Our Environment.
Our Home.
OUR CHALLENGE.

  • 1

(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.

###

(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.

###

Otsego County Conservation Association’s upcoming events focus on enjoying winter weather with three snowshoe hikes and a special kids’ program.

On Saturday, January 27, OCCA will participate in the third annual Cabin Fever Winter Fest at Gilbert Lake State Park. OCCA will lead two snowshoe hikes around the lake for beginners, one at 11:30 and a second at 1:30. A limited supply of snowshoes is available to borrow courtesy of Five Star Subaru. The entire Cabin Fever Winter Fest event runs from11am to 3pm and includes cross country skiing, winter camping demonstrations, crafts for kids, and more. The event is free and open to the public.

OCCA also leads a snowshoe hike as part of the Cooperstown Winter Carnival on Sunday, February 11. The walk will take place along trails through the woods and along the Susquehanna River behind the Clark Sports Center, 124 County Road 52, Cooperstown. Meet at the main entrance of the sports center at 10:30. Bring your own snowshoes.

On Wednesday, February 21, OCCA leads Get the Kids Out! Winter Wonders at Robert V. Riddell State Park in Oneonta. This special scavenger hunt program will be a search for signs of life in the midst of winter. Meet at the main entrance to Riddell State Park on State Route 28, just north of I-88 Exit 17 at 10 am.

Finally, on Saturday, March 10, Steve Kent leads a snowshoe hike to Mud Lake at Robert V. Riddell State Park in Oneonta. Meet at noon on County Road 48 (Gersoni Road) just south of Interstate 88 exit 17. This 5-mile hike will traverse some steep areas to Mud Lake, a bog at the top of South Hill, and return to the cars.

In the event there is not enough snow for any of the snowshoe walks, programs will proceed on foot. All OCCA hikes are free. For further information, visit occainfo.org 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 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.

###