Our Environment.
Our Home.
OUR CHALLENGE.

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ROSEBOOM – Join Otsego County Conservation Association Program Director Jeff O’Handley and the Adirondack Mountain Club, Susquehanna Chapter, for a hike in R. Milton Hick State Forest on Tuesday, April 5 at 10 a.m. The 1,300-acre forest was established in the 1930s and contains hemlock groves, hardwood stands, conifer plantations, and a pond. The walk will take approximately two hours, and includes some short stretches with steep grades.

Meet at the trailhead on Perry Hill Road in the Town of Roseboom. From I-88, take Exit 18 into Schenevus. Turn left on State Route 7. In .7 miles, turn right on Elk Street (County Route 34). Proceed 10 miles on Elk Street/Route 34 through Westford. Turn left on Josclyn Road. Proceed one mile to the trailhead.

From Cooperstown, take County Route 52 to State Route 166. Turn left on 166 and proceed to Roseboom. Turn right on State Route 165. In 1.9 miles, turn right onto LaFleure Road (in the hamlet of Pleasant Brook, just beyond the Pleasant Brook Hotel). Bear left on Perry Hill Road and proceed to the trailhead.

To carpool with members of the Adirondack Mountain Club, meet at the parking lot of the Oneonta Price Chopper on State Route 7 at9:15 a.m.

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

TAKE THE PLEDGE TO CLEAN, DRAIN AND DRY, AT http://occainfo.org/take-the-pledge-ais-campaign/. Signatures equal leverage for grants, funding support and legislation!

 

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

MILFORD – Event organizers announced just last week that Earth Festival 2016 will feature adult yoga classes for the first time ever. Now a children’s yoga class with Kripalu 200-hour certified instructor Karla Andela will be offered as well.

Andela, who has 18 months of teaching experience in the Cooperstown area and along the Appalachian Trail, will lead kids in yoga exercises from2:30-3 p.m. at Earth Festival on Saturday, April 9. Katherine Walters of Love Your Life Fitness will instruct adults in 45-minute beginner’s yoga classes at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

All yoga sessions are free and will be held in the Milford Central School small gym. Participants should bring comfortable clothing and a great attitude. Eclectic ambient music will be provided by Angelica Palmer and Friends.

Pre-registration is preferred. Call (607) 547-4488 or register online at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/.

Earth Festival is a free environmentally-focused, interactive event featuring exhibits, activities, vendors and entertainment, all with a fun, earth-friendly twist. Financial contributions are most welcome, and an open invitation to earth-friendly exhibitors, food, and retail vendors is extended. Earth Festival 2016 is presented by Otsego County Conservation Association and Central NY Mobile Marketing in collaboration with the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce and with support from Five Star Subaru. To sign up or donate, use the registration form at http://occainfo.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/EarthFestivalFebruaryMailing2016-3.pdf. Call (607) 547-4488 or e-mail admin@occainfo.org to learn more.

TAKE THE PLEDGE TO CLEAN, DRAIN AND DRY, AT http://occainfo.org/take-the-pledge-ais-campaign/. Signatures equal leverage for grants, funding support and legislation!

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

Eco-bulletin headlines this issue:

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

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

EARTH FESTIVAL, SPRING GARDEN DAY SET FOR APRIL 9: Earth Festival enters its second decade this year and will be held onSaturday, April 9 at Milford Central School in conjunction with Spring Garden Day. The traditional information and vendor fair will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the gymnasium – kicking off the day will be the Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society’s popular pre-festival bird walk. Master Gardeners of Cornell Cooperative Extension Schoharie and Otsego Counties will return with Spring Garden Day, featuring classes on a wide variety of gardening topics suitable for those both new and experienced to gardening. Barbara Melera, president and CEO of the D. Landreth Seed Company – the oldest seed house in America – will speak at 1 p.m. Her presentation, titled “Sustaining Plant Biodiversity with Heritage and Native Species,” is free and open to the public. Again this year, in keeping with the earth-friendly theme, event organizers invite attendees to drop off Styrofoam (clean, white only), bubble wrap, empty inkjet cartridges, cell phones, eyeglasses, reusable shoes, tennis balls, natural cork, and used nylon monofilament fishing line and more. Empire Recycling will return with the free Confidata Shredder service and pellet bags will be collected for recycling. The EcoArt/Trendy Trash Contest and expanded children’s activities will also be featured and the TREP$ Marketplace – a unique, flea-market style event comprised exclusively of Milford Central School eighth-grade vendors who will launch their own “Go Green” businesses for the day – will return as well. Earth Festival is an environmentally-focused, interactive event featuring exhibits, activities, vendors and entertainment, all with a fun, earth-friendly twist. Financial contributions are most welcome, and an open invitation to earth-friendly exhibitors, food, and retail vendors is extended. Earth Festival 2016 is presented by Otsego County Conservation Association and Central NY Mobile Marketing in collaboration with the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce. To sign up or donate, use the registration form at http://occainfo.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/EarthFestivalFebruaryMailing2016-3.pdf. Call (607) 547-4488 or e-mailadmin@occainfo.org to learn more.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DATES TO REMEMBER:

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

OCCA RELIES ON YOUR SUPPORT. Got a minute? Visit our website and look at everything OCCA is doing – and please consider an online donation whenever you can. Click on www.occainfo.org and look for the Network for Good logo on the home page to make a donation today.

TAKE THE PLEDGE TO CLEAN, DRAIN AND DRY, AT http://occainfo.org/take-the-pledge-ais-campaign/. Signatures equal leverage for grants, funding support and legislation!

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

MILFORD – A healthy earth begins with a healthy body. Learn how to achieve this through yoga at Earth Festival 2016! Sessions will be hosted in the Milford Central School small gym on April 9 by yoga instructor Katherine Walters. Walters, of Love Your Life Fitness, will lead adults in beginner’s yoga classes at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Participants should bring comfortable clothing and a great attitude. Eclectic ambient music will be provided by Angelica Palmer and Friends.

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

Adult yoga classes at Earth Festival will run approximately 45-60 minutes and are free of charge. Pre-registration is preferred. Call (607) 547-4488 or register online at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/.

Earth Festival is a free environmentally-focused, interactive event featuring exhibits, activities, vendors and entertainment, all with a fun, earth-friendly twist. Financial contributions are most welcome, and an open invitation to earth-friendly exhibitors, food, and retail vendors is extended. Earth Festival 2016 is presented by Otsego County Conservation Association and Central NY Mobile Marketing in collaboration with the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce and with support from Five Star Subaru. To sign up or donate, use the registration form at http://occainfo.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/EarthFestivalFebruaryMailing2016-3.pdf. Call (607) 547-4488 or e-mail admin@occainfo.org to learn more.

TAKE THE PLEDGE TO CLEAN, DRAIN AND DRY, AT http://occainfo.org/take-the-pledge-ais-campaign/. Signatures equal leverage for grants, funding support and legislation!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TAKE THE PLEDGE TO CLEAN, DRAIN AND DRY, AT http://occainfo.org/take-the-pledge-ais-campaign/. Signatures equal leverage for grants, funding support and legislation.

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

MILFORD – Robyn Reynolds, a sustainability planner with Climate Action Associates, will give a presentation at Earth Festival on Saturday, April 9titled “Climate and Energy Action in New York State.”

According to Reynolds, communities across New York State are realizing the opportunities associated with adopting sustainable practices and exploring clean energy options.  The host of benefits associated with climate and energy planning range from enhancing ecological quality, reducing energy costs, and increasing local economic growth to being less vulnerable in the case of extreme weather events.

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

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

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

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

Reynolds will speak at 2 p.m. on April 9. Her presentation, to be followed by a question and answer session, is free and open to the public. Pre-registration is preferred by April 7; community members, local government staff, elected officials and municipal leaders are welcome to attend. To pre-register, visit http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/ or call OCCA at (607) 547-4488.

Earth Festival is a free environmentally-focused, interactive event featuring exhibits, activities, vendors and entertainment, all with a fun, earth-friendly twist. Financial contributions are most welcome, and an open invitation to earth-friendly exhibitors, food, and retail vendors is extended. Earth Festival 2016 is presented by Otsego County Conservation Association and Central NY Mobile Marketing in collaboration with the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce. To sign up or donate, use the registration form at http://occainfo.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/EarthFestivalFebruaryMailing2016-3.pdf. Call (607) 547-4488 or e-mail admin@occainfo.org to learn more.

TAKE THE PLEDGE TO CLEAN, DRAIN AND DRY, AT http://occainfo.org/take-the-pledge-ais-campaign/. Signatures equal leverage for grants, funding support and legislation!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TAKE THE PLEDGE TO CLEAN, DRAIN AND DRY, AT http://occainfo.org/take-the-pledge-ais-campaign/. Signatures equal leverage for grants, funding support and legislation!

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

OTSEGO COUNTY – Otsego County Conservation Association has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Otsego County Soil and Water Conservation District to take the lead in updating the county’s Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan.

The AFPP update process began in 2014 with a survey distributed to Otsego County farmers, followed by a series of public forums geared toward the farming community. The original plan, adopted in January 1999, was designed to protect, preserve, and enhance farming in the county, and to ensure that Otsego County remains home to productive agriculture in the future.

Through its Circuit Rider Planner Program, OCCA provides assistance to municipalities, county agencies, and nonprofit organizations in land-use planning matters ranging from comprehensive plan updates to amending zoning regulations to various mapping services. OCCA Environmental Planner Danny Lapin is OCCA’s point person for the AFPP update.

“Danny will be working closely with Karen Sullivan of the Otsego County Planning Department and Soil and Water’s Jordan Clements to move things to the next level,” said OCCA Executive Director Darla M. Youngs.

“OCCA has been involved in the AFPP update prior to this as a working group member, and we’re honored to transition into a role that will help facilitate the process,” Youngs said.

The current AFPP strategy outlines seven goals: 1) improve awareness and recognition of the importance of the economic and environmental roles of agriculture; 2) improve profitability and the economic viability of farms  and encourage new farming and agriculturally-related enterprises; 3) ensure that farming can continue as an industry and strengthen the role of agriculture in Otsego County’s economic development; 4) implement long term, cost effective farmland protection measures; 5) ensure and improve sustainability of the agricultural infrastructure that supports farming; 6) enhance farm-transfer programs so that needs of retiring and new farm operators are; and 7) sustain the rural landscape and the natural resources that support both farm and non-farm uses.

“A lot has changed since the 1999 plan,” said Lapin.

“Farmers are faced with a host of new challenges. At the same time, there are a wide range of fantastic opportunities and technologies available to farmers that we would like to tap into. Updating this plan will allow us to chart a path forward in terms of protecting the economic viability of Otsego County’s agricultural industry and to protect the agricultural land base for the next generation of farmers,” he explained.

Upcoming actions for updating the plan include: review of 2012 USDA agricultural census data; interviews with county farmers and agri-business operators; map revisions; local inter-municipal reviews; additional farmer forums; engagement of local municipalities; and the development and updating of strategies to address key issues facing agriculture in Otsego County today.

This effort is made possible with a grant and assistance from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, a donation by The Scriven Foundation, and a local match provided by working group participants. Funding is being administered on behalf of the Otsego County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Board by the Planning Department and SWCD.

Local agencies and officials concerned with farming in Otsego County are currently meeting to move ahead with the update process. Committee members hope the revisions to the existing plan will offer an opportunity to actively engage farmers and include their insights and perspectives in the final document.

“We look forward to input from as many farmers and other agricultural stakeholders as possible,” said Otsego County Planning Department Director Karen Sullivan.

Those interested in participating in and/or contributing to the AFPP update process should contact Lapin at (607) 547-4488 for more information.

 

TAKE THE PLEDGE TO CLEAN, DRAIN AND DRY, AT http://occainfo.org/take-the-pledge-ais-campaign/. Signatures equal leverage for grants, funding support and legislation!

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

 

Eco-bulletin headlines this issue:

OCCA, COMMUNITY BANK PARTNER ON E-WASTE RECYCLING EFFORT
REGISTER BY FEBRUARY 23 FOR MICROPLASTICS PRESENTATION
SNOWSHOE HIKE IS THIS SATURDAY AT RIDDELL
EARTH FESTIVAL, SPRING GARDEN DAY SET FOR APRIL 9
ERIE CANAL BIKE TOUR SET FOR JULY 10-17
WEBINARS HIGHLIGHT IMPORTANCE OF INVASIVE SPECIES AWARENESS
THIRD ANNUAL SPRING FLING DATE SET
POLLINATOR CONSERVATION THE TOPIC OF MARCH LECTURE
SAVE THE DATE: OCCA GARAGE SALE

OCCA, COMMUNITY BANK PARTNER ON E-WASTE RECYCLING EFFORT: Otsego County Conservation Association is teaming up with Community Bank, N.A. of Cooperstown on a combination recycling/fundraising effort. “We’re installing collection bins at both Community Bank locations in Cooperstown,” said Darla Youngs, OCCA’s executive director. “People can drop off used inkjet cartridges and small electronics. We’ll send them to Planet Green Recycle and earn money to help support our work.” Planet Green provides fundraising for organizations, individuals, and businesses through recycling and remanufactures cartridges, keeping tons of plastic, metal, and toxic compounds out of the landfill. E-waste that can be deposited in the Community Bank bins include but are not limited to inkjet cartridges, cell phones, GPS units, radar detectors, calculators, e-readers and tablets, iPods, iPads, and MP3 players. They can be in good working order or damaged. Toner cartridges are not accepted as part of this collection. Recycling bins are located at Community Bank’s two Cooperstown locations, 62 Main Street and 5378 State Highway 28, and can be accessed during normal business hours. In addition to the proceeds raised by recycling, OCCA can also earn money from customers who purchase remanufactured inkjet and toner cartridges directly from Planet Green, said Youngs. For the full list of ink jet cartridges, cell phones and small electronics accepted by Planet Green Recycle, visit https://planetgreenrecycle.com/what_we_pay_plain_noSubmit.php?purl=ShopEco.

REGISTER BY FEBRUARY 23 FOR MICROPLASTICS PRESENTATION: Microplastics and recent SUNY Oneonta studies showing the effect of microplastics on algae will be the topic of discussion at the Otsego County Water Quality Coordinating Committee meeting on Wednesday, February 24. Kiyoko Yokota will discuss the role of microplastics as an aquatic pollutant, the definition and sources of microplastics, legislative actions at state and federal levels to ban microplastics in personal care products, the results of a study to characterize these microplastics and their effect on certain algae, and how microplastics affect other types of organisms in aquatic ecosystems. Yokota is an assistant professor of biology in the SUNY Oneonta Biology Department and at the Biological Field Station in Cooperstown, teaching courses in lake management, limnology (the study of lakes) and freshwater phycology (algae). The WQCC meeting, which begins at 1 p.m. in Classroom A of The Meadows Office Building, 140 County Hwy. 33W, Cooperstown, is hosted by the Otsego County Planning Department. This event is free and open to the public; pre-registration is required by Tuesday, February 23. Those interested in attending should e-mail WQCC Secretary Darla M. Youngs at admin@occainfo.org or call (607) 547-4488. This event is made possible thanks to the Otsego County WQCC which, in order to better satisfy the educational component of its mission, has restructured its monthly meetings to include public information sessions. The OCWQCC was established in 1992 as a sub-committee of the Otsego County Soil and Water Conservation District. It is comprised of a diverse group of people representing state and local government agencies, non-profit organizations, academic institutions, and lake associations. These members have technical expertise and knowledge and are committed to working to improve and maintain the quality of water in Otsego County through the reduction of nonpoint source pollution within its boundaries. For more information on the WQCC, visit www.otsegosoilandwater.com/waterqualitycc.html.

SNOWSHOE HIKE IS THIS SATURDAY AT RIDDELL: Otsego County Conservation Association’s 2016 Nature Walk Series continues on February 20 at 1 p.m. Join Trish Riddell Kent and Steve Kent for a snowshoe hike in the northern portion of Robert V. Riddell State Park. The Kents, who donated the land for the park, will share the rich history of the area on this easy, 1.5-mile hike, which is appropriate for all skill levels. Participants must bring their own snowshoes. If there is not enough snow, the hike will proceed on foot. Bring water and wear weather-appropriate clothing. Meet at the main entrance to Robert V. Riddell State Park on State Route 28, just north of I-88 exit 17. The walk is free, but pre-registration is requested by calling (607) 282-4087 or online at http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/. OCCA has organized and/or co-sponsored nature walks on local trails since 2001 and Program Director Jeff O’Handley is currently working to finalize this year’s schedule. Founded in 1968, OCCA is a 501(c) 3 membership group dedicated to promoting the appreciation and sustainable use of Otsego County’s natural resources through education, advocacy, resource management, research, and planning. For the last 48 years, OCCA has played a key role in initiating and carrying out programs designed to improve and/or protect Otsego County’s air, land, and water, representing more than 800+ members and volunteers. Visithttp://occainfo.org/ for more information.

EARTH FESTIVAL, SPRING GARDEN DAY SET FOR APRIL 9: Earth Festival enters its second decade this year and will be held on Saturday, April 9 at Milford Central School in conjunction with Spring Garden Day. The traditional information and vendor fair will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the gymnasium – kicking off the day will be the Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society’s popular pre-festival bird walk. Master Gardeners of Cornell Cooperative Extension Schoharie and Otsego Counties will return with Spring Garden Day, featuring classes on a wide variety of gardening topics suitable for those both new and experienced to gardening. Barbara Melera, president and CEO of the D. Landreth Seed Company – the oldest seed house in America – will speak at 1 p.m. Her presentation, titled “Sustaining Plant Biodiversity with Heritage and Native Species,” is free and open to the public. Again this year, in keeping with the earth-friendly theme, event organizers invite attendees to drop off Styrofoam (clean, white only), bubble wrap, empty inkjet cartridges, cell phones, eyeglasses, reusable shoes, tennis balls, natural cork, and used nylon monofilament fishing line and more. Empire Recycling will return with the free Confidata Shredder service and pellet bags will be collected for recycling. The EcoArt/Trendy Trash Contest and expanded children’s activities will also be featured and the TREP$ Marketplace – a unique, flea-market style event comprised exclusively of Milford Central School eighth-grade vendors who will launch their own “Go Green” businesses for the day – will return as well. Earth Festival is an environmentally-focused, interactive event featuring exhibits, activities, vendors and entertainment, all with a fun, earth-friendly twist. Financial contributions are most welcome, and an open invitation to earth-friendly exhibitors, food, and retail vendors is extended. Earth Festival 2016 is presented by Otsego County Conservation Association and Central NY Mobile Marketing in collaboration with the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce. To sign up or donate, use the registration form at http://occainfo.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/EarthFestivalFebruaryMailing2016-3.pdf. Call (607) 547-4488 or e-mail admin@occainfo.org to learn more.

ERIE CANAL BIKE TOUR SET FOR JULY 10-17: Parks & Trails New York has announced the dates for its annual “Cycle the Erie Canal” bike tour. The 400-mile supported bicycle tour along the legendary Erie Canal from Buffalo to Albany will be held July 10-17. According to PTNY, three quarters of this scenic and historic ride takes place on mostly flat, traffic-free trail. Guided canal, history, and museum tours will be featured, along with evening entertainment and presentations. Visithttp://ptny.org/cycle-the-erie-canal/annual-bike-tour for details.

WEBINARS HIGHLIGHT IMPORTANCE OF INVASIVE SPECIES AWARENESS: National Invasive Species Awareness Week isFebruary 21-27. A series of free webinars hosted by the National Association of Invasive Plant Councils will explore “hack and squirt” plant treatments, the importance of volunteers in early detection and rapid response, and the treatment of firewood to prevent the spread of forest pests, among other topics. To learn more, or to register, seehttp://www.nisaw.org/meetings/2016/2016-webinar/.

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

POLLINATOR CONSERVATION THE TOPIC OF MARCH LECTURE: On Thursday, March 3, the SUNY Cobleskill 7th Generation Centennial Lecture Series will feature a presentation by Dr. Carmen Greenwood titled “Native Pollinator Conservation.” Native bees, flies, beetles and butterflies that pollinate our crops and forests are imperiled and in decline. Learn who these pollinators are and how we can help. This presentation – set for 7 p.m. in the Bouck Auditorium – is free and open to the public. Future talks include: March 10, 7 p.m., “PlantPure Nation,” a documentary followed by discussion; and, March 31, 7 p.m., “Feeding the World: Challenges and Solutions” by Dr. Robert L. Thompson. For more information, visit http://www.cobleskill.edu/sustainability/.

SAVE THE DATE: OCCA’s annual “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” Garage Sale will take place Saturday, April 30 and Sunday, May 1 in the Cooperstown Farmers’ Market space. Donations of merchandise will be accepted April 25-28.

OCCA RELIES ON YOUR SUPPORT. Got a minute? Visit our website and look at everything OCCA is doing – and please consider an online donation whenever you can. Click on www.occainfo.org and look for the Network for Good logo on the home page to make a donation today.

TAKE THE PLEDGE TO CLEAN, DRAIN AND DRY, AT http://occainfo.org/take-the-pledge-ais-campaign/. Signatures equal leverage for grants, funding support and legislation!

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

Following a competitive essay contest, the Otsego County Conservation Association has awarded nine Otsego County middle-school students with a week-long stay at a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Summer Camp.

Otsego County students ages 11-14 were invited to compete for DEC camperships via the essay contest. In 750 words or less, they were asked to consider the question, “Imagine yourself in 50 years: What would you say to your younger self about the value of Otsego County’s beautiful land, lakes and streams?” OCCA received essays from Kathy Hardison’s Oneonta Middle School students and Amy Parr’s Cooperstown Middle School  science class as well as independent submissions.

Earning a trip to DEC camp as a result of their efforts are: Eva Barberio, Danielle Basdekis, Michael Crippen, Brandon Gardner, Majesti Hamilton, Ray Hovis, Phoebe Jones, Reilly Mooney and Aaliyah Saunders. Alternates are Ian Quinn, Henry Wager and Mikayla Web. The authors of the winning essays will enjoy a week at NYSDEC camp this summer, where they will spend their time immersed in the natural environment and will enjoy a balance of environmental education, sportsman education, and outdoor fun.

OCCA will sponsor the campers at $350 per student, thanks to funds provided by private donors. Alternates will be rewarded for their hard work as well with a small cash prize and the opportunity to attend camp if a spot should open up.

OCCA also recognized essayists who did not apply to attend camp. Brayden White took top honors, followed by F. Tulip Bailey and Jacob Rei.

Now in its fifth year, OCCA’s Campership Sponsor Program is intended to help connect middle schoolers with nature through their writing skills, knowledge of science, introspection and real-life experiences.

“Since 1947, kids have been making friends and memories at DEC environmental education camp,” said OCCA Executive Director Darla M. Youngs.

“Today’s children are spending too much time inside. Our program is possible thanks in large part to donors who attended these camps. They, like us, want to spark the interest of our young people in nature and, ultimately, get kids outside more,” Youngs said.

Founded in 1968, OCCA is a 501(c)3 membership group dedicated to promoting the appreciation and sustainable use of Otsego County’s natural resources through education, advocacy, resource management, research, and planning. For the last 48 years, OCCA has played a key role in initiating and carrying out programs designed to improve and/or protect Otsego County’s water, land, and air, representing more than 800+ members and volunteers. Visit http://occainfo.org/ or call (607) 547-4488 for more information.

Cooperstown Central School: F. Tulip Bailey, Michael Crippen, Ray Hovis, Phoebe Jones, Reilly Mooney, Ian Quinn, Henry Wager, Brayden White.

Oneonta Middle School: Eva Barberio, Danielle Basdekis, Majesti Hamilton, Jacob Rei, Aaliyah Saunders, Mikayla Web.

Valleyview Elementary School: Brandon Gardner

TAKE THE PLEDGE TO CLEAN, DRAIN AND DRY, AT http://occainfo.org/take-the-pledge-ais-campaign/. Signatures equal leverage for grants, funding support and legislation!

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