Our Environment.
Our Home.
OUR CHALLENGE.

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COOPERSTOWN—Farmers will have two opportunities to drop off used agricultural film plastic for recycling under a special program offered by Otsego County Solid Waste Department, the Otsego County Soil & Water Conservation District, Otsego County Conservation Association, and Casella Waste Solutions. Collection dates are Saturday, November 11, at the Southern Transfer Station in Oneonta, and Thursday, November 16 at the Northern Transfer Station in Cooperstown. Plastic may be dropped off from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. both days. Acceptable material includes bale wrap, silage bags, bunker cover, greenhouse covers, and wood pellet bags. Material must be sorted by type, and should be relatively clean and dry. The collection is free, but pre-registration is requested. For questions or to register, contact Jeff O’Handley at OCCA, (607) 282-4087, or visit http://occainfo.org/recycling-agricultural-plastics/.

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COOPERSTOWN – The Otsego County Conservation Association has announced that it will send eight Otsego County school students to Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Environmental Education Camp this coming summer through a countywide competitive essay contest.

Otsego County students ages 11-14 are invited to compete for camperships via the essay contest (campers must be 11 by December 16, 2018). This year’s contest question is “What could you do personally to help protect the environment and what kind of impact would it make?”  Contest winners will receive a week-long stay at a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Summer Camp, where they will spend their week immersed in the natural environment and enjoy a balance of environmental education, sportsman education, and outdoor fun.

“It’s very important for kids to get outside and connect with nature,” said OCCA Executive Director Leslie Orzetti. “I’m thrilled that OCCA can continue to offer our children this great opportunity. Our past winners have had a wonderful time at DEC camp.” In 2017, OCCA provided camperships for eight students.

Winning essays will be chosen from participating Otsego County schools and Otsego County applicants at large. The deadline for essay submissions is December 1, 2017. Winning essays will be chosen by December 8 and notified immediately. Contest winners will be given a special code by OCCA which will be used to register for DEC camp.

“We’re hoping teachers will be able to incorporate this year’s theme into their classroom learning.  In these uncertain times, it is important for all students to know that what they do has an impact on the larger community,” Orzetti said. “Camp registration opens in January  and we know they fill up fast.”

Complete contest rules and requirements are available by e-mailing director@occainfo.org or by calling (607) 547-4488. Teachers who plan to assign the essay to their students are asked to contact OCCA in order to be recognized as a participating school.

OCCA is a private, non-profit environmental membership organization dedicated to promoting the appreciation and sustainable use of Otsego County’s natural resources through education, advocacy, resource management, research, planning and practice. For more information on OCCA, or to support programming, call (607) 547-4488 or visit www.occainfo.org.

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

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

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

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

Founded in 1968, OCCA is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the appreciation and sustainable use of Otsego County’s natural resources through education, advocacy, resource management, research, planning, and practice. For more information on OCCA, or to donate, visit www.occainfo.org

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

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SAVE THE DATE

Mud Lake Hike

October 14 – 12:00pm – Southern Portion: Riddell State Park

Steve Kent will lead a 4.5 mile hike up South Hill to Mud Lake in the southern portion of Robert V. Riddell State Park. The trail, moderately steep in portions, runs through hemlock, pine, and oak forests, includes a stop at a spectacular waterfall, and visits Mud Lake, a fascinating sphagnum bog that is home to the carnivorous pitcher plant. Along the way, Steve will share the interesting history of the park, which was in the Riddell family for five generations. Steve and his wife, Trish Riddell Kent, donated the land to the state in 2005. Meet at noon at the Pine Lake Environmental Campus of Hartwick College, 1894 Charlotte Creek Road and carpool to the starting point. Bring plenty of water, a snack or light lunch, and appropriate clothing.  Register at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/

Film Festival Mohican Farm Hike

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

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

Ag Plastic Collections

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

Farmers have two chances to drop off used agricultural film plastic in the month of November. Drop offs both days are from 8 to 11am. Acceptable materials include bale wrap, bunker silo cover, silage bags, greenhouse covers and wood pellet bags. Material must be sorted by type and as clean and dry as possible. Free, but pre-registration is requested. For information on how to properly prepare the material for recycling or to register, contact OCCA at (607) 282-4087. Wood pellet bags are also accepted from homeowners.

Sleeping Lion Trail Hike

December 5 – 10am – Glimmerglass State Park

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

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

OCCA Citizen Science Stream Monitoring Training Program a Success!

OCCA, in partnership with the Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring hosted a training session for our first crop of citizen stream monitors. Over 20 volunteers attended the training and committed to monitoring 10 different streams around Otsego County for at least one year.  Three schools are also participating in an Adopt-a-Stream program where teachers will lead students to monitor their “home” creek.  We are excited to have this program started to help collect data on the health of our waterways and help protect water resources in Otsego County.  For more information on the program and to get involved see our website at: http://occainfo.org/citizen-science-stream-monitoring/

 

Sponsor a Stream Team!

Did you know that Otsego County has over 1000 miles of streams?  Over 20 designated trout streams? And our streams are the headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay watershed?  We currently have 10 sites for our citizen science stream monitoring program, and we need your help!  Each team (including three schools) needs equipment to monitor their sites.  We have five kits “on loan” from our project partner, Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring and three kits funded by the Otsego County Soil and Water Conservation District, but we need to purchase our own kits and outfit each of our groups with all they need. Each kit costs approximately $500.  If you or a business you know would be interested in sponsoring a site, please call Executive Director Leslie Orzetti to talk about opportunities or make a donation at the website below.  Our water resources are precious; the more monitoring we do, the better we can protect them.  Consider donating today!  Check out our fundraising webpage at https://occainfo.networkforgood.com/projects/37306-stream-team-sponsorship  to make your donation today!

 

DOAS Announcements

  • Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society is taking orders for their annual bird seed sale through October 28. Proceeds from sales of high quality bird seed support speaker fees for member meetings, field trips, programs and special events throughout the year. Visit www.doas.us for details and prices.
  • DOAS is hosting their annual open house at the Franklin Mountain Sanctuary on October 7 from 10am to 2pm. Activities include a hawk identification workshop, a trail walk, and a program featuring live birds of prey. Free.
  • DOAS Charter Dinner will be held on Friday, October 20 from 5:30-9:30pm at the Holiday Inn, State Route 23, Oneonta. Tickets are $35/person. Register by October 14 through www.doas.us  or contact Julia Gregory at (607) 563-2924.

SUNY Oneonta Biological Field Station 50th Anniversary Celebration

The Biological Field Station is celebrating its 50th Anniversary on Saturday, October 7, from noon to 7pmat the Upland Interpretive Center on Thayer Farm. The festivities begin at noon with guided and self-guided tours. BFS Director Dr. Bill Harman will give a welcome and presentation at 3pm, with a barbecue and silent auction beginning at 5pm. To register, visit https://www.oneontaalumni.com/bfs50th?reid=39. Deadline is October 4.

 

Dead Drift Studio Open House

Join local artists Dave and Ann Kiehm on Saturday, October 14 from 1 to 5 pm for an afternoon of fine art and conversation. Both Dave and Ann draw inspiration from our beautiful natural environment. 1020 County Highway 46, Oneonta. For more information see www.deaddriftstudio.com/home.html.

 

Glimmerglass Film Days

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

 

Governor Cuomo Announces Appointees to Drinking Water Quality Council

Governor Cuomo recently announced 12 appointees to the Drinking Water Quality Council that will work to ensure all communities across the state, regardless of size, have access to clean drinking water. The Council’s first priority will be to establish an enforceable Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for PFOA, PFOS, and 1,4-dioxane. To learn more, please follow this link: https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-announces-appointees-drinking-water-quality-council-safeguard-new-york-drinking.

 

Plastic Bag and Film Collection

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

 

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Clean Water Webinars

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

Did You Know?

According to meteorologists, it is going to be a good “leaf peeping” season. But why do leaves on deciduous trees lose their leaves, and what makes them turn the beautiful colors we see in the fall?  This all has to do with the machinery leaves use to trap sunlight and carry out photosynthesis, the process by which plants “make food.”  The main color green you see during the growing season is caused by the pigment chlorophyll.  The plant uses the pigment and others (carotenoids and xanthopylls) to trap light and harness the sun’s energy.  During the late summer and fall, when the amount of sunlight decreases, chlorophyll production slows and eventually stops.  This leaves the other pigments – xanthophylls (yellows) and carotenoids (red and orange) to show their brilliant faces.  Eventually, these pigments will also break down and we’re left with the browns that usually signal the end of the leaf peeping season.  The question always remains, how do we know we’ll have a beautifully colored season?  That has to do with the amount of rain we get not only during the beginning of the growing season when leaves are just forming, but also the amount of rain and sunny days with cool nights we get during the summer and early fall.  Considering what a cool rainy spring we had followed by a cool wet summer, we should be in for a real treat this fall.  See, we were all complaining about our “lack of summer”, but look what it gets us this fall, and blast of great color to carry us through to a hopefully beautiful spring!

 

ONEONTA—Otsego County Conservation Association’s nature walk series continues on Saturday, October 14 at noon with a hike in Robert V. Riddell State Park in the Town of Oneonta.

 

Steve Kent will lead the four-and-one-half mile walk, which passes through different forest types, makes a side trip to a 30-foot waterfall, and stops at Mud Lake, a sphagnum bog at the top of South Hill. The trail then descends toward Pine Lake Environmental Campus.

 

“Steve’s enthusiasm and knowledge of the property and its history makes for an entertaining and informative hike,” said Jeff O’Handley, OCCA’s program director.

 

Steve and Trish Riddell Kent donated the land for the state park in 2005, which had been in the Riddell family for five generations.

 

Participants will meet at noon at the Pine Lake Campus, 1894 Charlotte Creek Road, Oneonta. From there, the group will carpool to the trail’s starting point on Gersoni Road (Otsego County Route 58), which is just south of I-88 Exit 17. The hike proceeds up and over South Hill and ends at Pine Lake.

 

“The hike is long and there are some moderately steep portions of the trail, but it’s well worth it,” O’Handley said. He added that he expects it to take about four hours to complete.

 

Hikers should wear sturdy shoes and weather-appropriate clothing, and should bring water, a snack, and insect repellent.

 

Participation is free, but pre-registration is required, and can be accomplished by calling O’Handley at (607) 547-4488 or via OCCA’s website (http://occainfo.org/calendar/mud-lake-riddell-state-park/).

 

About OCCA

Founded in 1968, OCCA is dedicated to promoting the appreciation and sustainable use of Otsego County’s natural resources through education, advocacy, resource management, research, planning and practice. For more information on OCCA, or to donate, visit www.occainfo.org

COOPERSTOWN—Otsego County Conservation Association, Otsego Land Trust and Mohican Farm are sponsoring a hands-on workshop for forest owners, foresters, and anyone with an interest in Otsego County’s forest lands on Saturday, September 30, from 1 to 4 p.m.Marilyn Wyman, Cornell Cooperative Extension Columbia & Greene Counties, and Rod Jones, certified forester and owner of Northeast Timber Services will present the workshop, which will include lecture in Mohican Farm’s workshop and a field walk in Fetterley Forest, a nearby Otsego Land Trust conservation property. Program is free, but space is limited. For more information or to register, visit occainfo.org, or call (607) 547-4488.

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Groups to partner on forest stewardship program

COOPERSTOWN—Otsego County Conservation Association, Mohican Farm, and the Otsego Land Trust are sponsoring a hands-on workshop for forest owners on Saturday, September 30 at 1 p.m. at Mohican Farm in Springfield. The workshop is aimed at forest owners, foresters, and anyone with an interest in helping conserve Otsego County’s forested land. It is the first in a series of workshops covering forest stewardship.

Marilyn Wyman, of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia and Greene Counties will provide an overview of Otsego County’s forest ecosystems and the importance of good forest stewardship. Wyman helped establish the Extension’s Agroforestry Resource Center and the 140-acre Siuslaw Model Forest in Greene Couny, which provides science-based natural resource education and outreach programming.

“Forests are more than a bunch of trees,” said Wyman. “To be a good forest steward, you have to have a basic understanding of the value of and threats to our regional forests.”

In the second half of the program, participants will visit Otsego Land Trust’s Fetterley Forest with local forester Rod Jones. Jones worked with the Land Trust to develop and implement the forest management plan at Fetterley Forest.

“The walk at Fetterley will help people see the on-the-ground results of sustainable forest practices,” said Leslie Orzetti of OCCA.

The program is offered for free, though pre-registration is required. To register, call OCCA at (607) 547-4488 or use the registration form at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/.  Upcoming workshop topics include: identification of Hemlock Wooly Adelgid, visit to an actively managed Otsego Land Trust easement forest, and Women and their Woods.

Founded in 1968, OCCA is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the appreciation and sustainable use of Otsego County’s natural resources through education, advocacy, resource management, research, planning, and practice. For more information on OCCA, or to donate, visit www.occainfo.org

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

Otsego Land Trust is a small non-for-profit organization conserving our natural heritage of woodlands, farmlands, and waters that sustain rural communities, promote public health, support wildlife diversity and inspire the human spirit.

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Save the Date

2017 OCCA Annual Picnic

September 10 – 1-5pm – Gilbert Lake State Park (Large Picnic Shelter)

Come join OCCA as we celebrate our 49th year with our first Annual Picnic.  We’re shifting gears this year to be able to come together outside and celebrate the natural resources we all work so hard to protect.  New this year is a Chinese auction, educational nature hike, and corn hole. Keeping with tradition, we will announce our Conservationist of the Year, and give a recap our our great accomplishments.  All are welcome.  Tickets are $25 (10 and up), $15 (5-9), under 5 free.  Buy tickets at: https://occainfo.networkforgood.com/events/2944-occa-2017-annual-picnic.

 

Household Hazardous Waste Day

September 9 – 8am – 1pm – Meadows Office Complex, 140 County Highway 33W, Cooperstown

The Otsego County Solid Waste Department is holding its 20th annual Household Hazardous Waste Day. Pesticides, solvents, automotive and household batteries, CFL and fluorescent light bulbs, paints and more will be accepted.  For details on what to bring, contact the County Solid Waste Department at (607) 547-4225.

 

Citizen Monitoring Volunteer Training

September 23 – 9am-1pm – Mohican Farm Workshop

If you are looking for a volunteer opportunity, this training is for you.  This four hour training will cover all you need to accomplish on each monthly sampling trip to your adopted stream site.  Techniques covered are:  in-stream sampling, water chemistry analysis, data entry, and equipment handling.  All volunteers are required to attend this training event.  If interested call or email Executive Director Leslie Orzetti at 547-4488 or director@occainfo.org.

 

Forest Stewardship Workshop

September 30 – 1:00pm – Mohican Farm Workshop and Fetterley Forest

Together with our partners Mohican Farm and Otsego Land Trust, OCCA is co-hosting a program on forest stewardship.  This will be the first in a series of programs designed for forest owners and people interested in helping preserve Otesgo County’s forests.  The first program will introduce people to what forest stewardship is, why forests are important, and visit a local property where forest stewardship is currently ongoing.  Speakers include Marilyn Wyman of Cornell Cooperative Extension Agroforestry Resource Center, and Rod Jones, local forester.  Program is free and open to the public. Register at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/ 

 

Mud Lake Hike

October 14 – 6:00pm – Riddell State Park/

Join Patricia Riddell Kent and Steve Kent, who donated the land for the state park, on this early evening walk around the northern portion of Robert V. Riddell State Park. Visit historic structures, walk through fields, forests, and along Schenevus Creek, and learn about the interesting history of the land. Meet at 6 p.m. at the Park’s main entrance on State Route 28, just north of I-88 Exit 17. Register at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/

 

Save the Date

November 11 (Southern Transfer Station) and November 16 (Northern Transfer Station) – Ag Plastic Collection

Announcements

Sutherland Named Conservationist of the Year.

OCCA has named Bob Sutherland of The Clark Foundation—Mohican Farm as its 2017 Conservationist of the Year. As manager of Mohican Farm, Sutherland has spearheaded The Clark Foundation’s sustainability efforts. He has established a composting operation that has recycled over a million pounds of food scraps and green waste since 2010, manages invasive species, and uses the farm’s greenhouse to support community agriculture. A former instructor in the Plant Science Department at SUNY Cobleskill, Sutherland continues to support education through his involvement on the steering committee of the Farmers’ Museum’s annual Food and Farming Conference, and regularly speaks at round tables, lectures and events. Sutherland has worked closely with OCCA staff on numerous projects, and gave a talk on “Integrated Pest Management for the Home Garden and Greenhouse” as part of OCCA’s Be Informed! lecture series. Sutherland will receive his award at OCCA’s Annual Picnic and Meeting on Sunday, September 10 at Gilbert Lake State Park. For information on the picnic, visit http://occainfo.org/annual-picnic/

 

Volunteers Needed!

OCCA is coordinating volunteers to help at Household Hazardous Waste Day. Primary responsibilities involve sorting, opening, and stirring latex paint as part of the paint recycling program. Two shifts available: 8-11:30, or 11:30 to 1 p.m. Contact OCCA Program Director Jeff O’Handley at (607) 282-4087.

 

OCCA Citizen Science Stream Monitoring Program Seeking Volunteers

OCCA in partnership with the Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring and a stakeholder team of the Otsego Land Trust, Otsego County Soil and Water Conservation District, SUNY Oneonta Biological Field Station, Trout Unlimited and SUNY Oneonta Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences are setting up a Citizen Science Stream Monitoring Program and we are looking for volunteers to help us monitor our waterways. Volunteers can expect to monitor sites once a month throughout the year as conditions allow. An introductory program to stream ecology and citizen monitoring will be August 23 and a volunteer training on September 23. A time commitment of approximately 3-4 hours a month is required. Interested in being a Stream Team member, call Leslie Orzetti at 547-4488 to sign up!

 

Household Hazardous Waste Day

The twentieth annual Household Hazardous Waste Day will be held on Friday, September 8, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. in Unadilla, and Saturday, September 9 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Cooperstown. This free event allows County residents to dispose of hazardous wastes, including pesticides, paints, antifreeze, batteries, electronics, and more. Checkhttp://www.otsegocounty.com/depts/sw/HHW.htm for details. Volunteer Opportunity: On September 9, volunteers are needed to help with the annual latex paint recycling collection at Household Hazardous Waste Day. Volunteers will sort, open cans, and mix paint, and will also help direct traffic, flatten cardboard, and other tasks. Contact Jeff O’Handleyprogramdirector@occainfo.org, to sign up.

 

Film Plastic Collection

Each year, the New York State Association for Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle (NYSAR3) holds its annual conference at the Otesaga Hotel in Cooperstown. Conference organizers are sponsoring a special film plastic collection this year as part of raising awareness of New York State’s Wrap Recycling Action Program, which involves recycling plastic bags, plastic film packaging, etc. A collection station will be set up at the conference on Wednesday, November 8. Watch our website for more details!

 

Ride On! For Complete Streets

Otsego Regional Cycling Advocates (ORCA) and Otsego 2000 are hosting a multi-distance bike ride on September 10. Cyclists of all ages and abilities can participate. The ride starts from Richfield Springs and promotes Complete Streets, a program that seeks to make roads safe for all users while reducing our carbon footprint and promoting healthy lifestyles. For more information or to register, visit http://otsegooutdoors.org/event/rideon-for-complete-streets/.

 

Recycle Your Tennis Balls!

OCCA board member Herb Marx has been promoting recycling of tennis balls. For the last two years, Dr. Marx has been collecting tennis balls at the Emery Herman tennis courts on Brooklyn Avenue in Cooperstown. This year, the Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown has also agreed to put out a collecting bin for tennis balls. Thus far, Dr. Marx has shipped 600 tennis balls to reBounces, an Arkansas-based company that repressurizes old tennis balls so that they can be reused, or recycles tennis balls that can’t be salvaged. Recycled tennis balls are being used for material in new or refurbished tennis courts.

 

Help the Birds, Help Your Local Audubon Society

Delaware Otsego Audubon Society is holding its annual bird seed sale/fundraiser now through October 28. Proceeds help support a wide variety of DOAS programs including field trips, NY Golden Eagle Project, Non-Lead Ammo Initiative and more. Visit www.doas.us/store or contact Susan O’Handley (607) 643-5680 for more information.

OCCA 2017 Conservationist of the Year, Bob Sutherland

The Otsego County Conservation Association will present its 2017 “Conservationist of the Year” award to Bob Sutherland of Springfield. Sutherland will receive the award at OCCA’s Annual Picnic on Sunday, September 10.

OCCA President Vicky Lentz said, “OCCA established the Conservationist of the Year in 1989 to recognize individuals, organizations or businesses that have made a positive difference in environmental protection, conservation or education in Otsego County. We couldn’t think of a more deserving winner than Bob Sutherland for Conservationist of the Year.”

Sutherland has been managing Mohican Farm for The Clark Foundation since 2009. Under his management, the farm has spearheaded The Clark Foundation’s sustainability efforts. He established and oversees a composting operation that has recycled over a million pounds of food scraps and green waste since 2010, manages invasive species, and uses the farm’s greenhouse to support community agriculture. A former instructor in the Plant Science Department at SUNY Cobleskill, Sutherland continues to support education through his involvement on the steering committee of the Farmers’ Museum’s annual Food and Farming Conference, and regularly speaks at round tables, lectures and events. Sutherland has worked closely with OCCA staff on numerous projects, and gave a talk on “Integrated Pest Management for the Home Garden and Greenhouse” as part of OCCA’s Be Informed! lecture series.

“Otsego County has so many individuals and organizations dedicated to the environment,” Sutherland said. “I consider myself fortunate to be able to work with such passionate and knowledgeable people. This is an unexpected honor.”

In addition to his work at Mohican Farm, Sutherland is an active participant in the community. He is a member of the Otsego Lake Association’s Board of Directors, supports Growing Communities and the Kid Garden at Cooperstown Elementary School. Sutherland has also been a key player in an initiative to develop a county-wide composting facility in Oneonta.

Executive Director, Leslie Orzetti said, “Bob has been a steadfast partner and overall great example for those wanting to make a difference in natural resource conservation in Otsego County.”

Sutherland will be honored at OCCA’s Annual Picnic and Meeting on Sunday, September 10 at Gilbert Lake State Park. The picnic, which runs from 1-5 p.m., will be held in the park’s large picnic shelter and includes lunch by L.M. Townsend Catering of Cooperstown, beer from Butternuts Brewery, a guided nature walk, and a Chinese auction fundraiser. OCCA staff and board will provide an overview of OCCA’s activities for the year, and there will be a vote to elect Board members. Cost is $25 per adult, $15 for children ages 5-9. For information on, contact OCCA Executive Director Leslie Orzetti at(607) 547-4488. The picnic is taking the place of OCCA’s Annual Dinner, which has traditionally been held in November.

Founded in 1968, OCCA is a private, non-profit membership group dedicated to promoting the appreciation and sustainable use of Otsego County’s natural resources through education, advocacy, resource management, research, and planning. For more information on OCCA, or to donate, visit www.occainfo.org

COOPERSTOWN—Otsego County Conservation Association has a variety of programs and events through early September.

On August 17 at 6 p.m. Trish Riddell Kent and Steve Kent lead “A Walk on the Flat Side” at Robert V. Riddell State Park. The Kents, who donated the land for the state park, will lead this easy hike through fields, forests, and along Schenevus Creek, and will highlight the park’s interesting history. Meet at Riddell Park’s main entrance on State Route 28 in Oneonta, just north of I-88 exit 17, at 6 p.m.

OCCA Executive Director Leslie Orzetti is the featured speaker at OCCA’s Be Informed! Lecture Series on August 23 at 6 p.m. Orzetti’s presentation, “Up the Creek,” will cover the basics of stream ecology, our connection to the Chesapeake Bay, an overview of OCCA’s upcoming Citizen Science Monitoring Program, and will also include a field walk to explore a nearby creek. Meet at 6 p.m. at the workshop at Mohican Farm, 7207 State Highway 80, Cooperstown.

On Saturday, August 19, volunteers are needed to help clean up a 2-mile stretch of State Highway 80 as part of New York State’s Adopt-A-Highway program. Meet at OCCA’s office at 7207 State Highway 80, Cooperstown. Bags, gloves, safety vests and hard hats are provided. Starting time is 10 a.m.

On Saturday, September 9, OCCA is seeking volunteers to assist with Otsego County’s annual Household Hazardous Waste Day. Shifts are available from 8 to 11 a.m. or from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Volunteers are provided with breakfast and lunch.

On Sunday, September 10, OCCA will hold its first Annual Picnic in the large picnic shelter at Gilbert Lake State Park from 1 – 4 p.m. The event includes naming of the Conservationist of the Year, a Chinese auction, nature hike, games, and food by L.M. Townsend Catering. Tickets are $25 for ages 10 and up, $15 for ages 5-9 and free for 4 and under, and areavailable at: https://occainfo.networkforgood.com/events/2944-occa-2017-annual-picnic.

All programs (other than the Annual Picnic) are free, though pre-registration is required. For more information or to register, visit http://occainfo.org/calendar/ or call (607) 547-4488.

Founded in 1968, OCCA is a private, non-profit membership group dedicated to promoting the appreciation and sustainable use of Otsego County’s natural resources through education, advocacy, resource management, research, planning, and practice. For more information on OCCA, or to donate, visit www.occainfo.org.

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