Our Environment.
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OUR CHALLENGE.

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The Otsego County Conservation Association’s annual “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” Garage Sale will be held on Saturday and Sunday, April 29 and 30 in the Cooperstown Farmers’ Market building at 101 Main Street (in Pioneer Alley), Cooperstown. Sale hours are from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on both days. Unsold items will be available for free on Monday, May 1 from10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

OCCA will be accepting donations of items for the garage sale April 26 and 27 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Friday, April 28 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Farmers’ Market building. All donations are tax deductible; OCCA will provide a donation voucher upon request.

Now in its 15th year, the OCCA Garage Sale offers hundreds of items for sale at great prices, including clothes, books, sporting goods, housewares, furniture and more. In addition to raising funds for OCCA’s countywide environmental programs and initiatives, the garage sale benefits the environment through source reduction. Those with questions, or who would like more information about donations or volunteering to assist with the event, should call OCCA Executive Director Leslie Orzetti at (607) 547-4488 or e-mail director@occainfo.org for further details.

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.

The Otsego County Conservation Association will be holding their annual ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ Garage Sale on April 29 and 30 at the Farmers’ Market Building in Cooperstown. The event will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on both days.

Furniture, clothing, books, housewares and sporting goods are among the items that will be available. Proceeds from the sale help support OCCA’s environmental programs.

Donations of items will be accepted at the Cooperstown Farmers’ Market building in Pioneer Alley, 101 Main Street, Cooperstown, from April 26 through 28 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. For further information, contact OCCA at (607) 547-4488, or visit www.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

Otsego County Conservation Association’s annual Earth Festival returns this Saturday with vendors, exhibitors, recycling, a talk on local climate, gardening workshops, yoga and more. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Milford Central School.

Now in its thirteenth year, Earth Festival is an environmentally-focused, interactive event featuring exhibits, activities, vendors and entertainment. This year includes two pre-festival events. Earth Festival Movie Night, sponsored by Otsego 2000, features the new Josh Fox film, How to Let Go of the World and Learn to Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change. The movie will be shown on Friday, April 21, at 7 p.m. at the Herbert B. Garman, Jr. Performing Arts Center at Milford Central School. On Saturday morning, Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society board member Bob Donnelly leads a pre-festival bird walk. The bird walk leaves the school parking lot at 9 a.m. Admission to movie night, the pre-festival bird walk, and Earth Festival itself is free.

The Master Gardener Volunteers of Cornell Cooperative Extension Schoharie and Otsego Counties will be hosting Spring Garden Day in conjunction with Earth Festival. Spring Garden Day features workshops on a variety of gardening topics suitable for those both new and experienced to gardening. There is a $10 fee to participate in Spring Garden Day workshops. Contact CCE at 607-547-2536 for information and details.

This year, Earth Festival will feature guest speaker Beth Renckens Gibbons. A Cooperstown native and Managing Director of the American Society of Adaptation Professionals, Gibbons will present “Understanding and Preparing for Climate Change in Otsego County.” This talk will provide a brief overview of the climate system, then dive deeply into current and anticipated changes due to climate change in our area. Gibbons’ talk will begin at 12:15 p.m.in the auditorium.

The traditional Earth Festival exhibitor and vendor fair opens at 11 a.m. in the gymnasium. This year, nearly 40 earth-friendly businesses, organizations, and individuals will be on hand to provide information, products and activities. Food will be available from Origins Café, of Cooperstown, and Jamaican Creations, of Oneonta.

Also returning this year is the EcoArt/Trendy Trash display and contest. The challenge is to create something useful and/or artistic from items that have outlived their original purpose. Students can enter the contest for free; it costs $5 for adults. Entry forms are available at http://occainfo.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/2017-ECOART-ENTRY-FORM-Google-Docs.pdf. Entries can be dropped off at Milford Central School between 9:30 and 11:00 a.m. on the day of the event.

Back for a second year are yoga sessions for beginners and children, led by local, certified instructors. Katherine Walters, of Love Your Life Yoga & Community in Milford will lead two sessions for adults, while Karla Andela will lead a session for children. Yoga sessions will be held in the small gym at the school. Mats will be provided. Yoga is free, though pre-registration is appreciated. Pre-register using the form at http://occainfo.org/calendar/earth-festival-2017/.

Recycling is an important part of taking care of the Earth, and Earth Festival delivers on that count, as well. OCCA is again offering special recycling opportunities for Styrofoam (clean and white only), wood pellet bags, inkjet cartridges, tennis balls, pens and markers, natural wine corks and monofilament fishing line. The Lions Club of Cooperstown will be collecting eyeglasses, and Soles to Share, a non-profit organization run by students from Cooperstown High School, will be collecting shoes. Free document shredding will be provided by Empire Recycling’s Confidata Shredding Truck from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Earth Festival 2017 is presented by Otsego County Conservation Association, with support from Five Star Subaru, Central NY Mobile Marketing, and Otsego 2000. For further information, visit www.occainfo.org, call (607) 547-4488, or e-mail director@occainfo.org.

 

A healthy earth begins with a healthy body. Learn how to achieve this through yoga at Earth Festival 2017. Sessions will be hosted in the Milford Central School small gym by certified yoga instructors Katherine Walters, of Love Your Life Fitness, and Karla Andela.

Adult yoga classes, led by Walters, will run approximately 45 to 60 minutes. “Yoga for Beginners and Beyond” is a mixed-level class, and will begin at 11 a.m. A class specifically for beginners will be held at 1 p.m.

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.

Andela’s children’s yoga class will be held from 2:30 to 3:00 p.m. A 200-hour Kripalu certified instructor, Andela has over two years’ experience teaching experience in Cooperstown and along the Appalachian Trail. Parents are required to stay during the session and are encouraged to participate.

Yoga classes are free, though pre-registration is preferred. Call (607) 547-4488 or register online athttp://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/

Other activities at Earth Festival include a pre-festival bird walk with Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society; Spring Garden Day, held by the Master Gardener Volunteers of Cornell Cooperative Extension Schoharie and Otsego Counties; the EcoArt contest; a pre-festival movie night; a talk on climate change by Beth Renckens Gibbons, and the exhibitor vendor fair.

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 2017 is presented by Otsego County Conservation Association with support from Five Star Subaru and Central New York Mobile Marketing. For further information, visit http://occainfo.org/earth-festival/, or call (607) 547-4488 or e-mail director@occainfo.org.

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Styrofoam, tennis balls, wood pellets and more will be collected for recycling at the thirteenth annual Earth Festival on April 22, at Milford Central School. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“Although more items can be recycled than ever before, most communities don’t have organized programs for collecting beyond traditionally-recycled items,” said Leslie Orzetti, executive director of the Otsego County Conservation Association. “We’re happy to provide members of the community the option to dispose of material that would otherwise end up in the landfill.”

The following items will be collected at Earth Festival: clean, white Styrofoam, empty inkjet cartridges, cell phones and other small (up to tablet sized) electronics, tennis balls, wood pellet bags, and used monofilament fishing line, and natural cork from wine bottles. As part of the TerraCycle recycling program, OCCA will also be collecting oral care products (including used toothbrushes and toothbrush packaging, empty toothpaste tubes, and dental floss and dental tape containers) and writing implements (used pens, markers, highlighters and mechanical pencils).

Martha Clarvoe, chair of OCCA’s Recycling Committee and a member of the Earth Festival Planning Committee, said it’s especially important to follow directions when bringing Styrofoam to Earth Festival for recycling.

“For the second year, our Styrofoam is going to Madison County to be recycled as part of their program,” Clarvoe said. “They can’t take colored Styrofoam or packing peanuts. Only rigid foam with a number six recycling triangle, or identical to foam with a number six recycling triangle can be accepted.” She added that Styrofoam should be brought to Earth Festival in clear plastic bags.

OCCA is not alone in collecting items at Earth Festival. The Lion’s Club of Cooperstown will be collecting eyeglasses, and Soles to Share, a non-profit run by Cooperstown High School students, will be collecting shoes to distribute to those in need.

Once again, Empire Recycling will be on hand with their Confidata paper shredding service for free disposal of confidential household or business documents. The Confidata shredder truck will be in the school parking lot, just outside the entrance to Earth Festival, and will be available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. All other recycling will be available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

All recycling services are free, though donations to help support Earth Festival are welcome.

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.

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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Submissions for this year’s EcoArt/Trendy Trash contest, to be displayed at Earth Festival 2017 on Saturday, April 22, will be accepted up to and including the day of the event. Awards will be provided for first and second places for Adult entry and Student entry.   This trash-to-treasure challenge to create something practical or artistic from items that have outlived their original purpose is open at no charge to students, with a $5.00 fee for adults. “Entries over the years have included some amazing pieces that have ranged from practical to whimsical to beautiful – with artists of all ages submitting items crafted from every conceivable part of the waste stream,” said Susan O’Handley, an organizer of Earth Festival since it’s inception in 2005.

 

The EcoArt /Trendy Trash contest has become an Earth Festival favorite, and new submissions are welcomed from artists and inventors of all ages. All EcoArt entries must be original works of art and brought to the Earth Festival event on Saturday, April 22 between 9:30 and 11am.  All entries must be picked up at the end of the Earth Festival at 3pm unless arrangements have been made with CANO in advance.

 

In 2017, Community Arts Network of Oneonta (CANO) takes over the oversight of the EcoArt Competition with plans to further develop the program in future years to include workshops in advance of the event.  This year, entries will be displayed at CANO at their location at 11 Ford Ave, Oneonta, NY 13820 during the last week in May with an Opening Reception on Thursday, May 25.

 

Leslie Orzetti, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Otsego County Conservation Association is excited to have CANO involved with Earth Festival.   “Having the involvement and support of CANO for presenting the EcoArt component of Earth Festival is a perfect fit to support our area artists at all levels and to bring additional exposure to the creativity that exists here in our region.  It also helps to bring attention to solid waste issues that communities face across the country.”

 

For complete information about Earth Festival and the EcoArt Competition, visit the Otsego County Conservation Association website at www.occainfo.org/earth-festival or call (607) 547-4488 to learn more.

 

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 2017 is presented by Otsego County Conservation Association.

 

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

(COOPERSTOWN) –Cooperstown native Beth (Renckens) Gibbons will be the featured speaker at the twelfth annual Earth Festival in Milford on Saturday, April 22. Gibbons’ talk, “Understanding and Preparing for Climate Change in Otsego County,” will provide a brief overview of the climate system, then dive deeply into current and anticipated changes for our area. The talk begins at twelve fifteen in the Herbert B. Garman, Jr. Performing Arts Center at the school.

“We’re thrilled to have a speaker with Beth’s expertise as part of Earth Festival,” said Leslie Orzetti, Executive Director of OCCA, Earth Festival’s sponsoring organization.

“The impacts from climate change are the local manifestations of global change,” said Gibbons. “Because we feel these impacts so acutely: the floods, severe storms, and shifting seasons—especially the loss of winter—we are able to develop strategies for coping with these changes.”

Gibbons graduated from Cooperstown Central School in 2000. She is the Managing Director of the American Society of Adaptation Professionals (ASAP), the leading professional society for climate change adaptation professionals in the United States. ASAP connects and supports climate professionals, while advancing innovation in the field of practice through establishing promising practices, pushing resiliency-focused policy initiatives, and celebrating tremendous work of local community leaders.

Prior to taking the reins at ASAP, Gibbons led the University of Michigan Climate Center and oversaw the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Great Lakes RISA program. Under her tenure these programs distributed over $1.2 million dollars to more than 50 organizations in eight states, to increase the understanding of climate change in the region and to develop strategies to prepare for current and future changes.

“Climate change is here,” said Orzetti. “As much as we want to stop it we need to plan for what is coming in an inclusive way.”

Earth Festival is a family-oriented event that features environmentally-themed vendors, exhibitors and activities. The event occurs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the gym at Milford Central School. The event also includes Spring Garden Day, offered by the Master Gardeners of Cornell Cooperative Extension Schoharie and Otsego Counties, from 10:30 to 2 p.m. Other activities offered at Earth Festival include a movie night on Friday, April 21; a pre-festival bird walk offered by Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society at 9 a.m. on April 22, children’s activities, recycling opportunities, and the traditional vendor and exhibitor fair. For information about Earth Festival, visit the festival page, http://occainfo.org/earth-festival/.

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

Otsego County Conservation Association is seeking volunteers to assist with the thirteenth annual Earth Festival event at Milford Central School on Saturday, April 22, 2017.

Earth Festival is a family-oriented event that features environmentally-themed vendors, exhibitors and activities. The event occurs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the gym at Milford Central School. There is also a pre-festival movie night being held on April 21 at 7 p.m., also at the school.

Volunteers are being asked to help with a wide variety of tasks on Friday and Saturday, including setting up on Friday afternoon, helping vendors/exhibitors set up and break down, providing information to attendees, assisting with recycling activities, taking pictures, and helping clean up after the event. To participate, contact OCCA Executive Director, Leslie Orzetti at (607) 547-4488.

Other OCCA volunteer opportunities coming up include a highway cleanup in Springfield on April 8, and the annual Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Garage Sale on April 29 and 30. For information on those events, contact Jeff O’Handley, OCCA’s program director, at (607) 282-4087.

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

Stewart’s gives OCCA funding for children’s programming

(COOPERSTOWN) – The Otsego County Conservation Association has received a $350 grant from Stewart’s Holiday Match program.  Monies from the grant will be applied to our new Get the Kids Out family adventure hike series.

The hikes are being held at various locations around the county to encourage families from every school district to attend.  The first hike was held during winter recess at Robert V. Riddell State Park and was highly successful.  The hikes are a part of our nature hike series, and have been scheduled during school breaks to encourage families to get out into nature, get some exercise, and learn some local ecology.  The next hike, planned for April 19 at 10 a.m. at the Thayer Farm Upland Interpretive Center, will focus on amphibians.  These programs are free and open to the public.

OCCA Executive Director Leslie Orzetti states, “We are proud to be the recipient of the generosity of the Stewart’s Foundation, and are happy to be using the funds to bring free environmental education programming to Otsego County’s children and families.”

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

Otsego County Conservation Association will be the beneficiary of Well Spent Wednesday on March 22 at Alex’s Bistro in Cooperstown.

Well Spent Wednesday is a regular event hosted at Alex’s Bistro. Patrons who mention they are supporting OCCA will have 15% of their bill donated to OCCA, assisting the organization in carrying out its mission of promoting the appreciation and sustainable use of Otsego County’s natural resources.

“With all the attention being focused on national issues, it’s important for people to remember the local organizations working on their behalf,” said Leslie Orzetti, OCCA’s executive director.

OCCA conducts a broad spectrum of environmental programs. New this year is the Be Informed! Lecture Series, Get the Kids Out family adventure hikes series, and a citizen science water quality monitoring program. Past efforts have included halting a project that would have doubled the width of the Marcy South power line, and partnering with several organizations and municipalities to expand invasive species prevention efforts on Canadarago and Otsego lakes.

“We’re very grateful to Alex for hosting us,” Orzetti said. “We’ll have staff and board members on hand throughout the day to talk about our programs and activities. We hope to see a lot of people!”

Well Spent Wednesday to benefit OCCA will take place on Wednesday, March 22 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Alex’s Bistro is located at 149 Main Street, Cooperstown.

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