstown Lions Club. The day will also feature tours and lunch provided by The Friends of Glimmerglass State Park for those who pre-register. Visit http://www.friendsofglimmerglass.com/apps/calendar/showEvent?calID=3374487&eventID=262696139&next=showMonth%3fcalID%3d3374487%26year%3d2016%26month%3d5 for details or to pre-register.

CCE PLANT SALE: The Master Gardener Volunteers of Cornell Cooperative Extension Schoharie and Otsego Counties will be holding their annual spring plant sale on Saturday, May 28, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Education Center, 123 Lake Street in Cooperstown. A wide variety of perennials, annuals, vegetables, and herbs will be available for purchase. Contact the Master Gardener Volunteers at 547-2536 Ext. 28 for details, or visit http://cceschoharie-otsego.org/events/2014/05/31/master-gardener-spring-plant-sale for details.

 

(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:

BIRDS ON THE AGENDA FOR OCCA’S NATURE WALK THIS WEEKEND
ECOART CONTEST WINNERS ANNOUNCED
EXHIBITORS, VENDORS, SPONSORS SOUGHT FOR OTSEGO LAKES FESTIVAL
ED SEARCH UNDERWAY!
OCCA RECEIVES AIS SPREAD PREVENTION GRANTS
OCCA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR TO ASSUME NEW ROLE
TAKE THE CLEAN, DRAIN AND DRY PLEDGE
ITEMS FOUND AT EARTH FESTIVAL
DATES TO REMEMBER: SPRING FLING

BIRDS ON THE AGENDA FOR OCCA’S NATURE WALK THIS WEEKEND: 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.

ECOART CONTEST WINNERS ANNOUNCED: The top vote getter in this year’s EcoArt/Trendy Trash contest held at Earth Festival 2016 was Fred Breglia, for his sculpture, “The Gyre.” Created from plaster face molds and pieces of plastic trash under layers of acrylic paint, “The Gyre” is intended to evoke the floating island of marine litter in the central North Pacific Ocean. Breglia’s entry swept all three adult categories, winning Best in Show, People’s Choice and Judges’ Choice. The nod for Best in Show (best overall, both technically and artistically) in the student category went to “Techo-Choked” by Ray Hovis. Rounding out this year’s student awards were “Create” by Emily Amore for People’s Choice (appeals most on a personal level, because of its beauty, humor, cleverness, quirkiness, etc.) andConnor Voulo’s “Pizza Box Solar Oven,” which won Judges’ Choice (best represents the trash-to-treasure challenge). The EcoArt/Trendy Trash contest – a trash-to-treasure challenge to create something practical or artistic from items that have outlived their original purpose – is held annually in conjunction with Earth Festival and is open to both students and adults. Earth Festival is an environmentally-focused, interactive event featuring exhibits, activities, vendors and entertainment, all with a fun, earth-friendly twist. Earth Festival was sponsored in 2016 by Otsego County Conservation Association, the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce and Central NY Mobile Marketing, with support from Five Star Subaru.

EXHIBITORS, VENDORS, SPONSORS SOUGHT FOR 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 all of Otsego County’s lakes – educational exhibits, children’s activities, hands-on workshops, and lake tours will 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 and other water bodies. Activities for kids will include the Cooperstown Art Association’s fish painting station, interactive science displays with SUNY Oneonta’s Biological Field Station, and a lake art station and “juried” art contest. Food and drink will be for sale on site, served up by Pig Dog Food Truck, among others. To learn more about being a sponsor of the Otsego Lakes Festival, see http://occainfo.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/2016-Lakes-Festival-Fund-Letter-and-Donor-Card.pdf. Click here for the exhibitor/vendor form: http://occainfo.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/2016-ExhibitorVendor-Information-Form.pdf.The Otsego Lakes Festival is made possible thanks to the OCWQCC, established in 1992 as a sub-committee of the Otsego County Soil and Water Conservation District. The WQCC 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. Additional support for the Lakes Festival is provided by Five Star Subaru.

ED SEARCH UNDERWAY! OCCA is accepting applications for its executive director position through June 1, 2016. For details, visithttp://occainfo.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Executive-Director-Position-Posting-Final.pdf. Send materials topresident@occainfo.org.

OCCA RECEIVES AIS SPREAD PREVENTION GRANTS: In collaboration with the Otsego Lake Association, Canadarago Lake Association, the Village of Cooperstown, and the Town of Springfield, OCCA applied for and has received two grants totaling more than $120,000.00 for aquatic invasive species spread prevention measures on Otsego and Canadarago lakes. To learn more, seehttp://www.thedailystar.com/news/local_news/grants-to-fund-boat-washing-stations/article_70aecf4d-e22e-5b69-9906-85e5a26eecab.html.

OCCA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR TO ASSUME NEW ROLE: On Friday, May 13, 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/.

TAKE THE CLEAN, DRAIN AND DRY PLEDGE: Invasive plants and animals can impact boating, fishing, swimming, and the environment. New statewide regulations require boaters to inspect and remove any visible plant or animal material from their watercraft, including canoes, kayaks, and jet skis, before launch as well as before leaving a water body at the end of the day. This means all parts of the watercraft, as well as the trailer and all equipment or gear. These regulations also require dumping out canoes and kayaks, and draining water from bilges, bait wells, ballast tanks, and so on. You can stop the spread of invasive species. Find out how and take the Pledge to Clean, Drain and Dry at http://occainfo.org/take-the-pledge-ais-campaign/

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 director@occainfo.org.

DATES TO REMEMBER:

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!

The top vote getter in this year’s EcoArt/Trendy Trash contest held at Earth Festival 2016 was Fred Breglia, for his sculpture, “The Gyre.” Created from plaster face molds and pieces of plastic trash under layers of acrylic paint, “The Gyre” is intended to evoke the floating island of marine litter in the central North Pacific Ocean. Breglia’s entry swept all three adult categories, winning Best in Show, People’s Choice and Judges’ Choice.

The nod for Best in Show  (best overall, both technically and artistically) in the student category went to “Techno-Choked” by Ray Hovis. Rounding out this year’s student awards were “Create” by Emily Amore for People’s Choice (appeals most on a personal level, because of its beauty, humor, cleverness, quirkiness, etc.) and Connor Voulo’s “Pizza Box Solar Oven,” which won Judges’ Choice (best represents the trash-to-treasure challenge).

“This year’s entries were especially thought-provoking,” said Otsego County Conservation Association Executive Director Darla M. Youngs. “Special thanks to teachers Amy Parr and Lindy Mathisen for getting their students involved and thinking about trash, recycling, upcycling, and repurposing in new ways.”

The EcoArt/Trendy Trash contest – a trash-to-treasure challenge to create something practical or artistic from items that have outlived their original purpose – is held annually in conjunction with Earth Festival and is open to both students and adults.

Earth Festival is an environmentally-focused, interactive event featuring exhibits, activities, vendors and entertainment, all with a fun, earth-friendly twist. Earth Festival was sponsored in 2016 by Otsego County Conservation Association, the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce and Central NY Mobile Marketing, with support from Five Star Subaru.

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!

WQCClogoCOOPERSTOWN – 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 all of Otsego County’s lakes – educational exhibits, children’s activities, hands-on workshops, and lake tours will 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 and other water bodies. Activities for kids will include the Cooperstown Art Association’s fish painting station, interactive science displays with SUNY Oneonta’s Biological Field Station, and a lake art station and “juried” art contest. Food and drink will be for sale on site, served up by Pig Dog Food Truck, among others.

To learn more about being a sponsor of the Otsego Lakes Festival, see http://occainfo.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/2016-Lakes-Festival-Fund-Letter-and-Donor-Card.pdf. Click here for the exhibitor/vendor form: http://occainfo.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/2016-ExhibitorVendor-Information-Form.pdf.

The Otsego Lakes Festival is made possible thanks to the OCWQCC, established in 1992 as a sub-committee of the Otsego County Soil and Water Conservation District. The WQCC 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.

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!

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-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. 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.

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:

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!