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COOPERSTOWN–Farmers will have two opportunities to drop off their used agricultural plastic for recycling this November through a special program arranged by the Otsego County Department of Solid Waste, Otsego County Conservation Association, Casella Resource Solutions, Otsego County Soil & Water Conservation District, and the New York State Recycling Agricultural Plastics Program (RAPP). The collections are scheduled for Saturday, November 5 at the Southern Transfer Station in Oneonta, and Thursday, November 10 at the Northern Transfer Station in Cooperstown. Collections on both days will run from 8-11 a.m. Participation is free, though pre-registration is required.

Agricultural film plastics are used to prevent spoilage of feed, and as covers for hoop houses and greenhouses. These plastics have long been ignored by traditional recyclers; over the last several years, however, markets have developed that use them as raw materials to create a variety of products including plastic lumber, plywood and sidewalk pavers.

Seasonal collections are held in Oneonta and Cooperstown twice per year. Once collected, the plastic is compacted into bales weighing between 800 and 1,000 pounds using a mobile baling machine before being shipped to a recycler. More than ten tons of plastic have been collected this way since the first collection in March, 2015.

Plastic being accepted this fall includes bale wrap, silage bags, bunker silo cover and greenhouse covers. In addition, farmers and homeowners can bring in empty wood pellet bags. For information on participating or to sign up for a time slot, contact OCCA at (607) 282-4087.

About OCCA

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

COOPERSTOWN—Otsego County Conservation Association will be holding a highway cleanup along State Route 80 on Saturday, October 22 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

The cleanup is part of New York State’s Adopt-A-Highway program. OCCA adopted this portion of the road in 2013. Volunteers will meet at OCCA’s office at Mohican Farm, at the corner of Route 80 and Allen Lake Road, and will collect trash along a two-mile stretch of the road.

Bags, water, and safety equipment are provided. Participants should wear long pants and sturdy shoes, and dress appropriately for the weather.

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

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

ONEONTA—Otsego County Conservation Association’s nature walk series continues on Saturday, September 24 at noon with a hike in Robert V. Riddell State Park in the Town of Oneonta.

Steve Kent will lead the four hour, 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.

“We are fortunate to have Steve as our guide,” said Jeff O’Handley, OCCA’s program director.

Steve and Trish Riddell Kent donated the land for the state park, which had been in the Riddell family for 5 generations, in 2005.

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

Participants will meet at noon at the Pine Lake Campus of Hartwick College at 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 steep portions of the trail,” O’Handley said. He added that he expects it to take about four hours to complete.

Hikers should wear sturdy shoes, weather appropriate clothing in layers, 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/top-mud-lake-riddell-state-park-september-24/).

About OCCA

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

The Otsego County Conservation Association is seeking nominations for its annual Conservationist of the Year award. The award will be given to an individual, citizens’ group or grassroots organization, governmental body, non-profit organization with 501 (c)(3) standing or a business that has made a positive difference in environmental protection, preservation or education in Otsego County.

Nominations must be submitted by October 15. The award will be presented at the OCCA Annual Dinner and Meeting, date and location to be announced.

Preference will be given to nominees residing in Otsego County. Environmental professionals and businesses are not eligible to be nominated based on achievements accomplished for their compensated employment or profit making enterprise. Nominations may be made by individuals, citizens’ groups or grassroots organizations, governmental bodies, non-profit organizations with 501 (c)(3) standing or businesses.

A special OCCA committee will review nominations and designate the OCCA Conservationist of the Year. The decision of the committee will be final.

No monetary award will be given to the recipient of the award; however the recipient(s) will be the guests of OCCA at its annual dinner and will be publically recognized at this event. Apress release will be issued announcing the recipient, and an announcement will appear in “The Lookout,” OCCA’s newsletter.

To obtain a nomination form, contact OCCA at 547-4488 or e-mail director@occainfo.org.  Forms may also be downloaded from the OCCA website at: (http://occainfo.org/community-recognitions/)

Otsego County’s oldest environmental conservation membership group, 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, and planning. For more information on OCCA, or to donate, visit www.occainfo.org.

 

Leslie L. Orzetti, Ph.D., Executive Director
Otsego County Conservation Association, Inc.
7207 State Highway 80, PO Box 931
Cooperstown, NY 13326
(607) 547-4488; (607) 282-4087
http://occainfo.org/
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O-C-C-YAY!

Logo      EcoBulleting Header

September 1, 2016: Vol. 10, No. 17

 

SAVE THE DATE for Ecobulletin

Household Hazardous Waste Day

Sept. 9—Unadilla; Sept. 10—Cooperstown

Free drop off of household hazardous waste (paint, pesticides, cleaners, pool chemicals, batteries and more). COOPERSTOWN ONLY: free drop off of prescription and over-the-counter medications. See http://www.otsegocounty.com/depts/sw/documents/PaperAdvertisement2016.pdf for more details.

 

Lumberfest

Sept. 19— Wightman Specialty Lumber

Visit OCCA at Wightman Specialty Lumber’s first Lumberfest Lumberjack Festival on September 19 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Timber sports competitions, exhibitors, tours and barbecue chicken will be features. Visit www.wightmanlumber.com for details.

 

Nature Hike

Sept. 24— Riddell State Park, 12pm

Join OCCA and Steve Kent for a hike through the southern portion of Robert V. Riddell State Park in Davenport. Meet: Hartwick College’s Pine Lake Environmental Campus, Charlotte Creek Road, Davenport. Hike up over the hill past a waterfall to Pine Lake. Along the way, Steve will share family stories of life on the land before it became a state park. 3.5 miles. Bring water and a snack.

 

Audubon Open House

Oct. 1-  10am-2pm

Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society Sanctuary on Franklin Mountain, 52 Grange Hall Road Spur, Oneonta, NY.  Event includes refreshments, workshop on raptor identification, trail walk through the sanctuary ending at ‘hawkwatch,’ and presentation by Wildlife Rehabilitator Missy Runyon featuring live, permanently injured birds of prey. Website: http://doas.us/event/open-house-hawkwatch/

 

ANNOUNCENMENTS for ecobulletin

Volunteers Needed

Household Hazardous Waste Day

Volunteers help with paint and battery recycling and directing traffic. Shifts available include 7:30-10:30 a.m., and 10:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. Contact Jeff O’Handley at OCCA to volunteer or with questions, (607) 282-4087 or programdirector@occainfo.org

 

Volunteers Needed

Butternut Creek Watershed Assessment

Volunteers to be trained 9/19 & 9/23.  Field work in Fall and Spring. Volunteers will walk stream banks, take photos, and assess bank conditions.  Training is highly recommended, but not necessary.  For more information and to sign up for the trainings, contact: Jordan Clements jclements0612@gmail.com

Used Laptops Needed!

Long-time OCCA member Ilse Funk is seeking 10-12 used, working laptops for a service project in Guatemala. if you have a working laptop you would like to donate, please e-mail Ilse at guateviniendo@gmail.com .

 

Conservationist of the Year Nominations

Each year, OCCA issues a call for nominations for our ‘Conservationist of the Year Award.’  If you know someone who has a passion and dedication to conserving natural resources in Otsego county, contact us at director@occainfo.org with the name of the person, and why they deserve the nomination.  Due Oct. 15.

 

Bird Seed

Like to feed the birds? Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society’s annual bird seed sale fundraiser takes place from September 1 through October 29. Visit http://doas.us/store/#!/Bird-Seed-Fundraiser-2016/c/3449007/offset=0&sort=normal for prices and ordering information. Your purchase will help fund their vital conservation efforts.

 

 

 (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

Cooperstown, NY – The Otsego County Conservation Association (OCCA) (www.occainfor.org) is pleased to announce the hiring of Dr. Leslie Orzetti as the new Executive Director.  Dr. Orzetti comes with a wealth of experience in natural resource conservation, having working in the Chesapeake Bay watershed for over 20 years.   Joining OCCA will allow Leslie to continue her work in water resources and add to her list of accomplishments.

Dr. Orzetti comes to OCCA after ten years in education, where she served as an Assistant Professor of Biology at Northern Virginia Community College and as an Adjunct Professor at George Mason University. She taught graduate and undergraduate courses in biology, applied ecology, and watershed management, and developed an undergraduate-level environmental law course.  Prior to serving as a professor, Dr. Orzetti served as a Fish and Wildlife Biologist and the Senior Scientist at Ecosystem Solutions, Inc., a small non-profit in the Chesapeake Bay watershed that focused on restoration, conservation and education.  Orzetti said, “I am excited to start a new challenge with OCCA. I hope my background in water resource conservation will prove beneficial, and that we’ll be able to continue doing the great work that OCCA is known for.”

Dr. Bill Harman, OCCA vice president and Biological Field Station Director, said, “Leslie brings the right combination of knowledge, experience and enthusiasm needed to lead OCCA into our fiftieth year.”

OCCA Program Director Jeff O’Handley “We’re thrilled to have Leslie joining us. Her background and experience will be a great asset to OCCA as we continue moving forward with our mission of protecting Otsego County’s natural environment.”

Orzetti and her family moved into Cooperstown from Northern Virginia in early June and love the area already. In her spare time she loves spending time with her family taking advantage of all the wonderful outdoor adventures that Otsego County has to offer.

About OCCA

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

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!

 

Leslie L. Orzetti, Ph.D., Executive Director
Otsego County Conservation Association, Inc.
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!

COOPERSTOWN—Otsego County Conservation Association will be holding a highway cleanup along State Route 80 on Saturday, August 20 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

The cleanup is part of New York State’s Adopt-A-Highway program. OCCA adopted this portion of the road in 2013. Volunteers will meet at OCCA’s office at Mohican Farm, at the corner of Route 80 and Allen Lake Road, and will collect trash along a two-mile stretch of the road.

Bags, water, and safety equipment are provided. Participants should wear long pants and sturdy shoes, and bring sunscreen.

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

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 continues the fight against invasive species on Sunday, August 14 at 1 p.m. with a “Paddle and Pull on Goodyear Lake.”

 

OCCA has been working with the Goodyear Lake Association, the Headwaters Youth Conservation Corps, and community volunteers for more than a decade in an effort to eradicate the plant from the lake without using herbicides.

 

Water chestnut (Trapa natans) is an aquatic plant native to eastern Europe, Asia and Africa. Introduced to the United States in Massachusetts in the mid to late 1800s, it spread to New York in the early 1900s. Currently, water chestnut is found in eight northeastern states, and has the potential to spread through much of the continental United States and Canada.

A single seed sends up multiple stems, each bearing a rosette of leaves that float on the water surface. These rosettes form dense mats that crowd out native plants and alter the natural environment. They also interfere with boating, fishing and swimming. In late summer, each rosette can produce up to 20 sharply-spined nuts, which can cause serious injury if stepped on.

Jeff O’Handley, OCCA’s program director, said that the water chestnut population on Goodyear Lake is declining, but it’s still present.

“It used to cover several acres,” he said. “Now we’re down to several isolated patches.”

O’Handley added that this is an important time of year to pull the plants.

“The nuts are developing now,” he said. “We need to get them before they ripen and drop to the bottom.”

Volunteers will meet at 1 p.m. at the New York State Fishing Access Site on State Route 28 in Portlandville. Participation is free, but pre-registration is required to reserve space in one of OCCA’s canoes. Call OCCA at (607) 282-4087, or visit http://occainfo.org/calendar/goodyear-lake-paddle-pull/ for more information or to register.

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

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

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

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

About OCCA

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

Sign up for this event on our calendar page here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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