Our Environment.
Our Home.
OUR CHALLENGE.

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Otsego County Conservation Association’s annual Earth Festival returns this Saturday with vendors and exhibitors, recycling opportunities, Spring Garden Day, yoga, a bird walk, clothing swap, pre-Festival movie night 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 three pre-festival events. Earth Festival Movie Night, sponsored by Otsego 2000 and Glimmerglass Film Days, features Landfill Harmonic, an inspiring, family-friendly film that follows “The Recycled Orchestra” of Paraguay, who create all their instruments from trash. The movie will be shown on Friday, April 20, at 7 p.m. at the Herbert B. Garman, Jr. Performing Arts Center at Milford Central School, and is free.

On Saturday, April 21, Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society leads a pre-festival bird walk. Meet at the main school parking lot at 9 a.m. and carpool to a nearby area in search of birds. Participants will return to the school in time for the official 11a.m. opening of the Earth Festival exhibitor and vendor fair. In addition to the bird walk, the Otsego Regional Cycling Advocates (ORCA) is hosting a bicycle safety class from 9am to 1pm.  If interested, visit the Otsego 2000 website to register.

“We have a really great combination of returning favorites and new exhibitors this year,” said Leslie Orzetti, OCCA’s executive director.

Confirmed exhibitors and vendors include OCCA, the Cooperstown Farmers’ Market, Ideuma Creek Alpacas, Casella Waste Systems, Ariginal Art and the Leather Stocking Bee Keepers Association. A full list can be found at www.occainfo.org/earth-festival. Food vendors include Origins Café and Tickled Pink Barbecue.

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 is a day devoted to gardening and growing environments, with workshops on a variety of gardening topics built around the theme of “Try Something New.” Workshop topics include gardening with native plants, growing shiitake mushrooms, and herb gardens. Pre-registration and a $10 fee are required for Spring Garden Day workshops. Contact Cornell Cooperative Extension at (607) 547-2536, extension 0 for information or to register.

Recycling is always an important part of Earth Festival. The OCCA Recycling Committee is again offering special recycling opportunities for Styrofoam (clean and white only, including rigid foam, egg cartons, and clean takeout food containers, but not meat trays); tennis balls; inkjet cartridges and small, handheld electronics such as cellphones; pens and markers; dental care items (used toothpaste tubes, dental floss and dental tape containers and packaging, used toothbrushes and packaging); natural wine corks; monofilament fishing line. In addition, the Lions Club of Cooperstown will be collecting eyeglasses, and Hopeful Hearts will be collecting used tubes from toilet paper and paper towel rolls, windowed envelopes, and Wal-Mart bags. Empire Recycling’s Confidata Shredding Truck will be on hand from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to provide free document shredding to individuals (5 boxes, maximum).

New this year is the Earth Festival Community Clothing Swap. Lightly-worn clothing and shoes for all ages and genders will be on display in the school cafeteria. Anyone can take what they need, whether they donate to the swap or not.

“The clothing swap enables us to help people find new homes for their gently-used goods, and to find good quality clothes for themselves and their families,” said volunteer Angelica Palmer, who is running the swap.

Clothing can be dropped off at the school from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday, April 20, or between 9:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. during Earth Festival. The Community Clothing Swap will be open for browsing throughout the event.

Returning after a short hiatus is the Recycled Fashion Show at 2 p.m. Open to all, the Fashion Show seeks to incorporate used items into articles of clothing. To enter, bring your recycled fashion to the auditorium at 1:30 p.m. Recycled fashions can also be entered into the EcoArt display and contest. This popular feature challenges participants to find new life for old items. Entries can be artistic, useful, or both.

Yoga Big and Small will be held in the small gym at 1:30 p.m. Led by local, certified instructors Katherine Walters, of Love Your Life Yoga & Community in Milford, and Karla Andela, the session will be for children and adults, no experience necessary. 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/.

For a full schedule of activities, vendors, and recycling list, visit http://occainfo.org/earth-festival/.

Earth Festival 2018 is presented by Otsego County Conservation Association, with support from Five Star Subaru, Central New York Tent Rentals, Otsego 2000 and Cooperstown Natural Foods. For further information, visit www.occainfo.org, call (607) 547-4488, or e-mail director@occainfo.org.

Founded in 1968, Otsego County Conservation Association is dedicated to promoting the 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’s annual Earth Festival will feature a variety of activities for all ages, event organizers said.

“We’ve always tried to provide valuable, interactive learning experiences as part of Earth Festival,” said Jeff O’Handley, program director for Otsego County Conservation Association, who has been part of the event since its inception in 2006. “In addition to the vendor and exhibitor fair, the workshops put on as part of Spring Garden Day add tremendous value to the event.”

Organized by the Master Gardener Volunteers Cornell Cooperative Extension Schoharie and Otsego Counties, Spring Garden Day is a day devoted to gardening and growing environments. Four workshops are offered in two concurrent sessions; in between, attendees will be free to walk around the exhibit area and learn about the many environmental products and services that are offered in the Otsego County region. There is a $10 registration fee for Spring Garden Day, due by April 16. Please visit http://cceschoharie-otsego.org/events/2018/04/21/spring-garden-day-2018 for specific information on Spring Garden Day.

Earth Festival will also feature a number of other activities. Back for its second year, Earth Festival movie night features the family friendly film, Landfill Harmonic, the inspiring story of a children’s orchestra using homemade instruments made from trash. Sponsored by Otsego 2000 and Glimmerglass Film Days, the movie is Friday, April 20 at 7pm, at Milford Central School, and is free.

On the day of Earth Festival, the traditional pre-Festival bird walk, led by Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society, departs from the school parking lot at 9am sharp. Participants will carpool a short distance to a good birding location, to be determined that morning. Bring binoculars and dress for the weather. Birders will be back at the school in time for the start of Earth Festival at 11am.

Other planned activities include a presentation on solid waste and recycling by OCCA at 12:15 in the auditorium; a demonstration of stream monitoring techniques employed by Milford Central School students as part of OCCA’s Citizen Science Monitoring program; Bicycling Skills 123, a special class sponsored by New York Central Mutual Insurance and requiring pre-registration; yoga for kids and adults; and a mattress deconstruction demonstration. And there is the exhibitor and vendor fair, recycling activities, EcoArt Challenge, and, returning again, the Going Green Fashion Show.

“It’s going to be a full day,” O’Handley said. “Be ready to have fun, and learn a lot.”

Earth Festival is an environmentally focused, interactive event featuring exhibits, workshops, vendors, food and entertainment, all with a fun, earth-friendly twist. Earth Festival will take place onSaturday, April 21, 2018, from 11am to 3pm at Milford Central School. Sponsorship and exhibitor/vendor opportunities are still available. Visit http://occainfo.org/earth-festival/ for details, or contact OCCA Executive Director Leslie Orzetti at (607) 547-4488.

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

The 14th Annual Earth Festival is fast approaching. In keeping with this year’s theme of recycling, organizers are once again providing opportunities for attendees to recycle hard to get rid of items.

“Recycling has been a part of Earth Festival since the very beginning,” said Martha Clarvoe, chair of OCCA’s recycling committee and a member of the Earth Festival planning committee. “Otsego County has a very good recycling program, but we’re happy to provide alternatives for items that aren’t part of the regular program.”

The following items will be accepted for recycling: clean, white expanded polystyrene foam (Styrofoam), including rigid packing material, egg cartons, coolers, peanuts and takeout food containers. Only white Styrofoam is accepted, and all material must be clean and dry, with all leftover food, tape, and adhesive labels removed.

Also being accepted this year are non-working Christmas lights; toilet and paper towel tubes; window envelopes; used fishing line (no hooks, sinkers, bobbers or reels, please); natural cork; tennis balls; used writing implements (pens, markers, mechanical pencils) dental care items (used toothbrushes and packaging, empty toothpaste tubes, empty dental floss and dental tape containers and packaging); and inkjet cartridges (No toner cartridges, please; check toner packaging for mail-in recycling options or contact OfficeMax or other supply stores), cell phones and chargers, tablets, and other small, handheld electronics.

The Confidata shredding truck will also provide free shredding of personal documents from 11am to 2pm. There is a five box per person limit.

“People really love this service,” Clarvoe said. “Last year, 4300 pounds was shredded, a new Earth Festival record.”

Collection points will be set up both inside and outside the Earth Festival event, which takes place on Saturday, April 21, from 11am to 3pm at Milford Central School. The OCCA Recycling Committee will also have educational displays about recycling, including using “How Do I Get Rid Of…?”, a searchable page on how to dispose of various items once they’re ready to be disposed of, and a display on the bag and film plastic collection program.

“It’s going to be a very busy day,” Clarvoe said. “Anyone who wants to volunteer should contact me at martha.clarvoe@gmail.com.”

Also in keeping with the Recycling theme, back this year at Earth Festival is the EcoArt contest. EcoArt challenges contestants with creating something practical or artistic out of items that have outlived their original purpose. The contest is free to enter.

“The level of creativity displayed by past entrants is amazing,” said Leslie Orzetti, OCCA’s executive director. “I can’t wait to see what this year brings.”

EcoArt is being overseen by The Community Arts Network of Oneonta (CANO). There will be three age categories: Child (ages 5-11 years), Youth (12-17), and Adult (17 and up). Entry forms are available at http://occainfo.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/2018-EcoArt-Entry-Form.pdf. All entries must be original, and can be brought to Earth Festival on Saturday, April 21 between9:30 and 11am. Prizes will be awarded in each age category. Winners will be announced at the end of the event.

An environmentally focused, interactive event featuring exhibits, workshops, vendors, food and entertainment, all with a fun, earth-friendly twist, Earth Festival will take place on Saturday, April 21, 2018, from 11am to 3pm at Milford Central School. Sponsorship and exhibitor/vendor opportunities are still available. Visit http://occainfo.org/earth-festival/ for details, or contact OCCA Executive Director Leslie Orzetti at (607) 547-4488.

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

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The Otsego Regional Cycling Advocates (ORCA) is hosting a bicycling skills class, geared mainly for youth, but appropriate for adults as well. The class will be on Saturday, April 21st, 9am – 1pm and will be offered at the Milford Central School, 42 West Main Street in Milford, NY as part of the 14th annual Earth Festival.

The class will follow the “Bicycling Skills 123” curriculum established by the League of American Bicyclists (LAB) and will be taught by local League-Certified instructor, David Wells. Both classroom time and time on bikes are included in this course. Snacks will be provided during a scheduled break.

Prior registration is required by April 13th. Cost of the class is a suggested $30 donation per registered participant and the maximum number of participants will be limited to 15. Participants younger than 14 years must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Each participant must provide their own working bicycle and helmet. A rain date make-up class is scheduled for May 11th at the Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown.

A variety of prizes and giveaways will be provided by our event sponsor NYCM Insurance www.nycm.com.

You may register online at www.otsegooutdoors.org or by mailing the registration form and check to Otsego 2000, PO Box 1130, Cooperstown, NY  13326. For any questions, please contact Martha Clarvoe at 607-293-6654.

Otsego Regional Cycling Advocates, a subcommittee of Otsego 2000, is a bicycling advocacy group that promotes cycling as an enjoyable, healthy, safe, environmentally-friendly activity for people of all ages and abilities in Otsego and surrounding counties

Earth Festival is an environmentally focused, interactive event featuring exhibits, workshops, vendors, food and entertainment, all with a fun, earth-friendly twist. Earth Festival will take place onSaturday, April 21, 2018, from 11am to 3pm at Milford Central School. Sponsorship and exhibitor/vendor opportunities are still available. Visit http://occainfo.org/earth-festival/ for details, or contact OCCA Executive Director Leslie Orzetti at (607) 547-4488.

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

Steve Kent leads a snowshoe hike to Mud Lake at Robert V. Riddell State Park on Saturday, March 10, 2018 at noon. Steve and his wife, Patricia Riddell Kent, donated the land for the state park in 2005. The walk is part of a series of hikes in outdoor areas sponsored by Otsego County Conservation Association. Participants should dress for the weather and bring their own snowshoes, water, and a snack. If there isn’t enough snow for snowshoes, the hike will proceed on foot.

Parking is on the east side of Gersoni Road, just south of Interstate 88, exit 17. Walkers will follow the trail up to Mud Lake, a pond and sphagnum bog at the top of South Hill, and return to the starting point. The hike is expected to take 3.5 hours and is free, though pre-registration is requested. Visit http://occainfo.org/program-and-event-sign-up-form/ to sign up online, or contact Jeff O’Handley, OCCA’s program director, at (607) 282-4087.

OCCA’s annual Earth Festival event returns on April 21, 2018 at Milford Central School. New this year is the Community Clothing Swap.

“The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation estimates that over one billion pounds of clothing and textiles are thrown out in the state each year,” said Leslie Orzetti, OCCA’s Executive Director. “We hope this will cut down some of the waste a little.”

Gently used, good condition clothing of all kinds will be accepted and put on display in the school cafeteria. Earth Festival attendees will have the opportunity to look through the clothing and take what they need. At the end of the day, leftover clothing will be given to various charities. The event is free and open to the public. Monetary donations are welcome, but not required.

“The clothing swap enables us to help people find new homes for their gently-used goods, and to find good quality clothes for themselves and their families,” said Angelica Palmer, who is running the swap for the event.

Items can be dropped off at the school beginning on Friday, April 20, from 4:00 to 8:00pm, or on Saturday, April 21, from 9:30 through 1 p.m. The festival runs on Saturday, April 21, from 11 am to 3 pm. Earth Festival movie night is on Friday, April 20, at 6:30 pm.

Earth Festival is an environmentally-focused, interactive event featuring exhibits, workshops, vendors, food and entertainment, all with a fun, earth-friendly twist. Earth Festival is a program of the Otsego County Conservation Association. Sponsors include Cooperstown Natural Foods, Otsego 2000, and CNY Tent Rentals.

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

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The Otsego County Conservation Association is “Going Green” for their annual ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ Garage Sale. The sale will no longer take place at the end of April at the Farmers’ Market Building in Cooperstown, but instead will be held on-line to save on transportation costs and cut the event’s carbon footprint.

“Over the past few years, there has been an overwhelming outpouring of donations from our supporters,” said OCCA Executive Director, Leslie Orzetti, “and we hope our veteran donors and shoppers will continue their support in our new and improved green format. Instead of using vehicles to pick up, drop off and move items, we will be hosting an on-line store where you can both donate and shop!”

The on-line garage sale will only accept household items such as furniture, kitchen electronics, appliances, sporting goods, art, and any larger items. Clothing will not be accepted, Orzetti said, but can be brought instead to a clothing swap at Earth Festival in Milford on April 21.

Items must be in good condition, and can be donated from March 1 until May 1. The sale opens officially on April 16 and will continue until all items are sold.  If the sale is popular, OCCA will continue to accept donations and sell items year round.

Proceeds from the sale will help support OCCA’s environmental programs. “We’ll reveal the official sale website at Earth Festival,” Orzetti said. “This will be a great way to get great deals and help the environment!”

For further information, contact OCCA at (607) 547-4488, or visit www.occainfo.org/reduce-reuse-recycle-garage-sale/.

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 hosting its annual Earth Festival event at Milford Central School on Saturday, April 21, 2018 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Earth Festival brings together a wide variety of environmentally-themed exhibits, vendors and activities for a fun and educational day. Returning activities include the pre-festival bird walk, the Eco-Art/Trendy Trash contest, yoga for kids and adults, and Master Gardeners’ Spring Garden Day. Confirmed exhibitors and vendors include OCCA, Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society, Otsego 2000/Cooperstown Farmers’ Market, and Ideuma Creek Alpacas, with more being added each day. In addition, Earth Festival will continue the tradition of offering Otsego residents the chance to drop off difficult-to-dispose of items for recycling, including Styrofoam, tennis balls, Christmas lights, and more.

Also returning this year is Earth Festival Movie Night, sponsored by Otsego 2000. This year’s film is Landfill Harmonic, an inspiring story of “The Recycled Orchestra,” a group of children from a Paraguayan slum who play instruments made entirely of garbage. This beautiful story about the transformative power of music also highlights two vital issues of our time: poverty and waste pollution. The film follows the orchestra as it takes its inspiring spectacle of trash-into-music around the globe. Landfill Harmonic will be screened on Friday, April 20 at 7 p.m. in the Herbert B. Garman, Jr. Performing Arts Center at Milford Central School.

New this year is a community clothes swap, an opportunity to find a new home for lightly-worn clothing. Clothing and shoes for all ages and genders are welcome, though no clothing with holes, stains, or strong odors will be accepted. Clothing can be dropped off Friday evening and Saturday before and during the event, which is free and open to all.

Vendor/exhibitor spaces are still available for Earth Festival. For more information, or to make a donation, visit OCCA’s website, http://occainfo.org/earth-festival/ or call (607) 547-4488.

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

(COOPERSTOWN) – Otsego County Conservation Association (OCCA) and Mohican Farm kick off their 2018 Be Informed! Lecture Series with “Ticks and Lyme Disease: What You Need to Know” on Wednesday, February 21 at 6:30 pm. The program will be held in the community room at The Clark Sports Center, 124 County Road 52, Cooperstown. The program is free and open to the public.

“With tick season just around the corner, it’s important for people to understand the facts about ticks and tick-borne diseases like Lyme disease,” said OCCA Executive Director, Leslie Orzetti.

Dr. Carmen Greenwood, Associate Professor at SUNY Cobleskill, will present information on the biology and ecology of ticks, focusing on the black-legged tick (also known as the deer tick), which transmits Lyme disease. Greenwood has a Ph.D. in entomology and conducts research on arthropod ecology.

Bob Sutherland, manager of Mohican Farm for The Clark Foundation, said, “Understanding the life cycle of ticks can perhaps help us figure out how to manage the landscape to avoid them.”

Following Greenwood’s presentation, Theresa Oellrich, RN, Communicable Disease Coordinator of Otsego County will discuss the specifics of Lyme disease, including its health impacts, treatment and prevention, and what to do if bitten by a tick.

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection spread by bites from previously-infected blacklegged ticks (Ioxides scapularis). Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue and a characteristic ‘bullseye’ rash on the skin. Left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported more than 26,000 confirmed cases of Lyme disease nationwide in 2016, the last year data is available.

“I had Lyme disease three summer ago. It is not fun,” said Sutherland. “I urge people to learn about this important health issue.”

The program is free, but pre-registration is requested. For more information, visit OCCA’s website at 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, planning and practice. For more information on OCCA, or to donate, visit www.occainfo.org.

Mohican Farm is part of The Clark Foundation. Its mission is to promote sustainable activities within The Clark Foundation, the community and Otsego County.

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(COOPERSTOWN)—Otsego County Conservation Association is seeking sponsors, vendors and exhibitors for the 14th annual Earth Festival, event organizers said.

Established in 2005, Earth Festival is an environmentally-focused, interactive event featuring exhibits, activities and vendors. This year’s theme is Reduce, ReUse Recycle, and will take place onSaturday, April 21 at Milford Central School, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“Earth Festival is an opportunity to network with like-minded individuals and organizations, and to promote your environmentally-friendly products, services, and practices to an ever-growing audience,” said Leslie Orzetti, OCCA’s executive director.

Contributions and sponsors are being sought to help defray the costs of the event, which includes table and chair rentals, facility fees, promotion and advertising, and charges for the event’s popular recycling programs. Sponsors will receive recognition on Earth Festival promotional materials, Orzetti said.

In addition to sponsorships, Orzetti said registration is now open for vendors and exhibitors interested in attending the event. Each vendor and exhibitor will have an eight-foot table for their display.

“The event attracts over eight hundred people each year,” Orzetti said. “We look forward to seeing the outpouring of support from the community to rally around the conservation of natural resources.”

The vendor and information fair takes place in the school gym, while special workshops and activities occur throughout the building. New this year is a clothing swap, to help people find new homes for unwanted but good condition clothes. Returning activities include a morning bird walk led by members of the Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society; Spring Garden Day, a special program of the Master Gardeners of Cornell Cooperative Extension Schoharie Otsego Counties; the Eco-Art/Trendy Trash exhibit and competition; and special recycling opportunities, including paper shredding.

Returning for the second year is Earth Festival movie night, sponsored by Otsego 2000. Held on Friday, April 20, this year’s film will be “Landfill Harmonic.” The award winning documentary follows the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura, a Paraguayan musical group that plays instruments made out of items scavenged from the local landfill.

“This is an inspiring film. I’m thrilled we’ll be able to share it with the public,” Orzetti said.

Sponsorships are being accepted through April 13. For information on how to get involved, either as a sponsor or vendor/exhibitor, contact Orzetti at (607) 547-4488, or visit 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.

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