Our Environment.
Our Home.
OUR CHALLENGE.

  • 1

COOPERSTOWN—Otsego County Conservation Association has the following programs coming up:

On Friday, November 10 OCCA Program Director Jeff O’Handley leads a guided walk at Mohican Farm in Springfield at 2 p.m.Offered in conjunction with Glimmerglass Film Days, the walk will investigate Mohican Farm as a “home.” Meet at the OCCA office at 7207 State Highway 80.

The OCCA/Mohican Farm Be Informed! Lecture Series concludes for 2017 on Wednesday, November 15 at Mohican Farm. “The What, Why and How of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle” explores how we can reduce our solid waste output and features Karen Sullivan, director of the Otsego County Solid Waste Department; Karey Foster, Operations Analyst with Casella Resource Solutions; and Bob Sutherland, Manager of Mohican Farm, The Clark Foundation. The program begins at 6:30 p.m.

OCCA’s final walk of 2017 will be on the Sleeping Lion trail at Glimmerglass State Park on Tuesday, December 5 at 10 a.m. Offered in conjunction with the Adirondack Mountain Club Susquehanna Chapter, the 2.5-mile hike travels through a variety of forest environments and offers a wonderful view of Otsego Lake.

OCCA is currently accepting entries for their annual essay contest for “camperships” to DEC camps. Open for Otsego County students ages 11-14, contestants must submit an essay (up to 750 words) that addresses the following question: “What could you do personally to help protect the environment and what kind of impact would it make?” Winners will receive a week-long stay at a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation summer camp. The deadline for entries is December 1.

OCCA is also hosting two agricultural plastic collection days in the month of November. Farmers with used film plastic, including bale wrap, silage bags, bunker cover, greenhouse covers and wood pellet bags can bring it to the Southern Transfer Station in Oneonta on Saturday, November 11, or to the Northern Transfer Station in Cooperstown on Thursday, November 16. Collection time for both days is 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. The plastic must be sorted according to type.

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

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

###

 

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

###

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

###

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

About OCCA

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

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

###

 

Groups to partner on forest stewardship program

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

###

OCCA 2017 Conservationist of the Year, Bob Sutherland

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

###

 

Otsego County Conservation Association’s “Be Informed” lecture series continues with a presentation and walk focusing on creek ecology led by OCCA’s Executive Director Dr. Leslie Orzetti. The program will be Wednesday, August 23 at 6:00 p.m. at Mohican Farm, 7207 State Highway 80, Cooperstown.

“We’re very excited to be offering such a broad array of environmental programs,” said Jeff O’Handley, OCCA’s program director. “Many Otsego County residents have streams on their properties and would like to learn more about them.”

The program will cover the basics of stream ecology, our connection to the Chesapeake Bay, as well as an overview of OCCA’s upcoming Citizen Science Monitoring Program. As part of the program, Orzetti will lead a field walk to explore a creek on Mohican Farm.

“The best way to really understand a stream is by getting your feet wet,” Orzetti said.

Orzetti took over as OCCA’s Executive Director in August, 2016. She holds a doctorate in Environmental Science and Policy from George Mason University. She has served as an assistant professor at Northern Virginia Community College and as an adjunct professor at George Mason University. Prior to serving as a professor, Orzetti served as a Fish and Wildlife Biologist in the District of Columbia, as a senior scientist in a Chesapeake Bay-based non-profit, and as a contractor for the Department of Defense, conducting research and restoration on military lands.

“I have always been interested in aquatic ecology, and have been working in streams for much of my professional life,” said Orzetti.

“Up the Creek” is the third program in the Be Informed! lecture series, sponsored by OCCA. Previous topics have included climate smart communities and integrated pest management. The final program in the series for the year will be in November.

“The reception to the program so far has been excellent,” said O’Handley. “We’re getting good attendance, good feedback, and are looking forward to continuing this program in 2018.”

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.

###